Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaftliches Kolloquium Herbst 2022

Das Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaftliche Kolloquium ist eine semesterbegleitende Vortrags- und Diskussionsreihe. Soweit nicht anders angegeben, finden die Vorträge im Hybridformat statt. 

Alle Interessierten sind herzlich zur Teilnahme eingeladen.

Die Vorträge im Überblick:

6. Oktober 2022, 12.15 – 13.45 Uhr

Lisa Dauth, Europa-Universität Flensburg

Zwischen Pau und Amsterdam. Paul Celans europäische (Zeit-)Reise in Südfrankreich

Von Verfolgungswahn geplagt begab sich Paul Celan im Herbst 1965 auf eine Reise durch Südfrankreich. Auffällig viele der unterwegs entstandenen Gedichte enthalten Ortsnamen seiner Route. Sie verweisen auf historische Ereignisse und werden mit weiteren Orten, Namen und Daten der europäischen Geschichte in Beziehung gesetzt. Die Texte zeugen von einer Auseinandersetzung mit Verfolgungen, die im Zeitraum zwischen dem Römischen Reich und der NS-Diktatur stattgefunden haben. Der Vortrag folgt den gesellschaftlichen und politischen Implikaturen der Texte und beleuchtet die Netzwerke, die zwischen den Gedichten und in Europa aufgespannt sind.

Präsenzveranstaltung (OSL238) mit online-Übertragung:

27. Oktober 2022, 12.15 – 13.45 Uhr

Jun.-Prof. Michelle Witen, Europa-Universität Flensburg

"The Irish’ Question": Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the Periodicals

Abstract: Towards the end of the nineteenth century, when the concept of news was being redefined based on the results of what is colloquially known as the Repeal of the Taxes on Knowledge, George Newnes famously prefaced the first number of the Strand Magazine by describing his past editorial "efforts" as "supplying cheap, healthful literature" to the public (Newnes, "Introduction" to The Strand Magazine [Jan 1891]). In the same vein, writing to W. T. Stead, Newnes characterizes his style of journalism as providing "wholesome and harmless entertainments to crowds of hardworking people" (qtd. in Cranfield, Twentieth-Century Victorian, 16), devoid of political agenda. Despite this claim, The Strand was rife with political commentary. This can be seen through perennial series, such as Henry W. Lucy’s "From Behind the Speaker’s Chair" and the political inflections in "Illustrated Interviews." This paper proposes to examine the politics behind the "wholesome and harmless entertainments" depicted in the Strand, focusing specifically on elements of the Irish Question as they appear in the issues around the time of the second Home Rule Bill. Comparing them to the more overt political coverage in, for example, Punch magazine (caricatures and commentary), I argue that the Strand furthers a covert political bias that matches and also subtly "makes and unmakes" Victorian politics. This exact political bias — both in Punch and the Strand — will then be problematized through the alleged newspapers in Dracula, demonstrating how Bram Stoker’s vampire moves beyond the "Eastern" Question (the usual interpretation) into a surreptitious critique (and parallel to) the "Irish Question."

Michelle Witen is Junior Professor of English and Irish Literature at the EUF. She is the author of James Joyce and Absolute Music (Bloomsbury 2018) and co-editor of Shakespeare and Space: Theatrical Explorations of the Spatial Paradigm (Palgrave 2016). Her publications range from articles on Joyce, Eliot, Bowen, Ladybird books and Frankenstein to a forthcoming co-edited volume on Modernism in Wonderland (Bloomsbury 2023). Her second monograph, Vice, Scandal, and ‘News’ in the Victorian Periodical (in preparation) focuses on Victorian periodical culture in the works of Stoker, de Quincey, Collins, and Doyle.

Präsenzveranstaltung (OSL238) mit online-Übertragung:

24. November 2022, 12.15 – 13.45 Uhr

Rebecca Duncan, Linnæus University, Schweden

The Politics of Ecogothic Form: Jaco Bouwer’s Gaia

This talk will examine the politics of speculative literary engagements with the unfolding climate emergency, considering these in light of recent critical engagements with accounts of our present that identify this as ‘the Anthropocene’. Now hegemonic in cultural ecocriticism, the term names the age in which the human species is taken to have transformed the Earth System, thus demonstrating our imbrication with the rest of nature. This analysis forms the unspoken premise of much ecoGothic production in particular, which characteristically deploys uncanny posthuman figures to suggest a return of homo sapiens' repressed entanglement in the biosphere. In taking this as read, I argue, what can be called ‘Anthropocene Gothic’ texts efface the reality in which climate and cognate crises are distributed along intersecting axes of race, gender, class and global geography, and valorize instead universal human culpability and universal posthuman integration with biophysical nature. The result is an aesthetic that – unconcerned with race and gender in particular – frequently reproduces deleterious racializing and gendering discourses, narratives that are themselves inseparable from those which discursively construct the biosphere as a plunderable resource. In response to a growing critical tendency to view the non-anthropocentric or posthuman possibilities of speculative fiction as interrogative par excellence, the talk will thus advocate for a heightened critical sensitivity in gothic- and speculative-fiction studies to the indissociability of climate breakdown and systems of histories of racialised, gendered and class power.


Präsentiert in Kooperation mit dem Interdisciplinary Centre for European Studies.

8. Dezember 2022, 16 Uhr

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wertheimer, Universität Tübingen

Aus der Traum? Konturen eines Europas der Zukunft

Nicht nur die bittere Erfahrung des Ukraine-Kriegs, auch das Dominanzgebaren anderer großer oder sich groß fühlender Länder haben Europa mehr und mehr in die Defensive getrieben. Aus dem einstigen Kolonisator der Welt ist ein labiles Zerfallsprodukt geworden. Was können wir tun, um diesen fatalen Prozess zu stoppen oder vielleicht sogar umzukehren?

Präsenzveranstaltung (DUB 008) mit online-Übertragung:

Präsentiert in Kooperation mit dem Interdisciplinary Centre for European Studies.