Latest publications by Aston scholars

The following publications authored or co-edited by Uwe Schütte are now available:

 

Die Gegenwart erzählenFleming, Paul / Schütte, Uwe (eds) (2014). Die Gegenwart erzählen. Ulrich Peltzer und die Ästhetik des Politischen. transcript.

Ulrich Peltzer ist einer der profiliertesten und markantesten Autoren der Gegenwartsliteratur. Seine vielgelobten Romane liefern präzise Porträts einer zersplitterten Gegenwart im Kontext urbaner Räume. Mit einer Poetik radikaler Gegenwärtigkeit, die den Verästelungen post-fordistischer Prozesse im Bewusstsein der Romanfiguren nachgeht, registriert Peltzers Literatur sensibel soziale, politische und kulturelle Entwicklungen. Dieser Materialienband mit Einzelstudien internationaler Beiträger/-innen verschafft einen umfassenden Überblick über Ulrich Peltzers Werk. Ein aufschlussreiches Interview sowie eine ausführliche Bibliografie runden die Gesamtdarstellung ab.

 

 

InterventionenSchütte, Uwe (2014). Interventionen. Literaturkritik als Widerspruch bei W. G. Sebald. edition text+kritik.

G. Sebald ist einer der anerkanntesten und zugleich umstrittensten Schriftsteller der deutschen Literatur des späten 20. Jahrhunderts. Sein vielgerühmtes literarisches Werk ruht auf einem Fundament, das größtenteils kaum bekannt ist, nämlich die im Verlauf von rund 30 Jahren entstandenen kritischen Schriften. “Interventionen” bietet erstmals einen so tiefschürfenden wie umfassenden Überblick über die Literaturkritik Sebalds unter Einbezug zuvor unveröffentlichter Archivdokumente.

Uwe Schütte legt anschaulich dar, wie sich Sebalds eigenwillige Literaturkritik – von der Magisterarbeit über Carl Sternheim bis zum polemischen Essay “Luftkrieg und Literatur” – entwickelt hat. Seine Studie skizziert damit die intellektuelle Biografie des vom Allgäu in die Provinz East Anglias entlaufenen Germanisten. Vor allem aber zeichnet “Interventionen” nach, wie Sebald im kritischen Widerspruch zu Germanistik und deutscher Nachkriegsliteratur selbst zum Schriftsteller wurde.

 

Uwe has also co-edited a volume on German author Klaus Böldl with Aston Senior Lecturer Claudia Gremler (see earlier blog post)

Gremler, Claudia / Schütte, Uwe (eds) (2014). Raumerkundungen. Der Erzähler Klaus Böldl. Königshausen und Neumann.

 

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Aston scholars publish first volume of literary criticism on Klaus Böldl’s works

 

Last year, Aston’s School of Languages and Social Sciences hosted novelist Klaus Böldl as Writer in Residence. During his stay, the author  presented his works to a variety of audiences and discussed his writings with Aston academics.

One year on, German at Aston is pleased to announce the publication of the first scholarly volume on Böldl’s works, edited by Aston lecturers Dr Claudia Gremler and Dr Uwe Schütte.

 

Pages from Flyer Gremler_Schütte 5384-9

Aston Writer in Residence: Klaus Böldl

We were delighted to welcome German novelist Klaus Böldl as DAAD writer in residence. His time at Aston presented the author with his first opportunity to meet an English speaking audience and to interact with British students.

To mark the author’s stay, Dr Claudia Gremler and Dr Uwe Schütte organised the first academic conference on Böldl’s works. Having the author present and available to comment on the researchers’ interpretations of his writings turned the event into a very special occasion.

Böldl is an acclaimed author, particularly well known for his first novel Studie in Kristallbildung (“Study in Crystal Formation”) published in 1997. He is highly esteemed by critics and has won several literary prizes. Most of his books are set in Scandinavia and Böldl excels in describing remote regions allowing the reader to vividly picture unfamiliar landscapes.

This relationship between space and landscape formed one of the topics of the conference. In addition, the different aspects of identity in Böldl’s novels were examined, the application of ethnographic concepts was discussed and the portrayal of Limits and Extremes in Böldl’s books was analysed. There was a strong focus on Böldl’s most recent book, Der nächtliche Lehrer (“The Nocturnal Teacher”) from 2010.

The conference's keynote speaker

Aston was particularly proud to welcome our keynote speaker, Prof Heinrich Detering, President of the German Academy for Language and Literature. His lecture focussed on the tension between narration and contemplation in Böldl’s work and led to a lively discussion.

At present, Böldl’s books are only available in German. Their lucid yet highly associate style poses a challenge to translators. At Aston we chose to accept this challenge and set up a  Böldl project for our Translation Studies students. As part of their course of study, final year students translated passages from Der nächtliche Lehrer. They were presented in a bilingual reading at the end of the conference. Our colleague Jean Darvill, who supervised the students and helped them combine their efforts into a single translation, joined Böldl in this public event which also attracted staff and students from other universities.

Jean Darvill and Klaus Böldl present the first English translation of "Der nächtliche Lehrer"

The remainder of Böldl’s stay at Aston was filled with further student projects, including a Schreibwerkstatt and a workshop exploring Germany’s literary scene.

Klaus Böldl’s visit was only the most recent in a long line of similar projects – made possible by the support we received from the German Academic Exchange Service. We are hoping to host another author next year – so watch this space!

