Call for Papers UW Madison 2015 .pdf

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The 17th Annual Conference of the German and Dutch Graduate Student Association
at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Relative to What?
Exploring Concepts of Identity and Family in Germanic Studies
November 13-14, 2015
Madison, Wisconsin
Keynote Speaker:
Katharina Brizić
Berkeley Language Center, University of California, Berkeley
University of Freiburg

Call for Papers
Issues of identity and family have important consequences for individuals and for societies. Changes to
Germany’s dual citizenship laws in 2014 highlighted the question “Who is German?” and Austria continues to
revise partnership and adoption legislation, recognizing new family structures. In an increasingly global and
technology-driven landscape, scholarly investigations inform our understanding of how identities are
(de)constructed and the ways people relate to each other. Improved access to data from the past and present,
such as census data and genetic analyses, have also enabled researchers to gain critical insights into cultural
and linguistic phenomena.
With such developments in mind, this conference aims to examine literal and metaphorical families and
identities through the lenses offered by Germanic Studies. We encourage submissions from both historical and
contemporary perspectives, and questions that can serve as a starting point for reflection include, but are not
limited to:
 How are concepts related to family and identity represented in literature?
 What insights do different genres, including the Familienroman, lend to an understanding of “family”?
 How can we better understand the language varieties that result from contact situations, both within and across
language families?
 What linguistic similarities and differences exist between generations of heritage language speakers?
Second Language Acquisition
 What role do language learners’ biographies play in the language classroom and in the language learning process?
 How can the concepts “relatedness” and “familiarity” shed light on second language acquisition?
Culture Studies
 How has migration in and out of Germany influenced the identities of individuals and families?
 What concepts of family exist in Germanic language-speaking societies, how have these developed, and how have
they been portrayed across different forms of media?

Abstracts for single or multi-authored 20 minute presentations should be no more than 300 words and
are due by May 1, 2015. The primary language of this conference will be English, but submissions in German or
Dutch are also welcome. Abstracts should not include the presenter’s name. Please include the following as a
separate attachment: name, title of paper, department and university affiliation, phone number, and e-mail
address. Please submit your abstracts to Christine Evans at For further details on the
conference, keynote speaker, and accommodations (including the option to stay with UW-Madison graduate
students), please see our conference website:

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