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Dr. Anna [Anouk] Luhn

Image Credit: C.R.

Academic Coodinatior, CONSTELLATIONS

Participating Researcher

Member, Research Area 4: Literary Currencies

Freie Universität Berlin EXC 2020 Temporal Communities

Otto-von-Simson-Straße 15
Room 02.03
14195 Berlin

Anna Luhn. Comparative Literature, French Philology, Law and German Literature at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich and Université Paris IV – Sorbonne from 2006 to 2012, supported by a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation. Traineeship at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Berlin (2013–2014), curatorial assistant within HKW's Anthropocene Project, and project coordinator of HKW's interdisciplinary research project Technosphere until 2016. Ph.D. at Freie Universität Berlin (2016–2020), receiving a doctoral scholarship from the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies. Postdoctoral researcher (Professional Track) with MOTDYNAMO, a project on experimental concepts of translation and digital literary practice at EXC 2020 "Temporal Communities" (2020–2023). Research Fellow at the International Research Center for Cultural Studies (IFK) | University of Arts and Design Linz in Vienna in 2022. Since 2023, academic coordinator of CONSTELLATIONS, the cluster's hub for collaborative, interconnected, and transdisciplinary format in the arts and humanities.

Awards: International Wendelin Schmidt-Dengler Prize 2020 of the Austrian Society for German Studies (ÖGG), Scherer Prize 2022 of the Richard M. Meyer Foundation

Research interests

-          European avant-garde (‘isms’) and neo-avant-garde movements of the twentieth century

-          Nineteenth-century literary and cultural history

-          French and German modernism

-          Literary activism/political art, ‘Tendenzkunst’

-          Experimental literature

-          Translation theory, critical translation studies

-          Literature and psychoanalysis

-          Aesthetic theory

-          Digitality, theory of the technosphere


Current research includes an EXC 2020 professional-track postdoctoral project, MOTDYNAMO – Concepts of Translation and Digital Literary Practice

In complementary formats of literary research and collaborative practice, MOTDYNAMO seeks to investigate how the reflection, adaptation, and application of avant-garde concepts of translation informs current digital language art and how it may shape future literary practices. Moreover, the project focuses on the complex relationship between twentieth-century avant-garde practices and present day activist approaches: While it is beyond question that digital language art 'embodies' the digitality that ubiquitously shapes and structures our present, it remains to be probed to what extent it is also a powerful means to challenge and alter these digital-age mechanisms of world-making. Aiming to establish a contact zone between modernism studies, digital language art, literary activism and translation studies, the MOTDYNAMO project will first trace back current digital poetic strategies to the experimental translation practices of the European avant-garde (Dada, Italian and Russian futurism, etc.) as well as the neo-avant-garde movements from the mid-century onwards (Collectif Change, OuLiPo, etc.). In a second step, the findings of the project's research will be put to the test and developed further in a transdisciplinary exchange with artists, scholars, and practitioners from the fields involved.


PhD project

Anna Luhn's dissertation project (2016–2020) examined the literary formation of 'the Acrobatic' [das Akrobatische] in European modernist and avant-garde literature. Starting from the observation of a significant increase in acrobatic motifs and themes in European literature from the last third of the nineteenth century onwards, the project seeks to shed light on the various dimensions of the specifically modern figuration of the acrobat, that is, on the symbolic transformations, the conceptual charges, the formal and aesthetic implications, and the utopian potential that is associated with acrobatics in late modernism. Focusing mostly on German- and French-language literature and philosophy of the late nineteenth and first third of the twentieth century, Luhn's dissertation also takes into view literary works of the Fin de Siècle and the early avant-gardes on a European scale and within the Italian, Danish and Spanish, as well as the Czech context.

The dissertation was awarded the International Wendelin Schmidt-Dengler Prize 2020 of the Austrian Society for German Studies (ÖGG) and the Wilhelm Scherer Prize 2022 of the Richard M. Meyer Foundation.


Conceptual and Organisational Work (selection)

Notationen in den Künsten: Theoretische Annäherungen. Conference, 1–2 February 2024, Freie Universität Berlin / Temporal Communities

TANGO TRANSLATION TYPOGRAPHY. A Project on Avant-Garde Poetics, Popular Culture and Futurist Resonance. Launch: December 2023

Translation Games – Vom Kosmos eines Verses und der Gemeinschaft im Übersetzen. Readings, screening, talks + internal workshop, 12/13 January 2023, Haus für Poesie

Wer macht hier was / Was macht hier wen? Neue Kollektive in der Literatur. Discussion and performance, 25 June 2021, Literarisches Colloquium Berlin + online

The Game(s) of Translation. Video-Essay in three parts and 8 contributions as part of JUNIVERS 2021 of the TOLEDO Programme Berlin. Online Launch: 7 June 2021

Translation Games – Übersetzung als Exploration. Readings, workshop discussions, multimedia presentations, a folding map and a digital journal on 9 explorative translations of Renga (1971). Online Launch: 30 November 2020

Drahtseilakte (High-wire acts). Conversations, Readings and a Screening with Jule Böwe, Ann Cotten, Jana Korb, and Benjamin Zuber, presented by Anna Luhn. Literarisches Colloquium Berlin, May 9, 2019

Maybe. Forms of Literary Eventuality. Annual conference of the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies, ICI Berlin, Nov 9-10, 2018

The 'isms' of the 20th century Avant-Gardes. Masterclass with Prof. Dr. Martin Puchner (Harvard University), Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies, July 2-4, 2018


Überdehnung des Möglichen. Dimensionen des Akrobatischen in der Literatur der europäischen Moderne. Göttingen: Wallstein 2023.

