ASSOCIATION FOR GERMAN STUDIES IN GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND
CALL FOR PAPERS
AGS Conference at the UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL, 4-6 September 2019
DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: 5th April 2019
The next conference of the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland will take place at the University of Bristol, 4-6 September 2019. The lead panel for the conference will be Citizenship, with a number of regular as well as one-off panels.
If you are interested in contributing a paper to any of these panels, please send your proposal directly to the e-mail address of the convenors listed below. Proposals for papers should be 150-200 words and should reach the relevant convenors by 5 April 2019.
Convenors: Steffan Davies (Bristol); [log in to unmask]
'Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis Romanus sum. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is Ich bin ein Berliner.' Citizenship, as Kennedy's remark indicates, is both timeless and topical. Few concepts seem more contested, or more contradictory, in the present day. It is a legal category and, by extension, a marker of identity in the age of both the mobile 'world citizen' and the displaced refugee, the age of global interconnection where the pull of nationhood has not diminished. State citizenship also defines statelessness: it distinguishes insiders from outsiders and haves from have-nots. It denotes a form of belonging, though it does not define it; it overlaps with concepts like identity, integration, (mono-)linguistic competence and cultural knowledge, but imperfectly.
Whilst national citizenship may be the concept’s most immediate association, its extended meanings are numerous. 'Good citizenship' implies responsibilities more than rights. 'Citizenship of elsewhere' can be a virtue. It can express transcendental hope, as in St Paul's 'Denn wir haben hier keine bleibende Stadt', which opens the penultimate movement of Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem. It can suggest utopian faith in progress, as when Marquis Posa claims that he is a citizen not of King Philipp's Spain, but of better centuries to come. 'Bürger' can describe local, civic ties as much as national belonging. Aspirations to 'global citizenship', on the other hand, make the local seem parochial, but can be just as much a perpetuation of privilege as an appeal to broad-mindedness. If 'Weltbürger' tends to be an affirmative term, 'Kosmopolit' has been one of (notably, anti-Semitic) abuse.
How has citizenship been imagined in literature, film and visual art? How does the national identity it marks intersect with other identities: gender, sexuality, ethnicity, locality? What is its significance in language teaching and language planning? What is its meaning for speakers of more than one language? What does either transnational or transcendental 'citizenship' really mean – and what is the place of translation, as process or as metaphor, in such a 'citizenship of elsewhere'? When, in the history of German-speaking countries, has citizenship been significantly at stake?
We invite papers on this theme from across the chronological and disciplinary breadth of German Studies and look forward to assembling a panel that represents the diversity and breadth of the field.
Linguistics, Language Teaching and Learning, and Translation Studies
Convenor: Melani Schröter (Reading); [log in to unmask]
The linguistics standing panel at the AGS welcomes papers on any aspect of German and Germanic linguistics, including comparative studies, translation studies and research on teaching German as a foreign language. Papers may deal with diachronic linguistics or trends in current usage, second language acquisition, language policy, sociolinguistics and (critical) discourse analysis. A range of contributions is welcomed, those with a more theoretical and conceptual angle as well as those based on empirical research. A range of methodological approaches within empirical linguistic analysis is equally embraced.
Wir können alles. Außer Hochdeutsch. Linguistic variation and non-standard German
Convenor: Sascha Stollhans (Lancaster); [log in to unmask]
This panel invites papers that focus on regional and non-standard varieties of German as well as language change. 'Varieties' is meant in a broad sense to include e.g. national standard varieties, dialects and sociolects, youth language, oral registers and online communication. Papers that are concerned with attitudes towards linguistic variation are also very welcome, just like papers that reflect on the role of variation in teaching German as a foreign language and teaching-related case studies.
Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Convenor: Henrike Lähnemann (Oxford); [log in to unmask]
This panel invites papers on all aspects of medieval and early modern culture: its literature, material culture, history and thought. The panel warmly welcomes comparative perspectives and work connecting this period to others.
