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FSGS Summer School 2019 »The Politics of Literature – Literature and Politics«

FSGS Summer School 2019 »The Politics of Literature – Literature and Politics«

FSGS Summer School 2019 »The Politics of Literature – Literature and Politics«
Image Credit: Hanna Zeckau

News from Mar 05, 2019

Application deadline: April 2, 2019

This year’s Summer School of the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies is conceived as a contribution within the Cluster of Excellence 2020 "Temporal Communities. Doing Literature in a Global Perspective". By raising the question of the political dimensions of literature and, more specifically, of literature’s potential for political intervention, as well as addressing the issue of the performative and intermedial aesthetic strategies of literature from a transcultural perspective, the Summer School explores temporal communities independent of spatial or temporal boundaries. Rather, this year’s Summer School is concerned with how literature and the circulation of texts become constitutive for the development of temporary networks. We are also interested in literature’s potential for generating spaces for the negotiation of political critique and social change. The Summer School will address this role of literature as a social and political practice and discuss the relationship between literature and politics with regard to how literature becomes effective as a form of cultural expressivity in action.

Up to 20 participants will first meet in Leipzig to attend the Reading Group “Engagement”, before travelling to Berlin where the Summer School “The Politics of Literature – Literature and Politics” will take place with up to 30 participants. Furthermore, participants are invited to attend the separate, but thematically overlapping conference “Poetic Critique”, held in Berlin from 27.–29.06.2019.

Through discussions, lectures, and workshops with German and international experts, we will attempt to both remap transnational and multilingual perspectives on this discourse as well as develop possible new ways of thinking and analyzing the relations between literature and politics today.

The three-day reading group “Engagement”, held by Prof. Dr. Robert Kaufman (Berkeley), Dr. Robert Zwarg (Marbach), Prof. Dr. Anne Eusterschulte (Berlin) and Sebastian Tränkle (Berlin) in Leipzig, will take place in the week preceding the Summer School. Its aim is a close reading and discussion of central texts that preceded Theodor W. Adorno’s essays »Commitment« and »Reconciliation under Duress«: writings, for instance, by Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernst Bloch, Georg Lukács, and Bertolt Brecht.

Following a terminological discussion, the Summer School in Berlin will consist of half-day workshops in which we will reflect on international institutions vis-à-vis literature and politics, patterns of power in the processes of literary production, and the functions of poetry within protest movements. We will also discuss literature in dissident contexts and literature as an autonomous form of expression.

The Summer School will include various historical and cultural case studies such as the German Vormärz, the 68 student movements, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Turkish Gezi Park protests and the 19th and 20th century Arabic debate on “engagement” in light of the so-called “Arab Spring”.


PD Dr. Patrick Eiden-Offe (Berlin), Prof. Dr. Tarek El-Ariss (Dartmouth), Prof. Dr. Anne Eusterschulte (Berlin), Prof. Dr. Martin Halliwell (Leicester), Prof. Dr. Robert Kaufmann (Berkeley), Olumide Popoola (London), Prof. Dr. Gisèle Sapiro (Paris), Sebastian Tränkle (Berlin), Dr. Robert Zwarg (Marbach)

The FSGS Summer School 2019 is being organized in cooperation with The Cluster of Excellence 2020 "Temporal Communities" and The German Literature Archive (Deutsches Literaturarchiv – DLA).

Please find the details about the application process in the official call for applications or on the website of the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School.