Mediterranean – Balkans – Orient - Identity, Alterity and Alienity in German Language, Literature and Culture

14 – 18 November 2017   print this page

Conference organizers:

Anita Pavić Pintarić, University of Zadar, Croatia

Zaneta Sambunjak, University of Zadar, Croatia

Tomislav Zelić, University of Zadar, Croatia

Hermann Scheuringer, University of Regensburg, Germany

Mario Grizelj, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany

Conference description:

Alterity and Alienity are fundamental catergories of cultural imaginary: „Foreign countries, uncanny monsters, murderous wars or social differences – such and similar phenomena that do not only incite estrangement and insecurity if they are not fraught with danger but also constitute identity through delimitations are one of the most constant and fascinating occupations” (Lubrich 2004) not only in literature in particular but also in language and culure in general. We want to take up these considerations inquiring into the three discourse formations known as ‚Orientalism‘, ‚Balkanism‘ and ‚Mediterranism‘. We differentiate alterity and alienity such that alterity as ‚translatable difference‘ is appropriable on principle, while alienity as ‚radical difference‘ remains absolutely inaccessible in order to examine linguistic, literary, and cultural imaginations, judgments, and prejudices about the ‚Mediterranean‘, the ‚Balkans‘ and the ‚Orient‘ as the inner and outer self and other of Europe or respectively Southeastern Europe. In doing so, we will not lose out of sight historical and contemporary realities. This set of problems is virulent and controversial especially nowadays as many refugees are seeking entry to the ‚Occident‘ over the Meditterranean Sea and the so-called ‚Balkan route‘.