(Call for abstracts September 15th, 2018, NeMLA 2019, March 21-24, 2018, Washington DC)

Conference: North Eastern Modern Language Association 

Location and Date: Washington, DC; March 21-24, 2018 

Panel Title:
Culture, Cultivation, Inculcation: The Subjects and Its Environments in 18th Century German Literature and Aesthetics

Panel Description: 
Since the Enlightenment, the German-speaking world has seen major developments in architectural, urban planning, and terraforming practices, around which new ways of viewing and experiencing landscapes have been formed. Recent theoretical discussions in the areas of material ecocriticism, affect theory, assemblage theory, and related fields call for renewed examination of how environmental assemblages formed acting and feeling subjects in the German long eighteenth century. This panel therefore seeks to address the following questions: How do German authors conceptualize relationships between subjects and their environments and how do these representations support or subvert normative understandings of material space? We welcome papers that investigate the intersection of the environmental and material with the social, focusing in particular on how physical systems and constructions are endowed with significance for creating or negating subjects’ agency in literary and cultural texts.

Possible foci may include, but are not limited to:

·       Landscapes and garden design

·       Forestry, agriculture, and surveying

·       Architecture and interior design

·       Performance contexts, e.g., theater, tableaux vivants, and spectacles as well as acts of ‘staging’ in everyday life

·       Urban planning and planned utopian spaces; pedagogical environments (e.g., the Halle ‘Schulstadt’)

·       Coastal management and land reclamation

·       Walking and early forms of flânerie

·       Listening and acoustic environments

·       Social, scientific, and environmental networks; “vision[s] of the world’s phenomena as being in constant ‘relation with each other” (Serpil Oppermann, Material Ecocriticism, 22)

 Panelists are encouraged to consider what sorts of discursive forces are associated with the abovementioned material interventions and how they work to shape social/sociable spaces. To what extent is the physical environment itself endowed with agency?


J. Forrest Finch
Ph.D. Student
Cell: 919-601-5649 

Georgetown University
Department of German
Intercultural Center 468
Washington, DC 20057

******************* 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