Program

CURRENT TENDENCIES IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN FICTION

22-23 June 2018 Warburg-Haus Hamburg

A Festakt to celebrate Prof. Dr. Susanne Rohr (Hamburg)

Organized by Marius Henderson, Julia Lange and Jolene Mathieson

This symposium explores current trends in contemporary American literature and examines American literature’s continued importance as a global cultural mediator. At a time when nationalist tendencies in the United States as well as in Europe intensify, fictional texts and their critical potential for reflection acquire considerable social significance, particularly as promoters of transnational exchange. A relevant question in this context is to what extent this millennia-old cultural technique can reflect profound social upheavals in light of changed media conditions. Nineteen renowned scholars in the field of American Studies and related disciplines address this question through readings of the following topics: 1) the legacy of postmodernism and its contemporary revisions, 2) new practices of adaptation and appropriation, 3) neorealism and its revisions of old realist conventions, 4) the new gender, class and race politics of reading and writing fiction, 5) new American environmental fiction, and 6) the relationship between philosophy and poetics.

FRIDAY, 22 JUNE 2018

09:30–10:00      COFFEE

10:00–10:15       OPENING with U.S. Consul General in Hamburg Richard Yoneoka

10:15–11:45        FROM POSTMODERNISM TO THE GREAT BEYOND

Chair: Jolene Mathieson (Hamburg)

Heinz Ickstadt (Berlin) – The Late Style of Two Postmodernist ‘Masters’: Robert Coover and Don DeLillo

Hubert Zapf (Augsburg)Siri Hustvedt and the Transdisciplinary Knowledge of Literature

Jan D. Kucharzewski (Hamburg) – ‘…the Wood for the Trees’: Anti-Humanist Wonder in Richard Powers’ The Overstory

11:45–13:15     LUNCH

13:15–14:45     NEW PRACTICES OF ADAPTATION AND APPROPRIATION

Chair: Felix Sprang (Siegen)

Bettina Friedl (Hamburg)Materializing the Word: Lesley Dill and Emily Dickinson

Christa Buschendorf (Frankfurt)Greek Passion Revisited: Percival Everetts Appropriation of the Myth of Medea

Joseph Schöpp (Hamburg) – “History is Suffering”: Reading Teju Cole’s Open City in Light of Walter Benjamin and W.G. Sebald

14:45–15:15    COFFEE

15:15–16:45    THE NEW OLD CONVENTIONS

Chair: Ruth Mayer (Hannover)

Thomas Claviez (Bern)Neorealism and the Problem of Recognition

Sabine Sielke (Bonn)The Newly Conventional US-American Novel and the (Neo-)Liberal Imagination: On Franzen, Eggers, and the Like

Sieglinde Lemke (Freiburg)Precarious Escapes: Hillbilly Elegy and Unorthodox

17:00–18:15    NELL ZINKBECOMING CONTEMPORARY

Moderation: Astrid Böger (Hamburg)

18:15-19:00    WINE RECEPTION 

19:30–22:00   SYMPOSIUM DINNER

SATURDAY, 23 JUNE 2018

09:15–10:45     THE NEW POLITICS OF WRITING AND READING I

Chair: Peter Hühn (Hamburg)

Ulla Haselstein (Berlin) – Economies of Attention

Peter Schneck (Osnabrück)Present Perfect and Past Tense: Resurfacing Literature

Laura Bieger (Groningen) Reading Institutions: Reassessing Literatures Public Commitments

10:45–11:15     COFFEE

11:15–12:45     THE NEW POLITICS OF WRITING AND READING II

Chair: Eva Boesenberg (Berlin)

Andrew S. Gross (Göttingen) – Narrating Injustice in Refugee Narratives

Sabine Broeck (Bremen)Writing on American Slavery After Toni Morrison

Astrid Franke (Tübingen)Claudia Rankine and the Question of Microaggression

12:45–14:15     LUNCH

14:1515:15     NEW AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL FICTION

Chair: Ute Berns (Hamburg)

Catrin Gersdorf (Würzburg) – Gardens, Forests, and the Human Condition: Reflections on the Modern American Novel

Astrid Böger (Hamburg)For the Birds? Nell Zink and Jonathan Franzen’s Environmentalist Ontology

15:15–15:45   COFFEE

15:45–16:45 POETICS AND PHILOSOPHY

Chair: Jan D. Kucharzewski (Hamburg)

Herwig Friedl (Düsseldorf)Exhilarating Uncertainty: Emerson’s Subversive Proto-Existentialism

Miriam Strube (Paderborn) – Kaleidoscopic Narration: Jazz Aesthetics and Black Pragmatism in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man

16:45     CLOSING REMARKS BY SUSANNE ROHR

 

2018-Phat-hat-collective

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