NeMLA 2024 CfP: Swiss Studies as a Multilingual Literary Venture

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association

Swiss Studies as a Multilingual Literary Venture


Northeast Modern Language Association


Submission Deadline: September 30, 2023, at:



With a recognized four national languages, and many more spoken, Switzerland occupies a dynamic and nuanced linguistic landscape. Most of the Swiss population communicates multilingually daily, and younger people are ever more likely to use more than one language in their spoken and written interactions. These increasingly multilingual movements beckon one to in turn consider Swiss literature beyond a singular national language paradigm and to expand one’s concepts of the dynamic role language plays in literary works and expressions of daily life.

This panel seeks to trace the contours of this movement by inviting contributions by scholars working in the linguistic and literary traditions of Switzerland. We will seek to make connections between those languages officially recognized (German, French, Italian, and Romansh) as well as languages regularly used. We may also interrogate the effects caused by the increasingly dominant use of English in this landscape. Possible questions to pose could include, but are not limited by, the following:

· In what ways does the Uniun per la Litteratura Rumantscha (Union for Romansch Literature) respond to its unique positionality to establish a community of writers in the Swiss literary landscape?

· How does this multilayered communicative system inform the writings and work of Swiss-French writers in the 20th and 21st centuries (e.g., Catherine Colomb, Philippe Jaccottet, Jacques Chessex, Grisélidis Réal)?

· To what extent does their identity as speakers of Swiss-Italian add nuance to the work of writers such as Pietro Pen, Giorgio Orelli, Giovanni Orelli, Fabio Pusterla?

· How do contemporary writers in the Swiss-German literary tradition (e.g., Hermann Hesse, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Erika Burkart, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Silja Walter) relate to a linguistically diverse world?

· What are the implications of an ever-increasing reliance on English in the literature?




In this panel, we view the literatures and languages of Switzerland as located within a dynamically intertwined landscape. As such, we will think of literary endeavors as placed within a connected ecosystem, rather than isolated instances.


Additional Information

For questions or concerns, please contact the session organizer at: