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German Studies Association, October 2 - 5, 2008 St. Paul, Minnesota

CFP
Session sponsored by the Coalition of Women in German (WIG)

“New Conservatism and Nationalism in Germanophone Countries: Realities, 
Representations and Responses”

This panel encourages critical, interdisciplinary, and feminist 
responses to the Rechtsrutsch (shift towards the right) and new 
nationalisms in Germanophone and other European countries in recent 
years. The main idea is that political conservativism, along with the 
various right wing, anti-Islamic extremisms on the one hand, and the 
drastic loss of power of the social democratic parties throughout 
Europe on the other hand, have become so prominent that we need to take 
this phenomenon more seriously as a transnational phenomenon in German 
studies. We invite papers that deal with the realities and 
representations of – and critical and artistic responses to -- the 
nationalist and xenophobic (anti-semitic and anti-Islamic) ideology and 
propaganda of right wing populism since the late 1990s (e.g. Jörg 
Haider, Jen-Marie Le Pen, and Christoph Blocher), as well as papers 
that deal with the weakness of the left parties and their past and 
future strategies to regain votes. We welcome transnational approaches.

Questions to be addressed in papers may include:
•	What is the place in European history of the right wing politicians’ 
tactics and propaganda, e.g. their
- appeal to latent resentments,
- use of abusive language, and conscious breaking of taboos (e.g. 
bluntly anti-semitic and xenophobic remarks),
- contrivance of conspiracies (Haider and Blocher) in order to win 
sympathy, and their
- scapegoating of immigrants and asylum seekers for complex economic 
and social problems
and what kind of theories and vocabulary are best fit to discuss these?
•	How do nationalist movements borrow from, and adapt each others’ 
propaganda strategies? E.g. the Swiss Peoples’ Party’s controversial 
sheep poster (that promotes the peoples’ initiative for the expulsion 
of criminal foreigners in order to ‘create security’ by showing three 
white sheep kick out a black sheep) has been adapted practically 
one-to-one by neo-national movements in Spain (democracia national) and 
in Germany (the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands in Hessen).
•	What kind of counter-representations are created by oppositional 
camps and what is the place and impact of new media such as YouTube?
•	What are the main characteristics of the ‘good, diligent and decent’ 
white Christian European people that right wing populist parties are 
appealing to? How do national and international media respond?
•	How do contemporary writers and directors respond to new 
nationalisms? What kind of style and genres do they use?
•	How have immigrant writers and filmmakers reacted to new nationalisms 
and right wing violence – in their texts and through personal 
activities?
•	What kinds of resistance have popular nationalist leaders, parties 
and movements met? What old forms of resistance are still used (e.g. 
demonstrations, critical journalism, documentary filmmaking, comedy and 
satire, and not least the law) and what new (e.g. computer-based) forms 
have emerged (e.g. counter-propaganda on YouTube)?
•	How do the leftist parties respond to, and explain their weakness and 
lack of unity?
•	How has the left’s loss of power been depicted and/or referenced in 
film (e.g. documentary film) and literature?

Please send abstracts of 250-500 words by 13 January 2008 to Karin 
Baumgartner  ([log in to unmask]) and Andrea Reimann 
([log in to unmask]).

––
Andrea Reimann Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor of German
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
University of Miami
P.O. Box 248093
Coral Gables, FL  33124-2074
Phone:  305-284-4858, ext. 8-7255
Fax:  305-284-2068
Email: [log in to unmask]
Cell: 773 319 9012




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