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Ergebnisanzeige "Crossing Borders - Ways of Constructing Identities"
RessourcentypKonferenzen, Tagungen, Kolloquien
TitelCrossing Borders - Ways of Constructing Identities
BeschreibungInternational and Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference of the Universities of Pittsburgh and Augsburg:"Crossing Borders - Ways of Constructing Identities"

Conference Program



Vice President Prof. Dr. Axel Tuma, University of Augsburg

Panel I
Material Manifestations of Geographical Identities
Chair: Christina Isensee, M. A.

Robert Bauernfeind: “The Four Parts of the World. The Construction of Cultural Images in Early Modern Iconography”
Aaron Tacinelli: “Border and Ruin: The Berlin Wall in Peter Eisenman’s Project for Checkpoint Charlie”


17:30 - 19:00
Keynote Lecture
Prof. Dr. Katja Sarkowsky: “Borderlands and Borderlines: Investigating ‘Borders’ in Native American Literatures”

Conference Dinner at Il Porcino (Salomon-Idler-Straße 24, 86159 Augsburg)


Panel II
Blurred Gender Identities in Pop Culture
Chair: Prof. Dr. Hubert Zapf

Stefan Hartmann: “Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Blurred Gender Identities in Art and Music of the 1970s”

Coffee Break

Panel III
Ways of Constructing National Identities
Chair: Dr. Klaus-Dieter Post

Heidi A. Cook: “Crossing and Creating Borders through Images of Folk Culture: Svijet, 1928-1933”
Carrie Carlson: “‘Now ye may hear wonders told’: 18th/19th Century Reception of the Nibelungen Myth and the [Re]definition of German National Identity”

Lunch Break

Panel IV
Apocalyptic Identities and Grotesque Metamorphoses
Chair: Susanna Layh, M. A.

Katharina Donn: “Migration and the Grotesque in Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses”
Veronika Lössl: “Apocalyptic Identities and the Problem of Collective Trauma in Tatyana Tolstaya’s The Slynx”

Guided Tour through Augsburg


Panel V
Writing against Identity Crises: Native Gothic, Racial Melancholia, Nouveau Roman
Chair: Prof. Dr. Hubert Zapf

Georg Hauzenberger: “Astride the Border of Reality: First Nations Gothic and the Representation of Culture, Trauma and Loss”
Danyela Demir: “Melancholic Stories of Complicity and Passing: Coloured Identity and History in Recent South African Novels”
Ulrike Eisenhut: “Constructing Identity while Deconstructing Borders: Marie Redonnet’s Candy Story”

Coffee Break

Panel VI
Concepts of Travel and Visual Identities
Chair: Johanna Hartmann, M. A.

Yvonne Franke: “Crossing (off) Heimat? Roots and Routes of the German Road and Travel Film in Times of European Expansion”
Andrew Behrendt: “The Traveler Who Wasn’t There: Recovering ‘Virtual Tourism’ in Interwar Austria and Hungary”

Conference Wrap-Up


In an increasingly globalized world that produces ever-changing social and media realities, questions about the nature and function of borders have to be continually posed and negotiated. Furthermore, since notions of “border” and “identity” are deeply intertwined, the problem of adequate means of constructing identities has also to be examined in the context of these recently emerging “border” discourses.

First of all, borders are to be understood as an abstract means of separating and differentiating two or more similar entities; at a border one thing ends and another begins. This is true not only with regard to the generally accepted meaning of borders, but also: in a geographical sense (borders of countries); in a cultural sense (varying traditions and value systems); in a social sense (class differences); and in historical, biographical, political, and economic senses. This means that borders acquire an extraordinary importance in any construction of “identity” – that is, a sameness with oneself and a difference in relation to others. Concepts such as “sameness” and “otherness” can therefore be defined only in relation to each other, namely, through the construction of a border. Changes of borders thus result in changes of identity.

Hence the need for, and the problem of, such “borders” becomes obvious. For example, every notion of “border” already implies its opposite: the crossing of borders. And no notion of “identity” is possible without presupposing a sense of alterity, which also entails the crossing of borders. These paradoxes are evident when we look at the contemporary world in which – through its complex structure – the simultaneous existence of “borders” and the “crossing of borders” are defining characteristics. The phenomenon of globalization has created a world in which societies are growing together, everything is interconnected and available and seemingly also accessible. Furthermore, there are a number of media realities

(such as the internet, cyberspace, and social media networks) that need to be organized and combined in ways that are free of conflict. To the extent that different “places” such as these multiply and intersect with one another, they must be continually differentiated, assimilated, and reintegrated in new ways. Consequently, individuals and societies not only have to be seen as situated within limited and regional contexts, but they also have to orient themselves nationally, internationally, and even transnationally. In light of these developments, then, all “borders,” including borders of identity, have become more abstract, but at the same time more relational (and in some cases leveled). It is no longer possible to define these concepts within static frames of reference. Instead, they have to be defined within a field of tensions that needs constant reevaluation and redefinition. “Border” is therefore not to be understood as a static phenomenon but as a fluid, dynamic notion; indeed, it is an idea that is as mutable as the very terms between which it seeks to differentiate. The crossing of borders and the flexibility of borders are thus revealed to be at least as important as the basic function of borders themselves, since they contribute equally to the formation of identities (be these personal or collective).

The conference “Crossing Borders - Ways of Constructing Identities” focuses on exactly this point. Its purpose is to examine the positive potential, as well as the many problems, that attend the imposition of borders, the overcoming of borders, and efforts to negotiate the flexibility of borders. It plans also to discuss the relation of borders to the construction of identity. In particular, the conference intends to explore the impact that the concepts of “border” and “identity” have had on the Humanities. Likewise, it will also ask how the Humanities – with their unique theoretical and analytical potential – can contribute to ongoing research around these twin concepts.

Concepts as complex as “border” and “identity,” which are of great significance in a number of different contexts, cannot be discussed adequately from a single point of view. Instead, they call for an interdisciplinary approach, one that makes it possible to describe and come to terms with their multilayered complexity; all the more so, in fact, because interdisciplinary approaches are designed to transgress, and at the same time integrate, various methodological approaches.

What is especially unique about this conference is its own border-crossing nature: the fact that its organizing principle reflects its basic line of inquiry. Its participants will consist of a group of doctoral students from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as from the University of Augsburg. It aims not only to contribute to the ongoing collaboration and friendship that has existed between the faculties of these two universities.

Johanna Hartmann, M.A. (
Christina Isensee, M.A. (
Dr. Klaus-Dieter Post

Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
PersonName: Christina Isensee 
Funktion: Organisatorin 
Name: Johanna Hartmann 
Funktion: Organisatorin 
KontaktdatenName/Institution: Universität Augsburg 
Strasse/Postfach: Universitätsstrasse 10 
Postleitzahl: 86159 
Stadt: Augsburg 
Telefon: 017620024173 
SchlüsselbegriffeLiteraturwissenschaft; Komparatistik (Kulturvergleich, Interkulturelle Literaturwissenschaft)
Ediert von  H-Germanistik
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