MYTH: A Graduate Conference in German & Scandinavian Studies
February 15 - 17, 2008
University of Massachusetts Amherst
The third biennial graduate student conference in German & Scandinavian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst poses the question: what do myths tell us about human relationships to the world? How are certain
myths interconnected with German & Scandinavian history and historiography, such as the infamous stab-in-the-back legend following World War I or the yellow star myth of Danish resistance during World War II? What myths permeate the field of linguistics of Northern Europeans? How do myths address elusive signifiers such as race or gender? Can folklore and legends be put to rest, or does a capitalist, media-driven Western European society prevent
certain symbols and archetypes from remaining out of the public eye for too long? What discourse of power and resistance can be found in largely fictional narratives, from ancestral oral histories to glossy feature films?
How far has the discourse on myth come in the last thirty years since the publication of Hans Blumenberg's seminal text, Arbeit am Mythos, and his concept of "Metaphorologie?"
Since we are interpreting myth in a relatively broad sense, we welcome paper proposals addressing a variety of themes for an interdisciplinary discussion of the above questions and more.
The field of interest includes, but is not limited to, the following topics:
--traditional myths, ancient and modern
--Holocaust revisionist history
--myth and cultural assimilation
--myths serving the creation of national identity
--myth and fairy tale as bountiful sources for films and literature
--visual/aural aesthetics of myth and fairy tales
--national myths in international political affairs
--myths of science and progress/science as myth
--gender and myth
--superstition and/or myths of the everyday
--conflicting myths of identity
--generational myths and the retelling of family history
--religion as myth/myth as religion
--myths of ethnic continuity/racial identity
--enshrined myths in academic disciplines (e.g. philology, German Studies, Scandinavian Studies, etc.)
--myths about language and dialect
--myths of violence and threat
--the resilience of myths
Please e-mail attached proposals of no more than 300 words along with a short biographical paragraph to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 10, 2007.
Participants are encouraged to seek funding for travel within their departments or from outside sources. Please inform us of your financial situation ahead of time and how we might best accommodate your needs.
Any immediate inquiries about the conference may be directed to Evan Torner at email@example.com.
More detailed information about the conference can be found at a later date on the website: http://www.umass.edu/germanic/myth/index.html
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