Seminar at the German Studies Association annual conference, Montreal, Canada

CfA: GSA Seminar “Made in Germany: Myths and Materiality of an Exporting Nation

Date: 5-8 October 2023

Deadline: 3 March 2023, 11:59 PST

How to apply:

Convenors: William Glenn Gray (Purdue) and Katrin Schreiter (King’s College London)

This seminar will take place at the German Studies Association annual conference in Montreal, 5-8 October 2023. It invites participants to consider the centrality of export activity to society, culture, and politics in the German-speaking lands. Long before the “Made in Germany” label was affixed to products, trade fairs were a feature of German economic life; and the 19th and 20th centuries brought an even greater concentration on production for export. How did orientation toward distant markets inflect business innovation, product design, foreign relations, and political priorities? How did concerns about market share shape currency alignments, labor practices, and the domestic economy? What histories can be told about the lives of German commercial agents abroad, and what narratives did Germans craft about their most iconic exports? And how did German products impact societies abroad? The conveners welcome contributions from design history, material culture, business history, labor history, and beyond. Our goals are to reinvigorate the salience of economic themes within the GSA and to publish proceedings.

Participants will prepare brief research-based contributions (ca. 10 double-spaced pages) in response to the seminar’s guiding themes and prescribed readings. Each morning the seminar will discuss a selection of their pre-circulated contributions in a roundtable format. Completed seminar contributions are due September 5. The prospects for the publication of expanded seminar papers, whether as an edited volume or a journal special issue, will feature in the seminar’s closing discussion.

See also:

If you have any questions about the seminar theme or the fit of your potential contribution, please contact Katrin Schreiter (