113th Annual Conference - Portland, Oregon
Friday, November 6 - Sunday, November 8, 2015

Modern Austrian Literature

Session Chair: 
Brigitte Prutti, University of Washington
Session 10: Sunday 8:30-10:00am
Rogue (PMCC)


  1. Imke Meyer, "University of Illinois, Chicago"
    Built into the psychic structure of power is a fear of threats to its domain. When this fear turns into paranoia, power begins to collapse under its own weight. Kafka's text shows that this psycho-topography of empire has an analogue in geography: if an empire’s domain becomes too vast, it can no longer be effectively controlled . Kafka’s text foreshadows the ends of empire in 1918, and it points beyond 1918 to the horrors of a total empire whose ambitions turn it into an eliminationist machine that destroys both everything in its path and itself.
  2. Jennifer Jenkins, Pacific Lutheran University
    Hermann Broch’s Der Tod des Vergil is a reckoning with the legitimacy and function of literature in which language – poetic, political, psychological – is central. Throughout, however, the novel invokes images in myriad forms that culminate in the synesthetic neologisms and oxymora for which the work is (in)famous. This paper explores the productive tension generated between the logos and the iconic, reading the novel’s use of images and metaphors of visuality with the work of image/text theorists Gottfried Boehm, Murray Krieger, and W.J.T. Mitchell.
  3. Ulrich Bach, Texas State University
    In my PAMLA presentation, I will discuss the treatment of the 19th century Gründerzeit as portrayed in Hilde Spiel’s historical novel “Früchte des Wohlstands” (written in 1941) and Dolf Sternberger’s essay collection “Panorama” (1938). Both writers cover a historical period of unforeseen industrial expansion in Central Europe at the fin-de-siècle.
  4. Paul Buchholz, University of California, Berkeley
    Focusing on the prose of Austrian visual artist Max Peintner and other works of Austrian "catastrophe literature" around 1980, this paper will examine how an inculpated human subject (a "we" that causes the destruction of the planet) was variously constructed in literature and visual media in Central Europe during the late Cold War era.
Session Cancelled: