CFP: W.G. Sebald and the Poetics of Travel (3/25/06; MLA '06)

full name / name of organization: 
Markus Zisselsberger
contact email: 

CALL FOR PAPERS: W. G. Sebald and the Poetics of Travel (3/25/2006; MLA '06)

Abstracts are invited for a proposed special session at the annual Modern
Language Association Conference in Philadelphia, PA, 27-30 December 2006.

German writer W. G. Sebald once identified the activity of travel and, in
particular, walking, as the central poetics of his writing, calling walking
"a form of unsystematic searching" that allows the writer to "find odd
details that lead you somewhere else." This "unsystematic searching" serves
as an investigative method in Sebald's prose texts, whose narrators
frequently venture into both familiar and unfamiliar territories in the
attempt to follow the traces of others that cross their path. Sebald thus
appropriates travel in its various historical and cultural forms—such as the
educational journey, the pilgrimage, and the walking tour—to create
intertextual narratives in which the pursuit of individual life-stories is
linked to the mapping of a wider European cultural history of loss and

Proposals are invited that explore any aspect of travel, particularly in its
relationship to writing, in Sebald's literary and essayistic work.

Submit 300-word abstracts with title and brief c.v. (preferably as Microsoft
Word email attachments) by March 25, 2006 to: Markus Zisselsberger at Presenters must hold a Ph.D.

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Received on Mon Feb 27 2006 - 12:18:59 EST