“Together: Connection, Conviviality, and Celebration in 20th and 21st Century German-Language Culture,” a Panel Series at the Modern Languages Association Conference | Philadelphia, PA (20.03.2023)
Please consider submitting an abstract to the session “Together: Connection, Conviviality, and Celebration in 20th and 21st Century German-Language Culture” at the MLA conference, taking place January 4–7, 2024 in Philadelphia, PA. Submissions are due by March 20, 2023. This session is organized by the 20th- and 21st-Century German Forum.
Inspired by this year’s Presidential Theme, this session will address the topic of celebration through an exploration of togetherness, connection, and conviviality in German-language literature, film, creative practice, art, performance, politics, philosophy, or the public sphere. The dinner party, the toast, the conference, the block party, the viral post – these examples of coming together speak of a human desire to find connection, to open up toward one another in celebration. But these moments are as joyful as they are filled with angst, as inclusive as they are exclusionary; each connection runs the risk of becoming a missed connection or disconnection, a fissure in the infrastructure. Conviviality is an analytic tool for exploring what happens in these moments of coming together. It suggests that race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, citizenship, or disability should not be understood merely as individual attributes or identity categories but rather as possible encounters with difference; conviviality acts as a praxis or mode of sociality. Togetherness orients bodies, objects, and lines of thought toward one another, demands radical openness, mobilizes pleasure and imagination, and underscores futurity and possibility.
We encourage submissions that explore togetherness as a topic in German-speaking culture and in German Studies as a discipline. Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:
conviviality in rural or urban activist and organizing cultures
solidarity, alliances, coalition-building
togetherness as resistance (to capitalism, to neoliberalism, within university and professional spaces)
food and feasting (from family dinners to coffee houses)
affects and emotions of togetherness (joy, sorrow, lust, loneliness)
conviviality as queer method
exploring the temporality, space, or sound of celebration
club culture and public celebrations (parades, festivals, parties)
digital connections and viral relations
curatorial practice (museums, galleries, archives, social media timelines, online spaces)
modes of making as togetherness (collaboration, co-option, translation, intermedia, pastiche, collage)
Please submit 300-word abstracts and a short bio to Carrie Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 20, 2023. If your proposal is accepted, you must be an MLA member by April 7, 2023. You may only have two roles at the convention.