CfP extended: Summer School: „Relations and Relationality in Romance Literatures and Cultures“ 10-14/09/2018, University of Rostock, Rostock (Germany)

Christoph Behrens's picture

The last decade has been marked by the abundant emergence of dating applications and websites. As veritable markets of promises, they function as digital matchmakers: Offering to users a potential range of matches in the shape of a multitude of different profile-personae they can like or dislike, contact, meet and even fall in love or spend an adventure with. It is in this sense that networking does not only dominate the professional arena and carrier strategy but also the pursuit of personal and individual happiness. The development of a singular personality reveals itself in this sense – paradoxically enough – as an act of absorption of the self into a social network.


Online dating seems to substitute the love letter and gallantry with a new form of relationality, at the same time connected to the self and the other, that is appropriate to the life of the digital natives. Relationality can consequently be considered a contemporary cultural paradigm of mutual connectedness and self-unfolding alike.


The summer school seeks to conceptualize the notion of relationality as sociocultural vector with its own aesthetic performativity. Taking the virtual encounter and the affective inter- und intramedia exchange of personae as a starting point, the summer school will systematically and diachronically analyze intermedia relations in which personae are involved, their intramedia filiations, their generic and aesthetic effects as well as their performative influence on the conception of social relations in everyday life.


The following questions shall serve as examples:

•          What are the possibilities of relation and relationality between texts and media? How does their interdependence influence the reception and production of texts? How have they evolved in literary, cultural and media history? How have they been transformed?

•          What are aesthetic strategies to establish relations between intramedia characters? How are relations between readers and media established?

•          Is aesthetic relationality created through the process of reading or already inherent to the aesthetic artefact itself?

•          How are ways of reading and ways of living intertwined? Can re-readings of relationality pave the way for understanding/deconstructing e.g. gender inscriptions in mediatized relations? 

•          How can transformations of relationality be described in relation to cultural, literary and media history and transformations?

•          What is the relationship between mediatized relationality and everyday life?


The summer school invites (post-)doctoral researchers as well as advanced master students in Romance literary and cultural studies and affiliated subjects (art history, theater and performance studies, philosophy, social sciences etc.) whose current research project responds to the proposed topic.


Participants will not only be able to work with experienced researchers and specialists in the field of affect theory, intertextuality and performance studies, but also be able to discuss their current research project and give a paper on a topic inspired by the call.



    Hermann Doetsch (Munich)

    Nanette Rißler-Pipka (Tübingen)

    Mirjam Schaub (Berlin/Halle)

    Tanja Schwan (Leipzig)

    Philipp Wüscher (Berlin)



Please provide a short biobliography, a one-page description of your current research project as well as a short abstract (max. 300 words) for a paper (20min) that will be given during the conference. Main working language will be German, papers can also be given in any Romance language and English. Please apply only until June 23rd (deadline extended!).

Participants will be contacted by mid-July. Generous funding for travel and accommodation is guaranteed.


Organizing team

    Christoph Behrens (Rostock)

    Christoph Groß (Rostock)

    Valerie Kiendl (Würzburg)





Categories: CFP