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Ergebnisanzeige "Edinburgh German Yearbook 2012 (vol VI): Sadness in Modern German-Language Literature and Culture"
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelEdinburgh German Yearbook 2012 (vol VI): Sadness in Modern German-Language Literature and Culture
BeschreibungCFP: Edinburgh German Yearbook 2012 (vol VI)
Sadness in Modern German-Language Literature and Culture
Eds. Mary Cosgrove (Edinburgh), Anna Richards (Birkbeck)

Sadness is a broad term that denotes a universal human affect. In a very general sense it may be called an anthropological constant which, however, achieves particular articulation in specific historical epochs. It may thus include, but is not limited to, established literary and cultural topoi that are associated with particular periods in German, Austrian, and Swiss intellectual and cultural history. This volume aims to trace sadness's fortunes in German-language literature and culture from the Early Modern period to the present where, arguably, it has fallen from earlier grandiose heights of genius and artistic creativity to become the embarrassing other of a Western civilization that prizes happiness as the mark of successful modern living. In memory discourses of the post-war German context, for example, success and its association with good health have often been rendered in terms of the ability to mourn the experience of the Second World War. By contrast, "the inability to mourn" marks out a dubious affective disposition.

This is just one of many possible approaches to the topic of sadness. The above juxtaposition of the figure of melancholy Renaissance genius and the much later "inability to mourn" points to the rich diversity of sadness as a cultural form as well as an emotion, for sadness appears to have a different value and is a differently constructed cultural object at different historical junctures. This volume explores the function and iconography of sadness at these different points as it is expressed in literature and drama, visual culture (film, photography, fine art); theory (e.g. anthropology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, clinical psychiatry), and history.

Contributions (in English or in German) of approximately 7, 000 words are welcome on - but are not restricted to - the following themes and periods:

Renaissance genius, Baroque melancholy, Empfindsamkeit, Weltschmerz, Langeweile, decadence, fin-de-siècle disaffection, twentieth-century clinical depression, sadness and the artist-intellectual's identity, depression versus melancholy, sadness and gender politics, physiognomies and iconographies of sadness, sadness as performance, politics of sadness, sadness as virtue / vice, sadness and mental illness, sadness and memory, sadness and pleasure, narrating sadness, the subjectivity of sadness.

The deadline for receipt of abstracts (250-300 words) is Friday Feb. 4th 2011. Abstracts should be sent by email to Mary Cosgrove ( and Anna Richards (

The Edinburgh German Yearbook (published by Camden House) is a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary publication. Previous Yearbooks have focussed on: Cultural Exchange in German Literature (2007, eds. Eleoma Joshua, Robert Vilain); Masculinities in German Culture (2008, eds. Sarah Colvin, Peter Davies); Heritage - Der Umgang mit dem deutschen Erbe (2009, eds. Sabine Rolle, Matthew Philpotts); Disability in German Literature, Film and Theatre (2010, eds. Eleoma Joshua, Michael Schillmeier); Brecht and the GDR: Politics, Culture, Posterity (forthcoming 2011, eds. Laura Bradley, Karen Leeder).

Dr Mary Cosgrove
Lecturer in German
School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
University of Edinburgh
David Hume Tower
Tel: +44 (0)131 6503639
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