Spiel mit Einsatz. Experimentelle Übersetzung als Praxis der Kritik. Wien/Berlin: Turia + Kant 2022.

Edited / curated volumes

Michael Gamper, Anna Luhn, Nina Tolksdorf, Paul Wolff (Eds.): Kollektive Autor:innenschaft digital/analog. Heidelberg: J.B. Metzler, 2024.

Valentin Parnach: Prolog zu den Tänzen und ausgewählte Schriften. Edited by Alexandra Ksenofontova and Anna Luhn, translated by Alexandra Ksenofontova in collaboration with Anna Luhn. Leipzig: Spector Books [forthcoming].

Dagmara Kraus / Felix Schiller / Versatorium: Renga. Übersetzung als Modus. Edited by Anna Luhn and Lena Hintze. Schupfart: Urs Engeler 2022.

Anna Luhn, Lena Hintze (Eds.): The Game(s) of Translation – Dialoge, Reflexionen, künstlerische Positionen. Berlin: Literarisches Colloquium Berlin 2021 (online).

Vítězslav Nezval: Akrobat. Edited by Barbara Bausch and Anna Luhn, translated by Barbara Bausch and Eva Dymáková. Leipzig: Spector Books 2021.

Unbedingte Universitäten (Eds.), Was ist Universität? Texte und Positionen zu einer Idee. Berlin/Zürich: Diaphanes 2010. (Co-editor)

Unbedingte Universitäten (Eds.), Was passiert? Stellungnahmen zur Lage der Universität. Berlin/Zürich: Diaphanes 2010. (Co-editor)

Journal articles and book chapters

“‘Dieses Spiel ist keine Spielerei‘. Experimentelle Übersetzung, Übersetzung als Experiment“. In: Konterbande Magazin (June 2023).

“Cruising in circles – Promiscuous temporalities in Ozan Zakariya Keskinkılıç: Display (2021)”. In: The Living Handbook of Temporal Communities (Keyword: Circulation) [forthcoming].

“A Slightly Off Performance: Algorithmic Translation and/as Artistic Practice”. In: Digital Culture and Society 1/2023: Digital Art, pp. 123–140.

"Literary/ Machine/ Translation: Übersetzungstechnologien und avancierte Übersetzungstheorie als Modelle literarischer Zirkulation, ca. 1960–1975". In: Michael Gamper, Jutta Müller-Tamm, David Wachter, Jasmin Wrobel (Eds.): Der Wert der literarischen Zirkulation / The Value of Literary Circulation. Heidelberg: J.B. Metzler, pp. 365–384.

"RENGA ANGER, ein Nachwort". In: Hannes Bajohr: RENGA ANGER. Bern: edition taberna kritika 2022, pp. 69–74.

"Subversive Dichtung. Eine Spekulation zum literarischen Engagement nach Carl Einstein, Die Fabrikation der Fiktionen / BEB II und Roman Ehrlichs Malé". In: Juni. Magazin für Literatur und Kultur N° 59/60: Einstein: Widerbesuch bei einem Avantgardisten, pp. 53–70.

"Zwischen anima und mania – Oskar Kokoschkas Hiob". In: Sima Ehrentraut, Anne Eusterschulte, Simon Godart (Eds.), Re-Thinking the Book of Job. Berlin: neofelis [forthcoming].

"Vollkommenheit oder Fall" [epilogue]. In: Vítězslav Nezval:Akrobat. Edited by Barbara Bausch and Anna Luhn, translated by Barbara Bausch u. Eva Dymáková. Leipzig: Spector Books 2021, pp. 43–63. With Barbara Bausch.

"Das Naturgesetz soll sich im Alkohol besaufen. Zum Formrausch in Carl Einsteins Bebuquin". In: Expressionismus 09/2019: Rausch. Berlin: neofelis 2019, pp. 67–76.

"Was passiert? – Einleitung", in: Was passiert? Stellungnahmen zur Lage der Universität. Edited by Unbedingte Universitäten, Diaphanes: Berlin/Zürich 2010, pp. 9–23. With Unbedingte Universitäten (= editorial collective).

Reviews and essays

Patrick Hohlweck, Verwandlung in Blatt. Carl Einsteins formaler Realismus. In: Zeitschrift für Germanistik 3/21, pp. 604–606.

"More Dimensions. Ein Versuch über Fokussierung". In: Benjamin Zuber, ZUBER [Künstlerbuch]. Berlin/Hamburg: Textem Verlag 2015, pp. 113-117.


Jean-Claude Milner, L’œuvre claire. Lacan, la science et la philosophie (Paris 1995). As Das helle Werk, Wien/Berlin: Turia+Kant 2013. With Regina Karl.

Simone Weil, "Ne recommençons pas la guerre de Troie". As "Beginnen wir den trojanischen Krieg nicht von Neuem". In: Simone Weil, Krieg und Gewalt. Essays und Aufzeichnungen, Berlin/Zürich: Diaphanes 2011, pp. 37–57. With Johanna-Charlotte Horst.

Plínio Prado, Le Principe d’Université (Paris 2009). As Das Prinzip Universität, Berlin/Zürich: Diaphanes 2010. With Regina Karl, Johannes Kleinbeck, Hanna Sohns.  

Gérard Granel, "Appel à ceux qui ont affaire avec l’université", from De l’Université (Mauvezin 1982). As Was ist Universität? Texte und Positionen zu einer Idee, Berlin/Zürich: Diaphanes 2010, pp. 231-247. With Johanna-Charlotte Horst.