Call for Papers | “Exercise: Practices of Bodies, Minds, and Knowing”, German Studies Association Seminar | Atlanta, GA, September 26–29, 2024. Call ends February 23, 2024


What is exercise? What are its origins, functions, and ramifications? What role has it played in incorporating norms, forming subjects (especially regarding gender, race, and class), or resisting these processes? Closely linked to conceptions of disciplinary power, care of the self (Foucault), and habitus (Bourdieu), these questions have recently received attention from the study of physical culture, sports, and dance (Petrzela, Fit Nation; Dworkin/Wachs, Body Panic) along with literary studies and philosophy (Trop, Poetry as a Way of Life; Menke, Force). This seminar asks how exercise has shaped practices of body and mind in the German-speaking world, whether in the context of sports, dance, military training, labor, spiritual/ethical cultivation, philosophical meditation, or aesthetics. We invite contributions from literary studies, history, sport studies, dance studies, art history, gender studies, philosophy, critical ethnic and race studies, film studies and other pertinent fields. We especially welcome transnational interventions.


Participants pre-circulate 3–4-page project statements by September 8; organizers will also share a short reader of 3–6 additional texts by then. The seminar will devote one session to these texts and two to discussing the project statements following brief (3-minute) introductions by their authors.


Applicants should submit an abstract describing the nature of their contribution to the seminar (500 words max) and a short biography (300 words max) through the Open Water portal by Friday, February 23 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Questions can be directed to the conveners via email, and more information can be found on the GSA’s website.

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