CfP 2016


GDGSA Conference 2016


Living, Loving, & Leaving Home

October 21–22, 2016

Keynote Speaker:

Prof. Mark Louden

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Call for Papers

It has been said that “there’s no place like home”; but if this is so, what is meant by “a home away from home”? Across time and space, concepts of home (or Heimat) take on very different forms both for individuals and for society. This has particular relevance in our own time. For instance, recent months have seen the relocation of millions of refugees to Central Europe. How do natives and newcomers alike negotiate new ways of understanding home? By the same token, in a world that seems to be growing ever more mobile, how are conceptions of home being retained, and how are they being redefined?

This conference seeks to shed light on the many ways of expressing just what “home” is, or might be, in the context of Germanic studies. We encourage submissions from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Questions that can serve as a starting point for reflection include—but are not limited to—the following:


  • How are concepts of homeland and Heimat employed in the literary domain?—What are different ways of expressing “home” (geographic, linguistic, cultural, political, etc.)?
  • How do expatriate and émigré authors regard or critique their homes, both new and old?


  • What role does being a native speaker play in phonology, phonetics, and syntax?—Does linguistic nativeness really even exist?
  • What does it mean for a language or language family to have an Urheimat, and what relevance does this have for speakers?

Second Language Acquisition

  • How might language-learning foster a sense of multiple “homes”?
  • What advantages or challenges can speakers with heritage knowledge encounter in the language classroom?

Cultural Studies

  • What is the relationship between culture and geography?—In what sense may a culture (not) have a homeland?
  • How do German-speaking societies around the world perceive concepts of home or homeland?

Abstracts for single- or multi-authored 20-minute presentations should be no more than 300 words and are due by May 31st, 2016. The primary language of this conference will be English, but submissions in German 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 email address. Please submit your abstracts to Matthew Boutilier at For further details on the conference, keynote speaker, and accommodations (including the option to stay with UW-Madison students), please see our conference website: