Brown University’s Departments of German Studies and of History are pleased to announce a joint interdisciplinary graduate student conference, “(Re)Making Myths: The Creation, Use, and Abuse of Myths in German Literature, History, and Culture”, to be held at Brown University (Providence, RI) from 22 - 23 April 2010. The keynote address will be delivered by Prof. Peter Uwe Hohendahl, Cornell University.
According to political theorist Herfried Münkler, reunified Germany lacks a coherent national myth. Our conference explores this assertion as well as the general relationship between German identity and myth(making). We would like to critically examine German discourses on myth within spheres of the everyday, academia, and politics in an interdisciplinary setting. What is the function of myths, of their making, re-making, construction and destruction in German society and culture, politics and history? How do myth-making and the re-making of myths define the national identity of Germans? In what ways have German writers from the Enlightenment (Kant, Lessing, Mendelssohn, etc.) to the 20th century (Thomas Mann, Heiner Müller, Christa Wolf, Christian Kracht, etc.) contributed to the making and critique of myths? What about the special role of authors representing the literature of migration, such as Zafer Senocak or Yoko Tawada? What are the strategies of representation and reworking of myth in visual culture and performance? Are there enduring German myths, or should we instead think about this theme as one that is in permanent flux?
We invite papers based on close readings and case studies, as well as broader explorations of these themes. In particular, we would like to encourage interdisciplinary and comparative approaches. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
Myth and the Making of Modernity
Myth as (Master)Narrative - (Master)Narrative as Myth?
Back to the Roots: Reworking Ancient Myths
Myth and the Enlightenment
German Nationalism and/or the Myth of Monoculturalism
GDR and FRG: Myths in the Making?
The Myth of Unification
Myth(-Making and -Destruction) as Vergangenheitsbewältigung?
Afterimages of ’68
Mystifications and Politics: Production of Ideology through Myths
Visual representations and performance of Myth
Myth and Memory
Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes. Please send a 300-word abstract and a short CV to the contact email posted.
Deadline for submission is Friday, December 31st, 2010.
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