Call for papers


University of St Andrews, 26-27 April 2019

Organisers: Dr Frauke Matthes (University of Edinburgh), Dr Dora Osborne (University of St Andrews), and Dr Katya Krylova (University of Aberdeen)

Guest speaker: Stephanie Gleißner (Philipps Universität Marburg & author of Einen solchen Himmel im Kopf (2012)

This conference seeks to understand how the contemporary cultural landscape in Germany and Austria is being shaped by current political concerns and to consider, through dialogue between academics and practitioners, how this affects German Studies as a discipline and a practice. Five themed panels will focus on political or politicized aspects of contemporary life that have become increasingly significant for German and Austrian culture today: market forces, Europe, resurgent nationalism, memory and memorialization, and (German) language. Guided by these categories, the conference specifically aims to foster productive exchange between cultural practitioners (e.g. from Goethe-Institut and New Books in German) and German Studies scholars. Questions to be considered include:

• What are the implications of an increasingly corporatized cultural sector? How do the politics of funding and remuneration affect cultural production and consumption?

• How is the crisis in Europe reflected or counteracted in film, literature, and film (e.g. Robert Menasse's prize-winning novel about Brussels, Die Hauptstadt, or in Michael Koch's 2016 film debut about economic migration, Marija)?

• How has the provocation of resurgent nationalism represented by PEGIDA, the AfD and the far-right Freedom Party of Austria determined the course of a younger generation of artists?

• When does Erinnerungskultur become compromised by political agendas (e.g. the building of a replica Holocaust Memorial by the Zentrum für politische Schönheit to antagonize a right-wing politician, or the 2018 Gedenkjahr under a FPÖ-ÖVP coalition)?

• What does it mean that so many key cultural figures in Germany and Austria are influenced by other languages, histories, and traditions, but that the Chamisso-Preis, a literary prize that rewarded precisely such trans-cultural production, will no longer be awarded because the funding body regards the original aim of the prize to have been fulfilled? How does the use of languages other than German in contemporary cultural production, performance and criticism (re)shape communities? And, in turn, how should we now define German Studies when "German-language" is no longer an adequate descriptor?

We invite 20-minute papers on topics relating, but not limited to:

• National identity and global influence
• The role and influence of literary prizes
• The role and influence of translation/multi-lingual or non-German performances and events in and on communities
• The effects and influence of the migrant crisis
• Reconsiderations of an "eastern European turn" in German culture
• The struggle to define and assert German film and television (e.g. the Berlinale and its dissenters, German productions in the global marketplace, gender inequalities)
• Controversies in the cultural sector (e.g. the Humboldt Forum; Chris Dercon and the Volksbühne)
• Cultural responses to right-wing nationalism at home and abroad (e.g. Fatih Akin's Golden Globe for Aus dem Nichts)

Please send proposals (max. 250 words) to Dora Osborne ([log in to unmask]) by 31 October 2018.


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