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Dr. Anna Luhn

Image Credit: C.R.

Academic Coordinator, Berlin Partners Network

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 studied 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. Following a 1,5-year traineeship at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Berlin from 2013 to 2014, she held the position of project assistant for HKW's Anthropocene Project and project coordinator of HKW's interdisciplinary research project Technosphere from 2015 until the end of 2016. From October 2016 to December 2019, she did her Ph.D at Freie Universität Berlin, receiving a doctoral scholarship by the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies. Since April 2020 she has been pursuing a professional-track postdoc project on experimental concepts of translation and digital literary practice at EXC 2020 "Temporal Communities". In Spring 2022, she was Research Fellow at the International Research Center for Cultural Studies (IFK) | University of Arts and Design Linz in Vienna.

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

Current research includes an EXC 2020 post-doctoral research project, MOTDYNAMO – Concepts of Translation and Digital Literary Practice (2020-).

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

MOTDYNAMO – Concepts of Translation and Digital Literary Practice

Over a period of two years and 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 Sophie 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 Scherer Prize 2022 of the Richard M. Meyer Foundation.


"Tendenz und Transzendenz. Dichtung als Verwandlungsprogramm mit und nach Carl Einstein". Colloquium of the Société Carl Einstein and the Institute Moderne im Rheinland "Carl Einstein im Kontext neuer Avantgardetheorien", March 12-13, 2020, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

"Gottes Reich der Akrobaten – Eine utopischen Figur um 1918". Colloquium of the Portuguese Association of German Studies (APEG) "1918: The brief period of the New Man", Nov 15-16, 2018, Universidade Cátolica Portuguesa, Lisbon

"Along an infinite invisible tightrope – Rhythmus und Routine in James Joyces Ulysses". FSGS annual conference "Fabrics of Time", September 29-30, 2017, Freie Universität Berlin

"The daring young man on the flying trapeze – Die Ästhetik des Akrobatischen". Conference "Working the Body. Körper-Konfigurationen und Körper-Praxis zwischen Sport, Pop und Performance", Aug 31 - Sept 2, 2017, Universität Hildesheim (Sektion Kulturwissenschaftliche Ästhetik, Kulturwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft)

Conference conceptualisation

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 [forthcoming].

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 [forthcoming].

"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 [forthcoming].

"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 [forthcoming].

"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 Unversitäten (=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.