CFP: GSA Panel Series: The Languages of Discipline, Washington, D.C. (25.01.2020)

Dominik Zechner's picture

The Languages of Discipline
GSA Panel Series: October 1-4, 2020, Washington, D.C.
Organized by Simon Schoch (NYU) and Dominik Zechner (Brown/Rutgers)

Das Leben ist nichts als ein Strafvollzug, sagte ich mir, du mußt diesen Strafvollzug aushalten.    
Thomas Bernhard

In the wake of Campe’s coining the term “Institutionenroman,” we have, in recent years, observed an increasing interest in thinking the relationship between literature, language, and their institutional enframing. Central to this debate is the question of how the institution shapes its very narratability, the way the literary and the institutional forms correlate on the level of representation. Taking a cue from Foucault, our panel series invites participants to inquire about the specific modes of disciplining, instruction, and correction that transpire within the institutional frame––be it the boarding school, the madhouse, prisons or the university. We are especially interested in the way these forms of systematic violence affect and are affected by language: in what ways do the languages of disciplining prolong and support the institutional agenda––and where are the points where language breaks off from the violent enterprise, perhaps offering surprising pockets of resistance and emancipation? To what extent can language render the institution defective? How does the institutional circumstance enable and condition certain ways of speaking? What speech acts are destined by the institution?

Possible concepts and topics to address include:

•    Educational violence (Benjamin, Musil, Horváth)
•    Sadistic institutions vs. masochistic pacts (Sade, Sacher-Masoch, Deleuze)
•    Teaching and/as transgression (hooks, Jelinek)
•    Carceral narratives, narratives of punishment (Kafka, Hennings, Grass, Lenz, Frisch)
•    Literature from and in the clinic (Bernhard, Goetz)
•    The languages of psychoanalysis: repression, resistance, repetition
•    Zucht, Züchtigung, Form (Nietzsche, Benn, Sloterdijk)
•    Hate speech, excitable speech (Butler)
•    Authority and its linguistic effects (Arendt, Kojève)

Please submit abstracts of 350 words in length, including a working title as well as a short bio by January 25th, 2020, to and Please also indicate whether you would be willing to serve as a moderator or commentator on one of our projected panels. Make sure to renew your GSA membership for 2020, & do not hesitate to contact the organizers with your questions.

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 –