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Ergebnisanzeige "Pacifist and Anti-Militarist Writing in German, 1889 - 1929. From Bertha von Suttner to Erich Maria Remarque"
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelPacifist and Anti-Militarist Writing in German, 1889 - 1929. From Bertha von Suttner to Erich Maria Remarque
BeschreibungCall for Papers
Closing date: 15 December 2015

Pacifist and Anti-Militarist Writing in German, 1889 - 1929
From Bertha von Suttner to Erich Maria Remarque

An International Conference to be held at the
Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London
Thursday, 22 - Friday, 23 September 2016

Organisers: Ritchie Robertson (Oxford), Andreas Kramer (Goldsmiths, University of London)

The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War has already been marked by many conferences. The present conference is intended to explore the other side: the opposition to war and militarism which has a long history in German-speaking countries, a landmark being the foundation of the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft in 1892. Pacifism and anti-militarism were strengthened when it became evident that the war would not end in an easy victory. On the Western Front, despite attempts at breakthrough which cost increasing numbers of lives, warfare had bogged down in an apparent stalemate. After the War, many voices insisted that such a catastrophe must never happen again. The conference is intended to make those voices audible once more.
The period on which the conference focuses is defined by two figures, Bertha von Suttner and Erich Maria Remarque. Remarque's bestseller Im Westen nichts Neues, internationally famous as both book and film, needs no introduction, but the Austrian aristocrat Bertha von Suttner deserves renewed attention. Her novel Die Waffen nieder! (1889), translated as Lay Down Your Arms! (1892), found a large international readership and was also filmed by Carl Dreyer (1914). She was elected President of the newly founded Austrian Peace Association in 1891, and her tireless work to promote pacifism earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905.
The conference (which coincides with the bicentenary of the founding of the London Peace Society in 1816, the first pacifist society in Europe) will deal primarily with literary expressions of pacifism and anti-militarism. It will also explore how pacifist and anti-militarist ideas were articulated and disseminated through non-literary writings (e.g. anti-militarist treatises by such writers as Karl Kautsky, Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg and Kurt Eisner), and the networks and institutions that aided this dissemination, as well as through visual media such as cinema and painting. The conference will place writing in a historical context with the help of keynote lectures by distinguished historians. The emphasis will be not only on depictions of the horror of war, but also on attempts to explore the deeper social and psychological grounds for the persistence of war and militarism, and it is here that imaginative and documentary literature may offer particularly rich insights.
We invite papers of ca. 20 minutes length (in English or German) that address these issues. We welcome contributions on individual writers and their works, but would be particularly interested in proposals that place pacifist and anti-militarist writing in German in the context of politics (e.g. patriotism, nationalism and internationalism) or consider questions of gender and religious affiliation.

Questions of particular interest include (but are by no means restricted to) the following:

Pacifism and internationalism
War as 'the great illusion'
Analyses of the commercial and industrial bases of warfare
The psychology of militarism and chauvinism
Pacifism and religion
Networks and institutions of pacifism, especially in wartime Switzerland
Women's experience of war (as nurses, reporters, or mothers/partners of combatants)
Anti-war poetry, especially by women
Appeals to humanity (e.g. in Expressionist drama)
Pacifism in visual art (e.g. Ludwig Meidner, Käthe Kollwitz, Otto Dix)

Please send 100-200 word abstracts with a 50-word biography by 15 December 2015 to the Organisers, c/o Jane Lewin at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. Submissions should be sent by email to:, with the abstract and biography attached as one file (MS Word or PDF-format).

Call for Papers (PDF)
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