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 The Grotesque, the Absurd, and the Deviant: Transforming the Bounds of the
Normative
23rd Annual Graduate Student Symposium
Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Washington University
in St. Louis
February 28 & March 1, 2014
Keynote: TBA

The grotesque, the absurd, and the deviant may question, disrupt or distort
the normative by imbuing it with notions of incongruity, ugliness, folly,
or caricature. All three concepts offer alternative trajectories to the
normative by suspending, ridiculing, and confounding rules, inhibitions,
restrictions, and regulations of the everyday. The grotesque, the absurd,
and the deviant thus permit a realignment of customarily separated spheres
and interactions, and empower what might be perceived as lacking logic,
reason, prudence, or beauty. In so doing, these three categories possess
the potential to not only instill fears in those engaging with themóboth
fictional figures and real audiences alikeóbut they also offer new
inspiration and open up previously impenetrable boundaries.

Some questions that the symposium seeks to address are: Do the grotesque,
the absurd, and the deviant liberate or do they re-inscribe norms? Are
these categories inherently formulaic? What do the grotesque, the absurd,
and the deviant tell us about human interaction more broadly conceived? How
do they contribute to the shaping of our perception? What is the
relationship between genre and the concepts of the grotesque, the absurd,
and the deviant? What is the space or location of these categories?

The graduate students of the Department of Germanic Languages and
Literatures at Washington University in St. Louis invite submissions that
engage the topoi of the grotesque, the absurd, and the deviant across a
range of disciplines and historical periods. A focal interest lies in how
the grotesque, the absurd, and the deviant, as aesthetic phenomena are
represented in the German-language context. Fields relevant to this topic
include: literary studies; musicology; art history; film and visual
studies; gender, queer and sexuality studies; disability studies; history;
philosophy; sociology; and political theory.

Possible paper topics include but are not limited to the investigation of
the grotesque, the absurd, and the deviant in regard to the following:
-humor
-religion and mysticism
-hybridity
-genre and/or media
-artistic inspiration
-comparative approaches
-theoretical investigations of the three categories

Please submit abstracts of 300 words or less no later than December 21,
2013 using the abstract submission form of the symposium website:
http://pages.wustl.edu/germangrads/abstract-submission-form. Presentations
are to last 15-20 minutes and should be in English or German.

The conference organizers additionally invite submissions for poster
sessions, which allow scholars to employ visual materials to initiate
conversations about their research. Examples include: posters, 3-D art,
interactive exhibits, and other multimedia presentations. Please be advised
that presenters are asked to provide their own materials and equipment for
poster sessions, which includes an accompanying explanatory handout.

*******************
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: http://grs.missouri.edu/resources/gerlistserv.html