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Ergebnisanzeige "GSA Panel 2016: German Modernist Literature and the Everyday, 1890-1940"
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelGSA Panel 2016: German Modernist Literature and the Everyday, 1890-1940

German Studies Association
Fortieth Annual Conference, San Diego
September 29-October 2, 2016

German Modernist Literature and the Everyday, 1890-1940

The desire of literature to replicate the things, places, and events of ordinary life is most commonly associated with nineteenth-century Realism. Erich Auerbach, for instance, analyzing seemingly banal dinner scenes in the works of Balzac, Flaubert, and Stendhal, maintains that it is in the representation of everyday practices that the Realist novel comments on and critiques the processes of modernization. More recently, similar arguments have been made about the major triad of German Realist novelists, Theodor Storm, Wilhelm Raabe, and Theodor Fontane.

By contrast, the literature of German Modernism (1890-1940) is often characterized by its inward turn. Indeed, it can be argued that the specifically modernist answer to the challenges of modernization around 1900 lies in literature’s escapist move. Responding to the gradual fragmentation of society and the loss of universally acknowledged values, writers like Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Robert Musil, Hermann Broch, Lou Andreas-Salomé, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and Joseph Roth are concerned with chronicling the disintegration of the self. Scholars have been particularly enthralled with the philosophical implications of Rilke’s poetry or meta-novels such as Musil’s "Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften" and Broch’s "Die Schlafwandler," examining how these works contribute to contemporary discourses on ‘existential’ themes such as identity, time, and memory. However, their negotiation of theoretical terrain notwithstanding, literary texts of the “Klassische Moderne” are also always enmeshed in day-to-day routines and ordinary events.

Our panel at the 2016 GSA conference seeks to address the intersection of modernity and the mundane by investigating renditions of everyday life in German literature of the early twentieth century. Topics shall include work, leisure, and the home, as well as the role of transportation, communication, sexuality, and religion. We encourage sociological interpretations and readings that analyze the semiotics of everyday habits. Papers that connect the representation of urban reality to class, gender, or consumption are particularly welcome, but contributors may also wish to inquire into the depiction of rural practices in Heimatliteratur as it flourished around 1900, as well as into the matter-of-fact style of “Neue Sachlichkeit.” Thus, we hope to broaden our understanding of how literature incorporates the early twentieth-century processes of modernization, the effects of which are most palpable in everyday life.

The following suggestions are not meant to limit the scope of inquiry:

• everyday activities and the formation of the self
• hobbies (sports, gardening, pets, music, drawing, collecting)
• entertaining guests at home
• depictions of interior design
• food and fashion
• after-work: modern distractions
• after-school: children at home
• taking a walk: urban parks and gardens
• zoos, circuses, museums
• getting out of the city: country outings
• Sunday church: religion and modernity
• new modes of transportation and communication
• what goes on around the neighborhood?
• the colonization of everyday life by capitalism
• life reform: nude hiking, reform clothes, alternative medicine, vegetarianism

Please send abstracts (300 words) in either English or German to Mattias Pirholt, Södertörns Högskola (, and Thorsten Carstensen, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (, by February 1, 2016.
Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
VeranstaltungsortSan Diego
PersonName: Thorsten Carstensen 
Funktion: Assistant Professor of German 
KontaktdatenName/Institution: Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis 
Strasse/Postfach: 425 University Blvd, Cavanaugh Hall 502G 
Postleitzahl: 46202 
Stadt: Indianapolis 
Telefon: 001 317 278 6349 
LandVereinigte Staaten von Amerika
SchlüsselbegriffeLiteratur 1880 - 1945; Literatur- u. Kulturgeschichte
Klassifikation16.00.00 Jahrhundertwende (1880-1914); 16.00.00 Jahrhundertwende (1880-1914) > 16.01.00 Forschung; 16.00.00 Jahrhundertwende (1880-1914) > 16.03.00 Geistes- und Kulturgeschichte; 16.00.00 Jahrhundertwende (1880-1914) > 16.14.00 Stoffe. Motive. Themen; 16.00.00 Jahrhundertwende (1880-1914) > 16.15.00 Zu einzelnen Autoren; 17.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1914-1945); 17.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1914-1945) > 17.01.00 Forschung; 17.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1914-1945) > 17.17.00 Stoffe. Motive. Themen; 17.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1914-1945) > 17.18.00 Zu einzelnen Autoren
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