CFP: GSA 2018: “New Perspectives on Post-War Radio and German Culture”

Call for Papers: German Studies Association 2018

Forty-Second Annual Conference (Pittsburgh, Sept 27-30, 2018)

Deadline: January 15, 2018


Panel: New Perspectives on Post-War Radio and German Culture


This panel seeks papers that address the radio both as an institution and medium of politics, culture and entertainment in German-speaking Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War. Over the past twenty years, culture and media historians such as Alexander Badenoch (2008), Hans-Ulrich Wagner (1997/1999) and Kate Lacey (1996/2013) have laid important groundwork for scholarship on the nature of radio programming and the demographics of radio’s “listening publics” in the post-war period. However, many avenues remain to be explored. For example, the field of Sound Studies has recently offered new theoretical and methodological approaches for examining the acoustic worlds created by the radio and the “imagined communities” that it was intended to speak to and represent at this time. Taking these new developments as a starting point, this panel aims to further investigate the interplay of post-war culture and radio: How did radio programs – from news broadcasts, to lectures and panel discussions, to radio dramas – forge new concepts of belonging and nationhood? What role did poets, politicians, artists and scholars play in shaping the content and forms of radio programs and in expanding its audiences? How did radio shape programs of Denazification, Democratization, and processes of Vergangenheitsbewältigung?  How can modes of analysis adapted from literary studies (such as audionarratology), or sociology and anthropology (theories of hearing/listening) help us to better understand radio’s cultural and political significance at this time? Proposals addressing radio in East or West Germany, Austria or Switzerland are encouraged.


Possible topics include but are not limited to:

– Radio under Allied occupation

– Theories of radio in the post-war period

– Development of communications research/Hörerforschung

– Archaeologies of Sound in the late 1940s and 1950s

– Voices of post-war German-speaking radio

– Gender, Disability, Race and the radio

– Radio Soundscapes, Narratives and Dramaturgies

– Radio dramas, serials, adaptations

– Radiozeitungen and program reviews

– Propaganda and political broadcasts

– Radio Advertising


Please send 300-word abstracts and a short bio by January 15, 2018 to Caroline Kita ( and Luisa Drews (