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Ergebnisanzeige "GSA-Panel: "Yours Truly Forever..." Exploring the Cultural History of Friendship"
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelGSA-Panel: "Yours Truly Forever..." Exploring the Cultural History of Friendship
Beschreibung“Yours Truly Forever…”: Exploring the Cultural History of Friendship
German Studies Association conference, San Diego, California September 29 – October 2, 2016

Dr. Philipp Lenhard (University of Munich),
Dr. Andree Michaelis (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder),

This interdisciplinary seminar contributes to the newly emerging field of friendship studies. The intention is to bring scholars from various fields (cultural theory, German literature, Jewish and German history) together in order to jointly discuss the significance of friendship as a key element in German cultural history. Special emphasis will be put on German-Jewish history as its inclusion helps to broaden and diversify the perspective. The seminar gives an overview of the state of research in a constantly increasing field of research and discusses how theories of friendship can be applied to the critical reconstruction of sources.

Whereas philosophers and sociologists have been grappling with the phenomenon of friendship for decades, scholars of modern intellectual history and culture have widely neglected the relevance of friendship so far. However, friendship is, in historical terms, much more than a biographical accident. A thorough analysis of modern social structures suggests that friendship assumed diverse shapes over the course of the 18th to the 20th century. Its fabric differed depending on the social status, gender identity, and religious affiliation of the friends. Moreover, friendship, closely tied to the social upheavals of modernity, must be regarded as a unique, highly restricted sphere of social interaction. The inspection of a wide range of different forms of friendship provides insights into the everyday history (Alltagsgeschichte) of social actors. Working class sociability in the era of industrialization, for example, was dominated by a very different sense of community than the one that could be found in the bourgeois salon circles in enlightened Berlin, where women – especially Jewish women – played a central role as social mediators and thrilling interlocutors. In the case of political actors, philosophers, or writers friendship was also a social experiment, often connected to utopian ideas of a “better life”, while at the same time some of the most acclaimed works in German literature were developed in dialogues with friends, attesting to the idea that there is also a poetics of friendship to be explored. For writers, arguing with the other turned out to be a highly productive mode of creating literature and lead to a number of manifestations in the friends’ works. However, while traces of a cooperative friendly working process are often difficult to uncover, at times they lay wide open, for instance in dedications, prefaces, or private correspondences. Moreover, writers reflected on what qualifies not only a specific friendship, but friendship as such, adding their part to the long philosophical history of thinking friendship which ranges from Plato to Derrida.
In taking up these, and other, aspects of a cultural history of friendship, this seminar’s primary goal is to track the continuities and changes in both the practice and the theory of friendship from the 18th to the 20th century, while paying attention to the specific historical, sociopolitical and cultural contexts of any individual constellation. Furthermore, the social status, gender identity, and religious affiliation of the friends must be taken into special consideration, asking how all three relate to the theoretical and political significance of friendship. In this regard, both friendships with and among Jews as well as with and among women deserve particular attention. Another goal is to explore both the discursive and the esthetical manifestations of friendship and to ask for traces of a poetics of friendship and how it developed throughout modern cultural history.

The three-day seminar is divided into two parts:
During the first two days, selected theories of friendship accompanied by the results of the participants’ own research will be discussed. (A selection of theoretical readings ranging from Aristotle to Derrida and Tenbruck will be prepared by the conveners and made available at least three months prior to the conference as PDF via a shared Google Drive and/or Dropbox folder.) At the beginning of each session, every text will be briefly presented by one of the participants. In their comment, the presenters are encouraged to point to crucial questions of the text and to raise key questions for discussion according to their own particular interests. On the third day, selected current research projects will be discussed in order to demonstrate how theoretical insights can be made fruitful for a concrete analysis and to identify mutual areas of research interest for future collaborations. For this purpose, 4-5 participants are required to bring research drafts of their own projects up for discussion. A 2-page outline of these projects (or parts of it that deal with friendship) will be pre-circulated.

Applicants are asked to submit a brief statement of purpose outlining their research interest in friendship studies as well as a minivita via the GSA submission website:
Please note that applicants must be GSA members by the time of submission. On the GSA website please use the link “Submit Conference Proposals” under “Current Conference” and then add your seminar application.

Dr. Philipp Lenhard (University of Munich),
Dr. Andree Michaelis (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder),


Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
VeranstaltungsortSan Diego
PersonName: Dr. Andree Michaelis 
Funktion: Convener / Seminarveranstalter 
KontaktdatenName/Institution: Axel Springer-Stiftungsprofessur für deutsch-jüdische Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte, Exil und Migration 
Strasse/Postfach: Logenstraße 9-10 
Postleitzahl: 15230 
Stadt: Frankfurt an der Oder 
Telefon: +49-(0)335-5534 2732  
SchlüsselbegriffeLiteraturwissenschaft; Genderforschung; Komparatistik (Kulturvergleich, Interkulturelle Literaturwissenschaft); Literatur- u. Kulturgeschichte; Literatursoziologie; Literaturtheorie: Themen; Medien- u. Kommunikationsgeschichte (Hand-, Druckschrift, Film, Rundfunk, Computerspiel usw.)
Zusätzliches SuchwortFreundschaft, deutsch-jüdische Kulturgeschichte
Klassifikation03.00.00 Literaturwissenschaft > 03.14.00 Literatursoziologie; 03.00.00 Literaturwissenschaft > 03.16.00 Literarisches Leben > 03.16.02 Schriftsteller; 05.00.00 Deutsche Literaturgeschichte > 05.03.00 Literaturgeschichtsschreibung
Ediert von  H-Germanistik
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