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To be posted on the German Studies List:

Convention of the Modern Language Association (MLA)
December 27-30, 2008, San Francisco

Proposal for a Special Session

Houses and Domestic Spaces in German Literature

Houses are powerful objects that impact and shape an impressive range of 
personal and public interests. Providing for our most basic needs, 
offering both shelter and identity, and representing specific historical 
formations, houses virtually touch upon all aspects of individual and 
collective needs and organization. As an intensely emotional experience, a 
major financial investment and a material reality embedded in 
architectural, aesthetic and social traditions, houses and the domestic 
space they incorporate are of quintessential importance. Houses are also 
tied to issues of migration and memory for each instance of migration or 
displacement corresponds to a prior placement, however fraught or 
tentative, and studying this placement can complement our understanding of 
movements across time and place.

This session seeks to investigate through a broad spectrum of perspectives 
the representation, theory and critique of houses and domestic space, 
specifically their gendered connections in German literature from the 19th 
century until today. Questions to be addressed can include, but are not 
limited, to the following:

-	What role do houses play in (gendered) identity formation?
-	What are possible connections between domestic space and
 	nationhood?
-	How have different discourses (such as feminism, anthropology or
 	psychoanalysis) contributed to our understanding of houses?
-	In what ways has the boundary shift between private and public
 	spaces affected the role of houses?
-	Which historical developments and changes can be identified in the
 	representation of houses and domestic space?
-	In what ways has the memory of the house of childhood been (re)
 	conceptualized?

Please send 300-word abstracts by March 1, 2008 to Monika Shafi 
([log in to unmask])
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Delaware, 
Newark, DE 19716.

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The German Studies Call for Papers List
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