Call for Papers: The Return of the Dragons: Time, History and  
Narration in the Work of Heimito von Doderer

Panel Organizers: Prof. Kirk Wetters (Yale University), Prof. Jörg  
Kreienbrock (Northwestern University)

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

Heimito von Doderer was the most famous living writer in Vienna ofthe  
1950's. His notoriety and eccentricity -- and political dubiousness  
to post-War generations -- have been convincingly captured in  
Dorothea Zeemann's "Jungfrau und Reptil" (1982). But, as is often the  
case, this fame, which came to Doderer late in life, and the  
appearance of 'popularity' have created a lot of turbulence in the  
critical reception of his work.

In Europe, despite the devoted curatorial work on the part of several  
"Nachlassverwalter", who labored tirelessly to produce the pre- 
conditions for a differentiated, nuanced and critical reception of  
Doderer's extensive output, his work nevertheless met largely the  
same fate as it did in the States, where it was hastily read and  
discarded as aesthetically and politically retrograde. Especially in  
Germany, however, an intensive reevaluation has been underway for  
more than a decade. To summarize the paths of this recent research:  
Doderer's conservatism and formalism are now viewed more favorably in  
the wake (1) the loosening of Cold War ideological polarizations, and  
(2) post-structuralism and a broadly conceived "linguistic turn." On  
the basis of these new preconditions, Doderer's obvious political and  
personal liabilities tend to be reread as assets insofar as his work  
thematizes important ongoing aesthetic, social and political questions.

Against this background, the specific themes and problems that  
interest us in Doderer's work can be loosely grouped under the  
following headings: (1) Narrative theory; theory of the novel  
(Doderer & Lukács); theory of the diary; literary form, musical form  
and life-form (2) anachronicity (Doderer as "fossil" or epigone);  
problems of literary modernism and generational politics (3) politics  
and political theory; 20th Century history and intellectual history;  
problems of ideology and political engagement; sexuality and gender  
politics; Doderer's theories of apperception and 'second reality' (4)  
figures of interruption (Überraschungen und Enttäuschungen, Einbrüche  
und Anfälle); rage and anger; demons and the demonic.

Please email proposals to Kirk Wetters ([log in to unmask]) by  
February 14, 2008.  Please include a proposal of approximately 300  
words, any AV needs, as well as your name, affiliation, and contact  
information. (We apologize for the short deadline: Proposals  
submitted by February 14 will receive first consideration, but we  
will also continue considering proposals up to February 28 or until  
we have a complete session.)

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Megan McKinstry
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