Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Professor Allyson Fiddler (University of Lancaster)
Professor Jonathan Long (University of Durham)
Professor Dagmar C. G. Lorenz (University of Illinois at Chicago)
and award-winning documentary filmmaker Dr Ruth Beckermann
Austrian society has undergone many shifts since the late 1980s. The most significant of these was the Waldheim affair of 1985-1988, which was a turning-point in Austrian society, sparking the beginning of a belated process of coming to terms with the country’s National Socialist past. The Waldheim affair saw a young generation of artists and intellectuals lead a protest movement against the presidential candidate, who had lied about his Nazi past. This generation was instrumental in the formation of a civil society and oppositional culture in Austria (Lorenz 2004), both during the Waldheim affair and following the 1999 elections, which saw the far-right Austrian Freedom Party enter the coalition government in 2000. In their literary works, figures such as Gerhard Roth, Elfriede Jelinek, Robert Schindel, Anna Mitgutsch, Doron Rabinovici and Robert Menasse have continued to offer incisive commentaries on the shadow that Austria’s past continues to exert on the country’s present. In the genre of film, new federal support for filmmaking and the rise of New Austrian Film in the 1980s led to a wave of innovative and socially-critical films in diverse genres, a trend that has continued to this day, with directors such as Michael Haneke, Ulrich Seidl, Stefan Ruzowitzky, Ruth Beckermann, Florian Flicker, and Barbara Albert testifying to the vitality of contemporary Austrian cinema. In addition to internal political shifts, wider geopolitical changes have also not failed to leave their mark on Austria. Since the early 1990s the country has found itself once more at the heart of Central Europe, following the fall of the ‘Iron Curtain’ and Austria’s entry into the European Union in 1995. Here too, Austrian artists have been at the forefront of responses to immigration and a changing continent. The conference aims to examine these trends in Austrian literary and cultural production over the past thirty years.
Abstracts are invited for papers of 20 minutes duration that relate to, but are not limited to, the following topics:
* treatments of Austria’s National Socialist past and the Holocaust in contemporary Austrian literature, theatre, film and culture (including memorial and commemorative practices)
* writing and cultural production by minorities in contemporary Austria (including works by contemporary Austrian-Jewish writers, filmmakers and cultural practitioners)
* responses to migration in contemporary Austrian literature, film and culture
* social criticism in contemporary Austrian literature, film and culture
* protest culture in Austria since 1985
* popular culture in contemporary Austria
* representations of Austria in contemporary transnational literature and film
Papers demonstrating innovative theoretical and methodological approaches are particularly welcome. Please send abstracts (max. 300 words), together with your name, institutional affiliation, and a short biographical note (max. 100 words) to Dr Katya Krylova (K.Krylova@nottingham.ac.uk) by 15 July 2014.
We are in discussions with Peter Lang Oxford with regard to publishing an edited volume arising from the conference.
Conference Organiser: Dr Katya Krylova (University of Nottingham)
Conference Committee: Professor Allyson Fiddler (University of Lancaster), Professor Dirk Göttsche (University of Nottingham), Dr Hillary Hope Herzog (University of Kentucky), Dr Todd Herzog (University of Cincinnati), Mag. Elisabeth Kögler (Austrian Cultural Forum London), Professor Florian Krobb (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Professor Jonathan Long (University of Durham), Professor Dagmar C. G. Lorenz (University of Illinois at Chicago), Professor Nicola McLelland (University of Nottingham), Professor Imke Meyer (University of Illinois at Chicago), Dr Manfred Mittermayer (University of Salzburg/ Literaturarchiv Salzburg), Dr Andrea Reiter (University of Southampton), Professor Andrew Webber (University of Cambridge), Professor Roger Woods (University of Nottingham)
Conference sponsors: The University of Nottingham, The Leverhulme Trust, The Austrian Cultural Forum London