Call for Papers:

Manifestations of (Im)Mobility

The 14th Annual Conference of the German and Dutch Graduate Student Association (GDGSA) at the 
University of Wisconsin-Madison

March 2-3, 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin

From individual feelings of Wanderlust to large-scale migrations, mobility has shaped and continues to shape human experience. Humans and cultures do not exist in isolation but rather in a world in which identities are constructed in contact with others. As individuals or groups physically move through the world, they either clash or cooperate in ways that have far-reaching effects on culture, language and identity. The effects of mobility can also be realized by studying the movement of ideas and concepts across time and space. Although the developing technologies in today’s society allow for new modes of circulating information, the transference of language and culture among humans has been present and perceivable as long as humans have been mobile and in contact. In acknowledging the effects of different kinds of mobility, we must simultaneously recognize the immobilizing structures that regulate mobility: economic inequalities limit social mobility, censorship dams the free flow of ideas and opinion, and physical barriers and borders hinder geographical movement.

Whether considering the migrations of Germanic tribes, the prohibition on international movement in East Germany, or the experience of studying-abroad, consequences of journeying humans and spreading ideas can be observed in the history, culture, literature and language of German- and Dutch-speakers. In order to further investigate these concepts, the German and Dutch Graduate Student Association (GDGSA) of the University of Wisconsin-Madison seeks to provide a broad framework within which to explore representations of mobility and immobility and their impact on personal and collective histories.

For its 14th annual conference, the GDGSA invites the submission of abstracts for presentations addressing how mobility and immobility have manifested themselves in the languages, cultures, and identities of the German and Dutch Sprachräume. We welcome critical reflections on the notions of mobility and immobility as well as contributions that focus on the relevance of mobility as it relates specifically to German and Dutch studies. Possible investigations can include, but are not limited to the following:

Mobility and Linguistics:

- Language change and shift connected with human migration
- Language contact, including synchronic language change and variation
- Socio-linguistics
- Body language and gestures
- Study-abroad experiences and its effects on language learning
- Beliefs and motivations in second-language learning
- Classroom practices and teaching methods (e.g. the Total Physical Response)
- Technology and the internet in the foreign- or second-language classroom

Mobility in Literature, History and Cultural Studies:

- Mobility of words and ideas in forms of intertextuality
- Translation studies
- Exile literature and travel literature
- Historical and sociological views on migration and mobility
- German- and Dutch-Americans
- Past and contemporary immigration to and within Europe
- German and Dutch Colonialism
- The European Union and its effect on notions of mobility
- Questions of censorship, human rights and violence
- Geographical borders and conflict
- Effects of mobility on gender issues
- Disability studies
- Studies of mobility in the visual arts, including dance, film and popular media

Please submit all materials to [log in to unmask] (Alyson Sewell) by no later than January 3, 2012. 

We warmly welcome participation from fields outside of German and Dutch departments (e.g. History, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Political Science, Geography, etc.). Although the primary language of the conference will be English, papers in German or Dutch are also welcome.

Abstracts for 20-minute presentations should be no more than 300 words. Submissions should not bear the author’s name. Please include the following information as a separate attachment: name, title of paper, department and university affiliation, address, phone number and e-mail address. Notification of acceptance will be sent to participants by late January 2012. The conference organizers will assist in securing accommodations for conference participants, and there will also be the option of staying with UW-Madison graduate students. Further details will be provided at the time of acceptance.

Please feel free to contact any of the conference committee members with potential questions, comments or concerns:

Alyson Sewell ([log in to unmask])
Clinton Ford ([log in to unmask])
Justin Court ([log in to unmask])

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