CFP: GSA 2018 Panel: Constructions of Belonging and Heimat in Contemporary German Literature of Non- Native German Writers, Pittsburgh (13.02.2018)

Lydia  Heiss's picture

Since 1990s, the memory of the Nazi-past has become an integral component for Germany’s national memory. However, this cultural framework brings along certain issues in a day and age in which - as Rothberg and Yildiz state in their essay on “Memory Citizenship: Migrant Archives of Holocaust Remembrance in Contemporary Germany” - the German population is made up not only by “a culturally and ethnically defined collective” bound to Holocaust memory but also by a large number of “migrants, refugees and other expatriates” (32) who do not share this past. In his article “Nation, Migration and Memory: On Historical Concepts of Citizenship,” Dan Diner elaborates on the problems that arise for migrants when they try to integrate themselves into the German society, and thus into the German cultural memory. He states: “Germans are those who define themselves in terms of belonging by rejection of the Nazi past. A German citizen of Turkish background can hardly fully belong to such a collective. He cannot use the common “we” concerning the contaminated past of Germany” (303).

            This panel explores the following issues: In general, how do we think about political and social community in the age of transnationalism? In particular, how do non-native German writers explore ways of integrating themselves into the German society? How do they find their (cultural) Heimat in Germany when they do not have a direct or domestic connection to the Holocaust memory? Through exploring this reality of living between two languages and two cultures, we hope to address the various and pressing issues of Heimat, language and identity in contemporary literature written by non-native German authors. We invite theoretical contributions on the conceptualization of Heimat, migration, identity and language, as well as close textual or narratological analysis.  


This panel investigates a variety of possible topics including, but not limited to:

•      Theoretical approaches to the notion of Heimat  

•      Gender issues

•      Identity constructions

•      Spatial configurations such as transit, migration, periphery

•      Transnationalism

•      Postmodernism/Postcolonialism

•      Language

•      Intertextuality

•      and the transfer of cultures.


Please send abstracts of approx. 250 words in English or German, and a short biographical note, to the two organizers Adeline Bauder ( and Lydia Heiss ( by February 13, 2018. We are looking forward to your contributions. 



Redaktion: Constanze Baum – Lukas Büsse – Mark-Georg Dehrmann – Nils Gelker – Markus Malo – Alexander Nebrig – Johannes Schmidt

Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Constanze Baum] betreut –

Categories: CFP