Issue 01 / 2018 – “Dolls/Puppets in threat scenarios”

Issue 1 / 2018 can be obtained digitale  here.

The print version of issue 01/2018 can be ordered from the publisher universi.

Issue 01 / 2019 – “Dolls/Puppets as Miniatures – More than Small”

Issue 1 / 2019 can be obtained digitale here.

The print version of issue 1/2019 can be ordered from the publisher universi.

Issues 1.1 and 1.2 / 2020 – “puppen/dolls like mensch – dolls/puppets as human beings”

The Issues 1.1 / 2020 can be obtained digitale here.

The Issues  1.2 / 2020 can be obtained digitale here.

The print versions of the issues 1.1 and 1.1 can be ordered from the publisher universi.

Call for the Issue 2021

CfP4: doll//puppets as soulmates – the meaning of one’s own doll(s)/puppets in biography and artistic-literary work

The fourth CfP of the journal denkste: puppe / just a bit of: doll (de:do), a multidisciplinary online journal for human-doll discourses (with peer review), focuses on the topic “Dolls /Puppets as Soulmates – the Meaning of One’s Own Doll(s)/Puppets in Biography and Artistic-Literary Work”. Regardless of this specific thematic focus scientific contributions as well as other text formats such as essays, interviews, reviews etc. on human-doll aspects related to the focus can also be submitted. The first three issues of the journal deal with the topics “dolls in threat scenarios”, “dolls as miniatures” as well as the double issue “puppen/dolls like mensch – dolls/puppets as artificial beings”; they are available on the journal’s homepage (

With the focus on the meaning of one’s own doll(s)/puppet(s) in biography and artistic-literary work this call takes up a topic that has so far received little or only marginal attention from research: The role and function that (one’s own) dolls/puppets play in the lives of artists, and the influence of such dolls/puppets or doll-like, anthropomorphic beings on artistic and/or literary work. Thus, it is about the impact of early doll/puppet experiences on later creative processes as well as about the possible (biographical) roots and relations between doll motifs and doll narratives in artistic-literary work. Dolls/puppets are congenial, but ambiguous soul mates – ‘as if’ human and yet different. Their affordance as a transitional object in the course of life – as animation, symbolization and ‘dead’ materiality – contains a recurring fascination between newness (natality) and finitude (mortality). Dolls/puppets invite us to engage with ourselves and approach the world openly. People with an affinity for dolls react to this in mostly unique ways. All of this applies to own and/or self-created dolls/puppets well as to appropriated dolls and doll worlds, whether they are literary, graphic, cinematic, theatrical or material-technically processed (e.g. Pinocchio, Sandman, Babar, Barbie, the ‘Augsburg doll box’, Sesame Street). Even if dolls are symbolically charged with childhood – childhood experiences and childhood fictions – they go far beyond that. Transformed into the forms and contents of the later work aesthetics and artistic-literary practices, they stand for future and potentiality, for what was possible, is possible and/or would (have been) possible. These approaches to
the world can be destructive and abysmal, constructive and integrating, they can heal and save, but they can also remain indefinitely in the ambiguous and liminal limbo of the betwixt, between and beyond.

The call is aimed at a wide variety of disciplinary fields of theory, research and practical domains. It is about understanding the above-mentioned considerations as an echo of one’s own doll/puppet experiences and about shedding more light on their impact on literary, artistic-cultural, media, psychological-pedagogical as well as material-technical pieces of work. The following arbitrary listing indicates a diverse spectrum of possible “cases” and “doll traces” as examples. For the field of literature, the following are mentioned: Goethe, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Franz Kafka, Rainer Maria Rilke, Lou Andreas-Salomé, Bruno Schulz, Walter Benjamin, Alice Herdan-Zuckmayer, Kurt Tucholsky, Else Lasker-Schüler, Klaus Mann, Halldór Laxness, but also Yoko Tawada, Elena Ferrante and many more, not least in children’s and youth literature: Tonke Dragt owns doll’s houses, Tony Schumacher has created a wealth of doll illustrations, the contexts of the ‘Augsburg doll box’ (Augsburger Puppenkiste) ranges from Max Kruse to Thomas Hettche. From the field of art and media can be named: Niki de Saint Phalle, Oskar Kokoschka, James Ensor, Hans Bellmer, Morton Bartlett, Michel Nedjar, Gudrun Brüne, Cindy Sherman, Elena Dorfman, but also Marc Hogencamp with Marwencol. In Robert Zemecki’s films, dolls/puppets and dollified objects repeatedly appear, Marlene Dietrich had her dolls (almost) always with her, and the German cosmonaut Sigmund Jähn took the little sandman into space.

The (scientific) contributions should not exceed 30,000 characters. Other types of contributions should generally be shorter (5,000 – 15,000 characters). The range of topics addressed results from the above-mentioned considerations. In any case attention should be paid to interdisciplinary comprehensibility. The texts can be submitted in German or English as e-file to the editorial team (Prof. Dr. Insa Fooken, and/or Dr. Jana Mikota, Manuscript guidelines are available on the homepage. Please send a brief sketch (approx. 3,500 characters) and a short CV by November 1, 2020. Feedback as to the invitation to submit a contribution will be made by December 1, 2020. The final manuscript must be submitted by mid-March 2021 at the latest. The planned publication date is September 2021.