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MC: Friederike Eigler: Recent Literary Approaches to Flight, Expulsion, and Forced Migration

When Jul 15, 2015
from 11:00 to 03:00
Where B29
Contact Name
Contact Phone (+49) 0641 99 30053
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Against the background of changing scholarly and literary approaches to flight and expulsion and the forced migration of ethnic Germans -- the topic of the lecture --, the master class will explore excerpts of Ulrike Draesner’s recent novel, Sieben Sprünge vom Rand der Welt (2014), and a multi-media website that Draesner created in conjunction with the novel’s publication. The website [] builds a bridge between the fictional realm of the novel and a virtual space that allows for commentary, reflection, and dialogue. Both novel and website provide evidence for a more general trend towards transnational approaches to the national (and nationalized) histories of forced migration. Following a general introduction, the master class will start out with a close reading of the excerpts from the novel.  Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own disciplinary-specific approach to the text and to the issues at hand. Questions that will be considered in the discussion include:

  • How do the novel and the website address not only German but also Polish (post-)memories of forced migration? How do they engage with aspects of contemporary Poland?
  • What kind of virtual space is created through the website? Who is the intended audience? What is the website’s relationship to the novel?
  • What are the possibilities and limitations of a transnational approach to forced migration?
  • What is the special role of literature when it comes to working through traumatic historical events and their transgenerational effects? 
  • Finally, what is the significance of this and related novels for the notion of contemporary European “interzones” (Halle), i.e., virtual and real spaces where different ethnicities and nationalities intersect and interact?


Required Readings


1. Kopp, Kristin and Joanna Niżyńska. “Introduction: Between Entitlement and Reconciliation: Germany and Poland’s Postmemory After 1989.” Germany, Poland, and Postmemorial Relations: In Search of a Livable Past. Eds. Kopp and Niżyńska. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 1-24 (especially pp.9-12).


2. Ulrike Draesner, Sieben Sprünge vom Rand der Welt, 2014. S. 7-20; 439-49.


Please send a short abstract of your PhD project to preferably by the end of June.

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