CFP “New Nationalisms and Conservatism in Germanophone Countries: Realities, Representations and Responses”
German Studies Association, October 2 - 5, 2008 St. Paul, Minnesota
Session sponsored by the Coalition of Women in German (WIG)
This panel encourages critical, interdisciplinary, and feminist responses to the Rechtsrutsch (shift towards the right) and new nationalisms in Germanophone and other western European countries in recent years (with this emphasis on Western Europe we acknowledge that a discussion of new nationalism in post-socialist Eastern Europe would require a panel of its own). The main idea is that political conservatism, along with the various right wing, anti-Islamic extremisms on the one hand, and the drastic loss of power of the social democratic parties throughout Europe on the other hand, have become so prominent that we need to take this phenomenon more seriously as a transnational phenomenon in German studies. We invite papers that deal with the realities and representations of – and critical and artistic responses to -- the nationalist and xenophobic (anti-semitic and anti-Islamic) ideology and propaganda of right wing populism since the late 1990s (e.g. Jörg Haider, Jen-Marie Le Pen, and Christoph Blocher), as well as papers that deal with the weakness of the left parties and their past and future strategies to regain votes. We welcome transnational approaches.
Questions to be addressed in papers may include:
• What is the place in European history of the right wing politicians’ ideology, tactics and propaganda, e.g. their
- evocation of the solidarity within the nation and Volk,
- scapegoating of immigrants and asylum seekers for complex economic and social problems
- appeal to latent resentments,
- use of abusive language, and conscious breaking of taboos (e.g. bluntly anti-semitic and xenophobic remarks), and their
- contrivance of conspiracies (Haider and Blocher) in order to win sympathy, and what kind of theories and vocabulary are best fit to discuss these?
• How do nationalist movements borrow from, and adapt each others’ propaganda strategies? E.g. the Swiss Peoples’ Party’s controversial sheep poster (that promotes the peoples’ initiative for the expulsion of criminal foreigners in order to ‘create security’ by showing three white sheep kick out a black sheep) has been adapted practically one-to-one by neo-national movements in Spain (democracia national) and in Germany (the nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands in Hessen).
• How does the neo-national anti-globalization ideology compare to arguments by anti-globalization groups on the left, e.g. Attac?
• What kind of counter-representations are created by oppositional camps and what is the place and impact of new media such as YouTube?
• What are the main characteristics of the ‘good, diligent and decent’ white Christian European people that right wing populist parties are appealing to? How do national and international media respond?
• How do contemporary writers and directors respond to new nationalisms? What kind of style and genres do they use?
• How have immigrant writers and filmmakers reacted to new nationalisms and right wing violence – in their texts and through personal activities?
• What kinds of resistance have popular nationalist leaders, parties and movements met? What old forms of resistance are still used (e.g. demonstrations, critical journalism, documentary filmmaking, comedy and satire, and not least the law) and what new (e.g. computer-based) forms have emerged (e.g. counter-propaganda on YouTube)?
• How do the leftist parties respond to, and explain their weakness and lack of unity?
• How has the left’s loss of power been depicted and/or referenced in film (e.g. documentary film) and literature?
Please send abstracts of 250-500 words by 13 January 2008 to Karin Baumgartner (karin.Baumgartner@utah.edu) and Andrea Reimann (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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