Tales of Commerce and Imagination II:

Literary and Cinematic Contributions to the Department Store Debate in the early 20th Century (Austria – Germany – France – England – United States)

A conference at the Literaturhaus Berlin, 5th and 6th July 2012

Building upon an interdisciplinary workshop dedicated to the social history of the Berlin Warenhäuser (which was held in March 2011 at the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, London), this conference will address department stores as a motif and symbol in early 20th century debates of modernity. The investigation will focus on the literary and cinematic treatment of the Warenhaus and on the interface of fictional with non-fictional discourses of the phenomenon at the time.

This conference also aims to widen the field of vision, not only from the Berlin case study to a more comprehensive look at the German-speaking cultures; but also, to situate the German discourses in an international context.  Comparative consideration of the debates and emerging literary/cinematic traditions in countries that experienced the department store phenomenon developing earlier  –  among them France, Britain and the United States – will help to understand the German discourses more fully.

Call for papers