German Visual Culture Network
2013 Call for Papers – German Studies Association Annual Meeting
The German Visual Culture (GVC) Network calls for submissions for the 2013 Annual Meeting of the German Studies Association, October 3- 6, 2013, in Denver, Colorado. We welcome submissions treating the subject of "the Double" in German visual culture. "The Double," or Doppelgänger, is a theme that runs through German literature and culture.
Literally the “double walker,” the Doppelgänger is a mirror image of the living person that either represents evil and misfortune, presages them, or forecasts supernatural phenomena. Although the Doppelgänger appears the physical double of its subject, it often has opposite or contradictory emotional and psychological makeup so that someone inherently good is haunted by a double, who is evil to the core. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the prototypical examples. The Doppelgänger can represent repressed desires, unattainable goals, frustrated ambitions, and latent impulses. The subject has a long history in German literature in works by E. T. A. Hoffmann like Der Sandmann and Heinrich von Kleist like Der Findling but also in film in works like Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1978 movie Despair. The Doppelgänger could also signal some of the peculiarities of German history; the split into two nations between 1948 and 1990, for example, can be seen as an eerie doubling of German identity. Throughout the 40-year separation there were numerous instances of doubling across the divide between East and West. In today's climate of political and economic crisis, "the Double" has also come to represent a split German identity, a split between the "real Germany" and the "Germany of the European Union," for example, or the politically elected in Berlin versus the politically appointed in Brussels.
How do these past and present imaginings of "the Double" impact today's German-speaking communities, and today's German-speaking cultures? What does the future hold for "the Double"? The session calls for papers that examine the Doppelgänger as a subject of German visual culture in all its myriad iterations.
We welcome submissions from scholars at every stage from graduate students to full professors. Please submit a 250 word précis, a curriculum vita, and a 3-4 sentence narrative biographical statement on or before January 15, 2013.
Professor Deborah Ascher Barnstone
Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building
University of Technology, Sydney
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