CfP: Mapping
Heimat in Recent Deutschlandreisen 

2017, Baltimore, March 23-26


A look at the book releases of German
publishing companies over the last few years reveals a remarkable discovery: In
the realm of travel writing, an impressive number of German authors can be
found who are not interested in exploring foreign places but whose focus is
their German homeland and culture, be it Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre’s Deutsches Theater (2001), Wladimir
Kaminer’s Mein deutsches Dschungelbuch
(2003), Axel Hacke’s Deutschlandalbum
(2004), Wolfgang Büscher’s Deutschland,
eine Reise (2005), Jan Weiler’s In
meinem kleinen Land (2006), Burkhard Müller’s B – eine deutsche Reise (2010) or Franka Frederik’s Fucking Fulda. Eine erotische Deutschlandreise
(2013). Those authors do not produce typical travel novels, such as Christian
Kracht’s Faserland in 1995. Instead, as
Nils Minkmar points out, those works have to be classified as a „hybrides
Genre“ (24), somewhere between „essayistischem Reisebericht und
autobiografischem Reisetagebuch, subjektiv gefärbter Erlebnisprosa und
kulturkritischer Gegenwartsanalyse“ (Grabbe 156). The mostly young authors
travel through Germany, which, despite its alleged familiarity, becomes a
treasure trove for the foreign. They set out explicitly to explore to what
extent Germany can be perceived as a source of identity and home in the 21st

This panel examines questions of home and
identity in recent Deutschlandreisen
und how those entities are influenced by space. Taking the Spatial Turn into consideration, home and travel become
inextricably intertwined and create a new construct that defies binary
opposites. Which methods do the authors use to turn Heimat into a spatial entity in the text? How does the text map Heimat? Are spatial theories like those
by Edward Soja, Doris Bachmann-Medick, Doreen Massey or even the classic The Production of Space
(1974) by Henri Lefebvre useful when talking about Heimat in those works? How is Germany perceived at the beginning of
the 21st century?

submit an abstract of 200-300 words by Sept. 30, 2016 to Gabriele Maier: [log in to unmask]


The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Sean Franzel
Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
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