CfA: GSA Seminar Participant Application "Nothing to See Here? East German Space(s) in Contemporary Societies"

Juliane Schicker Discussion

Hello all,

Sending a reminder that we are seeking participants for our GSA (German Studies Association) Seminar "Nothing to See Here? East German Space(s) in Contemporary Societies". More info below:


Nothing to See Here? East German Space(s) in Contemporary Societies"


Katrin Bahr, Centre College,  
Melanie Lorek, CUNY School of Professional Studies,
Juliane Schicker, Carleton College,


Long after 1990, scholars remain unclear about what remains of the GDR and where its real and imagined remnants reside. Especially in the last decade, research has examined representations of the GDR, Socialism, and the “East” as an imagined space (Bach, Eisman, Erpenbeck, Gallinat, Kërçuku, Pugh, Rubin, Schwenkel). Such works highlight the GDR’s impact until today in (non-)material culture and the emerging spaces within such representations. This seminar explores forms of spatial representations of the GDR in contemporary societies in which public and/or private spaces, mediated spaces, or spaces socially deemed irrelevant or invisible define the understanding of the East. We will explore this in and outside of reunified Germany. Presenters will address how different memories about the GDR shape space and vice versa, how German reunification has commodified, gentrified, and/or erased GDR environments, and how different constituents determine what spaces are considered and which ones are renounced.


Participants prepare a 750-1000 word position paper connecting their research with the 2-3 pre-circulated readings of about 40 pages per person total (e.g. Erpenbeck’s “Heimweh nach dem Traurigsein”). Participants discuss these readings and their paper with pre-assigned partners before the seminar. Each day, one group leads a discussion of the readings and position papers.

To apply for our seminar, click here or access the GSA portal through the conference website. Applications ask for an abstract describing the nature of your contribution to the seminar (500 words max), as well as a short biography (300 words max). The deadline for applications to participate in a seminar is Friday, March 3rd at 11:59 p.m. PST.

If you have questions, please send one of us an email.