full name / name of organization:
Dr Maartje Abbenhuis and Dr Sara Buttsworth
We are seeking offers to contribute to a collection, provisionally entitled: Monsters in the Mirror:
Representations of Nazism in Post-War Popular Culture. The collection aims to bring together an
interdisciplinary range of studies on the perennial fascination with all things â€˜Naziâ€™ in the modern
world. As teachers of the history of Nazi Germany, we are astonished by the lack of critical
attention paid to the proliferation of Nazi symbols, Nazi culture, Nazi ideology, and
characterisations of Hitler in the post-war era. Nazidom remains an obsession for many even
though more than sixty years have passed since the demise of Hitlerâ€™s regime. The archetypal
image of â€˜the Naziâ€™â€“jackboots and allâ€“is commensurate with â€˜ultimate evilâ€™ in many cultural
representations and in the general public understanding. In other representations, a glorified
acontextual idea of the Nazi past is fetishised and glamorised. In advertising, â€˜Hitlerâ€™ sells almost
as well as sex. We wish to investigate these representations and the obsessions that surround
them and ask the following questions: Why has Nazidom become a cultural constant and a frame
of reference so frequently drawn upon that it is commonplace? How has the Nazi past been
acontextually appropriated for all manner of cultural and political ends? In what ways are Nazi
references part of every-day culture? This collection seeks to fill a major gap in the academic
literature on the legacies of Nazi Germany and the politics of popular culture.
To this end, we call for interested academics to submit a 500-word abstract to us by 1 November
2008 (address below). Please include a brief bio and a full CV. We would expect full papers
(9,000 words, including references) by 1 June 2009.
We encourage submissions from a range of fields including, but not restricted to, history,
cultural studies, music, film and media studies, literary studies, and gender studies. We welcome
a variety of approaches including studies across time, geography, and comparative cultural
Possible subjects for investigation:
- depictions of â€˜ultimate evilâ€™, Hitler characterisations, and the Hitler myth in all forms of
- investigations of neo-Nazi and Nazi symbology in popular music eg Laibach, Ministry,
126.96.36.199s, TISM, Prussian Blue.
- the appropriation of Nazi figures in science fiction (literary, filmic, and televisual) eg Buffy
the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Starship Troopers, The Tomorrow People, Twilight Zone.
- the Nazi past in mainstream fiction, film, and television aimed at children and/or adults.
- Nazi depictions in comic books and comic-book adaptations eg X-Men, Superman, Hellboy,
League of Justice, V for Vendetta.
- the obsession with the history of Nazi Germany and Hitler in popular television
programming eg the History Channel, news reporting.
- fringe cultural and social movements eg skinheads, gang culture.
- the selling and commodification of Nazism eg the use of Nazi symbols and ideas in
advertising, the market for Nazi kitsch, â€˜Nazi chicâ€™, and the collecting of Nazi memorabilia.
- the fetishisation of Nazi culture eg in pornography.
- the use of the Nazi past as a frame of reference in the media and in political culture.
- the acontextual glorification of selected parts of the Nazi past eg fascination with military
regalia and military achievements (such as Blitzkrieg) and re-enactment of World War II battles eg
computer gaming, the Beltring â€˜War and Peace Showâ€™.
- the pitfalls of teaching Nazi Germany.
- voyeurism of the horrors of the Nazi past eg grief tourism.
- depictions of the Holocaust, or lack thereof, in respect to any of the above.
The editors, Dr Maartje Abbenhuis and Dr Sara Buttsworth, both from the Department of History
at the University of Auckland, have recently completed a collection entitled Restaging War in the
Western World: Non-Combatantsâ€™ Experiences, 1890 â€“ Today (New York: Palgrave, forthcoming,
2009). Maartje is Senior Lecturer in Modern European History, specialising in neutrality studies
and the historical application of borderlandsâ€™ theory. Her first book was published by Amsterdam
University Press entitled The Art of Staying Neutral. The Netherlands in the First World War, 1914
â€“ 1918. (Amsterdam, 2006). Sara is Senior Tutor in the department. Her areas of expertise are
gender, war, and popular culture. Her first book was published in 2007: Body Count: Gender and
Soldier Identity in Australia and the United States (SaarbrÃ¼cken, VDM Verlag Dr MÃ¼ller). Both Sara
and Maartje were drawn to the need for this study based on their experiences teaching the
history and legacies of Nazi Germany.
For more information, please contact:
Dr Maartje Abbenhuis and Dr Sara Buttsworth
Department of History
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
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Received on Mon Jun 02 2008 - 23:55:01 EDT