CFP: Berlin’s Imagined Geographies (11/13/09; ACLA New Orleans, LA; 04/01/10- 04/04/10)

Berlin’s Imagined Geographies

From the beginning of its belated and rapid modernization and through the convulsions of its twentieth-century history, Berlin has been constituted, perhaps more than any other European metropolis, by permutations of competing mental topographies. This seminar proposes to explore these imagined geographies from the nineteenth century to the present. It takes as its starting point the axiom that Berlin exists in a perpetual dynamic of self-reinvention, and it proposes a diachronic, intermedial exploration of the imaginative impulses that have driven, and the aesthetic responses that have followed, this process. To that end, we invite contributions that together attempt to map a broad historical and thematic range of the city’s imagined geographies. Areas of inquiry might include: migrants, travelers, and sojourners; cosmopolitanism; Berlin and German/European identity; memory and forgetting; nostalgia and melancholy; theorization of urban space; intermedial perspectives; gendered geographies; technologies of modernization and urban space; and so on.

The Seminar will take place at the American Comparative Literature Association’s 2010 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, held on April 1-4, 2010 (Thursday evening through Sunday noon). The ACLA’s conferences have a distinctive structure in which papers are grouped into seminars that meet for two hours per day for the three days of the conference to foster extended discussion. To submit a paper proposal (250 words), please go to the ACLA submission website:

Deadline for Paper Proposals: November 13, 2009

For inquiries, please contact seminar organizers David Darby, U of Western Ontario ([log in to unmask]) and Maria Mayr, U of Western Ontario ([log in to unmask]).


Maria Mayr
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
The University of Western Ontario
Room 115, University College
London, Ontario, Canada
N6A 3K7

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