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TitelKORRIGIERTE FASSUNG: Precarious Parenthood and the Performativity of ‘Family’ in Literature and Film

Cfp: Precarious Parenthood and the Performativity of ‘Family’ in Literature and Film
Galway, Ireland
Conference: 05.06.-06.06.2009

We all experience parenthood; if not as parents, then by way of being parented or, in the face of the ubiquity of images of idyllic family life, in the longing for being parents or being parented. Nevertheless, ‘parenthood’ is a contingent social construct. Early myths of changelings, literary fairy tales about children accidentally growing up with the ‘wrong’ parents, as well as the numerous enlivenments of artificial bodies from mediaeval literature to science fiction ultimately, and probably above all, construct ‘families.’ Those families are not only a substitution for real families, but also retroactively show that families are never ‘real’; that family, like gender or race, is not only a social or biological entity, but something that has to be ‘acted out.’ Arguably, the rules for the construction of ‘family’ are changing. Despite the fact, that for instance, the collective phantasm of the Holy Family, is still a potent and vivid projection space a discursive revision of ‘family’ has taken place.
Recent societal transformations have particularly affected women. In the past, women’s subordination to men has, at the same time, fostered highly idealized images of motherhood in the Western world – be it due to biologism, romanticism or the Catholic reverence for a motherhood of immaculate conception. Dispossessing and deconstructing maternity cleared the way to apprehend that families are rather virtual than biological entities.
In this conference, various configurations of family as they are represented in literature, film or other audio- visual arts will be analyzed across different societies and academic disciplines. We invite papers that address the constructivity of ‘family.’ Possible topics include, but are not limited to
• adoption
• maternity
• parenthood
• paternity
• pregnancy and
• (biological or artificial) (pro-/)creation
as they have developed through different times, media and contexts.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to: and Deadline for submission of abstracts is Friday 16 January 2009. Selected papers will be published in book form.

Conference Fee: 50 € for university staff, 30 € for postgraduates.

Keynote speakers will include Barbara Vinken/Munich (confirmed)

Contact / organization :
Dr. Tina-Karen Pusse -
National University of Ireland, German Department - Galway
Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
PersonName: Pusse, Tina-Karen [Dr.] 
Funktion: Lecturer, German Department of NUI Galway 
KontaktdatenName/Institution: National University of Ireland, German Department 
Strasse/Postfach: University Road, Arts Millennium Building 
Postleitzahl: 0000 
Stadt: Galway 
Telefon: 00353-91-495874 
SchlüsselbegriffeGenderforschung; Literatur- u. Kulturgeschichte
Klassifikation04.00.00 Allgemeine Literaturgeschichte > 04.02.00 Studien
Ediert von  H-Germanistik
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