CFP DEADLINE EXTENDED: Utopia Reconsidered, 100 years after Weimar, Yale (05.01.2019)

Sophie Duvernoy Discussion


Utopia Reconsidered, 100 years after Weimar

30th Annual Graduate Student Conference in German Studies

feat. a keynote seminar with Matthias Rothe, UMN

Yale University, February 15-16, 2019


Call for Papers


The Weimar Republic was a significant locus for utopian thought—in philosophy, architecture, art, and literature. In The Spirit of Utopia, published in 1918, Ernst Bloch condemned the generation of Germans that led the country into World War I, and declared that the only path forward was as yet uncharted: “we [will] cut new, metaphysically constitutive paths, summon what is not, build into the blue, and build ourselves into the blue, and there seek the true, the real.” Despite Weimar’s collapse, the utopian imagination that was revived in its era remained significant throughout the twentieth century, well beyond Germany’s borders.


100 years after Weimar, we find ourselves in a place where it seems both impossible and urgent to culturally, socially, and politically chart new paths forward. This graduate student conference will reexamine the energetic utopianism of the Weimar Republic and discuss its influence on utopian thought, writing, and art in the later 20th century. What are the conditions under which utopias emerge? How do utopias lay claim to historical legacy? What does it mean to think and act in terms of utopia? Do utopias produce something truly novel, or are they limited to a critique of the present moment? How do utopias live on?


Submissions may consider topics including but not limited to:


  • Utopian thought, literature, art, architecture, and film from the Weimar period
  • Weimar as a lost utopia/dystopia
  • Marxist and Frankfurt School theories of utopia
  • Utopianism in activism, protest, terrorism, and counterculture
  • Surrealist utopias
  • Utopias of the right (dystopias of the left)
  • Soviet and socialist utopias
  • Utopias in space and utopias in time
  • Utopia as science fiction
  • Religion, modern mysticism, and utopia


Literary analyses, theoretical exposes, and historical and cultural studies are welcome. We invite applicants from a wide range of disciplines, including literature, philosophy, political theory, history, religion, film studies, art history, and architecture. Interested participants should submit a short bio and 300-word abstract for a 20-minute presentation to by January 5, 2019.

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

Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Nils Gelker] betreut –