2015 Conference Information

The Thirty-Ninth Annual Conference of the German Studies Association will take place from October 1 to October 4, 2015, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway. Arlington, Virginia 22202. Many of our members will be familiar with the hotel, as this will be our fourth meeting there since 2001. For those members from outside North America who may be visiting the area for the first time, Arlington is directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The hotel is located on a Metro line that is very convenient both to the Ronald Reagan National Airport and to downtown Washington.

This conference again promises to be one of the larger gatherings in our history. Following two years of successful experiments with a series of intensive, three-day seminars, this year we are offering twenty-five seminars on a wide range of issues in German Studies. As was the case last year, the seminars will run concurrently on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the 8:00 a.m. time block. Once again we are scheduling three Sunday time slots in order to accommodate the large number of excellent sessions reviewed by the Program Committee; the entire conference will end by 1:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Many sessions and roundtables will highlight events that we will be commemorating this year, including the twenty-fifth anniversary of German unification in 1990, the bicentennial of the Congress of Vienna, the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, the sixtieth anniversary of the Austrian Staatsvertrag, and the five hundredth anniversary of the battle of Marignano. We will also offer special sessions in honor of Peter Hoffmann and Hartmut Lehmann, and in memory of G'nter Grass and Jonathan Osborne.

As in previous years, many sessions and roundtables in 2015 will be sponsored by the GSA Interdisciplinary Networks. The GSA’s Interdisciplinary Committee, ably chaired by Professors Jennifer Evans and Pamela Potter, coordinates the work of all our Networks, each of which in turn is organized by several hard-working coordinators. Networks sponsoring sessions this year are the Alltag Network, the Emotion Studies Network, the Environmental Studies Network, the Family and Kinship Network, the German Socialisms Network, the Law and Legal Cultures Network, the Memory Studies Network, the Music and Sound Studies Network, the Religious Studies Network, and the War and Violence Network.

Conference Speakers

Once again we have an exceptional group of luncheon and banquet speakers. We hope that as many of you as possible will attend these important events!



Inspired by “First Night” celebrations on December 31st in many cities, we are experimenting with an “Arts Night,” celebrating the creative and performing arts as an important part of German studies. This year, we will hold four events in two time slots (7-7:45pm and 8-8:45pm) on Thursday, October 1: film offerings by DEFA, a reading by novelist Rita Kuczynski, a mixed media performance about the relationship between Hans Eisler and Bertolt Brecht, or a series of readings by our members of favorite passages from the works of G'nter Grass. Please plan to arrive early enough and to schedule your dinner so that you can attend one or both of the time slots for performances. If this is an overwhelming success, we plan to repeat and expand Arts Night in future years.



As we observe the twenty-fifth anniversary of Germany‘s reunification on October3, 1990, the German Studies Association is honored to welcome His Excellency Peter Wittig, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, as our luncheon speaker. Ambassador Wittig will speak on “The Transatlantic Partnership 25 Years After German Reunification.”

 Before entering the German Foreign Service in 1982, he studied history, political science, and law at Bonn, Freiburg, Canterbury, and Oxford universities and taught as Assistant Professor at the University of Freiburg. He has served in Madrid, New York (Permanent Mission to the United Nations), as private secretary to the Foreign Minister at the Foreign Office headquarters in Berlin, as Ambassador to Lebanon and to Cyprus, where he also was the Special Envoy of the German Government for the Cyprus Question. In 2006, Ambassador Wittig was appointed Director-General for the United Nations and Global Issues at the Foreign Office in Berlin. As Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, he represented his country in the Security Council during its membership in 2011-12.



 Continuing our observation of a quarter century of unified Germany, we are pleased to welcome one of the world’s leading experts on German politics, Professor Joyce M. Mushaben. Curators’ Professor, Fellow of the Center for International Politics, and former Director of the Institute for Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Missouri'St. Louis, where she teaches comparative politics, Professor Mushaben is a long-time member of the German Studies Association. Drawing on her most recent research and writing, her banquet address will focus on “The Strange Tale of a Pastor’s Daughter in a Difficult Fatherland: Angela Merkel and the Reconciliation of East-West German Identities.”

Professor Mushaben received her PhD from Indiana University and studied at the University of Hamburg and the Free University of Berlin She is the author and editor of many books and monographs. Her articles have appeared in World PoliticsPolityWest European PoliticsGerman PoliticsGerman Politics & Society, the Journal of Peace ResearchDemocratizationCitizenship Studies, and Femina Politica, Professor Mushaben has also received a number of awards and fellowships, including three from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.



We are pleased to welcome Kathrin R'ggla as our luncheon speaker on Saturday. She will speak on “Eine Liste der ungeschriebenen Texte - zu Literatur und ihren M'glichkeitsr'umen.” A native of Salzburg, where she studied Germanistik and Publizistik, R'ggla has lived in Berlin since 1992. A prominent author of prose, H'rspiele, and theater texts, she is also actively engaged with theatrical productions, and has an extraordinarily diverse literary oeuvre. Since 1988 she has worked actively with such groups as the Salzburger Autorengruppe, the Salzburger Literaturwerkstatt, and the literary journal erostepost. Her published texts make use of a wide and often experimental range of media techniques. Since 2012 she has been a member of the Akademie der K'nste in Berlin, and since 2014 Poet in Residence at the University of Duisburg-Essen. She is the recipient of many prizes and awards, among them the Bruno Kreisky Prize, the Johann Nestroy Theater Prize, and the Arthur Schnitzler Prize. Among her most recent writings are the plays Kinderkriegen and Der L'rmkrieg.

Audiovisual Resources at the 2015 Conference

 We are pleased to confirm that, as was the case at our Kansas City conference last year, ALL conference breakout rooms will be equipped with audiovisual equipment. This means that any participant in any session, roundtable, or seminar may use an LCD projector ("Beamer," for our members in Europe!) located in the room. Accordingly, we are asking all our members who will be using AV to pay the $20 fee that we have been asking of AV users for some time. The fee can be paid on the website when making online conference registration payments and hotel reservations. We will rely on the honor system for these payments, which will only cover a portion of our total costs.