Call for Papers
The Graduate Association of German Studies (GAGS)
at the University of Kansas
Announces a Call for Papers for their 19th Annual Conference:
Niemandsland / No Man’s Land: Lost in the Homeland and Searching for a Third Space
Keynote Speaker: TBA
April 10 – 11, 2015
Max Kade Center
University of Kansas
Abstracts from graduate students from the humanities and social sciences are welcome.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. With this commemoration in mind, the 2015 GAGS Conference will be dedicated to exploring cultures of migration and exile, broadly conceived. We loosely define exiles as those individuals who have had to flee their home countries due to socio-political, religious, or cultural discrimination, and who have had to spend much of their lives searching for a place they could call home. Many have withdrawn into a so-called no man’s land. Our conference will examine how literal and metaphorical places and spaces concerning both the German as well as other contexts have addressed the discourse of exile.
We will also consider the historical phenomenon of “inner emigration” (Thomas Mann) or inner exile. During the Cold War, for example, thousands of individuals in the German Democratic Republic (and elsewhere) were neither able to live nor to travel freely; many felt as if they were living in a homeland that was imposed on them. These circumstances often forced people to flee into a no man’s land that consisted of language, literature, or culture.
No man’s land can finally be framed as a third sphere or “third space” (Homi K. Bhabha) in which writers and artists who have experienced exclusion and discrimination in their home countries—or in exile—have sought out a home that transcended political or geographical territories. We hope to further explore what constitutes this third space.
Presentations are limited to 20 minutes and should be given in German or English.
Please submit a 250-word abstract by Monday February 16, 2015 to
Notification of the status of submissions will be sent by March 1, 2015.