CFP: NeMLA 2015, Toronto, Canada, April 30-May 3, 2015

Abstract deadline: September 30, 2014

Panel: Re-Defining 'Germanness'

Today’s Germany is ethnically diverse and cannot be properly described as
monoculturally German. Early Germanists understood themselves as
revolutionaries, but at the same time tasked themselves with homogenizing
literature and language. An oppressive mission to assimilate all non-German
literature in order to create a ‘German’ culture as the foundation of a
German state shaped the beginnings of the discipline. While this meant a
denial of difference within German literature from the beginning, recent
developments have exacerbated the need for reform. Since the 1960s, Germany
has seen an influx of migrants who participate in shaping a diverse
culture. These authors are at work to re-define what it means to be German.
The study of German literature often separates between a national ‘German’
canon and texts by authors of different backgrounds. Traditional terms for
literature by these latter authors – migrant literature, guest worker
literature, minority literature etc. – suggest an addition to an otherwise
national and monocultural German literature. This panel, however, will
consider new ways of framing our discipline as a more inclusive study of
‘German’ literature. We will investigate approaches to a new form of
Germanness, one that includes mono- and multicultural ‘Germans’. This new
Germanness attempts to overcome the separation between different groups of

Submissions are welcome that (1) offer new readings of diverse texts and
films from Germany, that (2) theoretically ground ‘Germanness’, that (3)
sketch out a German studies curriculum that is inclusive to ‘new Germans’,
or that (4) show practical approaches to the incorporation of diverse
authors in the classroom.

The significance of this panel lies in the need for the discipline of
German studies to reflect socio-political changes within Germany. Breaking
out of an assimilatory framework and re-orienting our discipline, will
allow us to present German literature as a reflection of today’s society.

Please submit abstracts directly here:

Nicole White
Ph.D. candidate in German Studies at the Department of Literatures,
Cultures, and Languages
GA Human Rights Institute
University of Connecticut

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