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Call for Papers: ‘Violence Elsewhere’ – Imagining Violence Outside Germany Since 9/11

Scholars are invited to contribute to this international and interdisciplinary three-day conference at University of York, UK, 16-18 September 2020.

From imagining insurgent violence in Syria to reflections on the mobilisation of the Bundeswehr abroad, constructions of violence committed outside the country’s borders hold a particular significance in contemporary Germany. Enquiry into that significance matters globally, because we live in a world in which ideas, discourses and images of violence proliferate and circulate transnationally in unprecedented ways. However, because of Germany’s particular history of violence and war in the twentieth century, imagining, representing and perpetrating violence since 1945 in German culture has been especially fraught. The German case, therefore, demands particular and distinctive attention. We propose that ‘violence elsewhere’ – that is, constructions in recent German culture of violence taking place in distant, imagined or temporally distinct times and places – offers a stage where violence can become imaginable, representable and doable.

This conference turns to the post 9/11 context, with that date marking a significant historical moment, with regard to the cultural meaning of violence amongst other things. Talks, panels and events will explore ‘violence elsewhere’ in different cultural forms and media, and from interdisciplinary and gendered perspectives. While we focus specifically on the post 9/11 context, we also aim to highlight the ways in which ideas and representations of ‘violence elsewhere’ are deeply embedded in longer historical continuities. We will consider artistic, discursive and cultural production from Germany or by subjects and practitioners linked to that country in an expansive range of ways. In addition we analyse the transnational engagement of such productions with other subjects, discourses and works worldwide, as well as the engagement of the wider world with Germany.

Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words, along with a short CV and biographical outline, to violence.elsewhere@gmail.com by 31 December 2019. Selected speakers will be notified as soon as possible thereafter.

The research project ‘Violence Elsewhere’ is led by Dr Clare Bielby of the Centre for Women’s Studies (CWS), University of York and Dr Mererid Puw Davies, Department of German, UCL, with participation from expert academics from UK, German and other continental European institutions.

For more information about the research project, click here.