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CFP: WIGS 2012 conference

Call for Papers: Women in German Studies Open Conference

About Time: Conceptualising and representing temporality

in German, Swiss and Austrian culture

University College Dublin, 28-30 June 2012

The organising committee is pleased to invite proposals from members and non-members (women and men) for papers of ca 20 minutes duration on the conference theme. Papers may be given in either English or German. Please send abstracts of max. 250 words to Gillian Pye (Gillian.pye@ucd.ie) by Monday 13th February 2012.


Postgraduate members of WiGS who have held membership for at least three months prior to the submission of a claim are eligible to apply for a modest grant to help towards the cost of travelling to the conference. Further information can be found here.


About Time: Conceptualising and representing temporality

in German, Swiss and Austrian culture

Time is an inescapable dimension of human life. It is both the medium within which we operate and the driving force behind our actions. Not only do the rhythms of our bodies motivate the basic activities of survival, but our general awareness that life is finite also prompts us to do something with ‘our’ time. But ‘our’ time, so intrinsic to individual action, cannot in fact be disentangled from wider cultural processes. As Nancy Munn observes, even talking about time involves ‘using media already encoded with temporal meanings.’ (1992, 94)

At the beginning of the twenty-first century the complexity of time is attracting renewed attention. Not least, a heightened sense of simultaneity and the dominance of social practices which seem to demand a daily ‘virtual performance of being in touch’ (Hunt, 2008: 14) demand a re-engagement with constructions and conceptualisations of time, both past and present. In the German-speaking world, the need for such a re-engagement also arises from the direction taken by debates since the end of communism and in the light of an increasing distance to the Second World War. This includes, for example, concerns such as genealogical periodisation, the relationship between daily time and historical narrative or the interrelationship between space, time and belonging.

This conference aims to explore the issue of time in German, Austrian and Swiss culture from any period in history. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Controlling time and political agency; time, eternity and the spiritual; history and time; gendered constructions of time; time and the body; ecological crisis and the conceptualisation of time; scientific discourses of time; the impact of technologies on constructions and representations of time; attention; acceleration; linguistic perspectives on time and tenses; periodisation.



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