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2011 – (Trans)literation: Exploring Borders and Boundaries Through Literature and Film


March 18-19, 2011
Vanderbilt University, Nashville
Hosted by the German Graduate Student Association

Ancient Rome pushes north. The Great Vowel Shift alters European languages. The borders of the Holy Roman Empire melt into the past and the modern nation-state comes forward. Alsace changes hands. The reinstatement of the Oder-Niesse Line creates a new group of exiles. The Habsburg Empire rises and falls, Austria is annexed, Switzerland preserves its neutrality.

The history of the German-speaking world – and its neighbors – is also one inextricably bound to the question of borders and their definitions. These borders create, divide, or redraw political unity and individual identity; they contain or reject linguistic, ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity within geographical and political boundaries. They function to define and separate, delineate and contain, to exclude and include.

German Studies as a discipline exists because of borders, yet the very phenomenon of borders lends itself to questions of transversing these borders. Political events of a national scale occur on an international stage: Amid controversy, Germany accepts 50 Iranian asylum seekers. Arizona passes a law requiring police to check on illegal status; France bans headscarves. Switzerland votes on whether third-generation immigrants can become citizens.

Everywhere the modern thinker turns, borders and boundaries both become visible and offer the challenge of being transcended. These boundaries occur on international, national, communal, and individual scales, and provide the opportunity for reflection on what it means to think, live, and write between boundaries.

March 18, 2011

4:10 p.m. keynote lecture by Barbara Wahlster, Max Kade Visiting Professor in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages
Buttrick 206

6:00 p.m. welcome and keynote reception
Buttrick Atrium

March 19, 2011

8:30 a.m. breakfast
Buttrick Atrium

9:00 a.m. opening remarks

9:15-11:15 a.m. Panel 1: borders and spaces
respondent and moderator: Mike Hiegemann

Sabine Koehler-Curry (University of Arizona), “Modern Border Representations: Wegmarken”

Charlotte Fink (City College of New York), “Heating Up: Border Crossing and Identity Formation undergone In July

Katharina Klung (Universität Zürich), “Border Violators and (People)Smugglers – Film and the Aesthetic of the External Borders of Europe”

Tobias Gruenthal (University of Washington), “The Beauty of Flying across – Space, Transgression and Self-Empowerment in Angela Krauß’ Die Überfliegerin

11:15-11:30 a.m. coffee break
Buttrick Atrium

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Panel 2: minority voices
respondent and moderator: Elizabeth Weber

Johnathan Tillotson (University of Illinois at Chicago), “Vertlib and Şenocak: Establishing Intercultural Dialogues in Modern Germany”

Anna Pajak (University of Illinois at Chicago), “On the Paradoxes of Building Images for Identities; Representation of Turks, Jews and German in Zafer Şenocak’s Gefährliche Verwandtschaft; Orient vs. Occident”

Derek Schaefer (University of Illinois at Chicago), “Hybrid History, Hybrid Identity: The Process of Self-Identification in Zafer Şenocak’s Gefährliche Verwandtschaft

1:00-2:00 p.m. lunch
Buttrick Atrium

2:00-3:30 p.m. Panel 3: hybridity – identity – migration
respondent and moderator: Ingo Kieslich

Stefan Halft (Universität Passau), “Turkish-German Constellations in Cinematic Fictions of Migration”

Daniel Kline (Michigan State University), “We are we: the Doppelgänger and Migration in Güney Dal’s Janitscharenmusik

Anja Schnabel (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense), “The Clash of Intercultural Cinema and Globalization: The Film-Maker Fatih Akin”

3:30-3:45 p.m. coffee break
Buttrick Atrium

3:45-5:15 p.m. Panel 4: remembering home, returning home
respondent and moderator: Aurora Romero

Laura Hagele (University of Georgia), “Between Belonging and Surviving: Post-Holocaust Romany Identity in Ceija Stojka’s Memoirs Wir leben im Verborgenen (1988) and Reisende auf dieser Welt (1992)”

Diviani Chaudhuri (State Univerity of New York, Binghampton), “Looking-glass Borders: Sub-continental Neighborliness in the Diaspora”

Roda Malco (San Francisco State University), “Razed and Rebuilt: the Refinement of Boundaries in The Woman Warrior

5:15 p.m. closing remarks