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Reminder: Deadline for abstracts is February 11th.



The Department of Germanics at the University of Washington welcomes submissions for this year’s graduate student conference, “Enough is (Not) Enough: Excess in German Literature and Culture,” to be held on May 6 and 7, 2011.

Keynote: “Ein Traum vom Kinematographen. Exzeß und frühes Kino” 
Professor Wolfgang Struck 
University of Erfurt, Germany 
Department of Literary Studies

What role does excess play in a time of economic recession and ecological destruction? How is excess to be reconciled with calls for austerity and conservation? Given the scarcity of natural resources and the wastefulness of consumerism, indulging the very question of excess seems, well, excessive. Yet, for Georges Bataille, excess is an inevitability, a fundamental human gesture to consume a surplus. Indeed, the question for Bataille is not whether to conserve or deplete, but rather how wealth is to be squandered. Instead of privileging conservation, production, and accumulation, he valorizes gift-giving, wasting, and expenditure as a means to restore generosity and level economic divisions.

Whereas Bataille’s concept of excess most readily lends itself to an interrogation of social issues, Freud’s notion of sublimation construes art as a form of excess. In short, art represents a psychic surplus that is both unnecessary to and constitutive of civilization as such. Accordingly, this graduate student conference addresses the links between social and aesthetic excess and its manifestations in German culture. Here one thinks of Tristan’s madness, Baroque splendor, Kant’s obsessive repetitions, Fräulein von Sternheim’s sentimentality, Kleist’s violence, Stifter’s minutiae, Kafka’s bureaucracies, Weimar decadence, Nazi atrocities, Bernhard’s resentment, and Fassbinder’s raunchiness. We invite proposals for papers that investigate the problems that arise from exceeding accepted physical, social, moral, aesthetic, economical, sexual, and rhetorical norms. Papers presented might include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

* Luxury, indulgence, waste
* Hoarding, accumulating, greed
* Deviant bodies, gluttony, addiction
* Transgressions, sins, breaches of decorum
* Obsessions and compulsions
* Repetition, boredom, tedium
* Exaggerations, verbosity
* Fragments, ruins, garbage
* Inflation, value, debt
* Hate, war, violence

Please send all abstracts (250-300 words) to [log in to unmask] by February 11, 2011. Include a short biography (100 words) as well panel preferences (e.g., physical excess, etc.). Let know us know if you require assistance with accommodation.


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