Deadline 15 maggio 2020
The Carpathians – the mountain range stretching from the Czech Republic through Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, and Romania to Serbia – are an important geographic, economic, and cultural marker in Central and Eastern Europe. Over the centuries they have served – sometimes alternately and sometimes simultaneously – as sites of both refuge and war, commerce and spiritual renewal, tourism and hard-won livelihoods in remote and dangerous conditions. Like their larger cousins, the Alps, the Carpathians figure prominently in the literatures of the cultures sharing their space. Yet unlike the Alps, whose literary construction has been the subject of several recent scholarly volumes, the ways in which the Carpathians are imagined in literature have received much less attention.
The editors of this issue of Spiegelungen propose to initiate a more systematic, transcultural investigation of the literary construction of the Carpathians in the 20th century. Following W. J. T. Mitchell’s dictum that “landscape is a medium of exchange between the human and the natural […]: good for nothing in itself, but expressive of a potentially limitless reserve of value” and building on the many nuanced discourses on space in the wake of the spatial turn, the issue will focus on the question of how literature endows images of the Carpathians with social, historical, and cultural values. In keeping with the mandate of the journal to trace the German experience in South-Eastern Europe with sensitivity to its pluri-ethnic and pluri-cultural contexts, we encourage transnational and comparative studies that probe efforts to affirm – or subvert – ethnic and national identities in spatial constructions of the mountains drawn from different literary, linguistic, and cultural traditions. Possible questions include: Who claims ownership over the Carpathians, how, and to what end? What are key images in the construction of the mountains, and do they vary from literature to literature and over time? Are the Carpathians dividers or connectors between different groups? To what extent are the mountains the site of negotiation between ethnic and national identities? What place do they take in civilizational or East-West arguments?
Articles that engage with the literatures of any of the countries adjacent to the Carpathian range are welcome, as are comparative analyses across two or more of these literatures. Spiegelungen is a biannual journal publishing peer-reviewed scholarship dedicated to the German history, literature, and culture of South-Eastern Europe with particular attention to the interplay between German and other ethnic, linguistic, and cultural groups of the region.
Accepted contributions to the volume should not exceed 30,000 characters (including spaces) and should follow the editorial guidelines of the journal. The deadline for completed articles is November 3rd, 2020. Articles may be written in German or English and should be accompanied by an English abstract.