International Conference “Poetics of Politics: Textuality and Social Relevance in Contemporary American Literature and Culture” in Leipzig


The chair of North American Literature at the Technical University of Dresden and the Institute for American Studies at Leipzig University will host the international conference “Poetics of Politics: Textuality and Social Relevance in Contemporary American Literature and Culture,” June 20 – 22, 2013, in Leipzig.

During the three-day conference, an international group of scholars will assemble to explore how contemporary texts refer to their own textuality in order to assert political relevance, a dynamic markedly different from the supposedly unpolitical and playful, ‘classical’ postmodern forms of self-reference. Presenters will discuss this recent phenomenon in a broad range of texts encompassing TV series, novels, film, video games, and poetry as well as nonfiction.

Bringing together eminent scholars and young researchers from Germany, Europe, and the United States, the conference fosters transnational exchange in the field of American studies. In particular, it opens up a dialogue of researchers whose work center on recent dynamics in American culture: how texts self-confidently and self-reflexively address social issues as well as how everyday political discourse employs textual and narrative strategies. The wide spectrum of this ‘post-postmodern’ interplay of cultural production and politics is reflected in panels on Nonfiction, Narratives in Old Media, Narratives in New Media, Television, and Drama on Stage and Screen. Keynote addresses are held by Andrew Hoberek, English Professor at the University of Missouri, Greta Olson, Professor for British and American Literature at the University of Giessen, and Ilka Saal, Professor for American Literature at the University of Erfurt. The conference takes place at American Studies Leipzig, an institute that has recently excelled in the Wissenschaftsrat Rating of English and American Studies institutes in Germany. It facilitates both regional and international cooperation in the field of American studies.

The conference is organized by the Dresden-Leipzig research initiative “Selbst-Bewusste Erzaehlungen,” consisting of Professor Dr. Katja Kanzler and Dr. Frank Usbeck from TU Dresden, and Dr. Sebastian M. Herrmann and Carolin Alice Hofmann from the University of Leipzig. The group works at the intersection of narratological and cultural studies inquiry and explores the interdependence of textual and social self-confidence and self-consciousness in contemporary American narratives.

For further information, visit:!/PoP

If you plan to attend the conference, please be so kind to register ahead of time either via email to or via facebook.

Looking forward to seeing you there!