IPP KNL | Prof. Dr. Stella Butter (Uni Koblenz-Landau): "Challenging Modernity: The Dis/Comforts of Home in Contemporary British and American Literature"
Studies of home help grasp and critically engage with neuralgic points or upheavals in contemporary life, as well as the strategies subjects adopt to deal with these challenges. The importance of home quickly comes to the fore when reflecting on the recent Corona lockdowns or, to name another extreme example, instances of 'domicide' (Porteous & Smith 2001), i.e. the planned destruction of homes through e.g. military aggression or economic projects. One does not, however, have to resort to these extreme cases to reflect on the importance of home. As both a 'spatial imaginary' (Blunt/Dowling) and a set of everyday practices (e.g. family life, domestic consumption), 'doing home' intimately shapes our sense of self, of community, the nation, and the larger fabric of modernity. Drawing on recent developments in studies of home, this lecture will gauge how contemporary British and American literature critically engages with the value of home in its affective, ideological, socio-economic, and ecological dimensions. Given that 'home' is always also imaginary, special attention will be paid to the role that literature may play in the forging of dis/comforts of home.
Porteous, Douglas & Smith, Sandra E. (2001). Domicide. The Global Destruction Of Home. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press.
Blunt, Alison & Dowling, Robyn. (2006). Home. London & New York: Routledge.
// Prof. Dr. Stella Butter is a professor of English and American Literature at the University of Koblenz-Landau. She completed her PhD on Literature as medium of cultural self-reflexivity at Justus Liebig University Giessen (2007) and wrote her postdoctoral degree on contingency in the English novel (ninetieth and twentieth centuries) at Mannheim University (2012).