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Ergebnisanzeige "Love, Eros and Desire in Modern and Contemporary German-Language Literature and Culture"
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelLove, Eros and Desire in Modern and Contemporary German-Language Literature and Culture
BeschreibungWith apologies for cross-posting

**Please note: this call is for Edinburgh German Yearbook 11, 2017, and should not be confused with the call for no. 10 (2016), Queering German Culture, which was circulated recently. The two calls are running concurrently. **
Edinburgh German Yearbook 11 (2017)

Call for Contributions: Love, Eros and Desire in Modern and Contemporary German-Language Literature and Culture
Deadline for abstracts (300 words max.): 31 March 2016
Contributors will be informed of the final selection by end of April, and the deadline for submission of papers of approx. 6000 words will be 31 December 2016. All contributions will be peer reviewed.

Helmut Schmitz (Warwick)
Peter Davies (Edinburgh)

‘Happy love has no history. Romance only comes into existence where love is fatal, frowned upon and doomed by life itself.’ —Denis de Rougemont, Love in the Western World.

This collection intends to provide new perspectives on the literary, visual and cultural discourses of love, Eros and desire.
While Sociologists have long agreed that the problems of modern and contemporary subjectivity crystallise in the issue of romantic relationships and love (e.g. Luhmann, Illouz, Beck, etc.), the theme of love all but disappeared from German prose literature in the 20th century. Although modern German literature begins with a text that combines the ‘vertrackte Dialektik’ (Adorno) of the bourgeois subject with a tragic love story, where young Werther’s love to Lotte appears to him as the only element in which the problems that he experiences in society may be ‘aufgehoben’, in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries the topic of (romantic) love became increasingly suspect as a literary subject, maybe not least because it was so effectively deconstructed by Flaubert in Madame Bovary.
Whereas experience of self and experience of love enter an indissoluble unity in the (not just masculine) subject of early modernity since Petrarch, the discourses of the Enlightenment beset romance and romantic love with an irreconcilable paradox. Like poetry and religion, the discourse of love is of quasi magical origin and speaks of quasi mystic experience. The concept of mystery is central to all three of the above – love, poetry, religion – and the light of Enlightenment dissolves, together with religion and poetry, romantic love as well.
This may be one of the reasons why the leading discourses of modernity as well as its literature have little to say about love, particularly of the happy kind. Literature mainly knows unhappy or tragic love stories from the unfulfilled Minne of the Middle Ages, via Petrarch and Laura, Dante and Beatrice, to Romeo and Juliet, Werther, Anna Karenina and Emma Bovary. Although, or maybe because, the idea of fulfilled love plays such a central role in the mind of the modern subject, the modern novel likewise predominantly explores the contradictions between a romantic discourse promising fulfilment and a reality in which social norms suffocate the subject. While the Neue Sachlichkeit develops a cooled-down model of ‘sachliche Liebe’ as a counter-model to the ‘Alltagsuntauglichkeit’ of romantic love (Reinhardt-Becker), the literary discourse of love plays little to no role at all in post-war German-language literature or the New German Cinema.
With respect to the leading discourses of modernity, Roland Barthes lamented already in 1977 that the lover’s discourse was defended by nobody and was abandoned by all bordering discourses ‘either ignored, devalued or ridiculed’. In her recent study Why Love Hurts (2011) Eva Illouz describes the discourses of High- and Hyper-Modernity (Psychoanalysis, Sociology, Evolutionary Biology, Feminism) as a programme of progressive disenchantment and rationalisation that ultimately takes hold of the concept of love and corrodes it. Diagnosing a loss of the ‘cultural pathos’ of love as a result of the ‘destructuring of the romantic will’, she argues that the cultural climate of romantic relationships is fraught with insecurity and irony, with irony becoming the dominant form of discourse about love. This is already noted by Niklas Luhmann in 1982 in his influential study Liebe als Passion which, after beginning with the declaration that love is ‘das Romanthema par excellence’, closes with the expression of doubts whether the topic is fit for literature in the present at all.
Despite the above diagnoses from sociology, over the past 15 years German-language literature has witnessed an explosion of both novels with ‘Liebe’ in their titles as well as novels that centrally focus on erotic and emotional inter-subjective relationships. A number of major contemporary writers (Treichel, Walser, Kermani, Ortheil, Maron, Zaimoğlu, Genazino) have written ‘Liebesromane’ or novels where significant socio-historical questions are refracted through the love relationships of their protagonists. German film likewise increasingly thematises love relationships under post-romantic conditions, e.g. in the films of the Berlin school.
Simultaneously, the development of both feminist and LGBTQ politics over the past decades has exploded the hetero-normative discourses of desire in a way that has both expanded and enriched the lovers’ discourse, while recent developments of urban (hetero)sexuality have expanded the previously available models of expressing erotic relationships in ways that are reminiscent of the utopian ending of Goethe’s first version of Stella.
We welcome contributions from scholars of literature and the other arts, historians and social scientists. Essays may take the form of general surveys, theoretical discussions, textual analyses, etc., but preference will be given to pieces that show original perspectives or propose new fields of research. Preference will also be given to articles on contemporary issues but we will consider articles that explore literary texts from the 18th to the 20th centuries as well.
Deadline for abstracts (300 words max.) is 31 March 2016. Abstracts should be sent to both editors:
Contributors will be informed of the final selection by end of April, and the deadline for submission of papers of approx. 6000 words will be 31 December 2016. All contributions will be peer reviewed.
Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
PersonName: Helmut Schmitz 
Funktion: Associate Prof 
KontaktdatenName/Institution: School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Warwick 
Postleitzahl: CV4 7AL 
Stadt: Coventry  
SchlüsselbegriffeLiteraturwissenschaft; Literatur 1880 - 1945; Literatur nach 1945; Literatur- u. Kulturgeschichte; Literaturtheorie: Themen; Medien- u. Kommunikationstheorie
Zusätzliches SuchwortEdinburgh Yearbook of German Studies
Ediert von  H-Germanistik
Ein Angebot vonGermanistik im Netz
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