Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Queering German Culture - Call for papers

Dr. Leanne Dawson is launching a call for contributions for a book on Queering German Culture, the 2016 Edinburgh German Yearbook published by Camden House.

From gay and lesbian political activism during the 1960s and 70s, through the 1980s queer movement inspired by the AIDS crisis, to the recent push towards normalization for same-sex couples via registered partnerships and adoption rights, LGBT issues have been moving steadily into the political and cultural mainstream of the German-speaking lands.

A host of LGBTQ culture has emerged in recent years, including films Sommersturm (Marco Kreuzpaintner 2004), Auf der anderen Seite (Fatih Akin 2007), and Ghosted (Monika Treut 2009), which have built on innovative work from the Weimar era, such as Mädchen in Uniform (Leontine Sagan 1931), and New German Cinema, particularly Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant (1972), Faustrecht der Freiheit (1975) and Querelle (1982). Such cinematic output is in addition to a long tradition of queer German-language literature, ranging from Dietrich von der Glezze’s work from the 13th century, Der Borte, through Der Tod in Venedig (Thomas Mann 1912), to recent publications such as Sarahs Gesetz (Silvia Bovenschen 2015).

Queerness has also taken hold within the academy of the German-speaking lands, including Antke Engel’s work on the politics of representation (2002), although English-language scholarship has tended to lead the way. Key concepts within queer theory include ‘gender performativity’ from Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble (1990); ‘queer temporality’ and the focus on non-normative life schedules, gay and straight, in work by Lee Edelman (2004), J. Jack Halberstam (2005), Elizabeth Freeman (2007), and José Esteban Muñoz, (2009); while academics such as Sarah Ahmed have worked on the politics of emotion (2004) and queer phenomenology (2006). More recently, debates surrounding gay marriage and adoption have led to a scholarly exploration of queerness in relation to normativity (Robyn Wiegman and Elizabeth Wilson 2015).

Contributions exploring cultural representation and socio-political reality in the historical and/or contemporary German-speaking context are invited for the peer-reviewed tenth volume of the Edinburgh German Yearbook: Queering German Culture (Camden House).

These may include examinations of binaries and categories considered relatively fixed like gay and lesbian through to spectrums and umbrella terms such as queer. Queering German Culture seeks to feature new, theoretically informed readings that explore LGBTQ themes and/or queer otherwise straight texts. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • literature and theatre
  • film and television studies
  • painting, sculpture, photography
  • memorials and archives
  • linguistics and sociology
  • history and politics

Expressions of interest (including a 500 word abstract and 300 word bio-bibliography should be sent by Monday 14 March 2016 to Dr Leanne Dawson (University of Edinburgh)

Contributions of 6,000 – 8,000 words should be submitted by Wednesday 31 August 2016.