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Workshop | Utopia and Idyll - Temporality of non-space and locus amoenus

Dec 03, 2020 - Dec 04, 2020

english | deutsch

An online-workshop organised by Simon Godart (EXC2020, RA 3) and Andreas Strasser (Princeton University).

Utopias and Idylls present two specific modes of spatial and temporal displacement. They depict legendary non-places and ideal sceneries in which alternative and idealized forms of community and individual experience can be explored. Idylls often configure a temporal stasis or cyclical primordial-, pre-, or idealized time in tension with historical time. In idyllic places, time takes the form of dynamic tranquility in which the relationships between humans and nature unfolds in their own concrete temporalities. By comparison, the temporalities inherent in Utopian depictions of society tend to construct their very own historical dynamics. Such depictions of other worlds, with their own invented laws and traditions, refract and question the worlds from which they originate and to which they addressed.

Idyll and utopia have long been seen through a restricted lense of genre history which ties their origin to specific historical epochs and seeks to understand them as phenomena of European (early) modernity. But historical comparison and, especially, a closer look at traditions outside Europe clearly demonstrates that the claim that the time for idyll and utopia was restricted to these historical and cultural spaces and must be seen, therefore, as over, cannot be maintained any longer. Idyllic and utopian elements can be identified both in medieval and contemporary literatures. Comparing these different forms and moments of Idyll and/or Utopia permits us to rethink them in light of the tension between imagining a beyond of history, on the one hand, and the presentism of progress narratives, on the other.

The various models of idyllic and utopian temporalities we wish to discuss can be reduced neither to the modern idea of ‘another world to conquer’ nor to Reinhart Koselleck’s notion utopia having been subjected to a “temporalization” by the European Enlightenment. To understand utopia and idyll as temporal communities means to think together both the historical and the trans-cultural functions of these “other” literary places with their particular forms of shaping their own temporalities.

Due to the general restrictions in connection to Covid-19, the workshop most likely will not be open to members of the public. Further information on the possibility to participate remotely will follow soon.


Thursday, 3 December 2020

10:00–10:30 | Greetings and Introduction

10:30–11:30 | Viewing Time

Louis Berger: Land of Angels. Utopien des Trostes an der Epochenschwelle Daniel Queiser: "the enlarging of the bounds of Human Empire, to the effecting of all things possible." Zum Zusammenhang von Utopie, Technik und Endzeit in Francis Bacons Nova Atlantis

11:30 – 12:30 | Discussion 

12:30 – 13:15 | Lunch break

13:15 – 14:15 | Viewing Time

Marie Helen Klaiber: „Durch Rost der stillen Zeit“ – Martin Opitz’ Zlatna zwischen Überzeitlichkeit und Geschichte Tilo Renz: Bewegte Utopien zwischen Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit

14:15 – 15:15 | Diskussion

15:15 – 16:30 | Viewing Time --- Presentations in English ---

Andreas Strasser: Keine Zeit für schöne Orte. Genre History and Obstinacy of the Idyll Bethany Whalley: The Temporalities of Place and Non-Place in the Thames Estuary Ron Sadan: Robert Walser in Arkadia

16:30 – 18:00 | Discussion (in English) and conclusion on first day

Friday, 4 December 2020

10:00–11:00 | Viewing Time

Nils Jablonski: "The Golden Age Is Over" – Idyllische Zeitregime Simon Godart: Polyphem singt

11:00–12:00 | Discussion

12:00–15:30 | Viewing Time and Lunch break

Ruben Schenzle: Wunsch und Zeit in Ibn Ṭufails Inselroman Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān  Hanna Trauer: Aufstieg und Rückzug des Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān: Ibn Ṭufails Insel als Idyll

15:30–16:30 | Discussion

16:30–17:30 | Viewing Time

Lea Fink: Utopie und Erinnerung. Zum Verhältnis von Antizipation und Eingedenken bei Ernst Bloch und Walter Benjamin Ursula Baur: Ernst Blochs Idylle und geteilte Erinnerungskultur

17:30 – 18:30 Discussion

This online workshop will consist of synchronic discussions on video chat platform as well as of “viewing time” slot for video presentations accessible to the participants after registration.

If you want to join in, please register with simon.godart@fu-berlin.de by 30 November 2020.





Time & Location

Dec 03, 2020 - Dec 04, 2020

The conference will be held online on the platform Webex.