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Dear Colleagues:

Please note the following CFP & upcoming deadline of September 15, 2008.

Panel: When East meets West: Representations of Germans & Eastern Europeans
Conference: NeMLA (Northeast Modern Language Association), Boston, MA, 
February 26-March 1, 2009

With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Germany’s location in the 
center of Europe was quickly reconfigured to symbolize European unity 
rather than division. As more former Soviet Bloc countries join the 
European Union, and as borders open to free-flowing traffic from one end 
of Europe to the next, Germany’s central and unifying position today 
seems quite secure. The intervening decades (1989-2009), however, show 
that this transition was not as smooth as it may seem to the casual 
observer. Conflict in the former Yugoslavia and the intervention of the 
German military, claims of citizenship by “ethnic Germans” residing in 
Eastern European territories, concerns about possible German expansion 
into the East, and debates surrounding migration and settlement in 
Germany by Eastern Europeans raised both the violent specter of a 
war-torn 20th-century Europe—in particular the specter of National 
Socialist expansionism—and provoked heated discussion of what it means 
to be “German.”
The purpose of this panel is to explore literary and filmic 
representations of German and Eastern European relations from 1989 to 
the present. This is a relatively under-explored topic within German 
Studies, due in part to the fact that recent studies of migration and 
settlement tend to concentrate on Turkish-German narratives rather than 
on works by writers and artists from Eastern Europe. And yet, such 
Eastern European narratives offer the possibility to discuss a wide 
range of social and cultural issues, including the following: the 
resurgence of Jewish culture within Germany, the sex trade in Eastern 
European women for a German market, the formulation of a neo-leftist 
identity, the influence of German cultural traditions (i.e. Brechtian 
theater) on Eastern European film and literature, etc. We invite 
proposals that analyze these and other related issues and that examine 
works by Eastern European and/or German artists and writers. Proposals 
from scholars working outside of German Studies are also welcome.

Please send one-page abstracts (250-300 words max.) by SEPT 15 to Jill 
S. Smith, [log in to unmask]

-- 
Jill Suzanne Smith
Assistant Professor of German
Sills Hall 5
Bowdoin College
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 725-3987
[log in to unmask]

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