115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Memory and Migration in German-Language Literature and Film

Session Chair: 
Friederike von Schwerin-High, Pomona College
Session 4: Friday 3 – 4:30 pm
Henry 210


  1. Karin Bauer, McGill University
    Shifting the focus of critical investigation away from narratives of trauma, autobiographical and biographical detail, and personal experience—all of which are undoubtedly central to Herta Müller’s text— to questions of memory, this paper seeks to explore how Müller’s novel Atemschaukel participates in reshaping German cultural memory.
  2. Petra Fiero, Western Washington University
    By juxtaposing the transnational voices of Muslim and Christian asylum seekers in a transit camp, and a Jewish Shoah-survivor who was housed in this same erstwhile DP camp, with those of overwhelmed politicians and right-wing nationals, Vertlib’s play about the refugee crisis of 2015 challenges notions of a univocal representation of the past. 
  3. Friederike von Schwerin-High, Pomona College
    Three recent German novels, Jenny Erpenbeck’s Gehen, ging, gegangen, Bodo Kirchhoff’s Widerfahrnis  and Elisabeth Wintermantel’s Yaron dramatize encounters between newly arrived young refugees and newly retired German professionals. The encounters bring about complex and nuanced acts of empathetic learning. Even while portraying  the cruelties of bureaucracy, policing and traumatization, the novels offer glimpses of the old and the new residents becoming transformed by and indispensable to each other.    
Session Cancelled: