Call for Papers, German Studies Association Conference,

October 2-5, 2008, St. Paul, Minnesota



Representing Authenticity


Authenticity is a prevalent utopian concept in 20th century literature and art. Avant-garde movements as well as neo-avant-garde movements during the 1950s and 1960s for example promoted the vitality of new, 'authentic' forms of art as opposed to an outmoded, 'dead' culture. Literature and art were considered 'authentic' if they included ideals of purity, immediacy, and sincerity.


This panel seeks papers that discuss the representation of authenticity in literature and art. As an aesthetic strategy, authenticity is based on 'immediate' forms of expression which often disguise their medial premises and take on a political stance. Possible topics should be limited to 20 th century literature and art. Transnational, transmedial, and comparative approaches are welcome. Possible topics include:


- Avant-garde and neo-avant-garde movements

- Authenticity in specific genres (documentaries, autobiographies, poetry, performance art, pop literature, concrete poetry, etc.)

- Experiments in art and literature

- Multi-, Inter-, Transmediality (language, photography, film, graphic design, etc.)

- Authenticity and time (experience/presence/perception)

- Politics of authenticity

- Language and style of authenticity (everyday speech, slang, imperfect grammar and spelling, etc.)



Please send your 200 word paper proposal (English or German) to

Christoph Zeller, Vanderbilt University, [log in to unmask]

by January 31st


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