Modern Languages Association Conference
January 7-10, 2021
Toronto, Canada

Sounding Resistance in Modern Austrian Literature and Culture

From the dissonant melodies of Grillparzer’s “Poor Musician,” to the cacophonous “schtzngrmm” of Ernst Jandl’s concrete poetry and musical monologues of Elfriede Jelinek’s “speech scores,” sound as a mode of articulating dissent and declaring resistance is a persistent motif in Modern Austrian literature. Whether employed to challenge the status quo, to voice the individual in conflict with society, to pave new paths for self- and collective expression, or to amplify the voices of the disenfranchised, sound as resistance unsettles the familiar, offers new vocabularies for negotiating power, and creates the potential for individual and collective change. This panel seeks papers that examine such acoustic manifestations of resistance in texts (literary, performative, cinematic) from the Austrian cultural tradition. Papers might consider the following questions: How is sound embodied and represented in these works? What agency is afforded to sound and to what extent does sound make present the “unseen, the non-represented or the not-yet apparent”? (Brandon LaBelle, Sonic Agency, 2018). How might attention to sound in these works provide new ways of reflecting on the tensions, struggles and precarities of the modern world?

Please send a 250-word abstract and short cv to Caroline Kita ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>) and Helga Schreckenberger ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>) by March 20, 2020.

Panel Sponsored by the Austrian Studies Association

Caroline A. Kita, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures &
Program in Comparative Literature and Comparative Arts
Washington University in St. Louis

Campus Box 1104
St. Louis, MO 63130
+1 314 935 4304


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