CFP: [Cultural-Historical] Unsere 50er Jahre? NeMLA 2008

full name / name of organization: 
Andrea Deeker
contact email: 

Northeast Modern Language Association 39th Annual Convention

April 10-13, 2008
Buffalo, NY

Panel: Unsere 50er Jahre?

In November and December 2005, the six-part documentary series "Unsere 50er
Jahre" aired on German television. Its stories of families and of everyday
life, told through interviews, sought to portray how it "really" was in
this era of the Wirtschaftswunder, the Five Year Plan, and Elvis. Five
million German households tuned in, and the book accompanying the series
topped the German best-seller list. Meanwhile, Der Spiegel began a series
on the Wirtschaftswunder, Angela Merkel attempted to rally Germans by
calling today's era "die zweiten Gründerjahre," and the 2006 Berlinale
devoted its retrospective to the glamorous "Dreamwomen of the 50s."
Commentators proclaimed the 50s the current "Sehnsuchtsjahrzehnt."

This panel seeks papers that address the current emergence of interest in
1950s Germany in popular culture, politics, and the arts. What role does
this era play in contemporary German national identity, and what is at
stake in its re-examination? How is the time between the founding of the
two German states in 1949 and the building of the wall in 1961 being
portrayed in public discourses today? Whether as a point of identification
or a point of contrast, how are those years being reinterpreted, revised,
and reappropriated todayâ€"by whom, and to what ends?

Some topic constellations for possible consideration might include
generational identifications and conflicts; continuing reconstruction,
housing crises and the large-scale plans to solve them; homecomings and
displaced peoples; the legacy of National Socialism; the drawing and
crossings of borders; sports; divided reactions to historical events,
American and Russian influences; the politics of artistic production.

Please send a 300-word abstract and a one-paragraph biographical sketch to
panel organizer Andrea Deeker ( by September 15, 2007.

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Received on Thu Aug 02 2007 - 08:17:49 EDT