43nd Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 15-18, 2012
Rochester, New York – Hyatt Rochester
Host Institution: St. John Fisher College

Panel information:

Das Neuschreiben der Vergangenheit: Counterfactual History in German Literature

The 'what-if' tales of history in literature have received much attention in the past several years. However, a decidedly skewed focus on American and British literature fosters the impression that so-called 'alternate history' is a phenomenon primarily of the English-speaking world. While alternate histories on FDR's presidency or the American Civil War are, quite logically, to be found primarily (or even exclusively?) in English-language literature, the prominence of this phenomenon in German-language literature is revealed by works such as N or Ich war Hitlers Schutzengel by Dieter Kühn, Ein Garten im Norden by Michael Kleeberg, as well as films like Good Bye, Lenin or Helden wie wir (based on the novel by Thomas Brussig). Such works that either re-write history or stage the re-writing of history raise intriguing questions about how we come to terms with our historical past, the nature of national memory, and the function of writing pasts that did not happen. This session will bring these questions into focus in the context of German-language literature. Papers on counterfactual histories or literature making use of counterfactual history, as well as papers on the function of counterfactual history in German literature, are welcome. Please send a 250-300 word abstract by email to: Kathleen Singles, LMU <[log in to unmask]> Deadline: September 30, 2011

Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address and Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

The 43rd annual convention will be held March 15-18th in Rochester, New York at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown, located minutes away from convenient air, bus, and train transportation options for attendees. St. John Fisher College will serve as the host college, and the diverse array of area institutions are coordinating with conference organizers to sponsor various activities, such as celebrated keynote speakers, local events, and fiction readings.

Building upon the excellence of past NeMLA conferences, the association continues to grow as a vibrant community of scholars, thanks to the wide array of intellectual and cultural opportunities at every venue. Compact yet diverse, Rochester also boasts important historical connections; it is the site of the home, publication operations, and orations of Frederick Douglass, where he edited the North Star, as well as his eponymous periodical, and delivered the speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”. Visitors can explore the houses of abolitionist, suffragette, and reformer Susan B. Anthony and the inventor of devices popularizing photography, George Eastman, as well as shopping and eateries; attendees will also be within reach of the beautiful Finger Lakes region, known for its local wineries.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. ******************* The German Studies Call for Papers List Editor: Stefani Engelstein Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt Sponsored by the University of Missouri Info available at: