Moving Cultures, Transcultural Encounters

// Moving Cultures – Transcultural Encounters // Culturas en movimiento – encuentros transculturales // Cultures en mouvement – rencontres transculturelles // Culture in Movimento – Incontri Transculturali // Moving Cultures – Transcultural Encounters // Culturas en movimiento – encuentros transculturales // Cultures en mouvement – rencontres transculturelles // Culture in Movimento – Incontri Transculturali //

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A Master’s programme offered by the Faculty of Modern Languages of




Dr. Pavan Malreddy / Prof. Dr. Frank Schulze-Engler
Department of English and American Studies
Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1
D-60629 Frankfurt am Main
To make an appointment:
Phone: 069/798-32352

Prof. Dr. Jacopo Torregrossa
Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1
D-60629 Frankfurt am Main
To make an appointment:
Phone: 069/798-32021

Book Launch: Kathrin Bartha-Mitchell’s “Cosmological Readings of Contemporary Australian Literature” | 11 July 2024, 6pm (7/3/2024)

Thursday 11 July 2024, 6-8m, IG 1.314 (Eisenhower room), Campus Westend, Goethe University Frankfurt, and on Zoom

This lecture is part of the Forum of Global Anglophone Literatures and Cultures

This event will also be streamed on Zoom. To join on us Zoom, please use the following details:
Meeting ID: 636 5786 0914
Passcode: 326944

With statements by Victoria Herche (Cologne), Geoff Rodoreda (Stuttgart) and Dashiell Moore(Sydney).

This book presents an innovative and imaginative reading of contemporary Australian literature in the context of unprecedented ecological crisis. It focuses on notions of colonisation, farming, mining, bioethics, technology, environmental justice and sovereignty and offers ‘cosmological readings’ of a diverse range of authors—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—as a challenge to the Anthropocene’s decline narrative. This book will be of particular interest to scholars and students of ecocriticism, environmental humanities, and postcolonial and Indigenous studies, with a primary focus on Australian, New Zealand, Oceanic, and Pacific area studies. 


“[This] is an important new work of Australian ecocriticism. Bartha-Mitchell’s readings emphasise interconnections between beings, agencies and systems that work against the traditional humanistic focus of western prose fiction and offer a critical new dimension to Australian literary studies.” 
Tony Hughes-d’Aeth, Chair of Australian Literature, The University of Western Australia

“An innovative intervention in the environmental humanities, this thought-provoking study of contemporary Australian literature makes a powerful case for the generative concept of cosmos and, more broadly, for the importance of literary studies within the wider field.” 
Diletta De Cristofaro, Assistant Professor, Northumbria University, UK

Bio note

Kathrin Bartha-Mitchell is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of New English Literatures and Cultures, Goethe University Frankfurt. Her areas of focus are transcultural Anglophone Literature, Ecocriticism and Intergenerational Justice. She earned her PhD within the joint programme between Goethe and Monash University in Melbourne.

Guest Lecture: Melanie Ashe (Monash): ” 40 Years of the Wasteland: The Making of Mad Max in Far West New South Wales, Australia” | 4 July 2024, 4pm (7/3/2024)

Thursday 4 July 2024, 4-6pm, IG 1.314 (Eisenhower room), Campus Westend, Goethe University Frankfurt, and on Zoom

This lecture is part of the Forum of Global Anglophone Literatures and Cultures

This guest lecture will also take place on Zoom. To join on us Zoom, please use the following details:
Meeting ID: 629 9728 6450
Passcode: 776261

The Mad Max franchise has a tense relationship with the geophysical and atmospheric contingencies of far west New South Wales, Australia. In 2011, Mad Max: Fury Road was set to film in the region, taking advantage of the area’s known vast arid “outback” plains. However, production was suddenly halted due to recent rainfall in the region. The location had become ‘too green’ to conform to the apocalyptic stylings of Mad Max. The film was delayed, and eventually ended up being relocated to Namibia, Africa. While the region not being arid enough to perform its duty as a Mad Max location was widely publicised, what is lesser known is that the region has struggled with producing the apocalyptic aesthetic of the films since the 1980s.

This talk unearths 40 years of Mad Max related histories within this region, including production and industry details of Mad Max 2 (1981), Fury Road (2015), and Furiosa (2024) – all (almost) shot on location in far west NSW. Not considering landscape as merely a setting, I situate on-location filmmaking as an industrial practice, asking how the geophysical spaces of this region in Australia have been critical as ‘co-producers’ in Australia’s film history, alongside humans and political economies. Tracking histories of high rainfall and the related boom of plant growth in this regional arid zone alongside film production, I find that  it remains a common production strategy within the region to physically intervene into the geophysical environment. In this way, I find that the film’s location shapes Mad Max’s aesthetic, but in turn, that film production also shapes the region’s environmental spaces.

Drawing from Australian transnational film histories, environmental humanities, media infrastructures and media industry research, this talk forwards a methodology for thinking about Australia’s film history and contemporary industry as deeply comingled with the environment.

Bio note

Melanie Ashe’s research explores how resource extraction and management has shaped the Australian moving image and its surrounding industry and cultures, focusing on the region around Broken Hill as a case study. Her research is part of the Australian Research Council funded project,‘Remaking the Australian Environment Through Documentary Film and Television’. Previously, she worked in Environmental Communications before completing her Masters in Film Studies at Concordia University in Montreal.

Guest Lecture: Prof. Dr. Ananya Jahanara Kabir, FBA (King’s College): “Transoceanic Belonging: Activating Memories of Portuguese Presence in Goa” | 6 June 2024 (6/5/2024)

Thursday 6 June 2024, 6-8pm, Cas 1.801 (Renate von Metzler-Saal), Campus Westend, Goethe University Frankfurt,

This lecture is part of the Forum of Global Anglophone Literatures and Cultures

This lecture will explore how the memory of Portuguese presence in Goa has been recollected by authors of Goan heritage representing different generations — e.g. Lambert Mascarenhas’ ‘Sorrowing lies my Land’ (1955), Maria Aurora Couto’s ‘Goa: A Daughter’s Story’ (2004), and Suneeta Peres da Costa’s ‘Saudade’ (2019). I will read these literary texts within the memory work being undertaken in the post-Pandemic moment by a range of entrepreneurs within Goa’s creative economy as well as an increasing body of artists returning to the rich musical legacy of the Portuguese empire. From Nehru’s India, when Goa got absorbed into the Indian Union, to the early years of Hindutva ascendancy, and now to Modi’s India, turning to the history connecting Portugal to India represent conscious acts of memorialisation by these diverse cultural actors. Their literary, embodied, and performed interventions activate memories of transoceanic belonging whose postcolonial significance I draw out through theories of interimperiality, archipelagicity, and creolisation.

Bio note

Ananya Jahanara Kabir is Professor of English Literature at King’s College London. She researches the intersection of the written text with other forms of cultural expression within acts of collective memorialization and forgetting. She is currently writing ‘Alegropolitics: Connecting on the Afromodern Dance Floor.’ Her new research projects explore further the concepts of transoceanic creolization through cultural production across the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds. 

Through an ERC Advanced Grant (2013-2018), she led ‘Modern Moves’, an interdisciplinary investigation into African-heritage social dance and music. For her innovative work in the Humanities, she received the Infosys Humanities Prize (2018), awarded by the Infosys Science Foundation, India, and  the Humboldt Forschungspreis (Humboldt Prize, 2018), awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, Germany.

TraCe Event: “Rethinking Cosmopolitan Memory in Post-Colonial Contexts” | An international and interdisciplinary Roundtable (4/23/2024)

Thursday, May 2, 2024, at 6 pm (18:00 s.t.)

Goethe University Frankfurt, Campus Westend, Casino, Room 1.811

The increasing globalization of collective memories has been at the centre of debates within the interdisciplinary field of Memory Studies for more than two decades. In the early 2000s, Daniel Levy’s and Natan Sznaider’s book The Holocaust and Memory in the Global Age (2001) energized discussions that led to the transcultural and transnational turn in Memory Studies. Their concept of “cosmopolitan memory” – based on the insight that memories of the Holocaust were used as a “template” for addressing political violence and genocide worldwide and had brought about new visions global justice – was widely discussed both as a conceptual tool and as a normative idea.

Over the past decade, concerns have been raised about the particular dynamics of cosmopolitan memory in postcolonial contexts. Claims for recognition and reparation of colonial injustices have caught increasing international attention. Political debates about the decolonization of international legal frameworks followed. Such more recent postcolonial and decolonial perspectives invite us to critically rethink the idea of cosmopolitan memory.

The public debates and political violence of the 2020s (the Mbembe-scandal, Documenta 15, the “historians’ debate 2.0,” the war in Ukraine, the Israel-Palestine conflict) brought home the need to rethink conceptualizations of cosmopolitan memory even more strongly. (How) can we adapt them to particular mnemonic contexts? How can we better pay attention to marginalized regions and debates? What happens when memories produced and curated in Europe travel to different regions in the Global South? How do descendants of colonial injustices and activists relate to “other people’s memories,” and how do they seek to mobilize cosmopolitan memory in their struggles for recognition and reparation? For example, what role do cosmopolitan dynamics currently play in debates about the colonial genocide of the OvaHerero and Nama in Namibia and Germany’s responsibility? Or in remembering imperialism and India’s 1947 partition among South Asian communities in the UK? Or how are memories of the Holocaust and Japanese occupation entangled in the Philippines?

Our roundtable opens up a space to discuss and develop new perspectives on such entangled and sometimes contradictory contemporary processes of mnemonic transformation. It brings together international scholars and activists engaging with cosmopolitan memory, post-colonialism and decolonization from a variety of perspectives. 


Emily Keightley (Professor of Media and Memory Studies, Loughborough University)

Daniel Levy (Professor of Sociology, Stony Brook University)

Jocelyn S. Martin (Associate Professor, Faculté des Humanités, Université Catholique de l’Ouest)

Jephta U. Nguherimo (Writer and Reparation Activist, OvaHereroPeople’s Memorial & Reconstruction Foundation, Washington/Windhoek)

The roundtable will be moderated by

Kaya de Wolff (Ph.D. in Media and Communication Studies, with a thesis on memories of the OvaHerero and Nama genocide in the German press; Researcher in the TraCe Network)

Astrid Erll (Professor of English at Goethe University, founder of the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform, and co-speaker of TraCe)

To register, please contact Cornelia Argast.

For information about the speakers, visit the event page.

TraCe Book Talk on May 2: Anoma Pieris on Decolonial Memorialisation and Intersectional Sovereignty (4/23/2024)

Thursday, 2 May 2024, 3-6pm 
Campus Westend, Casino, Room 1.811

In this talk, Professor Anoma Pieris discusses the design, intellectual framing for and methodological approach to her most recent publication, The Architecture of Confinement: Incarceration Camps of the Pacific War (Cambridge University Press 2022), co-authored with Japanese-American scholar Lynne Horiuchi. The book takes the arc of the Pacific Basin and incarceration environment heritage and memory as a framework for understanding how settler societies impacted by war negotiated changing attitudes to citizenship. Presenting the Pacific theatre of World War II as a site of imperial border conflict between Britain, its allies and Japan, the research covers memorial sites in North America, Asia and Australia.

To register, please contact the organizers at trace-events(at) until April 25, 2024.

Find out more on the event page

Read the Room: Environmental Humanities Slow Reading Group (4/9/2024)

Bi-weekly meetings, starting Tuesday 23 April, 4pm | Room SH 0.109

Dr. Kathrin Bartha-Mitchell and Clara Hebel (M.A.) are running an Environmental Humanities slow reading group on Astrida Neimanis’ Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology this summer term.

Poster for Read the Room: Environmental Humanities Slow Reading Group

What it is

The format of this group follows the principles of slow, emergent, and collective scholarship. We want to try out a new format: We will (silently) read a section of the text while we are gathered in one room, and then discuss it together.

How to join

This means that no prior preparation is necessary, nor is a registration; if you’re interested just come along! Neimanis’ text is available for free online.

More information:…

Thinking an Egyptian Street: NELK Lecture on November 30 (11/22/2023)

Zoom link:

Sweet Tassa: Music of the Indian Caribbean Diaspora (2019) | Film Screening, Tuesday 14 November, 6pm | SH 2.105 (10/23/2023)

Tuesday 14 November, 6pm, SH 2.105 (Seminarhaus, Campus Westend, Max-Horkheimer-Str. 4)

Am 14. November wird Christopher L. Ballengee seine Dokumentation Sweet Tassa: Music of the Indian Caribbean Diaspora über Musik, Politik und Zugehörigkeit in Trinidad und Tobago am Institut für Musikwissenschaft vorführen. Der Regisseur und Musikethnologe wird eine Einführung geben und nach dem Film für Diskussion und Fragen zur Verfügung stehen.

About the film

Brought to Trinidad by indentured laborers from India who first arrived in 1845, tassa drumming has become an important marker of Indian Trinidadian cultural identity. The film explores both musical and political elements of tassa performance, focusing on the life and family of noted drummer Lenny Kumar. As the story unfolds, tassa emerges as a metaphor for Indian Caribbean culture, rooted in India while also thoroughly Caribbean.

About Christopher L. Ballengee

Christopher L. Ballengee is an ethnomusicologist and Associate Professor of Music at Anne Arundel Community College (Maryland, USA). He has researched Indian music in Trinidad and the Caribbean community in Florida since 2007. He was the inaugural Diego Carpitella Visual Ethnomusicology fellow at the Intercultural Institute of Comparative Music Studies (Venice, Italy) in 2018-2019, which supported the production of Sweet Tassa: Music of the Indian Caribbean Diaspora.

Terra Estrangeira (1996) | Film Screening, Thursday 9 November, 6pm | SH 3.107 (10/18/2023)

Thursday 9 November, 6pm, SH 3.107

Original Portuguese Version with English Subtitles

Terra Estrangeira: Cinematographic Constructions of Lisbon from the Perspective of

During Bolsonaro’s presidency (2019-22), many Brazilians migrated to Europe. This heavy
migration movement was preceded by the one in 1990 (Plano Collor) and the one around 1999
(devaluation of the real / “efeito samba”). Many Brazilians ended up in Portugal, also due to
the close historical linkages. Since 1986, when Portugal entered the EU, the country has been
subject to strong social changes in a roller coaster of neoliberal rise and debt crisis. Brazilians
joined other immigrant groups, especially from Cabo Verde, Angola, and later from Eastern
Europe. These people settled in a different Lisbon than the one advertised in tourism. They are
often on a journey of no return.

Cidade branca – Terra Estrangeira

In this context, Lisbon assumes an emblematic imaginary role as a place of arrival and
reception. This sets the framework for cinematic constructions of Lisbon from a migrants’
perspective. Terra Estrangeira (1996; directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas) is a
largely improvised low budget production (black and white) with unknown faces and faces
familiar from the telenovelas. It has become a cult film in the production of director Walter
Salles (Central Station; The Motorcycle Diaries) and is also the inspiration for Portuguese
filmmaker José Barahona’s literary adaptation of Luiz Ruffato’s tale of an ordinary emigrant’s
fate in Estive em Lisboa e lembrei de você (2015).

Loli na Alfama

Further Screenings
Be our guest at other films on Lisbon during winter 2023/24:
Oct. 26 Dans la Ville Blanche (1983; Alain Tanner). German subtitles.
Nov. 2 Zona J (1998; Leonel Vieira). Portuguese subtitles.
Jan. 25 Estive em Lisboa e lembrei de você (2015; José Barahona). No subtitles.
February 1 Silêncio – Vozes de Lisboa (2022; Céline Coste Carlisle, Judit Kalmár). German

All films are OV Portuguese. The screenings take place in SH 3.107 of the GU and are free of

O Cortiço dos Negros
NELK Research Colloquium, Tuesday, June 6, 6-8 pm, c.t. | IG 411 (5/30/2023)


Meeting ID 384 103 2435; Pass: 878754

James Yékú (University of Kansas)  

#EndSARS: Literary-Cultural Activism and the Afterlives of Hashtags

In this talk, Yékú revisits the #EndSARS campaign against police brutality in Nigeria and, by analyzing the social media movement in Nigeria as a significant moment in the brutal exercise of state power as a site of coercion, he examines how everyday digital subjects mobilized literary and cultural productions as oppositional discourses. By reflecting on the creation of a digital archive of poetry and the project’s later remediation as a print anthology, Yékú examines the ways in which hashtags become entangled with literary activism in Nigeria and become reiterable in new temporal and medial frames long after the social movements that activate them.

James Yékú is an Assistant Professor of African and African American studies at the University of Kansas, where he leads the African digital humanities program. He is the author of Cultural Netizenship: Social Media, Popular Culture, and Performance in Nigeria (Indiana University Press), and a book of poetry, Where the Baedeker Leads (Mawenzi House, Toronto). His current digital projects include Digital Nollywood, an Omeka-based collection of vintage film posters from Nigeria. Yékú was a 2022 fellow at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) in Bochum and will, in June 2023, be a postdoctoral fellow at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz where he works with the Cultural Entrepreneurship and Digital Transformation in Africa and Asia research team.

NELK Literary Workshop: Guest Lecture and Reading with Tanaka Chidora (2/1/2023)

Tanaka Chidora (Zimbabwe; currently Humboldt Fellow at Goethe University)

And Now the Poets Do Not Speak: The Politics of Representation in Zimbabwean Writing, 1957–2023

Thursday, Feb 2, 2023 6-8 pm | Room 1.812 Campus Westend, Casino Building

In this talk, Tanaka Chidora analyses the politics of representation in Zimbabwean literature, particularly exploring the policing of creative writing from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. He argues that the position of the Zimbabwean writer portends a dilemma that amounts to being gagged from depicting certain truths about the nation or not speaking at all. In Rhodesia, the black writer was under surveillance by the Rhodesia Literature Bureau which forced the writer to focus on issues that were considered apolitical. Those who wanted to confront colonialism head-on published outside Rhodesia, but at a time when the militarily-executed anticolonial struggle was gaining momentum, these writers were expected to demonise colonialism while praising the nationalist movement regardless of existing evidence of it becoming a source of tyranny in the independent nation. The same dilemmas afflict the new crop of Zimbabwe’s writers who feel the need to depict the ills of Zimbabwe. In his exploration of these dilemmas, Chidora makes reference to notable works by creative writers and critics from Zimbabwe and beyond.

Tanaka Chidora is a published poet, short story writer and literary academic from Zimbabwe. His first poetry collection, Because Sadness is Beautiful? (2019) was published to critical acclaim in Zimbabwe and has been widely described as vivid, subversive and scatological. Tanaka is currently based at Goethe University where he is a Humboldt postdoctoral fellow researching on violence, memory and literature in Zimbabwe. His debut novel, Carrying a Country on Your Forehead, is set to be published in 2023.

MCTE Exam Registration Dates (2/1/2023)

The exam registration dates for the current term are as follows:

  • MCTE Introduction: Registration for written exam from 24 January – 7 February
  • MCTE Language Courses (Module MCTE 4): Registration for written exams from 19 January – 30 January
  • MCTE Modules 2 and 3: Registration for long term papers (Modulabschlussprüfung) from 27 January – 27 March

The registration process proceeds via QIS/LSF.

NELK Literary Workshop: Guest Lecture and Reading with Remi Raji (2/1/2023)

Remi Raji (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)

An Album of Anglophone Nigerian Poetry, 1952-2022: A Harvest of Traditions, Talents and Trends

Thursday, Jan 19, 2023 6-8 pm | Room CAS 1.812 Campus Westend, Casino Building

This presentation is a panoptic survey of seven decades of contemporary Nigerian poetry written in English. It is a general discourse of four major generations of poets, with each period marked by their agencies and undercurrents, characteristics, major voices and significations. For its range of publications, contemporary Nigerian writing holds a remarkable fount within African literary space. Although the generational categorisation of modern Nigerian poetry is decidedly a matter of critical convenience, there are notable and established trends and tendencies of the tradition which include socio-political engagment, female consciousness, Niger Delta imagination, ecological sensibilities, and other peculiar aesthetic idioms which project the Nigerian/African condition in symbolic reliefs.

Aderemi Raji-Oyelade (aka Remi Raji) teaches Literature of the African Diaspora, Literary Theory, Creative Writing, and New Media in the Department of English, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. His scholarly essays have appeared in journals including Research in African Literatures, ARIEL, Wasafiri, Matatu, and African Literature Today. His book – Playful Blasphemies: Postproverbials as Archetypes of Modernity in Yoruba Culture (2012, rev. 2022) – has received acclaim as a seminal work in contemporary African studies. Raji-Oyelade is the coordinator of a multi-site, pan-African research project on the theory and practices of postproverbials in seven African countries.

A member of Nigeria’s Third Generation writers, Raji’s has read his poems widely in Africa, Europe and America. In 2005, he served as the Guest Writer to the City of Stockholm, Sweden. His volumes of poetry include A Harvest of Laughters (1997), Webs of Remembrance (2001), Shuttlesongs America: A Poetic Guided Tour (2003), Lovesong for My Wasteland (2005), Gather My Blood Rivers of Song (2009), Sea of My Mind (2013) and Wanderer Cantos (2021). His works have been translated into French, German, Catalan, Swedish, Ukrainian, Latvian and Croatian.

MCTE Meeting Holiday Edition 14.12.22 (11/18/2022)

The Global Office Invites to the International Week (07.-10.11.22) (11/1/2022)

The Global Office invites students to the yearly international week, which takes place virtually from Monday, 7 to Thursday, 10 November 2022.

In numerous events, the Global Office, other departments of Goethe University as well as external organisers will present diverse opportunities for a stay abroad during your studies. In addition, former exchange students will report on their studies abroad. The full programme can be found here.

Furthermore, the Global Office draws attention to the following application deadlines for exchange programmes in the academic year 2023/24:

Direct exchange programmes USA and Canada
Applications are open until 15 November 2022.
Further information:

Applications are open until 1 February 2023.
Further information:

Direct exchange programmes with partner universities in Japan, China, South Korea, Israel, Czech Republic and Brazil 
Applications are open until the beginning of February 2023 (calls for applications will be updated in the course of the winter term 22/23).
Further information:

Exchange with universities in Australia as part of the Hessen-Queensland programme in 2024
Application deadline in May 2023 (calls for applications will be updated in spring 2023).
Further information:

Students who would like to apply for a semester abroad in the academic year 2023/24 within the framework of a faculty cooperation (not Erasmus), please register or apply via the following website:

Information for freemovers can be found at If you are studying abroad as a freemover, please register under this link.

If you have any questions, please contact the Global Office:
For questions about studying abroad:
For questions about internships abroad:

ConTrust International Workshop (Working Group 5) December 2-3, 2022 (10/24/2022)


The two-day event convened by Johannes Voelz and Pavan Malreddy “The Affective Logic of Populism: Trust, Distrust, and the Productivity of Conflict” will take place at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, Bad Homburg, December 2-3, 2022.

In order to participate you need to please register. To do so click here. The registration deadline is November 18, 2022.

More details and the full programme can be found on the event flyer, which is available here.

MCTE Welcome Event 21.10.22 (10/16/2022)

New Course Added to MCTE Syllabus for the Winter Term 2022/23 (9/27/2022)

The course “Transcultural Ecocriticism: Moving Cultures in Times of Ecological Crisis”, taught by Dr. Kathrin Bartha-Mitchell, has been included in the MCTE syllabus for the winter term 2022/23. You can find all information about this course here.

Internship Position Available at the Office for Multicultural Affairs of the City of Frankfurt am Main (4/21/2022)

The Office for Multicultural Affairs of the city of Frankfurt offers an internship starting on 01.06.2022. Please find all details here. Applications must be submitted by 25.04.2022.

NELK Congratulates Stefanie Kemmerer, the winner of GAPS Graduate Award (4/16/2022)

Stefanie Kemmerer, an Alumni of the Moving Cultures Masters programme, is the winner of 2022 GAPS (German Asocciation of Anglophone Postcolonial Studies) Graduate Award for her Masters thesis titled “Yogascapes: The Visual Politics of Transcultural Yoga as seen on Instagram“ (supervised by Dr. Pavan Malreddy & Prof. Dr. Schulze-Engler). Both NELK and MCTE proudly celebrate her achievement.

After finishing her Masters, she took up a position at Brill Germany as a Junior Acquisitions Editor. There, she is responsible for evaluating and editing incoming manuscripts, prepare contracts with authors, and catalogues advertising upcoming novelties.

Stefanie has studied Culture and Economy with a focus on Spanish Studies at the Universities of Mannheim and Alcalá de Henares (Spain). In her B.A. thesis she investigated representations of violence and power in the work of Spanish author Julio Llamazares. Before she resumed her studies, she worked as an HR Business Partner and HR specialist. In 2018, she joined Goethe University as an M.A. student in the Moving Cultures – Transcultural Encounters programme and studied Comparative Literature at the University of Utrecht.

She can be reached by email:

NELK Book Club (3/25/2022)

AlterNatives by Drew Hayden Taylor

Thursday 31.03.2022 | 6pm on Zoom

A very liberal contemporary couple—Angel, an urban Native science fiction writer, and Colleen, a “non-practising” Jewish intellectual who teaches Native literature—hosts a dinner party. The guests at this little “sitcom” soirée are couples that represent what by now have become the clichéd extremes of both societies: Angel’s former radical Native activist buddies and Colleen’s environmentally concerned vegetarian / veterinarian friends. The menu is, of course, the hosts’ respectful attempt at shorthand for the irreconcilable cultural differences about to come to a head during the evening: moose roast and vegetarian lasagna.

For more information and if you would like to attend the event, please contact the organisers Silvia Anastasijevic ( and Michelle Stork (

The meeting is open to all staff and students, just read the book and come along.

GAPS 2022 – Contested Solidarities: Agency and Victimhood in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures (2/4/2022)

32nd Annual Conference of the Association for Anglophone Postcolonial Studies (Gesellschaft für Anglophone Postkoloniale Studien / GAPS)

Contested Solidarities: Agency and Victimhood in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures

Goethe University Frankfurt | 26-29 May, 2022

Keynotes/Plenary Speakers/Writers:

Sinan Antoon (Iraq/USA) | Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria) | Blessing Obada (Germany/Nigeria) | Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (Kenya) | Michael Rothberg (UCLA) | Arundhati Roy (India)

If Anglophone literatures and cultures worldwide once sprang from a contested terrain of solidarities emerging in the shadow of colonialism, many of them have been struggling with the legacies of these solidarities, with ideals of liberation that turned into new forms of oppression, and with the clamorous or muted appeal of old and new victimhoods for more than half a century now. Ethnic, racial or national victimhood and solidarity have been invoked in a cynical politics of exclusion all over the globe – from an aggressive assertion of Hindu hegemony in India to the militant Buddhism in the guise of nationalism in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, the abuse of anticolonialism as an ideology of oppression in Zimbabwe. In a quite different setting, victimhood has also become a mainspring of the anxiety-infested xenophobia spawned by right-wing populism in contemporary Europe. At the same time, the oppression of minorities and the plight of political, economic and environmental refugees has generated new forms of sociality as well as solidarity.

While the 21st century has seen the exhaustion of ‘enchanted’ or ‘unconditional’ solidarities rallying around idealized images of oppressed ‘postcolonial’ or ‘third world’ collectivities, sections of academia continue to see ‘resistance’ as form of catharsis, or even a panacea for a myriad of victimhoods and grievances. Yet, Anglophone literary texts and cultural productions themselves have long since engaged in self-reflexive encounters that have undermined trite formulations of perpetrators and victims and have explored the tribulations of what Michael Rothberg has recently called ‘implicated subjects’ (2019): all modern subjects are involuntarily implicated both in the history of oppression and victimhood, often simultaneously – not only in the formerly colonizing, but also in the formerly colonized regions of the world. More often than not, these implications, which call for a ‘disenchanted’ or ‘conditional’ solidarity that holds the abuses of victimhood in the name of agency accountable, cut across habitual East/West or North/South divides: as large parts of the world are rightly admiring civil resistance against the current military rulers of Myanmar and deploring the overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi, the memory of how her own government was complicit with the persecution of the Rohingya minority in Burma seems to be waning. At the same time, European admonitions to respect democracy and protect the Rohingya refugees are timely but hardly beyond reproof given the background of calculated misery in its refugee camps in the Mediterranean and unceasing daily deaths at its external frontiers.

The 2022 Annual Conference of the Association for Postcolonial Anglophone Studies (GAPS) will engage in a wide-ranging reassessment of implicated subjects, of the uses and abuses of victimhood, of different forms of agency, and of the manifold implications of English as a medium of literary and cultural expression in anglophone literatures, cultures and media. Participants are invited to scrutinize fictional encounters with ‘internal’ forms of oppression, with the ‘enemy within’ (Nandy) and ‘the danger of a single story’ (Adichie), or the excessive display of wealth and power by local bourgeoisies (Mbembe). They are also encouraged to engage in a self-reflexive discussion on the role of ‘unconditional’ and ‘conditional’ solidarities in Anglophone literary cultures and on the role of victimhood in recent debates on globalization, world literature and the Anthropocene. Furthermore, participants may wish to tackle the new solidarities expressed through concepts such as cosmopolitanism (Appiah), Afropolitanism (Selasi), conviviality (Gilroy) or environmental justice and to explore the role of anglophone literatures and cultures as ‘resources of hope’ (Raymond Williams). Participants are further welcome to focus on transitions from a politics of victimhood to a poetics of agency in anglophone literatures and cultures and to scrutinize the role of English in plurilingual contact zones across the world.

Conference convenors: Dr. Pavan Kumar Malreddy and Prof. Dr. Frank Schulze-Engler, Institute for English and American Studies, Goethe University Frankfurt.


Please find out more on the conference’s website.

New Publication by Moving Cultures Professor Emeritus Jürgen Erfurt: Transkulturalität – Prozesse und Perspektiven (2/4/2022)

Der Band befasst sich mit kulturellen Verflechtungs- und Austauschbeziehungen. Er geht davon aus, dass sich Gemeinschaften wie Individuen mit ihren Sprachen, Literaturen, Medien nicht in ethnisch abgeschlossenen, sprachlich homogenen und territorial abgegrenzten Räumen konstituieren, sondern durch Verflechtungen, die sich im Wesentlichen aus Migration, Mobilität und Kontakt ergeben. Er geht der Frage nach, was es bedeutet, wenn sich Kulturen in ihrer Verschiedenheit begegnen und der Kontakt zwischen ihnen auf Aushandlungsprozesse angewiesen ist. Anliegen des Buchs ist, einige der für Transkulturalität zentralen Forschungsfelder und Konzepte wie Hybridität, Translatio, migrantisches Schreiben, Erinnerung, Sprachbiographie, Diaspora, Kosmopolitismus u.a. zu diskutieren und hierbei die Bedeutung von Sprache, Sprachen und Mehrsprachigkeit im Kontext von Transkulturalität auszuloten.

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Erfurt lehrte und forschte von 1996 bis 2020 am Institut für Romanische Sprachen und Literaturen der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main.

Please find more information on the publisher’s website or access the book via the university’s library.

NELK Research Colloquium Guest Lecture: Anna-Leena Toivanen (2/3/2022)

Anna-Leena Toivanen (University of Eastern Finland)

Reading Postcolonial Mobilities: A Mobility Studies Perspective on Afrodiasporic Return Travelogues

Thursday, Feb 17, 2022 6-8 pm, c.t. CET | ZOOM

Based on the premise that mobilities are full of meaning, mobility studies is a field that places the very act of movement at the centre of analysis. Approaching the mobility studies framework from a “mobility humanities” perspective and putting it into dialogue with postcolonial literary studies, this talk focuses on portrayals of modes of transportation in contemporary Anglo- and Francophone Afrodiasporic return travelogues by Michèle Rakotoson, Teju Cole, Nimrod, and Noo Saro-Wiwa. The analysis draws attention to the ways in which different mobility practices and modes of transport contribute to producing the meanings of space (place of return) and subjectivity (the diasporic returnee).

Dr Anna-Leena Toivanen is an Academy Research Fellow at the University of Eastern Finland. She acts as the literary studies subject editor of the Nordic Journal of African Studies. She has published widely on mobility-related themes in African literatures and her most recent articles feature in Urban Studies, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Transfers, and Mobilities. She is the author of Mobilities and Cosmopolitanisms in African and Afrodiasporic Literatures (Brill 2021).

Can works of fiction precipitate restitution? (1/27/2022)



Can works of fiction precipitate restitution?

by SHIFT collective (FR/GER) and Down River Road (KE)

Saturday, January 29th, 2022 | 5 pm EAT / 3 pm CET | online event | please register here

The last few years have seen seismic shifts in the thinking around the restitution of objects held in institutions of the North to African countries. Yet, few objects have actually physically moved. We ask ourselves if this inertia is due to more than just politics and economics. Perhaps it is due to a lack of imagination. How can stories about the fate and ghosts of return help us imagine a future of restitution? Reparation? Home?

How does the future look from a point of restitution? What do the objects find when returning home? What communities gather around them? What histories, narratives and new sociabilities do they trigger and provoke?

The event marks the launch of a new collaborative project by the SHIFT collective and Down River Road, one of the journals currently contributing to the vividness of the literary scene in Nairobi and beyond: an anthology of short stories by Kenyan writers imagining the return of cultural objects back to Kenya. The event will be centered around the reading of the first short story in the anthology, followed by a discussion on a future of restitution and the place of fiction in imagining alternative futures.


Alexis Teyie is a Kenyan writer and publisher. Currently Managing Editor, Down River Road.They are a co-founder of Enkare Review (c.2016), and Nairobi-based imprint, Magic Door (c.2020). Books include:  Short Cut  (2015), and  Clay Plates: Broken Records of Kiswahili Proverbs  (2016).

Felix Omondi is a poet, writer, community journalist and a podcaster. A recipient of the 2020 NF2W9 poetry scholarship with poems published in the third issue of down river road magazine. He also translates work into sheng.

Greenman Muleh Mbillo is an Akamba philosopher, artist and traditional healer according to the ancient practice of ‘Kamuti’ or ‘of the tree’. Greenman inherited this practice from birth and was later trained by Kanukwa, a female Akamba philosopher, who delivered him to be educated by Spirit. He is also a partaker of contemporary Western education through both established institutions and private education arrangement. Greenman’s main interests are directed to the archeology 1. of ancient knowledge systems and especially that of the Akamba people, and more broadly, of the Khemetic people who established the African continent.

Ray Mwihaki. Ray is often considered weird but she’d like to assure the general public that it really depends on the hour. She is a writer, reader, artist, mother… living in Nairobi. Her work has been published by Down River Road, World’s Loudest Library, Creative’s Garage, Omenana, The Poetry Project, Arizona State University and UNICEF.

Michelle K. Angwenyi is a writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She was shortlisted for the 2018 Brunel Africa International Poetry Prize, and for the 2017 Short Story Day Africa Prize. She has a chapbook, Grey Latitudes, forthcoming from Akashic Books and the African Poetry Book Fund (APBF) in 2020.

Down River Road is an online and print journal that publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and ideas. “We are interested in the margins, in the shifting centres and the new spaces that exist in what we’ve come to call the alternative. We are curious about how we can all imagine and create this world, build this world, shape this small corner of the Internet into a place we can claim.”

SHIFT (Sam Hopkins, Marian Nur Goni, Simon Rittmeier) is a transnational collective working on the intersection of art and research, particularly on issues related to African objects diaspora in the aftermath of colonialism and imperialism.

The event is part of the “Invisible Inventories” exhibition at the Weltkulturenmuseum Frankfurt / Germany

Student Assistant Position Available (1/17/2022)

Prof. Frank Schulze-Engler is looking for a Student Assistant to help with organizing editorial work for an international journal

Duration: 20 hours per month from February 2022 to March 2023
Qualifications: Excellent knowledge of English, advanced organisational skills, willingness to work with online editorial computer software.
Applications: Please send your application letter and CV directly to Prof. Dr. Frank Schulze-Engler (
Deadline: 24.01.2022

New Frontiers in Memory Studies Lecture Series: John Sutton (11/10/2021)

John Sutton (Durham University)

Memory and Distributed Cognition: Inhabiting the Past Together – Notes on Place, Memory, and Re-enactment

Tuesday 30 November 6:15 pm | online via Zoom –> register here

Place and memory are deeply entangled. Their connections are studied in many disparate fields, which are often difficult to move between. After outlining a broadly ‘cognitive-ecological’ framework for understanding ‘place memory’ across distinctive contexts, this talk tries to open some pathways between distinct disciplinary sectors by sketching ideas on two related topics. First, how are the sciences of spatial cognition addressing deep embodied familiarity with places, with specific landscapes or cityscapes or taskscapes, as opposed to the navigation of new or artificial environments? Second, zooming in on social aspects of place memory, what differences does it make when people can collaborate in finding ways to inhabit old or new places together? Here, with reference to historical and contemporary examples from literature, architecture, and performance, I discuss some emotional and political challenges of dealing with historically difficult heritage, and some creative collaborative ways of doing so.

John Sutton‘s research addresses memory, skill, and cognitive history. He is author of Philosophy and Memory Traces: Descartes to Connectionism. His most recent co-edited volume, with Kath Bicknell, is Collaborative Embodied Performance: Ecologies of Skill, which will be published by Bloomsbury in January. Sutton is currently spending a term as Visiting Fellow at Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study working on their interdisciplinary project Representing Memory.

New Frontiers in Memory Studies is a lecture series by the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform.

Memory in Africa: State of the Field (Conference) (11/10/2021)

The Africa Chapter of the Memory Studies Association (MSA) will be holding its annual conference as an online event on November 24 & 25, 2021:

Memory in Africa: State of the Field

Please click here for the programme (includes all Zoom links).

The event is convened by Atabongwoung Gallous & Bridget Modema (University of Pretoria), and Hanna Teichler (Goethe University Frankfurt).

NELK Research Colloquium Guest Lecture: Johannes Riquet (10/27/2021)

Johannes Riquet (Tampere)

Circumpolar Planetarities and Transcultural Geographies in Contemporary Arctic Cinema

Thursday, Nov 4, 2021 6-8 pm, c.t. CET | ZOOM

This talk examines how Arctic landscapes mediate migrant and refugee experiences in recent filmic mediations of the high north, focusing on Nigerian-American Chinonye Chukwu’s alaskaLand (2012), Inuk filmmaker Lucy Tulugarjuk’s Tia and Piujuq (2018), and the Filipino film Nuuk (Veronica Velasco, 2019). Discussing the affective bonds between the young protagonists and the landscape, I draw on Adriana Craciun’s suggestion that “[t]he circumpolar Arctic […] is central to any planetary consciousness” to explore how these films poeticise geography in their construction of the Arctic as a relational space. Bringing into dialogue different concepts of space form the films’ various cultural contexts, I argue that each of them creates transcultural geographies that not only allow us to rethink the Arctic as a space of planetary entanglement, but also offer ways of pluralising and decolonising spatial thought.

Johannes Riquet is Professor of English Literature at Tampere University. He is the author of The Aesthetics of Island Space: Perception, Ideology, Geopoetics (OUP, 2019) and the co-editor of Spatial Modernities: Geography, Narrative, Imaginaries (Routledge, 2018). His research interests include spatiality, the links between literature and geography, travel writing, diaspora, and mobility. He is the Principal Investigator of the collaborative project Mediated Arctic Geographies (Academy of Finland, 2019-2023) and directs the research group Spatial Studies and Environmental Humanities at Tampere University.

NELK Research Colloquium: Flora Veit-Wild (10/15/2021)

Flora Veit-Wild – A Reading and Conversation

Thursday, Oct 21, 2021 | 6-8 pm, c.t. Hybrid event | Room IG 4.201 | ZOOM

Flora Veit-Wild reads from her recently published memoir They Called You Dambudzo

Moderated by Dr. Magdalena Pfalzgraf

They Called You Dambudzo is a memoir with a ‘double heartbeat’. At its centre is the author’s relationship with the late Zimbabwean writer, Dambudzo Marechera, whose award-winning book The House of Hunger marked him as a powerful, disruptive, perhaps prophetic voice in African literature. Flora Veit-Wild is internationally recognised for her significant contribution to preserving Marechera’s legacy. What is less known about Marechera and Veit-Wild is that they had an intense, personal and sexual relationship. This memoir explores this: the couple’s first encounter in 1983, amidst the euphoria of the newly independent Zimbabwe; the tumultuous months when the homeless writer moved in with his lover and her family; the bouts of creativity once he had his own flat followed by feelings of abandonment; the increasing despair about a love affair that could not stand up against reality and the illness of the writer and his death of HIV related pneumonia in August 1987. What follows are the struggles Flora went through once Dambudzo had died. On the one hand she became the custodian of his life and work, on the other she had to live with her own HIV infection and the ensuing threats to her health.

Flora Veit-Wild is Emerita Professor of African literatures at Humboldt University, Berlin. She lived in Harare/Zimbabwe from 1983 to 1993 and became known for her work on Zimbabwean literature and as literary executor and biographer of Dambudzo Marechera and a founder member of the Zimbabwe Women Writers. Her numerous publications include studies of body, madness, sexuality and gender in Anglophone and Francophone African writing as well as code-switching and linguistic innovation in Shona literature. Her memoir They Called You Dambudzo is her first book-length literary work.

More information on Flora Veit-Wild:

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If you have questions or concerns regarding this event, please get in touch with Michelle Stork (

The Department of New Anglophone Literatures and Cultures (NELK) congratulates Abdulrazak Gurnah on winning the Nobel Prize for Literature 2021! (10/10/2021)

Click here for information on the work of the Nobel laureate and his visits to Goethe University Frankfurt.

A Touch of the Divine: A Conversation with Yann Martel (7/6/2021)

In Transit|ion – Frankfurt Lectures in Literary and Cultural Studies

A Touch of the Divine:
A Conversation with Yann Martel

Moderator: Pavan Malreddy

Thursday 15 July 2021 | 17-18:30 hrs. CET | via ZOOM | Register at

Yann Martel is a world-renowned writer, with a readership in over forty languages. He has authored four novels, a short story collection and a book of letters to the Prime Minister of Canada. His acclaimed novel Life of Pi (2001) – the most popular winner of the Booker ever – was a universal bestseller, and was adapted to the screen by Oscar-winning director Ang Lee. Given the prominence of animals, anthropomorphism, and comparative religions in his work, critics have variedly dubbed him a postsecularist, posthumanist, magic realist and a maverick of form. A classicist in style, a lyricist in prose, an Avant-gardist in spirit, Yann Martel deals with themes and motifs as expansive as God, art, adventures, migration, and taxidermy. This conversation will be based on his previous as well as ongoing writing projects.

“In Transit|ion – Frankfurt Lectures in Literary and Cultural Studies” is a prestigious lecture series organized by the Institute of English and American Studies at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. Twice a semester, leading scholars and writers from around the world present their work in the fields of American Studies, English Studies, and Anglophone Literatures and Cultures.

In cooperation with Graduatenkolleg Configurations of Film.

NELK Research Colloquium Guest Lecture: Chandani Lokuge (6/26/2021)

Chandani Lokuge (Australian National University)

The Right to Belong: Literary Activism and Australian Citizenship Politics

Tuesday, July 6, 2021 | 10-12 am, c.t. (CET) 6-8 pm, c.t. (AEST) | ZOOM link

One compelling aspect of the power of literature is that it transforms encompassing public issues into humanist stories, whose emotive and cognitive resonances transcend the limits of political propaganda, leading the reader to a deep level of interrogation, philosophical and political integrity, and ethical enquiry. Foregrounding this theory, this paper will interrogate a developing branch of Australian literature, that we may identify as the literature of the non-citizen or non-citizenship literature.

A former Sri Lankan Commonwealth scholar to Australia, Chandani Lokuge is currently affiliated to The Australian National University, Canberra. Previously, she was Associate Professor in Literary Studies at Monash University, Melbourne. During her tenure at Monash (2001-2020), she was the founding director of the Monash Centre for Postcolonial Writing and of the South Asian Diaspora International Research Network (SADIRN). Among her recent academic publications is Mediating Literary Borders: Asian Australian Writing, co-edited with Janet Wilson (Routledge 2018). Edited with Chris Ringrose, her new book, Creative Lives: Interviews with South Asian Diaspora Writers (Ibidem/Columbia University Press) will be published in July 2021. As Editor of the Oxford Classics Reissues series, Chandani published 7 critical editions of pioneering Indian women’s Anglophone writing. Chandani is an awarded novelist. While her earlier books dealt with Sri Lankan-Australian interactions in migration and diaspora, her most recent novel, My Van Gogh (2019), which is set in Australia and France, interrogates tourism as a panacea for ‘soul- loss’. Chandani’s international research appointments include the Ludwig Hirschfeld- Mack Visiting Chair in Australian Studies, Free University Berlin (DAAD); Le Studium International Research Chair in Creative Writing, Advanced Studies Institute, Loire Valley, France; and guest professorships at Humanities Centre, Harvard University and NELK, Goethe University Frankfurt.

New Frontiers in Memory Studies Lecture Series: Tatjana Louis (6/9/2021)

Tatjana Louis (Los Andes University, Bogotá)

Peace, War, and how we Talk about it: A Discourse Analysis of Colombian History Schoolbooks

Tuesday 13 July | 6pm | online via Zoom | click here to register

Desaprender la guerra – “unlearning” war – is a central demand of peace education in Colombia, which is intended to contribute to socially overcoming the decades-old conflict. An important role is played by history education, which in 2017 was explicitly assigned the task of contributing to peace and reconciliation through historical memory by Law No. 1874. But what discursive offers exist at all to talk about the past in such a way that it contributes to reconciliation and peace? This lecture takes a close look at textbooks for history lessons and examines how war and peace are represented in the texts, how responsibilities are attributed, what social and individual scope for action is shown, and what assignments of meaning are constructed in the narrative.

Memory Studies Association Event: Indian Network for Memory Studies Launch Event (6/9/2021)

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 | 12.30 CEST | 16.00 IST | Online


Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras

Prof. Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Dean (Global Engagement), IIT Madras

Mr. Rajendra Prasad Narla, Chief Archivist, Tata Central Archives

Prof. Astrid Erll, Goethe Universität Frankfurt, Director, Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform

Dr. Hanna Teichler, Goethe Universität Frankfurt, Co-Director, Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform, Acting President, Memory Studies Association

Dr. Avishek Parui, IIT Madras, Chairperson, Indian Network for Memory Studies

Dr. Merin Simi Raj, IIT Madras, Chairperson, Indian Network for Memory Studies

Click here to register by 10 June 2021.

For queries write to

NELK Research Colloquium Guest Lecture: Sourit Bhattacharya (6/2/2021)

Sourit Bhattacharya (Glasgow)

Operation Genocide: Civil War and Postcolonial Literature

Thursday, June 10, 2021 | 6-8 pm, c.t. | ZOOM link

Frantz Fanon famously argued (1967) that colonialism was marked by an unprecedented use of violence on the minds and bodies of the colonised people. Postcolonial societies have further witnessed widespread violence and trauma in the long-term ethnic conflicts and civil wars from the 1950s and 60s onward, until today. Because of the deliberate, often state- sponsored, killing of civilians/citizens, raping of women and children, and blockade of resources leading to famines and diseases, social scientists have defined these violent events as genocides (Horowitz 1976; Fein 1990; Katz 1994; Valentino 2007). Postcolonial literatures and arts have urgently represented these genocides to mobilise the immediate politico-moral sentiment for international humanitarianism and the long-term social-biological question of multigenerational trauma (Norridge 2011; Heerten and Moses 2014). Postcolonial literary studies, however, has been shy of a sustained engagement with this topic (Lazarus 2011; Barnard et al 2015). In this presentation, I will first establish the link between postcolonialism, civil war and genocide, and then show how postcolonial literature and arts have used the category of genocide to suggest an elongated political temporality of 20thC colonial/fascist violence. Here, my main entry point is the 1971 Bangladesh war of liberation. I will argue through Zahir Raihan’s short film, Stop Genocide: 1971 (1971) and Shaidul Jahir’s novella, Jibon o Rajnoitik Bastobota (Life and Political Reality, 1988) that the concept of genocide has been key to not only imagining the traumatised birth of the postcolonial nation but also thinking through the complex question of living with citizen “traitors” in a secular, people’s republic.

Sourit Bhattacharya is Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies at the University of Glasgow. His research interests include postcolonial literatures; disaster studies; food and famine studies; and materialist literary criticism. His first monograph, Postcolonial Modernity and the Indian Novel: On Catastrophic Realism was published by Palgrave in 2020. His co-edited volume on the left radical Bengali writer, Nabarun Bhattacharya (Bloomsbury) also came out in the same year. He is currently writing his second monograph tentatively titled Postcolonialism Now (Orient BlackSwan), which this presentation is a part of. Sourit is a founding co-editor of Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry.

New Frontiers in Memory Studies: Lecture by Tea Sindbæk Andersen and Jessica Ortner (6/2/2021)

Tea Sindbæk Andersen and Jessica Ortner (University of Copenhagen)

Mnemonic Migration – Transcultural Circulation and Reception of Post-Yugoslav War Time Memories

Tuesday 08 June | 6 pm | online via Zoom | click here to register

The idea that mnemonic media have the capability to make recipients adopt other people’s memories is central to memory studies. The successful transmission of memories does not only depend on persuasive communication, but most crucially on the process of reception. Indeed, reception is of special concern to transcultural memory studies exploring how memories move across cultural and national boundaries. This lecture presents our investigation into readers’ reception of literature by authors with a Yugoslav migrant background writing about the 1990s war in Bosnia. Using focus group discussions and individual interviews as means of investigating readers’ reactions to this literature, we explore literature as a medium that makes memories travel. We introduce the concept of mnemonic migration to include both the narrative strategies employed by migrant authors in order to represent their memories in new social settings, and the reception of this type of literature in three national frameworks of memory – Denmark, Germany, and England. We will present our preliminary findings about the texts’ capability to represent Bosnian wartime memories in an emotionally appealing manner that urges readers to incorporate them into their own stock of memories, constituting perhaps what Alison Landsberg has called ‘Prosthetic memory’. Furthermore, we will show how one and the same literary text led to different kinds of reactions in different social frameworks.

New Frontiers in Memory Studies is a lecture series by the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform.

New Frontiers in Memory Studies: Lecture by Magdalena Zolkos (5/13/2021)
Magdalena Zolkos (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Cultural Heritage Repatriation in the Post-colonial Arctic: Materiality, Memory, Assemblage

Friday 28 May | 4 pm | online screening | click here to register

Recent struggles for repatriation of cultural heritage and traditional knowledge to their indigenous custodians have thrown into relief the question of affordance and potentialities of material objects to facilitate emergence of post-colonial cultural memory. This has coincided with critical debates in post-humanities about human- thing interactions, which have undermined traditional conceptions of objects as passive, non-agential and appropriable. One of its outcomes has been emergence of richer and more complex cultural imageries of objecthood, which help us re-think the place of material things in memory studies, including Paul Basu’s notion of ‘diasporic objects’ or Susan Star’s writings on ‘boundary objects’. Both of these concepts connote objects located at the interstices of, and potentially connecting, plural and heterogenous memory communities.

The lecture takes the perspective of critical micro-history of three objects, translocated from Greenland to Denmark in the early 20th century, and currently part of the collection of the Danish National Museum. These objects are figurines of a tupilak, a being of ill-wishing and revenge that originated in pre-colonial Greenlandic belief systems, which became a source of great interest, fascination, and anxiety, among ethnographers, colonial administrators, missionaries and the larger European public. I suggest that tupilait were synecdochic figures of Arctic colonialism, which ‘condensed’ colonial attitudes, affects, and desires. The lecture traces their histories, narratives and aestheticizations as a ‘thingly’ prism onto collective memory emergence in colonial and post-colonial Arctic. As peculiar beings that defy uniform categorization (an assemblage of object, animal, human, and spiritual elements), tupilait can be viewed as a ‘survival’ of forms that contravene Western epistemology of objects. This serves as a point of reference for not only radicalizing the perspectives on repatriation of cultural heritage, but also contributes to the post-human turn in memory studies.

A Conversation with Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (2/12/2021)

Author meets Students:  A Conversation  with Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor 

February 15th 2021 

ZOOM/ 12.00-14.00 CET 

To register, please click HERE 

We kindly invite you to participate in a discussion with Kenyan author Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor. The conversation will focus on her novel Dust (2013), which explores the many facets of post-independent Kenya. Her novel was shortlisted for the Folio Prize and won the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature in 2015. This student-led discussion is part of Dr. Hanna Teichler’s seminar “Transoceanic Imaginaries” and has been facilitated by the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform. 

Guest Lecture: Kai Wiegandt (Tübingen), 04.02.21,, c.t. (1/26/2021)

Kai Wiegandt (Tübingen)

Neo-Imperial Gothic: Western Migrant Fiction’s Imagination of Reverse Domination

Thursday, 4 Feb 21, 6 pm, c.t. Zoom

Late nineteenth and early twentieth century reverse colonization narratives, subsumed under the rubric ‘imperial gothic’ by Patrick Brantlinger, featured invasions from the colonial periphery to the imperial centre. This paper argues that recent decades have seen the emergence of similar ‘reverse domination narratives’. The narratives feature the migration of professionals from the Global North to the new economic centres in the Global South, where the migrants occupy subservient, quasi-colonised positions. As in the case of nineteenth century reverse colonization narratives, gothic elements underpin the reversal of dominance. I read the narratives as symptoms of Northern anxiety of losing economic, political and cultural influence to regions perceived as threats to global dominance.

Kai Wiegandt is Heisenberg Lecturer at the English Department of the University of Tübingen. In April 2021 he will start as Professor of Literature at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin. He studied English and German literature and philosophy at Universität Freiburg, Yale University and at Freie Universität Berlin and is the author of Crowd and Rumour in Shakespeare(Ashgate 2012) and J.M. Coetzee’s Revisions of the Human: Posthumanism and Narrative Form (Palgrave 2019). He has published on early modern, modernist and postcolonial as well as world literature. In 2014 he was elected member of the German Young Academy at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

A Reading & Conversation with Arundhati Roy (1/12/2021)

The Syntax of Everyday Injustice: A Reading & Conversation with Arundhati Roy

Moderator: Pavan Malreddy

22 January 2021
ZOOM/ 10.00-12.00 hrs. CET,
14:30-16:30 hrs. IST

No Registration for IEAS members.

All others, register at:

Arundhati Roy is a world-renowned writer. She writes of the connections between caste, class, capitalism and imperialism. Her two novels, The God of Small Things (1997) and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (2017), have amassed readership in more than forty languages. Her extensive non-fictional work – Walking with the Comrades, The Algebra of Infinite Justice, My Seditious Heart, among others – draws attention to how capitalism and privatisation have undermined democracy, devastated the environment and accelerated the race to irreversible climate change. Both her fiction and non-fiction have been subject to lively – at times heated – scholarly debates both within and outside of India. This reading and conversation will be based on her recent collections of essays titled Azadi – Freedom. Fascism. Fiction(2020).

In Transit|ion – Frankfurt Lectures in Literary and Cultural Studies” is a prestigious lecture series organized by the Institute of English and American Studies at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. Twice a semester, leading scholars and writers from around the world present their work in the fields of American Studies, English Studies, and Anglophone Literatures and Cultures.

Guest Lecture by Kylie Crane, 3 Dec 20, 6-8 pm (12/4/2020)

Kylie Crane (Potsdam)

Concrete ruins

ruins made of concrete, or specific ruins; also processes of ruining caused by concrete


 Thursday, Dec 10, 6-8 pm | Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 992 5504 8613 Passcode: 318481 In this talk, I will bring the (media representation of the) Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh together with Tim Edensor’s urban explorations in Industrial Ruins. I draw on new materialist thought and postcolonial theory, together with Ann Laura Stoler’s ideas of ruin and ruination as well as Rob Nixon’s idea of slow violence, to think about ruin in an active sense, connecting otherwise seemingly disparate sites. Kylie Crane is the author of the acclaimed book Myths of Wilderness in Contemporary Narratives (Palgrave, 2012). She teaches Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at the University of Potsdam. She was a Junioprofessor of Anglophone Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Mainz-Germersheim (Germany). Starting 2021, she will hold the Chair of British and American Cultural Studies at the University of Rostock.
Frank Wlater: Eine Retrospektive (6/26/2020)

Im Dialog mit JOHN AKOMFRAH, KHALIK ALLAH, KADER ATTIA, MARCEL BROODTHAERS, JULIEN CREUZET, BIRGIT HEIN, ISAAC JULIEN, KAPWANI KIWANGA, CAROLYN LAZARD, JULIA PHILLIPS, HOWARDENA PINDELL, ROSEMARIE TROCKEL „Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it.“ James Baldwin Es gibt keinen typischen Frank Walter. Sein malerisches Spektrum ist frei und weit. Sein Blick ist der eigene. Sein Werk scheint in Opposition zu den permanenten Zuschreibungen bezüglich Rassifizierung und Nation zu stehen, denen er sein Leben lang ausgesetzt war. Seine kosmologischen Malereien erstrahlen transzendental, seine abstrakten Werke sind systematisch, seine figurative Malerei besticht in ihrer Individualität und seine Landschaften erstarken in klaren Abstraktionen. Alle Arbeiten sind von ausgefallener Klarheit und Direktheit. Die Konzentration, die auch auf die Größe der Werke zurückzuführen ist, eröffnet einen unverstellten Zugang. So vielschichtig Frank Walters Themen sind, so unterschiedlich sind seine Materialien. Er schuf Arbeiten auf Holz, Masonit, Pappe, Papier, Linoleum oder Rückseiten von Fotografien, malte und zeichnete mit Ölfarben, Tempera, Wasserfarben, Bunt- und Bleistiften, Schellack, Glitzer. Wenn er nicht malte, dann schrieb er, wenn er nicht schrieb, fertigte er Tonaufnahmen an. Walter schuf in einer unglaublichen Intensität, die auch in seinem Werk sichtbar und spürbar ist. Allein in der Kunst war er frei. Frei von der Brutalität, die in den Zuschreibungen des Normativen lag und die außerhalb seines Kunstschaffens permanent anwesend war. Der damit verbundene subversive Akt war für Frank Walter die einzige Möglichkeit, den Anspruch zu erheben, ein eigenes, selbstbestimmtes und selbstdefiniertes Leben zu führen. Das Werk des in Antigua und Barbuda geborenen Künstlers Frank Walter (1926–2009) umfasst zahlreiche Malereien, Zeichnungen, Skulpturen und Schriften, die nun erstmals in einem Museum präsentiert werden. Die Arbeiten von John Akomfrah, Khalik Allah, Kader Attia, Marcel Broodthaers, Birgit Hein, Isaac Julien, Julia Phillips, Howardena Pindell und Rosemarie Trockel zeugen von der Geschichte und Gegenwart des Kolonialismus in der Karibik sowie den geistesgeschichtlichen Kontexten des kolonialen und postkolonialen Denkens. Sie thematisieren das visuelle Regime von Rassismen, die auch im exotisierenden Blick Ausdruck finden und beschreiben die Komplexität von Identität, Klasse und Rassifizierung. Eigens für die Ausstellung haben Julien Creuzet, Kapwani Kiwanga und Carolyn Lazard neue Werke geschaffen. Die Ausstellung entstand in enger Zusammenarbeit mit Dr. Barbara Paca, OBE, Beratende Kuratorin und Cultural Envoy to Antigua and Barbuda. Wir bitten um Verständnis, dass im Sinne Aller der Einlass in das Museum begrenzt wird und geltende Vorschriften gewahrt werden müssen.
Lecture by Daniel O’Gorman (Oxford Brookes) (1/31/2020)

‘None of the Guilty Will Be Spared’: Atmospheric terror in George Brant’s Grounded

Daniel O’Gorman (Oxford Brookes)

Thursday, Feb  06 6-8 pm | Room IG 4.201

George Brant’s play Grounded (2013) takes the form of a one-actress monologue in which a fighter pilot tells the story of her forced reskilling as a drone operator after giving birth. She recounts her story on an unadorned dark stage, but as the play progresses, it becomes clear that she is in a military prison cell, having refused orders to fire a missile because she has spotted a young girl of roughly the same age as her own running across her screen. Surveilled in her cell, the watcher has become the watched, her conscience costing her her liberty. This talk will show how Brant’s play maps an alarming new environment of technologized terror enabled by drones. It will argue that Grounded makes visible an atmospheric circumscription of liveable space that is most immediately obvious in the experience of those under the drones’ watch, but that is also, more surreptitiously, present in the Pilot’s domestic life, too: an acceleration in the surveillance of not only behaviour but also thought. If, as Ian Shaw has argued, drones enable capitalism to ‘enclose’ space in unprecedented new ways, then Brant’s play demands that its viewers pay close attention to this enclosure, laying out the urgent need to resist it.

Daniel O’Gorman is Vice Chancellor Research Fellow in English at Oxford Brookes University. He is the author of Fictions of the War on Terror: Difference and the Transnational 9/11 Novel (Palgrave, 2015) and co-editor, with Robert Eaglestone, of The Routledge Companion to Twenty-First Century  Literary Fiction (Routledge, 2019).
Lecture by Valentina Carbonara and Andrea Scibetta (1/26/2020)

Pluralistic approaches and translanguaging: A potential pathway within the Italian educational system

Thursday 30.01.20,  12- 14 hours,  SH 0.107

Valentina Carbonara and Andrea Scibetta (University of Siena) will present the talk: “Pluralistic approaches and translanguaging: A potential pathway within the Italian educational system” within the “Kolloquium für Examskandidaten und Promovierende (Romanistik)” on Wednesday 29.01 from 16 to 18 in IG 0.254, and the Seminar “Bilingualismus in der Familie und der Schule” on Thursday 30.01 from 12 to 14 in SH 0.107. You are very welcome to join!
Gestrandet! Gespräch mit Autor Youssouf Amine Elalamy (1/16/2020)

23 Januar 2020, 14 – 16 Uhr

Seminarhaus 4.108, Campus Westend der Goethe-Universität

Im Rahmen eines Seminars zur Repräsentation von Transkulturalität in der frankophonen und anglophonen Gegenwartsliteratur unter der Leitung von Prof. Dr. Christine Ott und Prof. Dr. Astrid Erll spricht der marokkanische Schriftsteller Youssouf Amine Elalamy mit den Studierenden über seinen preisgekrönten Roman Les clandestins (2000) und das literarische Echo jener, deren Träume vom Ozean verschlungen wurden. Das Gespräch findet in französischer, englischer und deutscher Sprache statt.  
Échoué! Entretien avec l’auteur Youssouf Amine Elalamy 23 janvier 2020, 14-16h Seminarhaus 4.108, Campus Dans le cadre d’un séminaire concernant la représentation de la transculturalité dans la littérature francophone et anglophone sous la direction de professeure Christine Ott et professeure Astrid Erll, l’écrivain marocain Youssouf Amine Elalamy parle de son roman primé Les clandestins (2000) et de l’écho littéraire de ceux dont les rêves ont été engloutis par l’océan. L’entretien est en français, anglais et allemand.  
In Transition Lecture by Tom McCarthy (1/12/2020)

Tom McCarthy In Conversation with Pavan Malreddy & Reading from Satin Island

Wednesday, 29.01.2020, 18:00, Cas 1.802 (cheese and wine reception to follow)

Tom McCarthy is the author of four novels and two volumes of literary essays. He won the Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction in 2013. His novels have been translated into more than twenty languages and have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize on two occasions (C, 2010; Satin Island, 2015). His first novel Remainder was adapted for the 2015 British-German drama film under the same name. His work has drawn comparisons with major avant-garde writers of our times, including Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett. Poster Download
Tom McCarthy lives with his family in Berlin.
In Transition Leture by Stephen Morton (Southampton) (11/30/2019)

 Allegories of the World System

Stephen Morton

Thursday, 12 December|6-8 pm |IG 411

This paper presents research from my current book project, Allegories of the World System. Against the histories of dispossession and extraction which have shaped the development of the modern world economy, the book considers how postcolonial art and literature variously draws on the resources of allegory to project a powerful dialectical image of a decolonising world. Extending Fredric Jameson’s claim that all allegories are utopian, the book traces the utopian expression of the global commons in the allegorical form of postcolonial literature and visual culture. Since utopian thought has always been concerned to counter the rule of property, it is particularly well placed to articulate the collective work of ‘commoning’, which Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval (2019) see as crucial to addressing the political, economic, and ecological crises of the twenty-first century. Moreover, the utopian impulse of postcolonial allegory has sought to imagine alternatives to the histories of colonial dispossession, extraction, ecological devastation, social reproduction, and labour exploitation, which have shaped and determined the development of the modern world–system. Through original comparative readings of a wide range of literary texts by Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Zakes Mda, Helon Habila, Tomson Highway, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Maryse Condé, and visual artworks by Sondra Perry, William Kentridge, Steve McQueen, Nadia Myre, and Brian Jungen, this book argues that the allegorical codes of postcolonial world literature and art engage readers in the collective work of reimagining the planet as commons.
Stephen Morton is a Professor of English at the University of Southampton. He recent books include  States of emergency: colonialism, literature and law (Liverpool University Press), co-edited collections, Terror and the postcolonial: a concise companion (Wiley-Blackwell) and Foucault in an age of terror: essays on biopolitics and the defence of society (Palgrave).
Guest Lecture by Ananya Jahanara Kabir (11/25/2019)

“Activating the archive-repertoires of memory: movement between texts and bodies”

Thu 28 November | 6-8 pm | IG 1.414

Ananya Kabir (King’s College London) is a literary and cultural historian who works at the intersection of embodiment, memory, affect work, and post-trauma in the global South, so as to re-examine the regimes and pleasures of modernity. Through Modern Moves, she uses the resilience and global impact of Afrodiasporic music and dance, created through the dehumanising mechanisms of colonialism, empire and the slave trade, in order to excavate hidden relationships between modernity, pleasure, and the phantasm of ‘Africa’.
Guest Lecture by Maryam Mirza (11/11/2019)

Resisting Activism: The Politics of Apathy and Disengagement in South Asian Women’s Fiction

Thursday, Nov 14, 6-8 pm | Room IG 4.201

My talk will draw on an ongoing book project which focuses on the theme of resistance in Anglophone fiction by South Asian women writers. Moving beyond a conceptualization of resistancedeveloped purely in response to colonialism and/or patriarchal oppression, my book calls attention to the emancipatory politics, contradictions and disturbing manifestations of resistance, as wellas its ambiguous affective implications. Through the lens of Manju Kapur’s novel Difficult Daughters (1998), and Kamila Shamsie’s Broken Verses (2005), my talk will grapple with the depiction of political apathy and disengagement in the context of two significant moments of female activism in contemporarySouth Asian history: the anti-colonial nationalist movement duringthe years leading up to the Partition of India in Kapur’s novel, and General Zia-ul-Haq’s military dictatorship and his Islamizationmovement in Shamsie’s. Deploying an interdisciplinaryframework, I will examine the ways in which political apathy in these texts is intimately bound up with the concepts of freedom, choice and agency and, more broadly, with fundamental questions of female identity.
Maryam Mirza is Assistant Professor in World Literatures in English at Durham University, UK. Her firstmonograph Intimate Class Acts (2016) was published by Oxford University Press, and her essays haveappeared in journals such as The Journal of Commonwealth Literature and the Journal of PostcolonialWriting, as well as in anthologies. She is currently working on her second monograph, whichis under contact with Manchester University Press and is provisionally entitled Resistance and ItsDiscontents in South Asian Women’s Fiction.
Jornada de literatura argentina (10/17/2019)

Jornada de literatura argentina


21 October 2019 IG Casino 823| 3PM

Programme/ Poster
Reading by Zimbabwean author Petina Gappah at Frankfurter Mousonturm (9/27/2019)

Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 8 -11 pm PM|Frankfurter Mousonturm

am 9. Oktober dürfen wir die simbabwische Autorin Petina Gappah bei uns im Frankfurter Mousonturm begrüßen. Sie wird ihren postkolonialen Roman Aus der Dunkelheit strahlendes Licht (engl. Out of Darkness, Shining Light) vorstellen und Rede und Antwort zu ihrem Schreiben stehen. Ich könnte vorstellen, dass diese Veranstaltung nicht nur für Studierende mit Schwerpunkt NELK interessant sein könnte, sondern auch für Sie und die Mitglieder Ihres Departments. Besteht vielleicht die Möglichkeit, über Ihre Verteiler auf diese Lesung aufmerksam zu machen? Wir wären Ihnen dafür zu großem Dank verpflichtet! Hier die Links zur Veranstaltung:
Guest Lecture by Elmar Schenkel (7/1/2019)

Interlopers: Mapping Creative and Destructive Encounters between Asia and the West

Thursday, July 11, 6-8 pm | Room IG 4.201

This talk aims to uncover a pattern of encounters East/West by looking at biographical and ideological lines that cross and fertilize each other in many ways. This may result in very creative and productive encounters,  which might change consciousness or lead to more reflectivity, but also in ideological abuse or simply misunderstanding. I shall be concerned with intellectuals and spiritual seekers like C.G. Jung,  Rabindranath Tagore, Mme Blavatsky, Sri Aurobindo, Mira Alfassi, Alexandra  David-Néel, Savitra Nevi, the Beatles, Lafcadio Hearn et al. Among them we shall find forgers, frauds and fortune-seekers, as well as mystics, impressionists and thinkers, or ideologists and fascists. The focus will be on encounters between the West and China, Tibet, Japan and India during the 19th and 20th centuries. Eventually the outlines of a map may appear that will show the extent to which the ‚East‘ and the ‚West‘ are parts of a great work of fiction.
Elmar Schenkel has been Chair of British Literature at the University of Leipzig until 2019. He is also a writer, translator and artist. His research interests focus on the relationship between science, religion and literature. Recent books include Keplers Dämon – Wechselbeziehungen zwischen Literatur, Traum und Wissenschaft (S. Fischer 2016), Transsilvanien Express (Hamouda 2017) and Anruf aus der Kreidezeit – Aphorismen und andere Alphornissen (Isele 2019).
InTransition Lecture by Colin Graham (6/14/2019)
June 27, 6-8 pm, Campus Westend, IG 1.414 (Wine Reception to follow)

‘A Real Event in Slow Motion’: (Northern) Irish Poetry after Brexit

The event of Brexit, as it unfolds uncertainly, has the capacity to change the political and cultural landscape of Northern Ireland. This paper considers the potential effects of Brexit on Northern Ireland by examining what Brexit is, what it thinks it is, and what critical paradigms, in an Irish context, offer themselves to understand Brexit. While the course of Brexit seems to collide with the actuality, and certainly the spirit, of the Good Friday Agreement, culture, and specifically poetry, in Northern Ireland over the past twenty years has been attempting to comprehend the effects of post-Agreement culture on the nature of the political self. How will Brexit reconfigure that self, and what effect might the political realignment of a post-Brexit culture have on the way in which the voice of Northern Irish poetry expresses itself?
Colin Graham is Professor and Head of English at Maynooth University, Ireland. His books include Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography (2013), Deconstructing Ireland (2001) and Ideologies of Epic (1998), and he is co-editor of three collections of essays. He co-edits The Irish Review and is curator of the Illuminations gallery space at Maynooth University. He is currently working on a book on Brexit and Northern Ireland.
Einladung zum Studiengangsentwicklungsgespräch (6/12/2019)

MA Moving Cultures – Transcultural Encounters / Cultures en mouvement – rencontres transculturelles / Culturas en movimiento – encuentros transculturales

