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RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelGSA 2015: Writing Nature - Nature Writing
BeschreibungCall for Papers
German Studies Association 39th Annual Convention
Washington, D.C., October 1-4, 2015

Panel: Trends in 21st-Century Literature (3): Writing Nature - Nature Writing

The panel “Writing Nature - Nature Writing” forms part of the series „Trends in 21st-Century Literature“. The series seeks to identify current developments in German literature and culture from three major perspectives: society, nature, and the body.

Representations of nature, landscape and scenery feature prominently in recent German literature. Most of these representations come as parts of a travelogue and outline a character’s (resp. narrator’s) impressions of nature on a voyage. They are often juxtaposed with scientific entries on nature: More than a century after explorers and geographers had filled the last white spots on the world’s map, writers are following in their tracks on a poetic discovery of the globe. They attempt to find what from their point of view has been left aside by their predecessors: The overwhelming effect ‘pure’ nature can have on the individual.

In this way, poetic perceptions of nature are deeply linked to questions of epistemology. As something remote and untouched, nature is expected to offer ‘immediacy’ - whereas theories often argue that even ‘pure’ nature is culturally constructed. These theories are confronted by a self-reflective mode of writing, stating that writing and nature do not differ categorically. As texts of Raoul Schrott or Christoph Ransmayr emphasize, scripture is already part of nature. Thus, (re)transforming nature into (poetic) writing does not intend to create something to be differentiated from the realm of nature, but something of the same epistemological quality: Nature and poetry are both objects of aesthetic comprehension.

At the same time, nature is regarded as highly vulnerable and threatened by urbanization and industrialization. In this sense, encounters with nature can also take place in urban or industrial settings where nature itself is lost or only present in marginalized remainders.

Both the epistemological and the ecological dimensions emphasize the current dichotomy of ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ and the role literature plays therein. Paper topics may include but are not limited to:

- Perceptions of nature as self-discovery (e.g. Ransmayr)
- Nature and the limits of science (e.g. Kehlmann)
- Nature and travel: The foreign and the familiar (e.g. Stangl)
- Post-colonial nature writings (e.g. Trojanow)
- Radical scenery: oceans, islands, deserts, mountains (e.g. Schrott)

The series “Trends in 21st-Century Literature” also features the panels “Writing the Social”, organized by Prof. Dr. Paul Michael Lützeler (University of Washington, St. Louis) and “Body Poetics and Virtual Worlds”, organized by Dr. Nicole Sütterlin (Harvard University).

We welcome proposals in English and in German. Please send
120-word abstracts and short bio to Dr. Leonhard Herrmann, Universität Leipzig ( by January 16, 2015
Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
PersonName: Dr. Leonhard Herrmann 
Funktion: wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter 
KontaktdatenName/Institution: Universität Leipzig 
Strasse/Postfach: Beethovenstraße 15 
Postleitzahl: 04107 
Stadt: Leipzig 
Telefon: +49.341.97.37.350 
SchlüsselbegriffeLiteraturwissenschaft; Erzähltheorie; Komparatistik (Kulturvergleich, Interkulturelle Literaturwissenschaft); Literatur nach 1945; Literatur- u. Kulturgeschichte; Motiv- u. Stoffgeschichte
Zusätzliches SuchwortGegenwartsliteratur
Klassifikation19.00.00 1990 bis zur Gegenwart; 19.00.00 1990 bis zur Gegenwart > 19.09.00 Stoffe. Motive. Themen
Ediert von  H-Germanistik
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