*(Un)ruly Pleasures in German Culture*

One-day Forum on Friday, March 28, 2008

Keynote Speaker: Paul Fleming, NYU
Workshop: Christopher Clark, Rutgers University

Notions of pleasure(s) are deeply embedded in Western culture today. The
contemporary subject is constantly exposed to the promise of intense
pleasure offered by the entertainment media, which construct an image of
(un)ruly pleasures  pleasures that pose as the norm, yet also as
something that transgresses the norm. Through a variety of such messages,
both external and internal, our very thoughts, deeds, and actions are
infused with the idea of (un)ruly pleasures  be it  in the form of a
physical response like orgasm or a psychological one like jouissance.
However, is the idea of (un)ruly pleasures a phantasma, or is, on the
contrary, the idea of an all regulating power itself a phantasma? Through
a broad array of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives we seek to ask
how this process of seeking pleasure might be linked to identity

What role have notions of (un)ruly pleasure(s) played in the past? How
might it contribute to a desire for an increased sense of alienation or
even anonymity? What is the status of the self in moments of pleasure?
What might ultimately be at stake in definitions and representations of
(un)ruly pleasures? How are these categories conceptualized across various
disciplines (literature, gender studies, history, LGBT studies, etc.)? How
have they been historically defined and represented? Has the history of
these concepts been one of continuous evolution and disruption, or one
marked by liberation and repression? In what ways have different
discourses (religion, philosophy, feminism, psychoanalysis, etc.)
influenced and structured our understanding of pleasure into the present day?

Other possible points of departure:
- pleasure as a historical construct
- power and pleasure
- pleasure and desire
- sadism/masochism/sadomasochism
- orgasm, jouissance, and (little) death
- pleasure for sexual minorities
- alternative notions of pleasure

This one-day forum aims to address these questions and others within the
German-speaking context. It will include presentations and a workshop, but
since this forum departs from the traditional model of a conference, we
would like to encourage you to explore other ideas and formats too.

Presentations will be 20 minutes in length. Send abstracts (250 words) by
February 1st, 2008 to Mareen Fuchs, Christophe Kone, and Shambhavi Prakash
at [log in to unmask] Please include the abstract both in the body of
the e-mail and as an attachment. Questions should be directed to the above
e-mail address.

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Megan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: