"My moral homeland." Thinking about Europe yesterday, today and tomorrow with Stefan Zweig. International Symposium

François Genton's picture
Call for Papers
February 1, 2020
Subject Fields: 
European History / Studies, German History / Studies, Literature, Political History / Studies, Political Science

"My moral homeland." Thinking about Europe yesterday, today and tomorrow with Stefan Zweig. International Symposium

Université Grenoble Alpes - December 3-4, 2020 (CfP February 1, 2020)

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) grew up in the capital of the multi-ethnic and pluricultural Danube monarchy in an idealistic, cosmopolitan and humanistic environment. This origin, in connection with the life of the author as a globetrotter and cultural mediator, shaped a literary work that, long before its theoretical conceptualization, became the paradigm of intercultural literature and continues nowadays to enjoy great popularity. In 2013, Zweig’s work was published in the "Bibliothéque de la Pléiade" in France and was thus canonized as an international classic. In all his writings, Stefan Zweig supported ideas of peace and unity among the peoples of Europe at a time when conflicts between the European powers resulted in unprecedented wars and massacres. What topicality do Stefan Zweig's writings actually address in today's world? And can his idea of Europe touch and inspire us today?

The international conference at the University of Grenoble Alpes, in cooperation with the universities of Reims, Amiens and Maribor (Slovenia), focuses on the research of the European dimension of Stefan Zweig's writing in all its diversity of fictional and non-fictional text types. The conference aims to study the European scope of Stefan Zweig's fictional and non-fictional writings, the processes of cultural transfers, as well as the attempt to postulate a common, consensual, universal European cultural substrate, above linguistic, social and political boundaries.

To what extent do these works (or do they not?) call for a break with the prevailing moral, religious, social and political values in Europe in the first half of the 20th century?  The European idealism of Stefan Zweig and the question of his possible time-related limitations in political and social terms should be given attention. Stefan Zweig's European idealism can be subjected to critical scrutiny by questioning its origins and, if necessary, its ideological, political and social limits. The notion of "moral homeland" (“geistige Heimat”) which appears in the farewell letter of the emigrant could be related to the problem of a European unity based upon culture instead of the European Union which can only be born of "immediate action" (in this case the creation of the ECSC) because "words" are not enough to "change the minds of men", as Jean Monnet put it on the 3 May 1950 in his famous memorandum.

Finally, the contributions of Stefan Zweig's fictional and non-fictional work are intended not only to relate historically to the idea of Europe, but also to its significance for contemporary thinking about the history, present and future of the European continent.


The organizers assume that the participants will be reimbursed for the travel and subsistence expenses as well as for the registration fees (€ 30) by their university or research centre. However, if such a refund is not possible in part or totally, the organizers are ready to look for another solution.


Conference languages: French, German, English.

The contributions can be either essays (max. 40,000 characters with spaces) or short research reports (max. 20,000 characters with spaces.)

Deadline for submission of contribution proposals in the form of abstracts of max. 3000 characters until 1 February 2020.

Responses to the proposals for contributions will be given to their authors by the end of March 2020. The final version of the articles must be delivered to the coordinators by the end of March 2021.

Email addresses





Contact Info: 
François Genton, Professeur des universités
Directeur de l’Institut des langues et cultures d’Europe, Afrique, Amérique, Asie et Australie 
Bâtiment Stendhal 
F-38040 Grenoble CEDEX 9
Secrétariat scientifique 04 76 82 43 40 ou 04 76 82 68 56 - Fax 04 76 82 43 20
Courriel : francois.genton@univ-grenoble-alpes.fr
Site : https://ilcea4.univ-grenoble-alpes.fr/membre/francois-genton