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Beyond Sebald: New Trajectories in Sebald Studies

A call for papers is making the rounds:

Call for Papers 

Beyond Sebald: New Trajectories in Sebald Studies 

A One-Day Postgraduate Workshop

University of Leeds, Tuesday 2nd May 2017, 12:30–16:30

We invite you to join us for a one-day postgraduate workshop at the University of Leeds to discuss the opportunities and challenges of studying W. G. Sebald today. We are particularly interested in two interrelated questions: first, what are the new directions for Sebald scholarship? And second, how do contemporary writers, artists, and filmmakers respond to or challenge the “Sebaldian”?

Sebald’s work is known for its bricolage of styles, genres, modalities, and interests. Combining fiction with photography, travel-writing with memoir, and essay with historiography, Sebald’s influence stretches far and wide. While the foremost studies of Sebald’s work – including Hutchinson, McCulloh, Fuchs, Denham, Wolff, and Long, among many others – emphasise issues pertaining to the overlap of Holocaust memory, trauma, and textual hybridity, our workshop is especially interested in exploring new avenues that go “beyond” Sebald. For example, how might we read Sebald alongside theorisations of the anthropocene? What happens to Sebald’s work when it is refracted through the novels of contemporary authors such as Teju Cole, Ben Lerner, Sergio Chejfec, or Micheline Aharonian Marcom? What does Sebald’s Austerlitz offer for thinking through current the refugee crisis?

Our event will begin with a keynote presentation by Dr. Helen Finch, who will discuss her current research on Sebald in the context of German Holocaust Literature, focusing especially on canonicity, witnessing, and remediation. Dr. Finch will join us for the full afternoon and PGRs will greatly benefit from her participation in the conversation. Workshop participants are also invited to attend to Prof. Astrid Erll’s (Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main) evening lecture on Transcultural Memory as part of the Sadler Seminar series Confronting Traumatic Pasts: Between the Local and the Global.

We welcome abstracts for short position papers, lasting between ten and fifteen minutes, that reflect on – but are by no means limited to – the following topics:

  • (Re)assessing Sebald’s form and style, both in and beyond his texts
  • Affect studies
  • Climate change, the anthropocene, planetarity
  • Technology, photography, film, the digital
  • Feminism and critical masculinities
  • The posthuman, the animal
  • Borders, migration, and refugees

Please send a short abstract (200 words) and biography (max. 100 words) to by Monday 10th April, 2017. 

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