Call for Papers
38th NeMLA Convention
March 1-4, 2007 Baltimore, Maryland
Panel: "Memory and Nation: Remembering the Past in Today's Germany
Chair: Laurel Cohen-Pfister, Gettysburg College
Since unification, remembering the German past has acquired new significance. As the Federal Repubic (re)defines itself within the context of the European Union in the twenty-first century, questions of self-understanding as a nation come into play. Even though this once divided country has begun to write a shared history post-unification, its search for common narratives leads back to 1945. For a people once separated by the physical and ideological barriers created by the Cold War, remembering the past can be an exercise in nation building, in creating a new national self understanding. In defining who they are now, Germans are, in part, returning to the past, seeking a clearer understanding of their parents' and grandparents' experiences. As the generation passes that experienced first hand the Third Reich, the Second World War, and the Holocaust--taking with it the lived memoriy of its experiences--it leaves behind the challenge to sort through contested, divergent, and complex narratives of anguish and complicity. As second and third postwar generaions value and evaluate the stories left behind, they mold the new German perception of familial and national guilt and pain. Their appraisal of events intimates a paradigmatic shift in the way the war is remembered and also in the way Germans officially view themselves. This panel addresses these questions of memory, remembering, and the past in today's Germany.
Please submit your abtract (in MS-Word) via e-mail attachment to Laurel Cohen-Pfister at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your affiliation and contact information. Deadline for submissions is September 15, 2006.
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