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*CFP: Building Transdisciplinary Relationships: Indigenous & German Studies*

Special issue of *Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies*



Edited by Carrie Smith (University of Alberta), Markus Stock (University of
Toronto), and Renae Watchman (Mount Royal University).



This special issue poses a seemingly simple question: Is there
transdisciplinary ground between Indigenous Studies and German Studies? By
this we do not mean the often-explored question of the fetishization of
Indigenous people in German-language thought, literature, film, and hobby
culture—from medieval and early modern exoticist discourses through
nineteenth-century fascinations (pre- and post-*Winnetou*) to currently
ongoing Indianthusiast (Lutz 1999) appropriations. While there cannot be
any doubt that further analysis must continue to uncover such racist and
colonialist violence and erasure, this special issue of *Seminar *invites
contributions that address which role German Studies—its research,
teaching, and institutions—can play in the overdue rethinking of the
academy beyond its colonial, exclusionary, and racist legacies. The hope of
shifting relations from violence and violation to co-existence and dialogue
seems frail at best, given the deeply-rooted, systemic racism and
injustices that Indigenous people face in and outside of the academy. But
conversations around restoring relations must happen, and they must reach
into all disciplines. This special issue aims at taking up this
conversation for German Studies both from an institutional and disciplinary
perspective. What are the concrete contributions German Studies is able and
willing to make in order to fundamentally address systemic barriers to
Indigenous scholars and scholarship, legacies of colonization in discourse
and language, and racist ideologies embedded in academic culture, with a
view toward transformative change? How might the transdisciplinary linkages
between German and Indigenous Studies create fruitful interchange that
advocates for social justice actions while serving as one site of knowledge
exchange? What does reconciliation mean from the disciplinary point of view
of German Studies or from a German-language context and how might learning
from this context provide new insights? How might the current discussions
about decolonizing German Studies in feminist and queer contexts, such as
those in Afrogerman or Black German Studies and Queer of Colour activism,
impact or be impacted by thinking through the decolonizing and indigenizing
of campuses transnationally? What aspects of Indigenous pedagogies or
knowledge building practices should make up the German Studies classroom?
How can German Studies scholars lead the way to restoring relations with
Indigenous peoples, in terms of critically addressing the epistemicide and
erasure that Indianthusiasm promotes? Guided by such documents as the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission’s “Calls to Action,” can German Studies
support systemic change and decolonization of universities without further
harming or damaging relations between Indigenous and settler cultures? In
sum, what is the role that German Studies can play in and for the many
regions of the world that are grappling with colonialist and racist
legacies and continuities?



This special issue will contain scholarly articles 6,000–8,000 words in
length as well as a forum section with shorter thought interventions or
research creations. For either section, we invite proposals from knowledge
holders, scholars, community leaders, artists, and activists from
Indigenous Studies and German Studies.



Please send proposals of 250–300 words and a short bio by 31 May 2018 to
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The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Sean Franzel
Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: https://grs.missouri.edu/german/resources