NeMLA Seelenlandschaften (Soul Landscapes) in German Children and Youth Novels

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA (49th North East Modern Language Association) Convention
contact email: 

Landscapes are a vital element in some of the most well-known German children and youth novels of the late 20th and early 21st century, e.g. Die Unendliche Geschichte(Never Ending Story) by Michael Ende, Tintenherz-Trilogie by Cornelia Funke, Die Mitte der Welt by Andreas Steinhöfel, or Tschick by Wolfgang Herrndorf. Some of those landscapes are fictional worlds inside the fiction (Ende’s Phantasia or Funke’s Ink World), others are real and yet not realistic (e.g. Phil’s romantically clichéd conception of the United States of America in Steinhöfel’s Mitte as well his notion of the Jenseitigen across from Phil’s home called Visible, and the psychological meaning of the house’s interior; or Herrndorf´s description of the German landscape in Tschick telling more about the novel's heroes than Germany´s geography/ topography). 

Some leading questions for these and other potential novels are:

· What is the power of these landscapes?

· What do they mean?

· Which meanings do they carry, both for children, youth, and adult readers?

· How are they conveyed in the fiction?

· How can we dissect and re-construct these landscapes with our interpretations?

· How do movie adaptations of these novels take into account the representation of the various landscapes? Can they convey the potential meaning(s) the written word carries?

· What is the impetus symbolic meaning(s) of landscape in German have on readers’ identity of German children and youth novels?

The goal of this session is to discuss the various approaches to landscape analysis and interpretation (e.g. through creative approaches such as re-telling, drawing, or building in Minecraft), to compare them with their respective movie adaptations, and express the importance of symbolic and real spaces for the mental and intellectual development of younger readers, and its relevance for identity formation (e.g. as reading text in middle and high school or higher education).

We invite proposals on German children and youth novels from the late 20th / early 21st century with a focus on innovative interpretation approaches (e.g. re-telling, drawing, or building in Minecraft), on respective movie adaptations, and on the impact of symbolic and real spaced for the mental and intellectual development of younger readers and its relevance for identity formation e.g. as reading text in middle and high school or higher education.

DescriptionThe panel invites proposals on German children and youth novels from the late 20th / early 21st century with a focus on innovative interpretation approaches (e.g. re-telling, drawing, or building in Minecraft), on respective movie adaptations, and on the impact of symbolic and real spaced for the mental and intellectual development of younger readers and its relevance for identity formation e.g. as reading text in middle and high school or higher education. https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/17045