Local Narratives / Global Narratives of Identity

[Programme] [Abstracts]

A WIGS conference hosted by the University of Bath
1-3 September 2003
Open to non-members

In the last decade Germany has experienced a period of political and cultural turbulence which many attribute to the combined challenges of unification and globalisation. The response to this growing exposure to global markets, politics and migration in a period of national reconstruction has been a renationalisation of dominant discourses. At the same time Germany (and German Studies) has seen a renewed interest in the regional and global as a space for the construction of identities. This conference set out to explore these contradictory trends with particular emphasis on developments in Germany since the 1970s, although papers treating earlier periods were also included. The main strands of the conference, reflected in the research interests of the invited keynote speakers, included an exploration of identities in Eastern Germany since unification, a reassessment of 'Heimat' in a global context, and migrant identities in Germany today. It is hoped that a selection of papers will be published in a special edition of German Monitor.

Invited keynote speakers included:

Chris Weedon, Professor of Critical and Cultural Theory, Cardiff [Author of Cultural Politics: Class, Gender, Race and the Postmodern World]
Azade Seyhan, Bryn Mawr College [Author of Writing outside the Nation]

Additionally, the Romanian author Carmen-Francesca Banciu, who lives and works in Berlin and writes on Germany, and the Austrian writer Elisabeth Reichart both read from their recent and earlier works relating to the conference topic. These readings were generously supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Goethe Institut Inter Nationes.

The conference was organised by Karoline von Oppen and Renate Rechtien.

