CfP: Mapping Heimat in Recent Deutschlandreisen

NeMLA 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 century.

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?

Please 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 Sponsored by the University of Missouri Info available at: