CFP: Samizdat and Alternative Cultures of the GDR, Seminar at the German Studies Association Annual Conference (Deadline Jan 26, Conf: Atlanta, Georgia Oct 5-8, 2017)

Nicole Burgoyne's picture
Call for Papers
January 26, 2017
Georgia, United States
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies, German History / Studies, Human Rights, Modern European History / Studies

The 41st German Studies Association Conference in Atlanta, Georgia (October 5 - 8, 2017) will again host a series of seminars in addition to its regular conference sessions and roundtables. Seminars meet for all three days of the conference during the first morning slot to foster extended discussion, rigorous intellectual exchange, and intensified networking. In order to reach the goal of extended discussion, seminar organizers and participants are expected to participate in all three installments of the seminar.

Please consider submitting an abstract to the seminar I have convened with Prof. Carol Anne Costabile-Heming:

Seminar 29 Transnational Aesthetic Trends in Cultural Criticism of the German Democratic Republic


Seminar Description

This seminar is conceived as a broad discussion of the GDR’s uncensored culture and especially the development of alternative spheres, which included private audiences of friends as well as seeking venues in the West German or other foreign markets. We will examine international relationships not only in the form of contemporary connections, but also as aesthetic inspiration from concurrent movements abroad, such as that of the Beat generation and Post-Modernism and earlier movements from the Weimar Era such as Dadaism and Surrealism. We will consider the tacit political relevance of these aesthetic references in the GDR context. Our seminar will pointedly address all decades of the GDR and regional culture beyond Berlin. We encourage the presentation of research into individual (or groups of) cultural actors, works of literature, art, or film, or aesthetic movements that clashed with the state. Comparative case studies of GDR censorship with an example from another authoritarian regime (such as the Nazis or other East Bloc nations) will also be welcomed.


Seminar Format

Once accepted to the seminar, participants will receive required reading of no more than seventy-five pages by July 15, 2017. Rather than pre-circulated papers, participants will be required to submit extended abstracts of approximately 1000 words by August 15, 2017. The seminar’s three meetings will be organized by theme. Participants will each give a 15-minute presentation followed by a question and answer session. Group discussion is a priority of this seminar. Auditors who wish to participate in the seminar, but not present, will be accepted in May.


Proposed Size

●12-15 Presenters
●1-5 Auditors


Applications to present at the seminar are due by January 26, 2017. If you wish to participate, please visit the GSA website and apply electronically at: Membership is required to apply and the login information for this site is your GSA website username and password.


Funding opportunities for those traveling from outside America:



●Nicole Burgoyne (Wheaton College)

●Carol Anne Costabile-Heming (U of North Texas)

Contact Info: 
Nicole Burgoyne, PhD

Visiting Assistant Professor of German
Wheaton College
Meneely Hall Room 116
26 East Main Street
Norton, Massachusetts 02766