SA 2011: September 22-25, Louisville, Kentucky
Call For Papers: Germany’s World Literatures
Last year, Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt initiated an annual International Literature Award with the aim of encouraging the reception of Latin American, African, and Asian texts in Germany and recognizing the process of translation that makes such reception possible. This panel seeks to situate such efforts to promote “world literature” in Germany within a longer history of the translation and reception of non-German literary work in German-speaking lands since the term’s inception, as well as to query the ways in which German-language texts self-consciously situate themselves in the world. How does renewed attention to “world literature” in German/y require that critics engage with “world literature” as a category of reception and analysis?  What are the attendant problems and practices for German Studies as a field of inquiry and as an institutional formation? Keeping in mind David Damrosch’s recent call for a comparative study of the local or national forces that shape the formation of world literary canons, the focus of the panel is to investigate the contours of world literature as imagined in Germany. We particularly encourage proposals that explore the articulation of world literary texts with a German literary public sphere, one that includes readers, authors, publishing houses, and classrooms. In this way, the panel will address both how texts and authors are received as world literature in German/y and how institutional frameworks might be modified to address world literary practices. Please send abstracts of 200 words to Marike Janzen ([log in to unmask]) and Jamie Trnka ([log in to unmask]) by February 5, 2011.  We welcome individual submissions or proposals for complete panels as part of a series of panels on Germany’s World Literatures.


Possible paper topics may include but are not limited to:

relationships that may exist among world literature and the local, the international, the transnational, and/or the global;

the connection between exile or migrant experiences and the reception of non-German texts in Germany;

the role of multilingualism (on the part of authors, scholars, and readers) in crafting worldly relationships;

the access of non-German writers to German literary markets

the relationship between a particular political or historical context and the reception of non-German literary work;

the re-casting of world literary texts by German authors;

the formation and/ or the teaching of world literary canons;

the relation of national literature departments to world literature in the context of the widespread, institutional consolidation of languages and cultures;

how world literature in German/y responds to post-colonial critiques of world literature as a category of analysis and object of study;

the relation of world literature’s critical practices to literary-historical attempts to de-center the nation-state as the dominant unit of cultural analysis, including scholarship on migration, colonialism, multiculturalism, and the relation of multiple state literatures in German.

Marike Janzen, PhD
Humanities and Western Civilization Program
Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese
The University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS  66049

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