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German Studies Graduate Conference 2010

The German Studies Graduate Conference this Spring will be on the subject of space.  You can find our official blog here!

Below is our CFP.  Papers should be submitted to

Official Title: TBA

Space is a conceptual field enlivening cross-disciplinary inquiry and facilitating the exploration of new analytical frontiers. Yet as trailblazing as the field is today, the discourse also has a long historical trajectory. Language and rhetoric have been conceived spatially within traditions of mnemonic techniques or topoi. Literary scholars have articulated in great detail the idyllic space of the village, the claustrophobic spaces of Kafka, the urban spaces of Modernism, and instances of the locus amoenus and locus horribilis. Elsewhere, space is produced by media-specific practices of seeing and reading, arranged and constructed to convey meaning in the context of architecture, photography, and painting. Notions of national, ethnic, or linguistic spaces supply a raison d’être for academic departments and disciplines, and they live on even in our efforts to overcome such distinctions.  And at the geopolitical level, borders drawn across maps demarcate spaces for specific populations, serving both to affirm social imaginaries and to construct an often undesired other.

This conference aims to examine the workings of space in German literature and culture. What sorts of spaces do we encounter, and what function do they serve?  In what ways does space serve us, either as a means of better understanding an object of analysis or as an object of analysis itself? How is space produced or defined in literature and in other media? Are there media or genre-specific concepts of space? How is space used in relation to different kinds of representations (literary, historical, artistic)? How are space and spatial practices used as an analytic tool in and across disciplines? How can we conceive of the history of spatial discourses and how does this tradition inform our treatment of space today? Is space so foundational to discourse that we cannot do without it?

These are just a few of the questions we hope to address.  Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • The history and tradition of spatial discourse
  • Constructed spaces in literature and other media
    Pre-Modern configurations of space
  • Space as Nature or Culture
    Urban spaces and Cityscapes
  • Social spaces and spaces of everyday life
  • Spaces of production/interpretation
    Gendered spaces
  • Erotic discourse and space
  • Chronotopes
    Space and Characterization
    Nation and the Transnational
  • Local space, global space
  • Borderlands
  • Space and Genre
  • Cultural Geography: Space/Place
  • Globalization
  • Projected space (utopia, dystopia, paradise, limbo, hell)
  • Sound and space
  • Spaces of Exception (Schmitt, Arendt, Agamben)
  • Romantic Landscape
  • Philosophical space, a philosophic metaphoric of space
  • Heimat/Gemütlichkeit
  • Spaces of war and occupation
  • Public and Private spheres
  • Topography (topos+grapho)
  • Liminality
  • The new non-spaces of supermodernity
  • The cyberworld and its mimetic space
  • Colonial cultures and Postcolonial Theory
  • Palimpsests
  • Maps and Mapping
  • Deconstructed spaces

PG Kino: Alice in den Städten

The PG Film Series “Neues deutsches Kino” continues this evening with a showing of Wim Wenders’ film Alice in den Städten. Come out to Kaufmann Auditorium tonight at 8 PM in Goldwin Smith Hall on the Cornell Campus.  The film will be presented by a grad student, and followed up by discussion.  Intro and discussion in English, film in German with English subtitles.

More information can be found here!