Dienstag, 18. Juni 2019, 12.00 c.t., Raum IG 4.301

Alle Studierenden des Masterstudiengangs MCTE sind herzlich eingeladen, sich am Studiengangsentwicklungsgespräch zu beteiligen. Themen werden u.a. sein:
  • Studieneinstieg
  • Studien- und Prüfungsorganisation
  • Einhaltbarkeit der Regelstudienzeit
  • Workload
  • Inhalte und Struktur des Studiengangs
  • Information und Beratung
  • Internationalisierung und Auslandmobilität
  • Übergang in den Master bzw. in den Beruf
  • Infrastruktur und Ausstattung
  • und natürlich alle anderen Themen, die Sie zur Sprache bringenmöchten!Wir freuen uns auf eine rege Beteiligung! Falls Sie nicht teilnehmen können, aber Anregungen und Wünsche haben, schicken Sie diese bitte bis spätestens 14.6.19 an Prof. Dr. Roland Spiller ( und an Prof. Dr. Frank Schulze-Engler ( Lehrenden des Masterstudiengangs MCTE
Guest Lecture by Florian Florian Stadtler (5/22/2019)

Narrating Globalisation, Contesting Politics of Space in the Work of Amitav Ghosh

18:00 c. t. – room IG 4.201

Much attention has focused on the South Asian novel’s connection to nation, language and its impact on processes of narration. However, the question of history and its relation to wider questions of genre have thus far been situated more on the margins of these debates. This talk will consider, through an analysis of the Ibis trilogy by Amitav Ghosh, how the historical novel approaches the issue of globalisation and how a re-examination of Empire and its rhetoric of free trade allows for a recalibrated view of the contemporary. How do the novels challenge ideas of nationalism and thenetworked globe and how can the colonial archive be used to further investigate these issues? How do Ghosh’s engagements with indentured labour and slavery coalesce with the modern period? Does it enable us to consider further the silenced voices that are excluded from historical and contemporary considerations of an economic logic of progress and modernity? I seek to investigate some of the textual and rhetorical strategies with which Ghosh animates these questions and consider how the novel as a literary form has responded and questioned the processes of globalisation, and how a postcolonial reading practice allows us to further our understanding of colonialism and its consequences in a globalising world.
Florian Stadtler is Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Exeter, UK. He has published on South Asian Writing in English, Indian Popular Cinema and British Asian Literature and History. His monograph Fiction, Film and Indian Popular Cinema: Salman Rushdie’s Novels and the Cinematic Imagination is published by Routledge. He is Reviews Editor of Wasafiri: The Magazine of International Contemporary Writing.
InTransition Lecture by Ann Rigeny (5/14/2019)

Ann Rigney (Utrecht University)

Memory Activism, Moving Monuments

16 May 2019, 6-8pm Campus Westend, IG 1.414

Guest lecture by Beatrice Lamwaka (Uganda) (5/7/2019)

Queer Writing in Uganda: The Struggle for Literary Space

09.05.2019, 18:00 c.t., IG 4.201

Uganda today is vibrant with literary activities − poetry performances, book clubs, publishing, public readings − despite repressive laws that limit freedom of expression. With the 2021 elections forthcoming, spaces are becoming narrow and narrower. The internet, which should have provided spaces for writers, sometimes is used against them to systematically harass, intimidate and stifle government critics under the Computer Misuse Act − charges Dr. Stella Nyanzi. Some writers have resorted to self-censorship. Writing stories with queer characters has been shunned by writers, while readers want a nice story. Yet women writers have excelled in a space which is patriarchal. Many are nurtured by FEMRITE (the Ugandan women writers’ association), and some have received national and international recognition for their writing. Emerging writers are nurtured by established writers; creative writing work-shops are held (even in prisons) to encourage new voices. Writers have started initiatives with no or limited support from the government, and all these initiatives are encouraging and promoting reading and writing in Uganda.
Beatrice Lamwaka is a reporter with Global Press Institute. Her collection of short stories, Butterfly Dreams and Other Stories, was published in 2016.
Guest lecture by Geoffrey Rodoreda (4/25/2019)

Australia’s Postcolonial Turn: the Mabo Decision and Australian Fiction

25.04.2019, 18:00 c.t., IG 4.201

More than any other event in Australia’s history, the Mabo decision of 1992, which legally recognised Indigenous Australians’ occupation and ownership of the continent, has challenged previous ways of thinking about land and space, settlement and belonging, race and relationships, and nation and history. It has had a profound impact on law, politics and culture, as well as on the nation’s literary imaginary. This talk examines contemporary Australian fiction writing’s substantial engagement with Mabo’s cultural legacy, that is to say, with the acknowledgement of Indigenous peoples’ presence in the land, in history, and in public affairs, as opposed to their absence. Via readings of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal texts, I will argue that what is now called ‘post-Mabo fiction’ has turned Australia postcolonial.
Geoff Rodoreda is a lecturer in the Department of English Literatures at the University of Stuttgart. In a previous life he studied politics and journalism in the city he grew up in, Sydney, Australia, and worked as a journalist in Australia and Germany. In 2012, he gave up journalism to concentrate on academic teaching and on writing a PhD, which he completed in 2016 and which has resulted in a book, The Mabo Turn in Australian Fiction (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2018).
Guest lecture by Birte Heidemann-Malreddy (1/9/2019)

Towards a Narrative of (Re)Conciliation? Post-War Sri Lankan Literature in English

17.017.2019, 18:00 c.t., IG 4.201

We are fast approaching the tenth anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka’s three decades long civil war between the army and the insurgents of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). And yet, since the war’s brutal ending in May 2009, the Sri Lankan governments – old and new – have not been engaged in any serious efforts to address the country’s longstanding political challenge of competing ethno-nationalisms, let alone to pursue the transitional justice policies promised to the UN Human Rights Council. The government’s very deferral of political actions in addressing its reconciliation agenda has opened up a niche for negotiation in the domains of art, literature and cultural politics. This holds particularly true for the burgeoning body of Sri Lankan literature in English – novels, poetry, autobiographies and narrative journalism – that has forged a counter-narrative to an increasingly institutionalised politics of truth, forgiveness and peace-building. Given the island’s complex legacy of colonisation by three different empires, this talk contends that the very notion of reconciliation is inadequate, if not unattainable, in a Sri Lankan context. To reconcile suggests a return to a prior stage of conciliation which, for postcolonial societies, has never existed in the very first place (McGonegal 2009; Christie 2009). With this in mind, my talk sets out to explore the amorphous nature of the reconciliation discourse through three interrelated conceptual frames – suffering (Levinas), consolation (Simmel; Blumenberg; James) and disconsolation (Lazarus; Wright). The discussion draws attention to the ethical limits of reconciliation, something that has found a renewed expression in the emergent canon of post-war Sri Lankan literature. My reading of select texts – fiction and non-fiction – engages with how the various narrative strategies deployed are devised to confront us with daunting ethical questions about the country’s unresolved narrative of (re)conciliation.  

Birte Heidemann-Malreddy is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Chair of Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Bremen, Germany. Her research interests are in postcolonial theory, literary and cultural expressions of post-conflict societies, particularly Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka, and post-9/11 fiction. She is the author of Post-Agreement Northern Irish Literature (Palgrave, 2016) and co-editor of From Popular Goethe to Global Pop (Rodopi, 2013), Reworking Postcolonialism (Palgrave, 2015) and two special editions of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing (vol. 47.5 and 48.3). She is currently working on a book-length study of post-war Sri Lankan Anglophone literature.

Silvia Dapía im Argentinischen Generalkonsulat und Juan Gabriel Vásquez am Institut für Romanische Sprachen und Literaturen (11/19/2018)
  • 22.11.2018, 13:30, PEG 1G 131 Juan Gabriel Vásquez liest aus seinem großen Erinnerungsroman “La forma de las ruinas” Mehr Informationen hier …

  • 27.11.2018, 18:30, Argentinisches Generalkonsulat, Eschersheimer Landstraße 19-21 Prof. Dr. Silvia Dapía: “El Etnógrafo” de Jorge Luis Borges: ¿Una Incusión en la Teoría de la Traducción

Guest lecture by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (11/9/2018)

The Return of the Admiral: Re-fashioning Swahili waters in the ‘Dragonfly Sea’

15.11.0218, 18:00 c. t., IG 411

What does China’s creeping return to Eastern Africa, by way of the seas, portend for intimate and personal histories of a people whose far and deep life stories are embedded in these waters? What future might the ‘Swahili Seas’ imagine for themselves in an ongoing (yet subtle) confrontation with the tremendous weight of China’s ambitions that encompasses a mutually remembered past? Yvonne Owuor’s forthcoming novel, The Dragonfly Sea (to be published in early 2019), is a micro-story of the vast Western Indian Ocean (Swahili Seas) narratives and focuses on a young woman’s coming-of-age on Pate Island, Lamu Archipelago, Kenya, a mostly ‘unnoticed’ space, yet one of tremendous import to significant ‘Indian’ Ocean happenings, including and in particular, China’s East African return. The lecture is a creative exploration of the themes in The Dragonfly Sea which also highlights aspects of the intimacies that bind a small, time-warped Kenyan Island with a giant China that has stepped out with quiet but potent force into the world.
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor is a writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She studied English and History at Kenyatta University, earned a Master of Arts degree at the University of Reading, UK and later received an MPhil (Creative Writing) from the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Her story “The Weight of Whispers” won her the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2003.  Her debut novel, Dust, published in 2014 was the winner of the 2015 Jomo Kenyatta Literature prize. Her second book, The Dragonfly Sea (Knopf) will be available from March 2019. She is at present at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, working on her third novel with the working title The Long Decay.
SchriftstellerInnen am Institut für Romanische Sprachen und Literaturen im WS 18-19 (11/9/2018)




Mehr Informationen hier …
Lesung und Gespräch mit Rodrigo Rey Rosa (11/9/2018)

Fr. 9.11. 2018, 14:00, PEG 1. G 165 – Mehr Informationen hier …

Guest lecture by Campbell Jefferys (10/30/2018)

Soundtrack included: How music adds an extra layer of storytelling to a Bildungsroman

Do. 1.11.2018, 18:00 c. t. – room IG 411
Award-winning Australian author Campbell Jefferys talks about his latest book, Rowan and Eris, a coming-of-age novel about redheads, musicians, pranksters and parents, and which includes an original soundtrack, One Hand Clapping. Campbell will talk about the genesis of the idea, how the story took shape, the creative decisions made along the way, and why it became imperative for the music to be written and recorded. But how does the music accompany the story? Is the soundtrack an epilogue, heard once the book is finished? Or is it an interlude, with each song listened to at the point it’s mentioned in the book? As the talk delves deeper into the power of music, it should open the door to a lively discussion about the role, if any, soundtracks can play in literature.
Guest lecture by Mala Pandurang (10/8/2018)

Bandhani, emankeeki and kanga – Three Sisters of an Asian-African Heritage. The Complexities of Gendered and Race Relations in the Work of Sultan Somjee

Mi. 24.10.2018, 18:00 c. t. – IG 454

My talk will focus on two novels by Sultan Somjee, a fourth generation Asian African born and raised in Kenya, now located in Canada. Somjee’s first novel Bead Bai (2012) engages with the emankeeki, a beaded ornament worn by married Maasai women. He reinserts into Eastern African history the forgotten life narratives of a group of Indian women known as ‘Bead Bais’ who enabled the flow of coloured beads between the dukawallahs and the indigenous tribes that impacted the expressions of African aesthetics. (more…)
Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform: Writer’s Talk mit Verena Boos (6/18/2018)

Ein Werkstattgespräch über die Schichten der Erinnerung in der urbanen Topografie Barcelonas

Di 26.06.2018, 12:00 c.t. – IG 1.414

Die katalanisch-spanische Aktualität ist ohne die Geschichte nicht zu verstehen. Im Konflikt um Katalonien wird weniger das katalonische Steuerdefizit als vielmehr Erinnerung verhandelt und aus einem spezifischen Geschichtsbewusstsein heraus Zukunft zu gestalten versucht. Ein historisch aufgeladener Ort ist der Montjuïc, Barcelonas Hausberg. Im Fossar de la Pedrera im stadtabgewandten Teil des Montjuïc liegen unter anderem Tausende Opfer der Franco-Diktatur und auch der 1940 hingerichtete katalanische Präsident Lluis Companys begraben. Im Werkstattgespräch folgt die Schriftstellerin Verena Boos den Spuren der Geschichte und lotet anhand dieser Fallstudie aus, wie Erinnerung Gegenwart mitgestaltet. Flyer zum Download | Weitere Informationen hier …
Guest lecture by Venugopalrao Nellutla (4/25/2018)

