[Msa-discuss] Weimar CFP

Celia Marshik celia.marshik at stonybrook.edu
Mon Aug 26 09:47:37 EDT 2019


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Claudia Clausius <cclausiu at uwo.ca>
Date: Fri, Aug 23, 2019 at 5:53 PM
Subject: Weimar CFP


*Weimar in 20/20*

*Der Glanz der leeren Mitte ~ The Glamour of the Empty Centre*



*CFPs Interdisciplinary Symposium May 27-29, 2020*

[weimar2020.wordpress.com]weimar2020.wordpress.com



King’s University College at Western University invites abstract
submissions for an interdisciplinary symposium aimed at researchers engaged
in the political, cultural, and social legacies of the Weimar Republic.



“Weimar in 20/20” tackles the insistent presence – in politics, culture,
and social identities – of the Weimar Republic, whose foundational
revolutionary impulses reach us today filtered through an intervening
century of memory, nostalgia, regrets, and unfinished business. Weimar in
the year 2020 is an urgent inspiration and warning: an uncertain blueprint
for contemporary politics and values that even in hindsight, we struggle to
evaluate clearly, with “20/20” vision.



As a starting point to interrogate this struggle, we propose as a key theme
the fraught notion of the “centre”: the preoccupation with structuring a
middle ground, of stimulating egalitarianism, of achieving republican
consensus in the face of radicalization, partisanship, fragmentation, deep
distrust, and disillusionment.



Topics addressing the potential, the successes, and the failures of
Weimar’s pursuit of a stable political, cultural, and social “centre” might
include:



·      The search for political middle ground against a background of
polarizing, radical, divisive discourses; competing centrist campaigns;

·      Berlin as metropolitan hub: as cultural utopia, as decadent, as
cosmopolitan, as commercial nexus;

·      Constitutional liberties and freedoms opening “space” for new social
identities, aesthetic experimentation, cultural exchange;

·      Weimar’s “central” role in defining and critiquing contemporary
notions of state, republicanism, nationhood;

·      The re-centering of German identity on historical and cultural
consciousness;

·      The centre as a meeting point: a place of unity and/or consolidating
authority; the centre as a gap, deteriorating into an indeterminate
political vacuum;

·      The dissipation of the centre: the multiplication of discourses of
critique; competing voices; frenzied activity in the press and mass
culture; Weimar from inside and out; hollow protest; satire; Expressionism;
horror;

·      Centralizing forces; propaganda; mediating technologies; mass
audiences; popular culture;

·      Enlightenment optimism crushed by nihilism – the problem and
discomfort of emptiness;

·      The call to reconstruct the centre; middle ground as a vacant site
to (re)build and (re)imagine.



We invite proposals for 30-minute conference papers accessible to an
interdisciplinary audience. Abstracts of *350 words* should be submitted to
weimar at uwo.ca <weimar2020 at uwo.ca> by *Sept. 30, 2019*. The conference’s
working language is English. A peer-reviewed volume is planned as a
continuation of the conference discussions.

Dr. Claudia Clausius

Associate Professor

Department of English, French, and Writing

Coordinator: Foundations/King's Scholar

King's University College at Western University

https://www.kings.uwo.ca/academics/english/people/dr-claudia-clausius/
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