CALL FOR PAPERSOceans and Deserts 2017:
Charting Transdisciplinary Currents in Environment and Culture

The graduate students in the Department of German Studies at the University
of Arizona invite proposals for their fourth annual interdisciplinary
conference for emerging scholars (graduate students, postdoctoral scholars,
and junior faculty) on March 31-April 1, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona.

Oceans and deserts are phenomena in the natural world, but they also exist
on a metaphorical level in concepts such as “cultural deserts” or “oceans
of time.” These ideas draw on the characteristics of these environments,
from the desert’s isolation, hostility to life, and strange beauty to the
ocean’s currents, vast dimensions, and variety of life forms. Through an
interdisciplinary lens, this year’s conference explores specifically oceans
and deserts in the German-speaking world, both as spaces in the environment
and concepts of thought. We are looking to discuss how a wide range of
disciplines engages with oceans and deserts as places and metaphors in
German-speaking contexts. We invite papers from all disciplines engaging
with German-related notions of oceans and/or deserts. The conference
language will be English.

Contributions might touch on the following questions and keywords: What
types of oceans and deserts exist in the German imagination across time,
from art and literature to popular culture? How have actual and symbolic
oceans and deserts shaped human and nonhuman lives, and vice versa? Which
implications come to light in rhetoric and media discourse involving oceans
and deserts? How do ideas of oceans and deserts relate to historical and
contemporary political crises and currents? Do oceans and deserts carry a
particular religious or ethical weight? In what ways do ocean or desert
cultures impact other lifestyles and spaces? How do policies affect oceans
and deserts, both in the private and the public spheres?

rising tides
linguistic landscapes and deserts
space(s) and place(s)
cultural nomads
(deserted) islands
remoteness and isolation
cultural deserts and tides
frontiers and ports
transculturalism and transnationalism
waves of ideology, e.g. feminism
political crises and currents
hostile environments
refugee experiences
oasis and refuge
food deserts
floods of products and resources
cash flow, circulation, and offshoring
concepts of waste and trash
colonialism and postcolonialism
history of oceans and deserts
evolution(s) and ecosystems
environmental concerns regarding oceans/deserts
ocean and desert plants and animals
climate change and cultural climates
temperature and affect
travel and travel literature
dimensions of sand
images of the sea and seaside
pirating (arrrr!)
torrents and tsunamis
mirages and illusions
aesthetics of oceans and deserts
performing oceans and deserts
ocean and desert fictions
ocean and desert myths, legends, and adventures

Please submit a proposal of no more than 350 words for a 15-20 minute paper
presentation (including your name and institutional/departmental
affiliation, paper title and A/V needs) together with a short description of
your current position and research by December 1, 2016 to
[log in to unmask] Proposals for full panels are also welcome.

Dr. Joela Jacobs
Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of Arizona
Affiliated Faculty at the Institute of the Environment, the Center for
Judaic Studies, and the Department of Gender and Women's Studies

Learning Services Building
3rd Floor, Office 306
P.O. Box 210105
1512 E. First St.
Tucson, AZ 85721

(520) 621-1841
[log in to unmask]

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Sean Franzel
Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
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