Call for Papers
The Body in German Realism - NEMLA Montréal 2010
Contributions invited for a seminar session at the NEMLA in Montréal, April 2010.
Numerous developments during the 19th century center around the human body. Photography, hysteria, pathology, evolution, colonialism, secular magic, spiritualism, statistics, criminology and the archiving of human data develop or significantly change during the era. While research on the discourse concerning the body has over the last three decades explored for Victorian literature and the respective national Romanticisms, German Realism has so far been largely disregarded in the discussion. Yet the epoch suggests itself for an exploration of the body due to the development of science and technology that sets out to display, map, measure, dissect, interpret, and treat the body. The development ultimately leads to the development of psychoanalysis, as well as the discussion of gender and sexuality later on. Apart from the obvious thematic impact of cultural practices, the texts of the time also display formal characteristics that can be linked to the changing perspective of self-perception – the “Körper/body” makes an appearance as “Textkörper/body of the text.”
This seminar seeks to explore the intersection of literature and science in order to gain insight into the discourse on the body, and to provide an approach for a poetics of the body in the 19th century. Papers may include a discussion of canonical authors: Büchner establishes the medical discourse in “Woyzeck,” Raabe’s “Abu Telfan” refers to colonialism, his “Der Lar” engages with photography and Darwinian theories, Stifter widely reflects on the involvement of the body in technical production and preservation, and Gotthelf discusses the body as battleground for good and evil – to name only a few examples. Yet also texts by lesser researched authors such as Wilhelm Jensen or even Josephine Mutzenbacher bear value in a discussion of the shifting paradigm and papers on their perspective on the body are equally welcome.
Proposals of no more than 250 words should be sent electronically by September 30th 2009 to Christiane Arndt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please include with your abstract: Name and Affiliation , Email address, Postal address, Telephone number.
Information about the convention can be found here: www.nemla.org.
404 Kingston Hall
Kingston K7L 3N6
Canada Email: email@example.com
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