27 December 2010

CFP: The Neighbor

Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference "The Neighbor" at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, 11-13 March 2011


Call for papers

Description: "The image of 'the neighbor' evokes both nearness and distance, familiarity and foreignness, belonging and isolation. Pregnant with implications for kinship, community, and affiliation particular to the German-speaking world, the concept of 'the neighbor' has engendered numerous meditations on hospitality and love by thinkers from Luther and Kant to Freud, Schmitt, and Rosenzweig. At the same time, the presence of neighbors has often served as the basis for ostracism and exclusion, as an incitement to war, or as fuel for fantasies about local and global neighborhoods. How do we identify a 'neighbor' or 'neighborhood' in our current age of increased migration and mobility? How might an examination of these themes enrich our understanding of not only genocide and violence but also exchange, aid, and co-operation? For the conference, we are encouraging a comparative approach by seeking perspectives on 'neighbors' and 'neighborhoods' from scholars working in literature, history, linguistics, film, media studies, anthropology, and the social sciences.

"Possible topics include but are not limited to: The Notion of Neighbors Inside and Outside the European Union; Reactions in Theology, Philosophy, or Ethics to the Imperative 'Love Your Neighbor'; The Role of the Neighbor in Identity Formation and Identity Politics; The Status of Friends, Enemies, and Neighbors in Geographical and Territorial Disputes; Rivalries and Diplomacy between Neighbors on a Local, Regional, or National Scale; The Construction of Dialects vis-à-vis Neighbors; Linguistic Interaction between Neighboring Regions; Community, Isolation, or Gentrification in Urban Neighborhoods; The Kiez in Berlin, Grätzl in Vienna, or Veedel in Cologne; Images of Neighborhoods in Suburban and Rural Settings; The Subjection of Neighbors to Suspicion and Surveillance; Cohabitation, Intimacy and Proximity in Collective Memory; The Status of the Neighbor Before and After die Wende; Media and Neighbors in the Global Village"

Keynote speaker: Kenneth Reinhard (Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UCLA and co-author, with Slavoj Žižek and Eric L. Santner, of "The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology" [University of Chicago Press, 2005])

To participate, please send a 250-word abstract in English or German with a separate cover sheet indicating the proposed title, author's name, affiliation, and e-mail address to: neighbor@berkeley.edu

Deadline: 3 January 2011

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