Call For Papers For Austrian Studies Association Panel MLA Conference, Philadelphia, January 4-7, 2024

“Contaminated Austrian Landscapes in 21st Century Austrian Literature”
 The topos of the “kontaminierte Landschaft,” to use Martin Pollack’s term, has been a constant in Austrian literature since the publication of Hans Lebert’s novel Die Wolfshaut in 1960. Pollack defines such contaminated landscapes as locations where mass murder has been carried out in secret, hidden from public scrutiny (Kontaminierte Landschaften, 2014, 20).
As such, these landscapes stand for the suppression of the Nazi past in Austria. Examples can be found in the works of Hans Lebert, Thomas Bernhard (Der Italiener, 1964) and Gerhard Fritsch (Fasching, 1967) in the 1960s, and later in the works of the Anti-Heimatliteratur as counter-images to the idyllic Austrian landscape celebrated (and marketed for tourism) in the films and works of the Heimatliteratur. In these works, despite all efforts to suppress them the crimes, often referencing real atrocities perpetrated during the Nazi period, surface and weigh menacingly on both the landscape and its inhabitants.
The use of this topos in more recent works, such as Elfriede Jelinek’s play Rechnitz (2008), Maja Haderlap’s Engel des Schweigens (2011), Raphaela Edelbauer’s Das flüssige Land (2019) or Eva Menasse’s Dunkelblum (2021) points to its continued relevance. We invite papers investigating the continuation/variation/transformation of this topos in recent Austrian literature. We also welcome papers on Hans Lebert and his legacy in Austrian literature.
Interested? Please send an abstract (300-350 words) and a short biographical statement to Helga Schreckenberger ( by March 28, 2023.