Ngũgĩ in India: A Transcultural Dialogue

Do. 03.05.2018, 18:00 c. t. – IG 4.201

The talk will explore the dynamics of transcultural dialogue between Telugu-speaking areas of India and the legendary Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. Though separated by more than 5,000 km distance and without any common bonding in political, social, cultural and economic relations, how this Gikuyu author got a familiar treatment as one of their own authors and commanded highest respect, goes beyond literary appreciation. It has to do with a collective memory of oppression and struggle. It is a kind of discovery of one’s own self in a literature from afar. It is an attempt to draw inspiration for one’s own continuing struggles. In this transcultural dialogue, cultural differences become secondary to political unity. I would also like to give a personal touch to this line of argument by referencing the interactions many Telugu people and I had with Ngũgĩ in the course of last two decades and more. (more…)
Guest lecture by Alex Tickell (1/22/2018)

Can the Slum-dweller Speak? Katherine Boo and the Postcolonial Politics of Literary Journalism

Do. 08.02.108, 18:00 c. t. – IG 4.201

My paper examines the rise of forms of narrative reportage and creative non-fiction in representations of the city and urban subaltern communities in India. Drawing on my recent research on citizenship, infrastructure and writings on the city, I will discuss the postcolonial ethics and politics of literary journalism with special reference to Katherine Boo’s celebrated account of Mumbai’s Annawadi settlement, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum (2012). My aim is to theorise Boo’s use of first-person narrative voices in this text, and contrast this fictionalising technique with Aman Sethi’s ‘involved’ narrative reportage in his work of the same year: A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi (2012). (more…)
Guest lecture by Martina Kopf (1/15/2018)

Concepts of Development in Postcolonial Kenyan Writing

Do. 01.02.2018, 18:00 – IG 4.201

In his seminal work on the colonial origins of developmentalism in Africa in the first half of the 20th century, Frederick Cooper proposes that at its very roots there is a problem of knowledge. Colonial officials approached social phenomena with a specific gaze, one that thought that European solutions are applicable anywhere in the world. This problem of knowledge did not disappear with the end of colonial rule. Rather, it went into the post-colonial governance of processes of social and economic change in Africa and was re-inforced through international institutions and organisations in development politics and planning. This ‘not-knowing-enough’ or ‘not-knowing-the-right-things’ runs through the history and critique of development research and planning. (more…)
Moving Cultures im UniReport (12/18/2017)
“Der Masterstudiengang Moving Cultures ist einmalig in Deutschland”, stellt Julia Wittenhagen in der aktuellen Ausgabe des UniReport fest. Ihr Artikel bietet Einblicke in Themen und Schwerpunkte des Studiengangs, stellt künftige Arbeitsfelder von Absolventen vor und lässt Dozenten und Studierende zu Wort kommen. Den Artikel als pdf finden Sie hier …
Guest lecture by Nadia Butt (11/28/2017)

‘Travelling Cultures’:  Reading Nineteenth-Century British Narratives about Movement and Mobility

Do., 30.11.2017, 18:00 –IG 4.201

In the last years, the idea of ‘travelling cultures’, particularly expounded by American anthropologist James Clifford, has captured the imagination of a significant number of historians, philosophers, anthropologists, cultural and literary studies scholars who are actively engaged with it. Indeed, a number of theories have also recently emerged around this notion such as ‘travelling concepts’ expounded by Doris Bachmann-Medick or ‘travelling memory’ by Astrid Erll, which seem to be an interesting offshoot of travel as a metaphor of cultural transgressions and personal transformations. I take modern, interdisciplinary concepts of travel and deliberately choose to go back in time to address travel from a different perspective in order to develop innovative approaches to various forms of travel in British literature in the long nineteenth-century – travels which are not necessarily connected to the idea of British colonial expansion alone, but how an individual, a family or a community (often caught between cultures) is shaped by temporal, spatial, existential or spiritual journeys or pilgrimages. (more…)
Guest lecture by Laura Marcus (11/8/2017)

Rhythmical Subjects and Modern Utopias

Do., 30.11.2017, 18:00 – Nebengebäude 2.731

This paper explores the intense focus on and fascination with questions of ‘rhythm’ in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the development of ‘rhythmics’ and ‘rhythm-science’ in the period.  One significant dimension of this ‘rhythmic turn’ was found in developments in dance and movement. The paper looks at Dalcroze’s ‘eurythmics’ and Rudolf Steiner’s ‘eurythmy’, in the contexts of the architectural spaces in which they were practiced, as part of an examination of the ways in which rhythmic expression became an aspect of early twentieth-century utopianism. (more…)
Guest Lecture by Ranjan Ghosh (10/20/2017)

In Transition: The Aesthetics and Politics of the ‘Across Factor’

Thursday, 26 October 2017, 6pm – Casino 1.812

Over the last decade, I have invested myself in framing critical departures and discriminative correspondences between disciplines, across the humanities and sciences, training myself in poetics and philosophy across cultures both European and non-European. This sustained investment has resulted in the emergence of a conceptual/philosophical/epistemological space that I call “trans-(in)fusion”. It is this space that has inspired and nourished both my reading and writing. This ‘thinking’ space has eased me into making intellectual articulations across paradigms and epistemes, cultures of thought and establishment – a trans-(in)fusioned understanding of issues and ideas whether in the studies of religion, philosophy of history and historiography, memory studies, critical theory, continental philosophy, theories of literature, world literature, body theory, comparative aesthetics, educational philosophy, or the philosophy of sciences. Is critical thinking always in transition? My talk will explain what I mean by trans(in)fusion, trans-habit, intra-active transculturality, aesthetic imaginary, trans-thinking (conceptual coinages that have settled into the international comparative/ world literature vocabulary) to reformulate how we produce knowledge and reconfigurate discursive and disciplinary thinking. (more…)
Guest Lecture by Galvan-Alvarez (7/5/2017)

Sovereignty On Camera: Documentary, Performance and War in Syria

  As the Syrian revolution, which began as a peaceful grassroots movement, became militarised in 2012, the Syrian government started losing ground in different parts of the country. From the early days, these ‘liberated areas’ became experimental spaces of difference where new forms of governance were implemented. In disparate ways, they aimed to prefigure the post-revolution, post-Assad era. However, as early as Spring 2013 there were plenty of cases of corruption, power-abuses and brutality in the areas controlled by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) (Yassin-Kassab and al-Shami, 2016: 127), which seemed to mimic the ways of the Assad regime. As a reaction, many fighters and civilians turned towards Islamist principles as a guarantee of order and as an alternative to both the perceived lawlessness of the secular opposition and the relentless brutality of the government. By late 2013 infighting between opposition militias, and between conflicting visions of sovereignty, had become rampant, seeing the emergence of old jihadi ghosts from the post-9/11 imaginary and, in the process, attracting much journalistic attention. (more…)
Guest Lecture by Roman Bartosch (7/3/2017)

Towards Transcultural Ecology: Learning | Reading

The ‘New World Literature’. The ‘Anthropocene’. Two of the most recent and most vitally flourishing critical concepts currently discussed in literary studies seem to demand a move towards a planetary scale. Not only may this move conflict with traditional tenets of poetics and interpretation because, as Dominic Head says, the notion of the planetary ‘may contradict the way in which the novel’s role as a social medium is usually articulated’ (2000, 237). It moreover leads to ‘derangements of scale,’ as Timothy Clark has repeatedly shown: When we talk, for instance, about environmental crises and the global, the novel’s ‘scale includes the whole earth but when it comes to relating the threat to daily questions of politics, ethics or specific interpretations of history, culture, literature, etc., the map is often almost mockingly useless’ (2012, 148-9). (more…)
Guest Lecture by D. N. Rodowick (6/12/2017)

Hannah Arendt’s Care for Culture

29. Juni 2017, 18:00 in Cas 1.812 –In her long philosophical career, Arendt wrote relatively little on aesthetics nor did she seem overly concerned with the criticism of art. At the same time, she was deeply concerned about the humanities and its connection to politics. Of central interest here is Arendt’s deep and original account of Kant’s critique of the powers of judgment in “The Crisis in Culture” and other essays. Arendt’s guiding idea is that the Third Critique should be read as Kant’s contribution to a political philosophy whose fundamental elements and actions are grounded in judgments of taste. The place and power of the formation and communication of aesthetic experience is not neglected here, but rather reframed with respect to a particular concern: care of the polis and its attendant cultures, and how the power of a singular experience—aesthetic experience expressed as a judgment of taste—may be woven into communities of shared taste and moral concern. A care for culture entails preserving and perpetuating enduring aesthetic experiences, but even more fundamental is cultivating the kinds of free relations, for ourselves and for others, that are open to transformation by our encounters with others. In this manner, the power of judgment extends judgments of taste into an ever-widening fabric of intersubjective moral consideration, which for Arendt is the basis of any polity.  The humanities’ care for culture, and its cultivation of taste and powers of judgment, here becomes the basis of a political ethics.

D.N. Rodowick is Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor in Cinema and Media Studies and the College at the University of Chicago.

AFRASO Lecture and Film Screening by Shihan de Silva (6/12/2017)

Indian Ocean Memories and African Migrants

13 June 2017, 12:00 c. t., Casino 1.801 – We are delighted to invite you to the upcoming AFRASO Film Screening and Lecture in cooperation with the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform: “Indian Ocean Memories and African Migrants” by Shihan de Silva (University of London). More information here …
Kolumbien: Historisches Gedächtnis, Postkonflikt & Transmigration (5/3/2017)

Simposio Internacional Colombia: memoria histórica, posconflicto y transmigraciónInternationales Symposium Goethe-Universität Frankfurt 03. bis 05. Mai 2017

Nach mehr als fünf Jahrzehnten des sozialen und bewaffneten Konflikts in Kolumbien haben die kolumbianische Regierung und die FARC, die zwei wichtigsten Akteure, im November 2016 ein Abkommen zur Beendigung dieser militärischen Konfrontationen unterzeichnet, die bisher annähernd sechs Millionen Opfer gefordert hat. (more…)

Guest Lecture by Graham Huggan (5/3/2017)

Sperm Count: The Scoresbys and the North

04. Mai 2017, 18:00 in Cas 1.811 – Scoresby is a familiar name for all those interested in the confluence of British maritime history and Northern exploration. Two Scoresbys, to be precise: William Senior, a towering figure in the history of late eighteenth-century commercial whaling; and William Junior, a post-Enlightenment ‘improver’ whose religious beliefs would neither compromise his dogged scientific rationalism nor his considerable entrepreneurial flair. (more…)
Summer School “Performing Postcolonialisms” – Join the Team! (4/21/2017)
The Summer School ‘Performing Postcolonialisms’ (4-8 September 2017) will focus on contemporary art, sports, food, political and online demonstrations, inventions, and identities of postcolonial people. Our interest is to open a discourse on the multi-directional influence that colonialism and imperialism has had on the world and what it means to perform postcolonialisms in one’s home country, abroad, in transit, in art scenes, in politics, at dinner, in the street, and on the field. (more…)
Denken geht durch den Magen (4/21/2017)
Eine interdisziplinäre Vortragsreihe zur Esskultur der Gegenwart Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Sommer 2017 – In Filmen und Romanen der Gegenwart können Essen und auch Kochen mehr als bloße Motive sein. Die Esskultur präsentiert sich als vielschichtiges und widersprüchliches Phänomen. Im Rahmen der zweisemestrigen Vortragsreihe gehen namenhafte Experten aus Ethnologie, Soziologie, Philosophie, Literatur-, Kultur- und Filmwissenschaft sowie Psychologie, Kulturanthropologie und Molekulargastronomie der Verbindung zwischen „Denken“ und „Essen“ auf den Grund. (more…)