GSA Family and Kinship Network Call for Papers

GSA 2017  Atlanta, GA

The GSA Family and Kinship Network is organizing a rountable and a number of panels for the 2017 Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, October 5-8 in Atlanta, GA. We invite proposals for individual papers and pre-formed panels (normally consisting of three papers) on the following topics:

Roundtable Discussion: Family and Kinship in German Studies


This roundtable explores the central themes of the GSA Family and Kinship Network. Contributors will present short papers before broadening into a discussion that will include the audience members. Contributions could consider (among other things): What constitutes "family" or "kin"—blood ties, patronage, affection, shared history/narrative? How are the boundaries of family and kinship determined and reinforced, or transgressed? How, and in response to what factors, might these ideas have changed over time? How do understandings and/or depictions of the family reflect or shape larger social issues in periods of historical change (in the early modern period, "around 1800," during National Socialism, post-Reunification, to name a few)? How do these changes and historical periods relate to—or differ from—Western/European history more broadly? How might literary, cinematic or artistic depictions of the family relate to the historical or sociological record? Contributions that consider the role of the family in relation to questions about gender, sexuality, immigration, and diversity are warmly welcomed.

Psychoanalysis and Family

This panel will consider psychoanalytic theories of families within historical and present-day contexts. Papers can address psychoanalytical texts and the readings of family in them. They can also focus on specific literary, artistic, filmic, or other representations of families from any time period that confirm and/or contest psychoanalytic theories of family.

Scientific Discourses and Family

This panel focuses on how shifting technologies and scientific discourses shape family and kinship structures over a range of historical periods. Papers can also address how scientific and technological developments influence the representation of family in literary and visual arts. Contributions exploring how artistic representations of the family mold scientific discourse are also welcome.

Intermingling Discourses of Kinship

The aim of the panel is to interrogate concepts of kinship from a trans-epochal perspective, with a focus on the intermingling of different discourses of kinship and the transformation of such concepts and discourses into social practice. Notions of kinship belonging to different spheres—the theological, the juridical, the familial, that of the emerging natural sciences—overlapped and interfered. Papers focusing on the discursive construction of family and kinship in historical or literary/artistic contexts, as well as papers examining the implications of these overlapping discourses for the organization of family and kinship in different sociocultural milieus, are welcome.


Deadline January 20, 2017

Send proposals to:

Eleanor ter Horst [log in to unmask]

Sarah Eldridge  [log in to unmask]

Margareth Lanzinger

Eleanor ter Horst, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Department Chair
Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literature
University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL  36688
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