Sunday, September 14, 2008

Conference Papers

I'm trying to come up with abstracts (by tomorrow!) for the following panels:

Transforming Spaces: The Manipulation of Public and Private Spaces in 19th c. Women's Literature
Many nineteenth-century domestic theories contend that women controlled society, but such theories also assert that women wielded power indirectly. By alleging that women influenced society obliquely, domestic ideologies reiterated rather than questioned the separate spheres. Many women writers, however, used domesticity to question their own second-class status. Such writers manipulate public and private spaces into sites of resistance by resisting the limitations of domesticity. They also revise domesticity and transform public and private spaces.

Jewish-German Dialogue Reconsidered Jewish-German Dialogue Reconsidered This panel seeks to explore how German and Israeli literature and film present the Jewish-German relationship in the post-wall period. Papers should address the connections between the failure of the "German-Jewish symbiosis" of the nineteenth century and the revival of Jewish-German-Dialogues today.

Text and Image in German Literature In response to the 'iconic turn' in cultural studies this panel seeks to examine text-image relations as a textual phenomenon in literature: Why do texts invite an "intrusion" of images and how does a visual aesthetics contribute to a rethinking of subjectivity, nature, and language? How does literature interact with the sister arts in a shared history (and critique) of the cultural image? Contributions might explore actual media change (images in the text; montage, cartoons, photo essays) as well as description of artifacts (ekphrasis) and production of visual spaces in language.

I'm really excited about the first one, but a little bit puzzled about what I should write about. The first authors that come to mind are all from the turn of the century (Elizabeth von Arnim, Edith Wharton) and I can't think of ANY German authors to use (see my previous post). Maybe I could go out on a limb and try my hand at Little Women? Or similar... This topic is SO what I'm interested... I need to come up with something good.

The second panel I'm less interested in, but it seems like I should be able to come up with something easily, given my past work on German/Jewish stuff. Could try to connect it to Sebald (not hard, but also not that interesting) or try to revive some portion of the research I allegedly did in Cologne or revisit some of my Senior Thesis authors (Biller, Behrens, Schlink). But I'm not sure I really care.

The third panel is being run by one of my former colleagues and, as such, should be relatively unintimidating to apply to, but my only idea for it is REALLY REALLY obvious, so I'd be kind of embarassed about that.

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