Document Actions

WS: The Power of Imagination – How Fiction Turns into World Literature


Feb 09, 2024 from 02:00 to 04:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC100)


SR 109

Contact Name

Add event to calendar


In this workshop we will engage with the history and usage of the term ‘world literature’, understood as the widespread or even global circulation of specific literary works. We will identify the driving forces that make literary fiction or any kind of cultural representation travel across cultures, nations, languages and even across time and epochs. The key term to explore here is ‘social energy’, a concept that will be introduced and outlined in the workshop. To spark a knowledge transfer and a transdisciplinary dialogue between literary and cultural studies, history, social and political sciences, and psychology, we will be using a selection of world literary texts and further cultural representations to conjecture or even to define what ‘social energy’ is, how it is sparked by but also shapes our social imaginaries. The concept can be productively employed to analyse certain cultural and social movements, collective interaction, and psychological reactions. While some units of the workshop will be delivered in the form of mini lectures, the focus will be on the participants’ contributions and interactions. No preparatory work or reading is required; participants’ specific knowledge in certain areas of their disciplines will build the basis for our exploration of ‘world literature’ and ‘social energy’.

Suggested Reading:

Herrmann, Elisabeth. “Dialog, Movement, and World Entanglement: Towards a Reconceptualization of World Literature”. Vergleichende Weltliteraturen / Comparative World Literatures. Eds. Dieter Lamping and Galin Tihanov. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler, 2019, pp. 59-79.


// Professor Dr. Elisabeth Herrmann holds the Chair of German Studies at the School of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Warwick in the UK. She completed her doctorate and habilitation in German and Scandinavian Studies at the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg and during the next eight years was a Visiting Professorship at the University of Alberta (Canada) before accepting a professorship at Stockholm University in 2014. Prof. Herrmann's research focuses on cultural identities and collective memories, narratives of change, upheaval and crisis, literary transfer processes, transnational and cosmopolitan currents and comparative world literatures.


Please register via Stud.IP