Conference Proceedings Annual GKS Conference Grainau 2014

Jennifer Henke

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This year the permanent and associated members of the Bremen Institute of Canada and Québec Studies, Dr. Jana Nittel, Dr. Katrin Berndt, Dr. Jennifer Henke, Dr. Stephan-Alexan­der Ditze, Christian Orschulok, Prof. Norbert Schaffeld and Prof. Helga Bories-Sawala, again longed for the mountains and represented the BICQS during the 35th annual conference held by the Association for Canadian Studies in German-speaking Countries (GKS) from February 2 to 4, 2014. According to customs, the congress took place in the picturesque surroundings of the Hotel am Badersee near the Zugspitze in Grainau, close to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The event’s highlights not only included the hotel kitchen’s superb quality that took care of the participants’ well-being in outstanding manner, but many exciting talks of renowned speakers from Canada and the German-speaking countries.

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The umbrella theme of this year’s conference, developed by PD Dr. Kerstin Knopf, was “Indigeneous Knowledge and Academic Discourses”, where the focus was placed on the ‘indiginizing’ of the (Euro-American) academy. The event aligned itself with the demand, postulated since the 1990s, to integrate indigenous learning and skills such as geographical and climatic knowledge or concepts with regards to the distribution of resources as well as (political) conflict resolution into the hegemonic scientific discourse. This inclusion, however, can only be achieved by interacting in a respectful, responsible and reciprocal manner. It was the investigation of these mutual relations between different discourses of knowledge with a focus on disciplines within Canadian studies that loomed large during this conference. Last but not least the questions addressed the potential benefit of orally transmitted indigenous knowledge for the fields of sociology, literary studies, historicism or cultural anthropology. The final podium discussion clearly stressed the plea for a less heuristically-orientated science that pursues its research not only with sense but also with sensibility.   

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We would like to thank Christian Orschulok and Meike Hethey for their helpful comments in the context of editing and translating this report.    

BIKQS-Vertretung in Grainau 2014

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v.l.n.r.
1. Reihe: Stephan-Alexander Ditze, Christian Orschulok, Katrin Berndt, Barbara Schaffeld, Steffen Schneider
2. Reihe: Jana Nittel, Jennifer Henke, Helga Bories-Sawala, Herr Sawala, Norbert Schaffeld

Mit Dank an Geoffrey Davies für die Aufnahme