Northeast Modern Language Association
Washington, D.C., USA
March 21-24, 2019
50th Anniversary Convention Theme: Transnational Spaces: Intersections of Cultures, Languages, and Peoples (Keynote address by Homi Bhabha)
German-speaking Women Writing the Orient around 1800
The “Orient,” as both a geographical region and a constructed myth, has long captivated the German cultural imagination. The period bridging the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries marked a defining moment in Germany’s engagement with the East as members
of both literary and intellectual communities trained their artistic and scholarly lenses on their Eastern neighbors. These fictional, historical, and academic encounters not only contributed to a growing body of knowledge produced about the history, cultures,
and peoples of the vast region but also served as a vehicle for self-reflection and social critique of the institutions and practices defining Western civilization.
While research by historians and literary scholars has established Germany’s lengthy and substantive engagement with the East, the focus has centered on works by male explorers, authors, and intellectuals and/or on women travelers/authors primarily in
the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Far less attention has been paid to German-speaking women writers’ contributions to earlier constructions of the “German” Orient around 1800.
This panel foregrounds German-speaking women writers and their literary negotiations with the Oriental Other. Papers investigating an array of genres including historical novels, fairy tales, dramatic fragments, lyrical works, and short stories composed
by women are encouraged as are submissions directing critical attention to lesser-known or neglected women writers around 1800. Preference will be given to papers focusing on fictional encounters with the East over non-fiction travelogues and travel literature.
Please submit abstracts
(300 word limit
) and a brief bio
via the NeMLA portal by
September 30, 2018
. For conference information, registration, and submission, visit the conference website: