On behalf of the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures, we welcome you to the website for the 25th Biennial St. Louis Symposium on German Literature and Culture. Our conference seeks to bring into view the push and pull of the national and international in Germany and Austria in the so-called Age of Nationalism, 1848-1919 through a collection of case studies toward a new approach to the literary history of the period. Viewing even overtly national(ist) literature and cultural projects as belonging to an international system, our presenters examine the interrelations of the agents, forces, enterprises, and processes that constituted the Austro-German literary-cultural field during this period. These agents include not only authors but also translators, publishers, editors, reviewers, and readers. Forces include the changing book market, industrialization, printing conventions, and new media. Enterprises include new magazines, anthologies, and the writing of national literary histories. Processes include text-based operations, such as (historical) fiction writing, translation, adaptation, and anthologization, as well as agent-based operations, such as networking. We aim to bring into view the complexities of the literary-cultural field as it was constituted in this fraught era, not just along the split between popular culture and high art famously described by Pierre Bourdieu but also along the fissures constituted by the countervailing forces of (inter/anti)nationalism as they variously positioned production and consumption of both popular and elite literature.

The Department wishes to thank Washington University's School of Arts & Sciences, the Center for the Humanities and the Program in Comparative Literature as well as the Max Kade Foundation for making this conference possible.

Event Schedule

Visit this link to see the full symposium schedule.

For more info...

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Special Collections, Olin Library Virtual Exhibit: Transnational Framings: German Visual Culture in the Age of Nationalism, 1848-1919 

6pm: Virtual Reading "Von Kaisers- und anderen alten Zeiten", Matthias Goeritz reads from his forthcoming novel Die Sprache der Sonne

Friday, September 3, 2021

Umrath Lounge

Please note that the in person events are limited to Washington University affiliated people only.

9:30-9:45am: Opening Remarks by Jean Allman, Director, Center for the Humanities; African & African-American Studies and Matt Erlin, Professor and Chair, Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures

Panel 1: Re-Drawing Borders

Moderator: André Fischer, Germanic Languages & Literatures

9:45-10:30am: "From 1848 to 1919: The Europeanists in Conflict with the Nationalists", Paul Michael Lützeler, Washington University in St. Louis
10:30-11:15am: "The Passion of Johannes Scherr 1848: Nationalliteratur und Weltliteratur", Thomas O. Beebee, Pennsylvania State University

11:15-11:45am: COFFEE BREAK

11:45am-12:30pm: Remote presentation, "Between Integration and Differentiation: On the Relationship between German and Austrian Literature in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century", Norbert Bachleitner, University of Vienna

12:30-1:30pm: LUNCH BREAK

Panel 2: Publishing Contexts

Moderator: Erin McGlothlin, Vice Dean of Undergraduate Affairs, Germanic Languages & Literatures

1:30-2:15pm: Remote presentation, "From European Symbolism to German Gesture: The International and Transnational Nationalism of Stefan George's Blätter für die Kunst", Daniela Gretz, University of Cologne
2:15-3pm: "The Face of National Literature: Canon Formation and the Early Twentieth-Century Schriftstreit, Tobias Boes, University of Notre Dame

3-3:30pm: COFFEE BREAK

Moderator: Michael Sherberg, Romance Languages & Literatures

3:30-4:15pm: "Travel, Texts, and Translation: How Ida Pfeiffer brought the World to Austria and Beyond", Kit Belgum, University of Texas at Austin
4:15-5pm: "Women's Writing as National Literature? Ernst Brausewetter's Anthologies Meisternovellen deutscher Frauen (1897-98)", Lynne Tatlock, Washington University in St. Louis

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Umrath Lounge

Please note that the in person events are limited to Washington University affiliated people only.

Panel 3: Reframing Politics and Reception

Moderator: Ignacio Infante, Comparative Literature and Romance Languages & Literatures

9-9:45am: Remote presentation, "Transmitting Africa: Literature after the Berlin/Congo Conference (1884-85)", B. Venkat Mani, University of Wisconsin-Madison
9:45-10:30am: "Visualizing the End of Empire: Stifter, Keller, Fontane", Sean Franzel, University of Missouri

10:30-11am: COFFEE BREAK

Moderator: Robert Henke, Comparative Literature and Performing Arts

11-11:45am: "Pristine Landscapes: Canon Formation, Campaigns against Trash and Smut Literature, and Reading Stifter in America", Vance Byrd, Grinnell College
11:45am-12:30pm: "Arbiter of Nation? The Strange Case of Hans Müller-Casenov's The Humour of Germany (1893)", Birgit Tautz, Bowdoin College

12:30-1:30pm: LUNCH BREAK

Panel 4: Nation and World

Moderator: Joseph Loewenstein, English Department; Director, Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities

1:30-2:15pm: "Hermann Graf Keyserling's Travel Diary of a Philosopher: Confucianism, Monarchism, and Critique of Modernity", Chunjie Zhang, University of California, Davis
2:15-3pm: "Gustav Mahler and the Austrian Idea: Music, Literature and Performance on the Margins of the Nation", Caroline Kita, Washington University in St. Louis

3-3:30pm: COFFEE BREAK

Moderator: Gerhild Scholz Williams, Germanic Languages & Literatures

3:30-4:15pm: "Eurocentraic Cosmopolitanism in Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks", Todd Kontje, University of California San Diego
4:15-5pm: "Canon Fire: Dada's Attack on National Literature", Kurt Beals, Washington University in St. Louis