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Ergebnisanzeige "GSA Panel 2015: Material Ecocriticism and German Studies"
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelGSA Panel 2015: Material Ecocriticism and German Studies
BeschreibungGerman Studies Association Seminar
Material Ecocriticism and German Studies (Seminar 18)
GSA Annual Conference - October 1-4, 2015, Washington, DCConveners: Emily E. Jones (Whitman College - and Seth Peabody (Harvard University -

Applications Due January 30, 2015

How can scholars engage with the materiality and agency of the physical world through the study of literature and culture? This is a driving question behind material ecocriticism, a major trend of recent scholarship on literature and the environment. Drawing on the material turn in the humanities at large, and on discussion of “new materialisms” in recent debates of the social sciences and feminist studies, material ecocritics seek theoretical and methodological avenues for studying the ways in which the other‐than‐human world can exercise agency. This “reconsideration of materiality,” according to Serenella Iovino, “is associated not much with Marxism or existential phenomenology, but rather with the twentieth‐century developments in the natural sciences and with the radical changes that have affected our material environments in the last decades [...]. One of the key points of the ‘material turn’ is in fact its reaction against some radical trends of postmodern and poststructuralist thinking, which it regards as ‘dematerializing’ the world into linguistic and social constructions.”

Our seminar seeks to engage this reevaluation of the material on a theoretical level while exploring its usefulness for new approaches to the study of German culture. Our seminar will be based around the 2014 volume Material Ecocriticism, edited by Serenella Iovino and Serpil Oppermann, and the presentation of pre‐circulated papers exploring and critiquing the ideas of material ecocriticism with regards to topics in German studies. Germanists are already significantly engaged in this evolving discussion. Oppermann and Iovino cite the 2011 volume Ecocritical Theory: New European Approaches, edited by Kate Rigby and Alex Goodbody, as a precursor to their project, specifically mentioning Rigby’s analysis of German Romanticism and Heather Sullivan’s work on Goethe’s Faust. The 2014 volume also includes a new study by Sullivan of Goethe’s Farbenlehre. In addition to all of these, the prominence of the physical world in German culture, from the violent passions imputed to Sturm und Drang landscapes to the socio‐spatial concerns of post‐wall fiction, argues for the importance of material ecocriticism to our study of German culture.

Yet the history of Germany’s relationship to the physical world brings up a number of specific challenges to the pursuit of material ecocriticism. With such a troubled political history, does a focus on the materiality of German culture risk ignoring the political ends served by discourses of nature? While material ecocriticism thoughtfully inquires into the storied matter that makes up the physical world, is it equipped to adequately consider the material consequences of seemingly immaterial phenomena such as discourse, hidden power structures, and socio‐political patterns of exclusion?

Building on the network of scholars already doing environmental criticism within the GSA, and using the volume Material Ecocriticism as a common text to supplement our individual contributions, this seminar will probe these questions and work to strengthen the usefulness of material ecocriticism as a tool for German cultural analysis.

About Seminars at the GSA conference:

Seminars meet for all three days of the conference during the first morning slot to foster extended discussion, rigorous intellectual exchange, and intensified networking. They are led by 2 to 4 conveners and will consist of either 12 to 15 or 16 to 20 participants, at least some of whom should be graduate students. In order to reach the goal of extended discussion, seminar organizers and participants are expected to participate in all three installments of the seminar.

To apply: If you wish to participate in a seminar, please visit the GSA Website and enroll electronically under “member services > conference proposals.”

Participation in a seminar involves intellectual work akin to preparing a paper and will thus count as such. All seminar participants will be listed by name in the program. If you are accepted to be an active participant in a seminar, you are not allowed to give a paper in panel sessions. However, you may moderate or comment on a panel.

Auditors: Some individuals may choose to be a silent auditor to a seminar. Slots for auditors are limited; the enrollment process for interested auditors will only take place after the entire GSA program is set.

Applications for enrollment are due by January 30, 2015. We will inform applicants by February 5, 2015, whether they have been accepted or not. Please do not send your applications directly to the seminar organizers.
Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
VeranstaltungsortWashington, DC
PersonName: Jones, Emily E. [Prof. Dr.] 
Funktion: Koordinator 
Name: Peabody, Seth E. 
Funktion: Koordinator 
LandVereinigte Staaten von Amerika
SchlüsselbegriffeLiteratur- u. Kulturgeschichte; Literaturtheorie: Themen; Medien- u. Kommunikationsgeschichte (Hand-, Druckschrift, Film, Rundfunk, Computerspiel usw.); Medien- u. Kommunikationstheorie
Zusätzliches Suchwortmateriality; environment; ökokritik; Umwelt
Ediert von  H-Germanistik
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