Call for contributions to a theme issue of Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies.
Edited by Andrea Gogröf (Western Washington University) and Karin Bauer (McGill University)

Today, surveillance is a pervasive, onerous, and deeply troubling feature of every day life. Phone calls, financial transactions, computer usage, gaming and consumer behavior are tracked, stored, analyzed, and instrumentalized in the service of an array of political and economic interests. In the aftermath of 9/11 and the indefinite prolongation of a state of emergency, the use of ever more sophisticated and invasive surveillance technologies and measures has undermined our understanding of the private and public spheres, compelling us to reconfigure notions of publicity and privacy, freedom of expression, security, individual rights, and collective interests. 
Increasingly, however, counter-movements, whistleblowers, intellectuals, cultural critics, writers, and artists challenge global surveillance with interventions to call for reflection on and resistance to what is perceived as a disquieting acceptance of a worrisome state of affairs. From Harun Farocki’s films and installations, Juli Zeh and Ilija Trojanow’s 2009Angriff an die Freiheit to the recent International Authors’ Action (Schrifstelleraktion), writers and critics are speaking out against the erosion of democratic values and excessive government control. These interventions respond to a need to evaluate the paradigm shift taking place from an Orwellian, centralized, panoptic power (self)-surveillance control to an all pervasive, disembodied and what Zygmunt Bauman calls  “liquid” surveillance devoid of moral consideration. For Germany and other German-speaking countries, surveillance is historically and metaphorically associated with totalitarian control, traumatic experiences, and painful memories. 
In light of recent developments and considerations, this theme issue of Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies welcomes contributions that probe the dynamics of the psychological, social, cultural, ethical and aesthetic dimensions of surveillance in German-speaking cultures--including literature, film, media, and the arts—across genres and historical periods. 
Topics and questions may include—but are not limited to
-- How has German culture dealt with surveillance in the past and the present?
--How, where and when do climates of suspicion arise?
--Explorations of the mutual conditioning between historical circumstances, events, and technological developments.
--Dimensions of surveillance and self-surveillance. 
-- How is the practice of surveillance reflected in formal and stylistic terms?
--How do various genres (aesthetic forms and trends) respond to surveillance?
-- What is the connection between surveillance as care and surveillance as control? 
--What is the connection between surveillance as a natural impulse and as a technology? 
--How do we distinguish between watching, observing, watching over, caring, and controlling?
--How are behavior and modes of production altered under surveillance? 
--What is the significance of observation and surveillance as cinematic tropes?
--What impact do surveillance practices have on visual studies? 
--How do narratives of the past inform contemporary debates on surveillance and state control?
Please mail abstracts of ca. 250 words to Andrea Gogröf [log in to unmask]" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 16px;">[log in to unmask] and Karin Bauer [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask] by April 15, 2015.

Karin Bauer
Professor, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures 
Co-editor, Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies
McGill University
688 Sherbrooke W., Suite 425
Montreal, QC H3A 3R1
Tel:  (514) 
398-4400—ext. 094384
Fax: (514) 398-1748
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