Emancipation and Resistance

Hans Rindisbacher Announcement
Quebec, Canada
Subject Fields
German History / Studies, Literature

Call for Papers: Swiss Studies Network

At the 2023 GSA Conference in Montréal, Oct. 5-8, 2023

Emancipation and Resistance

This year, the Swiss Studies Network is taking the opportunity of place, Montréal, where the pioneering feminist writer Verena Stefan spent the last two decades of her life, and the opportunity of the moment, with the Swiss writer Kim de l’Horizon having received both the Schweizer Buchpreis and the German Buchpreis, to invite papers on the broad topic of a poetics of emancipation and resistance in Swiss literature. This continues the network’s recent inquiries into gender in Swiss history (2020) and the decolonization of Switzerland (2022).

In contrast to the well-regarded all-male humanist tradition in Swiss literature (Frisch, Dürrenmatt, Bärfuss, etc.), the focus this year lies on Swiss literature that actively opposes hegemonic practices. From early women’s rights activists and authors such as Hedwig Kym, Mentona Moser, Cécile Ines Loos or Alfonsina Storni to authors such as Verena Stefan, Iris Roten, Hedi Wyss, Mariella Mehr or Aglaja Veteranyi, to today’s feminist author collective RAUF – Swiss literature has in fact a long and under-researched tradition of emancipatory (writing) practices.

We invite contributions that engage Swiss literature and history in the context of a “Poetics of Resistance” (Casas/Bollig 2011). Such writing can take the form of feminist, socio-critical or queer practices as well as advocate for class consciousness and social change, thereby unsettling the foundations of corporeality, identity, and literary form at the same time.

We encourage a variety of inquiries, author-, genre-, or technique-focused, including but not limited to considerations such as

  • the processes of a poetics of emancipation and resistance,
  • the practices of citation, revision, criticism, (self-)censorship, homage and historization
  • the processes and transformations of language (regarding orthography, syntax or terminology),
  • the use of dialect and multilingualism,
  • the (re-)shaping of genres such as the generational novel or coming of age novel, political theater and poetry, autobiographical records, the anti-sonnett, the essay, children’s and youth literature, or smaller literary forms,
  • the depiction of bodily processes (e.g. Gehäute, Häutungen, Einverleibung, Autoimmunreaktion, Narben),
  • the relations between subjects and the collective or between human beings and the non-human environment, in sum,
  • all aspects of the development of distinct writing styles with regards to resistance, activism, and innovation (e.g. in the works of Mariella Mehr, Aglaya Veteranyi, Kim de l’Horizon, etc.).

While we especially encourage the submission of entire panel proposals, we are happy to accept proposals for individual papers and will work to combine them into suitable panels. Proposals are due by February 26, 2023 and should be sent to Vera Thomann, University of Zurich (vera.thomann@ds.uzh.ch), and Hans Rindisbacher, Pomona College (hjr04747@pomona.edu). Inquiries can be sent to the same addresses.

Contact Information

Hans J. Rindisbacher

Prof. of German
Dept. of German & Russian
550 N. Harvard Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711

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