Ecocritical Readings of Eighteenth-Century Literature in German
Convenor: Ellen Pilsworth (Reading); [log in to unmask]
This panel invites scholars to apply ecocritical readings to eighteenth-century literature in German. This period saw the beginnings of industrialisation and mechanisation, and yet the majority of people still lived in rural settings. How did writers at this time engage with the natural environment and/or humanity's effect on it?
Presentations could discuss:
- Depictions and experiences of the natural world and/or agriculture
- Critiques of or apologies for urbanisation; the division of ‘country’ and city
- Enlightenment ideas of selfhood based on anthropocentric ways of thinking
Nineteenth and early Twentieth-Century Studies
Convenor: Malcolm Spencer (Nottingham Trent); [log in to unmask]
Papers are invited on any aspect of the culture of German-speaking countries in the nineteenth century and earlier decades of the twentieth century (up to about 1930), including literature, theatre, visual and musical culture and thought.
Switzerland and German Studies
Convenor: Richard McClelland (Bristol); [log in to unmask]
Switzerland occupies a geographically peripheral position in the German-speaking world, but does this peripherality also extend to its place within German Studies? This panel seeks to investigate this by inviting papers that ask where and how Swiss cultural products intersect with and inform debates within our discipline. How do Swiss artists and writers respond to: the fractured legacy of the past; globalisation and multiculturalism; multilingualism; belonging and Heimat; and potential environmental catastrophe? And how do the specific cultural, political and linguistic realities of modern Switzerland (as broadly defined) bring new understandings and nuance to such debates within contemporary German Studies?
Time and Space in Graphic Novels and Sequential Art
Convenor: Erica Wickerson (St John’s College, Cambridge); [log in to unmask]
In the eighteenth century, Lessing’s Laokoon distinguished between the ‘temporal arts’ of literature and the ‘spatial arts’ of painting and sculpture. This panel will explore the concomitance of these notions of ‘temporal and spatial art’ brought together in the form of graphic narratives and comics.
Still images showing single moments in space and time may create a sense of temporal flow and spatial movement through their sequential order, their size, their colouring and shading, the 'gutter' (the space between the panels), their framing, even the destruction of such frames. Speech within comic panels situates us within 'real time', which may conflict with the stasis of the image. How does this differ from cinematic and literary narrative, already much explored by critics in terms of space and time? What are the particular possibilities afforded by the combination of static image and word? Germanic artists are situated within a rich European tradition of woodcut novels, sequential art, and graphic narratives. Papers might explore German-specific or comparative graphic narratives.
Theatre & Performance
Convenor: Lizzie Stewart (KCL); [log in to unmask]
As researchers and teachers of German-language theatre and performance we perform not only in a specific language area but also with regard to a specific medium. This panel aims to create a space for discussion of theatre and performance research at the AGS. Contributions are invited in two formats: 1) Research papers of twenty minutes on German-language theatre or performance culture (contemporary or historical); 2) short briefs (5-7 min) for a roundtable discussion on 'devising new forms of collaboration', e.g. connecting theatre/performance researchers & practitioners within and beyond German Studies, doctoral training, potential for emulating models such as GSSN.
Between the Wars: German Americans in the US from 1919-1941
Convenor: Mark Benbow (Marymount University); [log in to unmask]
German immigrants and their families have been one of the most active and numerous immigrant groups in the United States dating from colonial times. The First World War and the accompanying anti-German panic in the U.S. led to lasting damage to the community: German language newspapers shuttered, shooting and other clubs closed, schools stopped teaching German classes. Even Prohibition had a strong anti-German component due to German dominance of the brewing industry. This panel will concentrate on the German-American community between the World Wars. Suggested topics include renewed migration to the U.S., German-American veterans of the war, the community’s response to the rise of the Nazi Party, response to Prohibition, etc. Other related subjects related to this topic are welcome.
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