German@Aston Proudly Presents: Klaus Böldl, Aston’s Writer in Residence 2013

German at Aston are excited to confirm that novelist Klaus Böldl has accepted our invitation and will be Aston’s Writer in Residence in October 2013. His stay is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Böldl’s highly acclaimed works offer fascinating visions of some of Europe’s remotest regions. Set in the periphery of civilisation, Böldl’s writings combine a (post)modernist exploration of the individual’s existential crisis with an elaboration of the reconciliatory potential of nature.

On 2nd October Böldl will read extracts from his latest novel Der nächtliche Lehrer (”The Nocturnal Teacher”) (5pm, MB574). It will be a bilingual reading with an English translation presented by our colleague from Translation Studies, Lecturer Jean Darvill. We are particularly proud to announce that the translation was produced in collaboration with final year Aston German and Translation Studies students.

Free Admission, All Welcome!

[click here to download the poster]

“Changing Germany”: Film Season at Birmingham International Film Society

In February, Birmingham’s International Film Society is teaming up with the Goethe-Institut to show a short season of  recent films from Germany. Following the theme “Changing Germany”, the films have been chosen for their various perspectives on contemporary Germany and the country’s social and political changes.

The season kicks off on Tuesday, 5 February, with two films about migration. They will be introduced by Leila Mukhida from the University of Birmingham and Dr Claudia Gremler, Lecturer in German here at Aston. The screenings will take place at the Library Theatre in Paradise Forum (map). For students, tickets are £3.50 per film or £6 for the double bill.

 The first film is Feo Aladag’s directorial debut “Die Fremde” (“When We Leave”), a powerful portrayal of a young woman’s struggle to lead a self-determined life. Having grown up in Germany, Umay now lives in her native Turkey with her abusive husband. When she decides to leave him and returns with her young son to her parents’ house in  Berlin, she fails to foresee the dramatic consequences of her actions.

Starring Sibel Kekilli, who rose to fame in 2004 with Fatih Akin’s highly appraised “Gegen die Wand” (“Head-On”), another Turkish-German drama that dealt with the challenges of interculturalism, “Die Fremde” was very well received. It won numerous international awards for its candid depiction of the private dimensions of cultural conflict  and the effects of male control over women’s lives.

The second film for the evening will be Hans Christian Schmid’s “Lichter” (“Distant Lights”). Schmid is known to British audiences for hard-hitting dramas that often focus on characters in crisis.

In 2006, his remarkable film “Requiem” told the true story of a devout Catholic student in the German province, who attempts to combat her epilepsy with exorcism and suffers fatal consequences. Three years later, Schmid embarked on an international co-production, “Storm”, which explored the legacy of the Yugoslav wars.

“Lichter”‘s sobering subject matter is in line with many of Schmid’s other works. The film is set in the border region between Germany and Poland, in the years before Poland joined the EU. Inspired by Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts”, the film combines a multitude of characters and many different episodes to offer a fascinating yet sad portrayal of life in a region which is shaped by struggle and disillusion. In the film we encounter a group of economic migrants from Eastern Europe, attempting  to cross the border into Germany. But it’s not easy to escape police control and whom do you turn to when you are stranded in a foreign country? Schmid carefully dissects his characters’ naive hopes and dreams and demonstrates the misleading allure of life elsewhere.

Two more films will be shown on 27 February. They deal with the role of memory and remembrance in contemporary Germany. We will bring you more details nearer the time, so watch this space!

 

German Reasearch at Aston

The summer  provides us with time to relax and reflect on the events of the past academic year – but it is also a good time for research. Here are some examples of recent publications by German at Aston staff:

Claudia Gremler:

“Utopien, Epiphanien und Melancholie : Der Norden als Erfahrungs- und Imaginationsraum in der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur.” IN: Martin Huber et.al. (ed), Literarische Räume. Berlin: Akademie Verlag 2012.

“‘Warum bleiben wir eigentlich nicht immer hier?’ Schweden als Projektionsraum für deutsche Sehnsüchte in Kurt Tucholskys ‘Schloß Gripsholm’ und seinen beiden Verfilmungen”. Text und Kontext, 33 (2011) , pp. 21-47. (Full text available here.)

Stefan Manz:

“Intercultural transfer and artistic innovation: German musicians in Victorian Britain.” German Life and Letters, 65,2 (2012), pp. 161-180.

“Expellees, counterfactualism and potatoes : enlargement and cross-national debates in German-Polish relations.” IN: Ljiljana Šarić et.al. (ed.),  Contesting Europe’s Eastern Rim. Bristol: Multilingual Matters 2010.

Gertrud Reershemius:

“Research cultures and the pragmatic functions of humor in academic research presentations: a corpus-assisted analysis.” Journal of Pragmatics, 44, 6-7 (2012), pp. 863-875.

“Reconstructing the past? Low german and the creating of regional identity in public language display.” Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 32, 1 (2011), pp. 33-54.

Uwe Schütte:

“Gegen die Welt wie sie ist. Versuch über Thomas Bernhard als Realist.” Manuskripte, 93 (2011), pp. 150-157. (Full text available here.)

Arbeit an der Differenz. Zum Eigensinn von Heiner Müllers Prosa.  Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter. (Introduction available here.)