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CfP: Special Issue Seminar – Heimatlosigkeit/Precarity

This special issue of Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies, edited by Gabi Kathöfer (University of Denver) and Beverly Weber (University of Colorado Boulder), will focus on “Heimatlosigkeit/Precarity”.

The concept of Heimat has played a pivotal role in the imagination of and scholarship on German cultural and national identity, in history and in the present. Although many continue to think of Heimat as a “longing for a wholeness and unity” (Strzelczyk), the concept of Heimat has been deployed in diverse ways: from the cultural and ethnic nationalist imaginary of the Heimatfilm to the construction of transnational queer diasporic homes in the anthology Talking home: Heimat aus unserer eigenen Feder: Frauen of Color in Deutschland.

The diversity of relationships to home is marked in part by precarity, consisting of social relationships of vulnerability that take political form and are differentially distributed (Puar). As both concepts center around processes of domination and power through which belonging is denied, homelessness and precarity may designate both practices of othering as well as challenges to exclusion and injustice. Heimatlosigkeit/Precarity seeks to refigure the conceptual history of home by considering the diverse possibilities created when belonging in German cultural history is reevaluated from the perspective of precariousness. In particular, we wish to consider how authors, artists, activists, and others who occupy precarious positions in relationship to German culture and society deploy notions of Heimat, alternative homes, and/or homelessness. We invite diverse theorizations of home that critique racialized and place-based notions of belonging, particularly those that deploy theories of transnationalism, diaspora, queerness, and/or precarity to challenge the limitations of scholarly approaches that rely on a strictly national lens.

Submissions might include (but are not limited to):

• Forms of Heimatlosigkeit articulated from precarious positions, particularly those that challenge racialized constructions of gender, sexuality, religion, etc.
• Alternative figurations of home, space and belonging
• The making of home/homelessness as affect and/or strategy for challenging precarity

Please send 250-word abstracts to both editors, Gabi Kathöfer ( and Beverly Weber (, by March 1, 2017. Final acceptance will be based on the result of the peer review process.


Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies
Karin Bauer, Editor
Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
McGill University
688 Sherbrooke W., Suite 425
Montreal, QC H3A 3R1
Tel:  (514) 398-3647
Fax: (514) 398-1748

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