Call for Papers

9th Biennial Graduate Student Conference of the Department of Germanic Studies


Goodbye "Mutti"!

Reflecting on the 16-year legacy of Kanzlerin Merkel

The Graduate Association of Germanic-Language Students would like to invite our fellow graduate students to join us for our ninth biennial Graduate Student Conference of the Department of Germanic Studies.


Germany is at a turning point in having to say goodbye, after sixteen years, to its first female chancellor, Angela Merkel. Sixteen years characterized by a series of one crisis after the other including but not limited to: the 2008 financial crisis; Europe’s migration crisis; the rise of a new wave of extremist right-wing groups; growing concern about our climate and environment; and not to be forgotten, the global pandemic that changed the world in 2020. Despite these issues, Angela Merkel became to be seen by many Germans as a symbol of stability and reason, earning her the nickname of Germany’s “Mutti”.


With this conference, we propose creating an interdisciplinary, intersectional space to look back on the last sixteen years in Germany’s history and the years leading up to it. We invite proposals that may relate to events and themes that stood out during Merkel’s term of office, such as but not restricted to:

Gender and positions of power

Leading figures and their relationship to whom they represent

Identity in a globalized world

The role and place of religion in today’s societies

Post-reunification Germany

Marginalized groups, xenophobia

(Im)migration and asylum seekers

(National) identity, transnationalism

Environmentalism

The European Union’s sphere of influence