CFP: GSA 2021-Panels: The Medieval and Early Modern German Studies Network (MEMGS), Indianapolis (31.01.2021)

Aleksandra Prica's picture


The Medieval and Early Modern German Studies Network (MEMGS, formerly YMAGINA)


Call for Papers GSA Conference 2021


The German Studies Association (GSA) will hold its 45th Annual Conference from September 30-October 3, 2021, in Indianapolis, IN (USA).


The Medieval and Early Modern Studies Network (MEMGS), invites submissions from scholars in any field to one of the following panels. Graduate students are encouraged to apply, and submissions from all fields and areas of study are welcomed.


Please submit one-page abstracts (max. 500 words) for papers dealing with topics 1 or 2. If you wish to apply with a full panel (topic 3), please include abstracts (max. 500 words) of all three panelists and, if known, names of the moderator and/or commentator. Please also submit a short rationale for the panel, including a panel title. Please note that GSA rules do not allow for more than two participants on a panel to be from the same institution. Submission deadline for all panels is January 31, 2021. Please send your submissions to Jonathan Martin (, Christopher Hutchinson (, and Aleksandra Prica (





1. Disease in Medieval and Early Modern Germany

This panel will examine the cultural and social impact of disease in the medieval and early modern German lands. Alongside the Black Death and subsequent, regular outbreaks of plague, medieval and early modern Germans contended with, and wrote about, a host of other diseases, such as syphilis, cholera, the English sweating sickness, smallpox, leprosy, and gout. This period also saw changes in medical training and practice, with the translation of medical texts from Greek and Arabic, the growth of university education in medicine, public health initiatives, and the spread of new and competing ideas about health and illness. This panel invites contributions that discuss how medieval and early modern Germans responded to disease. Papers may deal with topics including, but not limited to, depictions of disease and illness in art and literature; scientific, theological, or moral understandings of disease; how states and institutions responded to disease; the material objects concerned with disease and medical practice; how new technologies such as print shaped responses to disease; gendered aspects of disease and treatment; or how disease and illness informed discourses of otherness and led to violence and persecution.


2. Players and Games

In his 1938 monograph Homo Ludens, the Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga described playing games as a fundamental anthropological activity that lies at the basis of human culture. According to this idea, players take chances in innocuous competitive interactions, shielded from the binding forces of ‘real life’ by accessible settings and agreed upon rules. Games involve controllable degrees of uncertainty and transparent elements of fiction that prepare participants for the seriousness of reality or let them escape from it. In this panel, we will explore the wide-ranging social and cultural implications of games and players in pre-modern German texts. Possible topics include but are not limited to the status of games between fiction and reality; game and player as metaphors and literary-theoretical concepts; the narratological function of games and players; the game of love in lyric poetry (Minnesang); courtly power plays, strategy games, and political players; theater and performance as play; as well as wordplay and rhetorical games.


3. Open Topic

For scholars whose work does not fit under either of the above rubrics, but who wish to attend, please submit a one-page paper proposal on any topic related to the German Middle Ages. You may also suggest a full panel, which usually consists of three speakers, a commentator, and a moderator. Please note that GSA rules do not allow for more than two participants on a panel to be from the same institution.



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 –