CFP: GSA conference panels and seminars of the Medieval and Early Modern German Studies Network, Houston (14.3.2022)

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Medieval and Early Modern German Studies (MEMGS) Network at the 2022 GSA

MEMGS (The Medieval and Early Modern German Studies Network) invites proposals/abstracts for a seminar and three panels at the 2022 GSA Conference (15-18 September 2022 in Houston, Texas). Please attend to the submission instructions, which are different for each.


CFP for MEMGS Seminar:  (Re-)Conceptualizing Medieval and Early Modern Central Europe 

Convenors: CJ Jones (University of Notre Dame, German) and Frances Kneupper (University of Mississippi, History)

This seminar focuses on the diversity of the periods before 1800, of the communities of Central Europe (both German-speaking and non-German-speaking), and of German speakers outside of Europe. Participants are invited to reflect on the variety of ways in which our disciplines or modern terminology construct our object of study, sometimes in ways incommensurate with the world of the past. When is “German” not a useful concept and how do we redefine our area to better reflect historical circumstances? How have premodernists in various disciplines been redefining what has value as an object of study? How do interactions between different disciplines lead to new ways of interpreting sources? How do premodern sources challenge our assumptions about concepts such as “nation,” “language,” “literature,” “authorship,” a “work,” and “art”? How do we engage the multiple overlaps and borders between various conceptions of Central Europe? How can new approaches to premodern Central Europe transform the way we teach in high schools and colleges?

GSA Seminars meet for all three days of the conference during the first or second morning slot to foster extended discussion, rigorous intellectual exchange, and intensified networking. They are led by two to four conveners and consist of 10 to 20 participants, at least some of whom should be graduate students. In order to reach the goal of extended discussion, seminar organizers and participants are required to participate in all three installments of the seminar.

To apply for a seminar, access the portal through the conference website.  Applications ask for a title and abstract describing the nature of your contribution to the seminar, as well as a short biography. The application portal will open at the end of February. Applicants must be members of the GSA for 2022; you can join or renew your membership through the GSA website:


CFP MEMGS Panels. 

Please send 250-word proposals for papers on the following topics. All abstracts should be received by the panel organizer by Monday, 14 March 2022.  Please review the GSA Conference Guidelines before submitting your proposals. All presenters at the conference must be members of the German Studies Association.

1. The Fifteenth Century (Christopher Hutchinson, University of Mississippi, German)
The fifteenth century is often viewed as a transitional age marking the end of the Middle Ages and the start of early modernity. Certainly, European voyages to the New World, the spread of Renaissance humanism, and the development of new technologies such as the printing press and double-entry bookkeeping all had far-reaching consequences for the language, culture, and society of the German lands. The fifteenth century also saw the development of new literary genres in German––the Fastnachtspiel, Meistersang, the printed “Volksbuch”––and the revival of Classical forms of literature in Latin. But how did fifteenth-century Germans conceive of their encounters with the old and the new? In this panel, we will explore the fifteenth century as an age of transition. We invite contributions that reflect on questions of periodization, on fifteenth-century Germans’ experiences of various temporalities; or that discuss continuities or changes in any aspect of the literature, culture, and society of the German lands in the fifteenth century. 250-word  abstracts to Chrisopher Hutchinson ( by 14 March 2022

2. Premodern Materialities (Erik Born, Cornell University, German and Media Studies)
This panel will investigate the material conditions of our premodern objects of analysis, from the agency of things through the mediality of manuscripts to the afterlives of artefacts. By decentering the human, recent studies of premodern things have reconsidered courtly literature from the perspective of its castles and treasures; sovereignty in the form of crowns and thrones; identity production through the usage of imprints, badges, and mirrors; and a rich variety of related topics. This panel invites papers contributing further to the plurality of research on premodern matters, materials, materialisms, and material cultures. Potential topics include case studies of agential things (e.g., clothing, coins, jewelry, nets); speaking things, object biographies, and attempts to narrativize matter; the materiality of manuscript cultures; the methodological significance of material traces; the presence of the past in modern archives and memory sites; the ethical implications of rethinking relations between objects and subjects; as well as theoretical work on premodern materialities, immaterialities, and virtualities.  250-word abstracts to Erik Born ( by 14 March 2022
3. Apocalypse Then? (Aleksandra Prica, University of North Carolina, German)
The question of the end of the world and time occupied medieval and early modern minds like no other topic. Not only did the unknown date of the expected apocalypse stoke eschatological speculation; the uncertain circumstances of the event inspired people’s imagination and fueled efforts to determine the concrete form the end times would take. These efforts seem to have been particularly forceful in historical moments of radical change that fostered a sense of existential threat and insecurity. Starting in the 12th century and peaking with the transition to the early modern period, descriptions of end time scenarios became an increasingly popular topic for authors of narrative texts. The rise in popularity was accompanied by attempts to embed the ending in the course of history and apocalyptic ideas became part of historical thought.
In this panel, we will explore the wide-ranging religious, literary, social and cultural implications of end time expectations in pre-modern German texts. Possible topics include but are not limited to medieval commentaries on the apocalypse; the end of time in visions; prophecies and sermons; political implications of eschatological speculation; apocalyptic rhetoric; signs of the end times; imagining the last judgment; visualizing timelessness; environmental catastrophes; the ethical & legal frameworks of premodern judgments; the complex poetics involved in narrating endings/beginnings; etc. 250-word  abstracts to Aleksandra Prica ( by 14 March 2022



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

Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Mark-Georg Dehrmann] betreut –