Exile and Otherness.
New Approaches to the Experience of the Nazi Refugees
April 29 - May 2, 2004
Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Mershon Center for the Study of International Security and Public Policy at Ohio State University
and North American Society for Exile Studies
In recent year fields like Culture Studies, Anthropology, German Studies, Musicology, and Political Psychology have used the concept of ‘exile’ in close connection with terms like migration, diaspora, de-localization, border crossing, transnationality, “Enträumlichung”, and ultimately, globalization. Views of a homogeneous culture and of centricity collide with ideas like multiculturalism, pluralism, creolization, and the globalization of differences. The image of the melting pot has been confronted with that of a salad bowl. Postmodern concepts of hybridity, marginalization and de-localization emerged. The so-called transit-culture, inhabited by the flaneur and the nomad, is supposed to have replaced citizenship in a nation. The clash of civilizations, experienced already by many of the German and Austrian exiles in their host countries, is complemented by a search for differences within each culture.
There can be no doubt that the experience of those writers, artists and intellectuals who were driven out of Germany and Europe by the Nazis was in many ways unique. At the same time a large number of the refugees from Hitler Germany sensed that their stories were part of a general displacement typical for the 20th century. The titles of their books, Transit or Der Wartessal, and the figure of the flaneur seems to point into this direction. Thomas Mann’s statement “Wo ich bin ist Deutschland” and the concept of “Weimar am Pazifik” address the issue of the nation state and the role culture plays in defining identity. The Bauhaus and the Frankfurt School traveled twice across the Atlantic – and changed during both journeys. Much the same can be said about members of the film industry, some journalists, and many academics.
Papers are invited which
address the concept of ‘exile’ in a theoretical and comparative way
explore similarities and differences of exile experiences, physical and existential, in the 20th century
investigate the possibilities and limitations of concepts like multiculturalism, diaspora, and transit-culture for the understanding of the lives and works of German and Austrian refugees from Nazi persecution
revisit the interaction of the exiles with the culture of their host countries in light of recent debates about migration, identity studies and transnationality
analyze specific texts, compositions, paintings or other methods of artistic expression which place the experience of the refugees of 1933 into the context of postmodern discussions about de-localization, hybridity, and marginalization
Proposals may be submitted by scholars from all disciplines, including German Studies, Culture Studies, Anthropology, History, Political Science, Sociology, and Art History.
Please submit manuscripts or abstracts in English or German and a brief CV.
Professor of German
Ohio Eminent Scholar
Department of Germanic Languages and Literature
314 Cunz Hall
Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210-1229
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