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CfP: PCA San Diego German Literature & Culture Area

The Popular Culture Association (PCA/ACA) invites abstract submissions for its annual conference in San Diego from April 12-15, 2017. The German Studies Area features the following panels:

Panel I: Politics and Immigration

Throughout immigration policy’s long history in Germany, most notably in the aftermath of WWII and German unification in 1990, it has been contested political, social, and cultural territory. This is no less the case now, with Germany taking in some 1.1 million refugees in 2015. What do past cultural, social, and political expressions and manifestations vis-à-vis immigration issues tell us about the present, or vice-versa? What are the moments of cultural production that best inform us about the past, and/or the present, and why?

Panel II: German Comics: The Trouble with Graphic Novels

The genre trouble between comic and graphic novels is exacerbated at times by the way German culture is (or is not) inscribed and acknowledged in the reception of such texts. What are the markers of German Comics, and are they drawn, written, and received via an audience shaped in German comic traditions? If so, what are the trajectories and intersections with French/Belgian bande dessinée, American and British comics/graphic novels, or Japanese comics/graphic novels?

Panel III: Weimar Cinema and Popular Culture: Zombies, Vampires and Robots (from the Future?)

The Weimar Republic was a fecund period of cultural production, and in many ways still speaks to a contemporary (North) American sensibility. What are the Weimar influences on popular culture, particularly in terms of film, and the zombies, vampires and robots in the futuristic, expressionistic vein of film and other media? What is the relation, or is there one, between modern-day German representations to North American audiences, particularly of the zombies, vampires and robots? Do the walkers from “The Walking Dead” translate into German culture? How so? Which cultural dead (Germans?) have been revived by this contemporary fascination with the undead?

Panel IV: Lacunae of German Studies and Germanistik: Environmentalism, Disability, and Beyond

The distance between Germanistik and German Studies is well-known and much-lamented. There are several candidates that gesture toward this divide that receive minor shrift in North American German Studies, despite receiving considerable attention in Germany. Take for instance Disability Studies, or environmentalism, which is such an important topic in Germany. Is German Studies unable to give proper attention to certain fields? What are these fields, and what are the causes of their neglect? How do we assure they find a place within German Studies? Conversely, what does Germanistik neglect and on which North American German Studies sheds light?

Note: Papers not focused on these topics, but dealing with other areas or aspects of German Literature and Culture (particularly film and popular culture), will also be considered.

Submission information: Please submit your 200-300 word abstract/proposal through the PCA database, (which does not open until JULY 1st) to the German Literature and Culture area. PCA requires pro­posals be submitted to only one subject area at a time. You must include your name, email address, and (if applicable) your academic affiliation on the site. Otherwise we might not be able to contact you.

Deadline: The deadline for paper/presentation proposals is October 1, 2016.

Conference date and location: As indicated above, the conference takes place from April 11-15, 2017, in San Diego, California

Inquiries? If you should have any inquiries or further questions about the German Literature and Culture Area at the PCA/ACA national conference, please contact:
Claude Desmarais, German Literature and Culture Area Chair,

Thinking of presenting/attending, and wanting to be on an email list? Send your email to, and state the sort of updates you would like (i.e. Reminders [when database opens, a month and two weeks before the deadline, etc.); Updates on Finalized Panels; Meetings Updates [other German Studies conferences; meetings at the conference outside of panels]; Future PCA/ACA cfps).

This CfP is also available as pdf.



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