CFP – Innovative Modern Bodies

NeMLA Convention
March 11-14, 2021
Stichtag: 2020 09 30

5 to 10 participants complete and circulate papers prior to the convention, then give brief presentations followed by an exchange among participants. Respondents may be invited by the chair.

Primary Subject Area: German Studies
Secondary Subject Area: Cultural and Media Studies

Innovative depictions of real and imagined bodies, their movements, and their contexts abound in German literary and cultural modernism. Breaking with previous traditions, modernist works demonstrate a search for new forms of expression and ways of conceptualizing bodies–including human and non-human, organic and cyborg, differently abled, and differently sexed and gendered bodies. Recent scholarship has often dealt with modernist bodies in the contexts of interdisciplinary fields such as animal studies, disability studies, emotion studies; performance, dance, and theatre studies; queer studies; science and technology studies, and other areas, yet the push to interdisciplinarity has often left scholars siloed in subfields. In bringing together interdisciplinary approaches to modernist bodies, we hope that transdisciplinary conversations will help participants challenge their own disciplinary assumptions and produce more nuanced scholarship. This format would also allow scholars at multiple career stages to explore possible collaborations and broaden networks. As participants will precirculate papers, they will have the opportunity to give and receive more substantive feedback that may help move a project to the next stage.

This seminar invites contributions from scholars of literary, media, and cultural studies–in the aforementioned areas and beyond–that engage with the body in the modernist context. What constitutes a modern(ist) body and how does innovative scholarship of today enhance our understanding of these bodies? What real and imagined bodies emerged in the modernist era and how do they deepen our understanding of modernism itself? How do innovative ways of engaging with scholarship (e.g., digital humanities, collaborative work, practice-as-research) push the boundaries of more traditional work on modernism?

Seminar participants will be asked to pre-circulate a 7-9 page paper, prepare questions for discussion, and respond to two assigned papers at more length. 

Please submit abstracts by September 30, 2020 to the NeMLA website (membership not required for submission; will be required if accepted):

To access this CFP and submit and abstract:

Use this link to access all NeMLA 2021CFPs:

Please contact the co-chairs with any questions: 

Meagan Tripp (she/her/hers), Assistant Professor of German at Franklin & Marshall College,

Holly Yanacek (she/her/hers), Assistant Professor of German at James Madison University,

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