Under Surveillance: Literature/Film and the Secret Police

Herta Müller’s entire oeuvre cannot be conceived and understood without a
confrontation with Romania’s Secret Police, the Securitate. Twenty years
after the fall of Communism, as many archives of former intelligence
services are being opened for research, the twisted ways in which
institutions such as the Securitate or the Stasi have influenced not only
quotidian life but the production of literature in the former Eastern Bloc
are becoming more apparent. Müller is not alone in her attempt to come to
terms with this past by re-working it into her work. Other prominent
examples are Christa Wolf’s Was bleibt, Wolfgang Hilbig’s Ich, Reiner
Kunze’s Deckname Lyrik, Erich Loest’s Der Zorn des Schafes, Uwe Saeger’s Die
Nacht danach und der Morgen, Eginald Schlattner’s Rote Handschuhe or Florian
Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Oscar-winning Das Leben der Anderen.

This panel seeks contributions about literary or filmic confrontations with
the reality of life under the gaze of a secret police. Possible topics
include but are not limited to:
- the pervasiveness of state surveillance and the resulting humiliation of citizens
- the passiveness of those living in conformity with the political system
- the position and role of intellectuals/ writers
- the opponent of the regime vs. the informer
- the perpetrator vs. the victim after the fall of Communism

Please sent a 200-word abstract to Corina Petrescu ([log in to unmask]) by
January 31, 2010.

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