Call for Papers
Interdisciplinary Conference, March 5 and 6, 2004
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, U.S.A.
German Suffering/Deutsches Leid: Re(-)presentations
The sufferings most often deemed worthy of representation are those understood to be the product of wrath, divine or human.” Susan Sontag’s dictum seems to describe quite accurately the perceptions that have endorsed and perpetuated the topos of the ‘German suffering’ in the post-war Federal Republic.
Such groups as the German expellees, POWs and civilians in the Gulag, victims of rape and Allied air raids have haunted—and at times explicitly dominated—West German political, literary, visual, and historiographic discourses in the wake of 1945. The regularity of their re-presentation in the public sphere as well as their versatile representations in various media prompt one to ask about the appeal of what a scholar dubbed the ‘musty charm of the German victim status’ (Erik Franzen), seemingly evident again in the recent controversy over the ‘Center against Expulsions’ (‘Zentrum gegen Vertreibungen’).
Conference organizers invite submissions illuminating (dis)continuities of such multiple representations in various social and cultural settings or processes, theorizing constructions of victimhood, or focusing on representational forms, tropes, techniques, media, and constraints. Papers employing new methods, analytical frameworks, and previously little explored historical, literary, or visual sources will be especially welcome.
Please submit abstracts not exceeding 300 words in length electronically to Yuliya Komska and Ole Frahm (via email) by December 1, 2003. Acceptances will be announced by December 14, 2003.
Sponsored by the Department of German Studies and the Institute for German Cultural Studies, Cornell University
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