CFP: National and postnational perspectives in / from / towards Austria (Annual Conference of the Austrian Studies Association 2020), Poznan (15.11.2019)

Sławomir Piontek's picture

Beginning in 1989, intellectual attempts to bid farewell to “history” were made. They were unsuccessful. Today, the same pronouncement and problematic result seems to be predicted for the concept of the nation. For many, a comeback of nationalism was not only unexpected, but has provided a shock to the system(s) akin to witnessing a ghostly reappearance, regardless of the phenomenon one might use to explain it: the fear of globalization, the fall of communism in the former Eastern bloc, the historicization of the trauma of World War II. Austria would seem to provide an interesting perspective of observation given that here a resurgence of nationalism may go hand in hand with intensive attempts to overcome it. The objective of this conference is to analyze historical and contemporary manifestations and representations of nationalisms in/from/towards Austria and its related aspects. The topic is conceived to elicit submissions reflecting a variety of disciplinary as well as multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives. We invite scholars in history, literary and cultural studies, film and media studies, art or music history, and political science to submit proposals for individual presentations or panels. Papers with interdisciplinary methodology are particularly encouraged.

Possible topics

  • The third wave of nationalism’s global resurgence and the theories of nationalism.
  • The end of the postnational illusion? Austria, Europe, and the USA at the turn of our century.
  • „Das letzte Stadium des Kommunismus ist der Nationalismus“ (Adam Michnik) – Austria and Central Europe after 1989.
  • Historical and contemporary manifestations and representations of Austrian nationalism.
  • The historicization of the Shoah and the dwindling power of national trauma - possible approaches to the rebirth of nationalisms.
  • Nationalisms of post-industrial society in the Austrian context.
  • Overcoming the nation as a program for Europe?
  • National identity vs. “small cosmopolitanisms”.
  • Deconstructing nation or deconstructing cosmopolitanism. Literary and theoretical approaches.
  • The “open society“ and the question of migrants in the Austrian context.
  • Migration flows and waves of refugees: old/new values, norms, expectations.
  • Austrian identity in the mirror of migration policies.
  • Austria, Europe, and the challenges of migration – debates about the country’s cultural identity and the political division of society.
  • A Land of the Unadapted – the transformation (Wandel) of ideas regarding social coexistence.
  • Fears of “alienation” and of (Muslim) “parallel societies”.
  • Strangers becoming Austrians -- as Austrian literary and filmic theme.
  • Narrativizations of transnational biographies.
  • Problematization of the terms identity, homeland, nation.
  • Austrian national versus cultural identities in a historical and contemporary perspective.

Proposal submission:

Please send

  • a 300-word abstract with a title and
  • a brief biography (no more than 200 words) suitable for an introduction at the conference

to by November 15, 2019.

Papers may be presented in either German or English. Individual papers or full panels of 3-4 papers submitted as a block may be proposed. If you are proposing a complete panel, please be sure to include abstracts, bios, and contact information for all presenters in your e-mail. The conference organizers reserve the right to make modifications to panels.

All conference presenters should be members of the Austrian Studies Association. Membership in the ASA includes a subscription to the Journal of Austrian Studies. Information about how to join the ASA may be found at

Limited funds may be available to support graduate student travel/accommodation. If you are a graduate student and wish to apply for travel funding, please send us your request and a brief budget proposal along with your abstract submission.

Queries about the conference may be sent to

Important information:

Contact Info:

Concept and direction: Sławomir Piontek
Conference organizers: Joanna Drynda, Justyna Krauze-Pierz, Sławomir Piontek, Martin Stosik, Marta Wimmer

Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
Institute of Germanic Philology
Chair of Austrian Literature and Culture
Al. Niepodległości 4
61-874 Poznań, Poland
Contact email:



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 –