Borders and Boundaries: Belonging in Contemporary German Literature

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA 2017

In 2012, Germany became the second largest immigration country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, after the United States. As numbers of migrants to the EU continue to climb, debates about Germany’s status as an Einwanderungsland have become increasingly charged. The complex effects of this most recent experience are far from unprecedented in Germany’s national history, however. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, Germany witnessed dramatic shifts not only in its population and national borders, but also in its notions of belonging, citizenship and foreignness. From guest workers in the postwar era to national restructuring in the reunification period, to the contemporary context of refugees and migrants, Germany has faced questions related to the impact of immigration and integration and to the evolving contours of foreignness and national identity in the political arena, but politicians are not the only voices wrestling with the complexity of these issues.

This panel seeks to explore the diverse perspectives on these questions found in contemporary German literature, particularly those works that challenge dominant narratives on this subject. We invite papers which explore cultural responses to the ideas of the Other, transnationalism, relationships between immigrants and citizens and how they do or do not evolve, national communities, cosmopolitanism and xenophobia. Also welcome are submissions that explore notions of space and place, and urban or rural landscapes as related to the topics of home, borders, belonging and foreignness. Submissions from a range of disciplines, including but not limited to German, Afro German, Turkish German, and Jewish German Studies as well as Migrant/Minority Studies, Memory Studies, European Studies, European History, Comparative Literature and Linguistics are encouraged.

This panel will be a part of the 48th Annual NeMLA Convention, March 23-26, 2017, in Baltimore, MD. Interested authors should submit 250-300-word abstracts through the CFP list on NeMLA's website:

Submissions must also include the author's full name, email address and institutional affiliation and must be received by September 30th, 2016.

For submission guidelines, go to:

Accepted panelists must be members of NeMLA by December 5, 2016, and register for the conference by the same date in order to present. Inquiries: Inga Wildermuth (