Gatekeepers of Memory
10th Annual Germanic Graduate Student Association Conference at The Ohio State University
February 23rd – February 24th 2018

Keynote speaker: Prof. Yasemin Yildiz (UCLA)

Gatekeepers grant or deny access across a semipermeable threshold and act as the intermediary of those who determine the criteria for entry into a restricted space.  If memory is imagined as a space that preserves its inhabitants against the erosion of time, who is the gatekeeper? Who constructs this space and to what ends is it constructed?  Who controls the threshold between this sphere of memory and the external realm of oblivion? With what materials are these spaces constructed?  How are they preserved?  Who or what is included or excluded within this space, and why?  

This conference will investigate such questions of memory to gain insight into the formation and preservation of memory in the German-speaking world.  Furthermore, we seek to look beyond isolated instances of local, regional and national communities to determine how a distinctly Germanic ‘memoryscape’ can be useful in understanding similar issues in a transnational context. We welcome abstracts that address memory from a variety of perspectives, including but not limited to: literature, philosophy, film, art, history, linguistics, pedagogy, cultural studies, environmental humanities. Potential topics include:

public and private memory
artistic representations of memory
documentation, archivization and memorialization 
transnationalism and translingualism
migration and the exchange of memory
language standardization / dialectalism
gatekeeping and institutionalization of memory (museums, schools, and authorities, etc.)
canonization and the creation of literary memory
construction and transformation of identities and selfhood
instances of – personal, national, or cultural – forgetting
ecological and geological memory
the creation of folklore, legend, and myth
memory of the body and mind

Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words and a brief biography to Geoff Algar ([log in to unmask]) by 
Sunday, December 17th, 2017.  Expected presentation length: 20 minutes.

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