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CFP (MLA, Düsseldorf, June 2016): Alternative Nostalgias in literature from the “Other Europes”

MLA International Symposia: Translating the Humanities

Other Europes: Migrations, Translations, Transformations
Düsseldorf, Germany, 23–25 June 2016

Panel: Alternative Nostalgias in literature from the “Other Europes”

Svetlana Boym asserts that our age is marked by feelings of nostalgic longing, that “the sentiment itself, the mourning of displacement and temporal irreversibility, is at the very core of the modern condition”. Yet, nostalgia is also often read as “memory with the pain removed” and seen as a retreat into the idealized past because of the unfulfilling present, especially in countries with recent communist pasts.

This panel at the MLA International Symposium “Other Europes: Migrations, Translations, Transformations” seeks papers that oppose the dismissal of nostalgia as an unproductive concept, particularly by examining representations of alternative nostalgic longings in literature from the “other Europes” – regions that are commonly referred to as South, East, and Central Europe. Proposals that engage in comparative analyses of the phenomenon of nostalgia, and combine countries, regions, disciplines, generations, and genres are especially encouraged.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Nostalgia’s attitude towards time: timelessness, past, present, and future

  • Nostalgia and place and space: the local, the small town, the village, the “simpler life”

  • “Ostalgie”, “Jugonostalgija”, “Titostalgija” (Velikonja), etc.

  • Nostalgia and homelessness, displacement, belonging, and search for roots

  • Globalization, authenticity, and nostalgia

  • Nostalgia for an unlived experience

  • Nostalgia, sadness, and melancholy

  • Nostalgia, longing, and music (saudade, fado, sevdah, sevdalinka, etc.)

Proposals/abstracts (not exceeding 300 words) for 15-minute papers should be emailed to Sanja Ivanov, at by August 24, 2015. Please include a 1-page biography or a CV with institutional affiliation and contact information. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out within a week from the deadline. See the general call for papers here:

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