Click here for abstracts

Conference Programme

Monday 1st September
11.00 - 12.00 Registration [8 West 2.6]
12.00 - 13.00 Lunch in Choices Restaurant
13.00 - 14.00 PLENARY [8 West 2.1]:
  Chris Weedon (Cardiff), 'The Local and the Global in the Construction of Identities: A Cultural Studies Approach'.
14.00 - 15.30 PLENARY [8 West 2.1]:
  Elizabeth Boa (Nottingham), 'Three Village Tales: global localities in 1794, 1922 and 1985'.
  Rachel Palfreyman (Nottingham), 'Sudden Wealth and Going West': Critical Utopias in Heimat Films from Volker Schlöndorff to Stefan Ruzowitzky'.
15.30 - 16.15 Coffee/tea [Pick up room keys]
16.15 - 17.00 PLENARY [8 West 2.1]:
  Juliet Wigmore (Salford), 'From "das Haus Österreich" to "Häuser in Österreich". Local, Transnational and Global Images of House, Home and Heimat in Works by Ingeborg Bachmann, Elisabeth Reichart and Elfriede Jelinek'.
17.00 - 18.30 READING: Elisabeth Reichart will read from her work.
18.30 - 19.30 Dinner in Choices Restaurant followed by evening in Parade Bar [on campus]
Tuesday 2nd September
08.00 - 09.00 Breakfast in Choices Restaurant / Registration [8 West 2.6]
09.30 -11.00 PARALLEL [8 West 2.5 / 8 West 2.10]:
  1) Heimat Ost:
  Jean Conacher (Limerick), '"Die Sehnsucht nach Zugehörigkeit": Heimat in the Works of Helga Königsdorf'.
  Joanne Sayner (Bath), '"Ich lebe nicht wirklich in dieser Zeit": Negotiations of National and Local Identities in Elfriede Brüning's post-Wende writings'.
  Susanne Shanks (Goldsmiths), 'From Speculation to Reflection, from Memory to Fantasy - Acknowledging Local Identity in East German Narratives'.
  2) Representations of History:
  Brigid Haines (Swansea), '"Barren Territory for Grand Narratives?": Czech History in the Works of Libuse Monίková (1945-1998)'.
  Michaela Gigerl (Bristol), 'Frauen als völkerverbindende Friedensengel in "1. April 2000" und der "Sissi"-Trilogie, zwei filmischen Meilensteinen im Kontext der Re-Austrifizierung und nationalen Identitätsfindung Österreichs'.
  Margaret Littler (Manchester), 'Dangerous Comparisons: The Representation of History in Zafer Senocak's Gefährliche Verwandtschaft'.
11.00 - 11.30 Coffee/tea
11.30 - 12.30 PARALLEL [8 West 2.5 / 8 West 2.10]:
  1) Negotiating the New Germany:
  Elizabeth Catling (Exeter), '"Aber die schönste Auszeichnung ist doch am Abend die Begeisterung des Publikums": (Re) Positioning the East German Theatre after Unification'.
  Anna Saunders (Bristol), '"Die hätten vielleicht die Grenzen aufmachen können, aber keine Vereinigung.": Narratives of a Young East German Generation'.
  2) Globalisation and Literary Production:
  Beth Linklater (Swansea), '"Ich fahr nach Paris und ich fahr nach Tokio, nach Lissabon, Bern, Antwerpen und Rom, ich fahr um die Welt und I'm just lookin' for you, glaub mir, ich suche nur dich." Germany as Background. Global Concerns in Recent Women's Writing in German'.
  Wiebke Sievers (Warwick), 'Von der rumäniendeutschen Anti-Heimat zum Inbild kommunistischen Grauens: Die Rezeption Herta Müllers in der BRD, in Grossbritannien und in Frankreich'.
12.30 - 13.30 Lunch in Choices Restaurant
13.30 -15.00 PARALLEL [8 West 2.5 / 8 West 2.10]:
  1) Memories of the Holocaust in the 1990s:
  Andrea Hammel (Sussex), 'The Globalisation of Personal Histories: Autobiographical Texts by German-Jewish Survivors'.
  Katie Rickard (Bath), '"Sie haben mit dem Widerstand deutsche Geschichte geschrieben. Das bleibt ein Auftrag an uns alle" (Johannes Rau, 2003) Contemporary Commemoration of the Weisse Rose as a Focus for German National Identity after Reunification'.
  Undine Weber (Rhodes), '"Il mal seme d'Adamo". Zu Wolfgang Koeppens Nachkriegstrilogie und neuester Literatur über den Umgang mit dem Holocaust und über die deutsche Vergangenheitsbewältigung'.
  2) Border Crossings:
  Kathryn Jones (Cardiff), 'Origins and Displacement in Maren Sell's Mourir d'absence'.
  Margot Paterson (Norwich), 'Crossing Borders in J.M.R.Lenz "Empfindsamsten Aller Romane"'
  Claudia Gremler (Bath), 'Transit Berlin - Achim von Borries' Film England!'.
15.00 - 16.00 Coffee/tea - Break
16.00 - 17.00 PLENARY [8 West 2.1]
  Azade Seyhan (Bryn Mawr), 'From Istanbul to Berlin: Stations on the Road to a Transcultural/Translational Literature.'
17.00 - 18.30 READING: Carmen-Francesca Banciu will read from her work.
19.00 Wine reception: The Deputy Major of Bath [Counsellor Carol Paradise] will address the conference followed by the Conference Dinner in Wessex Rooms [Parade Bar open all evening]
Wednesday 3rd September
08.00 - 09.00 Breakfast in Choices Restaurant
09.00 - 10.30 PARALLEL [8 West 2.5 / 8 West 2.10]:
  1) Literary Representations of Difference:
  Sabine Fischer (),Title to be announced
  Ellie Kennedy (Queens, Kingston), 'Picaresque Encounters in Katja Behrens's Die Vagantin (1997)'.
  2) Legacies of the Left:
  Andrea Reiter (Southampton), 'Exil und Identität. Die Konversionsmythen der Kommunistischen Renegaten'.
  Mererid Puw Davies (UCL), '"Auschwitz unserer Generation": Vietnam in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1960s and 1970s'.
  Karoline von Oppen (Bath), German Intellectuals and the Kosovo War
10.30 - 11.00 Coffee/tea
11.00 - 12.00 PARALLEL [8 West 2.5 / 8 West 2.10]:
  1) Otherness and Place:
  Annette Seidel-Arpaci (Leeds), '"Ich lass mir meinen Körper Schwarz bepinseln": Shifting the Boundaries of 'Otherness' in The Empty Centre'.
  Marielle Sutherland (UCL), 'The Global Body in the Poetry of Rolf Dieter Brinkmann'.
  2) Globalisation and German Society:
  Martha Wörsching (Loughborough), 'Gender and Sport in the German Quality Press: the Global and the Domestic in Images of Advertising'.
  Mechthild M. Matheja-Theaker (UWE), '"Reiches Deutschland - arme Mädchen?" Poverty and Deprivation amongst Children and Young Women'.
12.00 - 13.00 Lunch in Choices Restaurant
13.00 - 14.00 PLENARY [8 West 2.5]
  Nina Lemmens (DAAD) 'The Changing Role of the DAAD'
14.00 - 15.00 AGM
15.00 - 15.30 Coffee/tea. End of Conference and Departure.