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CfP: MLA, Austin, TX, 7-10 January 2016
Watersheds and Futures: Navigating a 21st Century Danube
MLA Panel 
LLC Slavic and East European Literatures Division 
Slavic Literatures and Cultures/Travel Literature Discussion Groups

Proliferating publications on the Danube river in English—e.g. Andrew Beattie (2010), Peter Coates (2013), Simon Winder (2014), Nick Thorpe (2014)—confirm international awareness of the region’s contemporary significance: from the European Union’s expansion along its banks beginning in 2004 to the present day, when, a decade later, the unsettled geopolitical fate of Ukraine still hangs in the balance as a 21st century version of the “Eastern question,” the Danube continues to figure as a thoroughfare between East and West. For centuries, the river’s traverse of central and southeastern Europe has served both as a unifying artery of economic, cultural and international exchanges and as a factor of hostile divisions in the form of cultural, ethnic, and military animosities. It remains to be seen whether Danubia, teetering between blessing and curse (Karl-Markus Gauß), might figure as a quintessential site of cross-cultural engagement in the New Europe and thereby constitute a suggestive instantiation of the global present. 
This panel aims to combine efforts of experts from the field to probe and promote Danubian Studies as a productive scholarly framework for European Studies appropriate to the EU’s contemporary transnational project, the region’s intertwined cultural and political pasts, and Danubia’s possible futures. Building on the anthology Watersheds: Poetics and Politics of the Danube River (forthcoming), we invite panel contributions pertaining to contemporary challenges of transnational politics in the lower Danube region, innovative forms of cultural mapping, interdisciplinary eco-critical/environmental humanities approaches to the river, and hydropoetics from Hölderlin to the present. 

Please send 250-word abstracts by 15 March 2015 to:

Marijeta Bozovic
Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Yale University
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Matthew D. Miller
Assistant Professor of German 
Colgate University
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