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Ergebnisanzeige "GSA 2016 Seminar: "Technical Means": Heimito von Doderer and the Modern Novel"
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelGSA 2016 Seminar: "Technical Means": Heimito von Doderer and the Modern Novel
BeschreibungGerman Studies Association, Annual Conference, San Diego (CA), September 29 – October 2, 2016

Seminar Call for Papers:
“Technical Means”: Heimito von Doderer and the Modern Novel

“A decisive advance in art can never occur through new ideas or by taking hold of new contents […] Rather, it is only by way of new technical means that art may be founded ever anew. Such means are invented under the force of necessity because the old ones no longer suffice.” – Heimito von Doderer

In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the Austrian novelist Heimito von Doderer, we propose a GSA seminar that will take his work as a test case for recent literary theory concerning the novel. At present, the development and history of the novel has become the focus of numerous innovative and controversial approaches, focusing, for example, on the literary “devices” and techniques in relation to processes of canon-formation (Moretti 2013), the emergence and increasing dominance of present-tense narration in the twentieth-century narrative (Avanessian and Hennig 2012), the re-envisioning of the classical Bildungsroman as a modern “institutional novel” (Institutionenroman) (Rüdiger Campe), and the idea, following Lukács, of the modern novel as a “demonic novel” (Wetters 2014).

One of the most salutary effects of these recent discussions, which broadly reflect the concerns of a new formalist criticism, is an implicit broadening of the literary canon. Franco Moretti, for instance, focuses on the “slaughterhouse” of non-canonical literature because the canon of undisputed classics is shrinking – while the understanding of what makes them classics is increasingly not self-evident. He argues that specific formal and technical innovations decisively contributed to canonization and classicization. Though the classics themselves may fade, they gave rise to a correlated canon of forms and techniques that is still very much with us. This kind of literary-historical process can only be perceived if canonical literature and its forms are analyzed in the context of their more eccentric and less well-known competitors. The international spread of the novel as an increasingly global form, including countless regional and historical variants, can thus be tied to formal-technical advances which are, on the one hand, essentially irreversible but which, on the other hand, remain to be comprehended in terms of their function and significance.

Doderer’s novels, though not especially well known outside of Austria, have not been consigned to Moretti’s “slaughterhouse.” Instead, they might be more convincingly characterized as a regional niche-product, an improbable success-story within the relatively narrow confines of Austrian literature, capped by the publication of Doderer’s monumental Vienna-novels, Die Strudlhofstiege (1951) and Die Dämonen (1956). The fact that his international reputation was hampered by complications of reception - critical confusion, poor translations, politics - though historically important, is not decisive for contemporary scholarship: in light of the question of “technical means,” tracing the divergent paths of European literary forms is the highest priority. Discontinuities, accidents and borderline cases are in this sense equally if not more fruitful than pure “success stories.” Local innovation and diasporic appropriation reflect the potentials and durability of the forms themselves.

Seminar Structures/Procedures:

Seminar participants will be expected to read pre-distributed texts that focus on Doderer, theory of the novel, and canon-formation as the basis for seminar discussion. These readings will not total more than 200 pages, and will include essays by Doderer, Georg Lukács, Franco Moretti, Kirk Wetters, and perhaps two others. We will distribute these readings to participants by July 1 to give them ample opportunity to read and consider them.
Seminar participants will have the opportunity to pre-circulate statements of up to 10 pages, but this is purely optional. If they wish to pre-circulate remarks, they need to send them to us by September 8 so that we can distribute them by September 15. The focus of the seminar is on discussion, however, and each participant will have up to 20 minutes to present. (As we are planning on a smaller seminar, with 4 or maximally 5 presentations a day, this would still leave us with plenty of time for discussion.) Since everyone will be working from the same textual foundations, presenters will have wide latitude to react to the topic, develop different facets of it, and/or present relevant pieces of their own current work and interests, so long as they touch on one of the following: Doderer, devices of 20th century narrative, theory of the novel, canon-formation, or Austrian literature's relation to German and European literature.

In order to submit to a seminar, you must be a member of the GSA. Follow this link
to sign in and renew your membership if necessary. Then click on "conferences" at the top of the page. On the next page, click on "current conference," and then "Submit Conference Proposals" under the heading "Quick Links." You should then see a screen that reads: "Validated. Click to Continue." Click the link, and then scroll down until you see "Your Application for Participating in a Seminar," where you will be asked to submit a statement of purpose (max. 300 words) and a mini-vita. The deadline for enrollment is January 28. If you have questions about the seminar, please contact the seminar's conveners, Christopher Chiasson ( and Kirk Wetters (​
Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
VeranstaltungsortSan Diego, CA
PersonName: Christopher Chiasson 
Funktion: seminar co-organizer 
LandVereinigte Staaten von Amerika
SchlüsselbegriffeErzähltheorie; Literatur 1880 - 1945; Literatur nach 1945; Literaturtheorie: Themen
Zusätzliches SuchwortHeimito von Doderer
Klassifikation03.00.00 Literaturwissenschaft > 03.06.00 Literaturtheorie; 17.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1914-1945) > 17.05.00 Österreich; 17.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1914-1945) > 17.16.00 Gattungen und Formen > 17.16.03 Epik; 18.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1945-1989) > 18.08.00 Gattungen und Formen > 18.08.03 Epik; 18.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1945-1989) > 18.12.00 Österreich > 18.12.06 Gattungen und Formen; 18.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1945-1989) > 18.14.00 Zu einzelnen Autoren
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