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RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelGSA panel: 'Sweet Terror' - The Idea of Violence in Modern Germany, c. 1780-1980
BeschreibungGerman Studies Association 2009
Panel: 'Sweet Terror' - The Idea of Violence in Modern Germany, c. 1780-1980
GSA October 8-11, 2009, Washington, DC

Call for Papers

This panel investigates the curious zeal with which many German intellectuals, most of them members of the so-called Bildungsbürgertum, justified, glorified and sometimes participated in violent actions and movements, from the French Revolution to the Baader-Meinhof Gang. Its object is to arrive at a better understanding not of the origins or the performance of violence itself, but of these bourgeois 'reflections on violence' (G. Sorel). We thus propose an intellectual (and cultural) historical approach to what is generally regarded as a topic of social and political history. The nexus between culture and barbarism in German history has often been remarked upon, especially in the wake of the two World Wars; but the peculiar attraction that destruction, war, and terror held for members of the educated middle class still awaits a more rigorous analysis - and one that looks beyond the cataclysmic events of the first half of the twentieth century. While the goal is to stay clear of any 'pedigree hunting' for 'totalitarian' or 'fascist' mindsets, we welcome diachronic and/or genealogical approaches to the idea of violence in modern German thought. Individual topics could include: - violence and revolutionary change: German Jacobinism; positive responses to the Reign of Terror, the Paris Commune, the Russian Revolution; 1848, 1918/9, 1968, 'the German Autumn' - the idea of violence in socialism, Marxism, anarchism - violence and the (re)birth of the nation: the Wars of liberation, the murder of Kotzebue, 1870/71, 'the ideas of 1914', 1933/4, Holocaust; 'palingenetic ultra-nationalism' (R. Griffin) - modern millenarianism: Nietzsche, Ernst Jünger - the idea of violence in Benjamin and the Frankfurt School - sociological and juridical definitions of violence: Max Weber, Heinrich Popitz - new definitions and justifications of violence
('strukturelle Gewalt', 'Gegengewalt', etc.) in the aftermath of 1968.

Please send a 200-word abstract to Karolin Machtans ( and Martin A. Ruehl, ( at the Department of German, University of Cambridge.

Deadline for abstracts: 12 February 2009.

Karolin Machtans
Director of Studies in MML
Sidney Sussex College
University of Cambridge
Cambridge CB2 3HU
Telephone: +44 1223 338883
Fax: +44 1223 338884

Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
LandVereinigte Staaten von Amerika
SchlüsselbegriffeKomparatistik (Kulturvergleich, Interkulturelle Literaturwissenschaft); Literatursoziologie; Medien- u. Kommunikationstheorie; Motiv- u. Stoffgeschichte
Klassifikation03.00.00 Literaturwissenschaft > 03.14.00 Literatursoziologie; 04.00.00 Allgemeine Literaturgeschichte > 04.03.00 Vergleichende Literaturgeschichte; 05.00.00 Deutsche Literaturgeschichte > 05.11.00 Stoffe. Motive. Themen
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