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Call for Papers for
German Studies Association Conference
October 7-10, 2010
Oakland, CA

Queer Experiences of Reunification

In debates over national and cultural identities occasioned by reunification, sexual identities were also called into question, as queer East and West Germans struggled to make sense of their divergent histories in the two Germanys. From as early as 1950, when the East German government repealed the Nazi amendment to Paragraph 175, homosexuality was defined, legislated and lived in very different terms in East and West. The strategies of emancipation that characterized gay liberation in 1970s West Germany were largely absent in the GDR until the AIDS epidemic made queer lives a topic of discussion in the 1980s. In the Federal Republic, Rosa von Praunheim and Monika Treut made significant contributions to German Cinema throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In East Germany, the first movie to deal explicitly with homosexuality, Heiner Carow’s Coming Out, was released in 1989. These different histories conditioned terms of identity (e.g., schwul, lesbisch) in both Germanys, and inflected the larger experience of reunification as LGBT people from the East and West began to take account of their similarities and differences, and to confront common challenges such as gender inequality, discrimination, AIDS, civil rights, and the past and future of German queer culture(s).

We invite presentations in English and German that examine queer experiences of reunification as articulated in cultural production since the Wende. We are interested in themes of division and unification, and in how queer experiences of the historical, social and political changes surrounding the events of 1989/1990 have been negotiated through different media such as literature, film, visual arts, journalism, scholarship, etc. More broadly, we seek to problematize the sexual histories of divided and reunified Germany in line with ongoing attempts to reevaluate German history and culture since reunification, and to offer new insights into that larger history from perspectives informed by gender and sexuality studies as well as queer theory.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Bradley Boovy ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>) by January 31st. We will send out notifications of acceptance by Friday, February 5th. If accepted, please be prepared to submit a short bio, complete contact information, and requests for A/V equipment/technology by Friday, February 12th. 

All presenters must be current GSA members.

Bradley R. Boovy
Ph.D. Candidate
Dutch and German Instructor
Department of Germanic Studies
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, C3300
Austin, TX 78712-0304
Tel. (512) 471-4123

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The German Studies Call for Papers List
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