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Northeast Modern Languages Assiciation 2016
Hartford, CT, March 17-20, 2016
Abstract deadline: 9/15/2015

Myth and Modernity: Adaptations in German Literature since 1900

Around the turn of the 20th century, the German-speaking world underwent 
a rediscovery of myth in various fields from Archeology to Classics to 
Philosophy to Psychology. This new engagement coincides with and 
significantly influences literary modernism in Germany. While there are 
many literary texts that employ myth in the early 20th century – by 
Hermann Broch, Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, and expressionist poets, for 
example –, writers rely on myths throughout the last century. Myth 
provided a means for political expression in the GDR (Christa Wolf, 
Stefan Heym); writers like Monika Maron or Elfriede Jelinek rely on 
mythical tropes in their novels; the myth of the Great City was revived 
by Nicolai Alban Herbst’s /Anderswelt/-trilogy; and in the wake of the 
fall of the Berlin wall, a whole new era of myth and alleged myth is 
developing. In philosophical discourse, meanwhile, thinkers such as 
Adorno and Hans Blumenberg provide theoretical frameworks for analyzing 
myth appropriation in the 20th century.

This panel seeks to explore myth in modern German literature. It is 
interested in reevaluations or reinterpretations of myth in classical 
modernity; more recent examples of myth adaptations; or theoretical 
approaches to myth and cultural production in the German-speaking world 
in the 20th and 21st centuries. Contributions on single authors or works 
or broader conceptual/theoretical papers are welcome. The guiding 
question of the panel is: how is myth adapted and what is its function 
within the examined work, timeframe, or societal context?

Please submit paper proposals (250 words) directly here: 
http://www.cfplist.com//nemla/Home/S/16011 by September 15, 2015. For 
further information, please contact Thomas Herold at 
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The German Studies Call for Papers List
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Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
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