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Workshop: "The Intermaterialty of World Literary Heritage: Author Museums as Lieux de Mémoire and Sites of Hero Worship"

Nov 21, 2018
Organiser: Emily Graf (Sinology)

International Workshop on “The Intermateriality of World Literature: Author Museums as Sites of Hero Worship”

CONCEPT

This workshop investigates the phenomenon of author museums as part of a globalized social practice of commemorating writers as heroes. In the scholarly world, however, such practices have been treated with much skepticism. They are based on an author-focused reading, rejected in New Criticism and Reception Theory alike, and can be seen as institutions which instrumentalize the author, seducing the naïve visitor into becoming an unwitting worshiper. Author museums remain, therefore, under-researched.

The questions this workshop raises include: How are writers remembered and forgotten in and by space? If they are remembered, how does their display in memorial museums produce the image of the writer as hero? What agency do objects, human actors and institutional structures gain in the process of making a literary hero? And since a hero’s charisma is by definition volatile, how does this production change over time?

Taking into account the interdependencies and inequalities within world literature, this workshop further investigates how the display of one writer is connected to other writers in memorial museums across the globe. What kinds of material links can be found to other literary or political heroes in their living spaces, their collections of objects and books or their visual representations in photographs, paintings or sculptures? How can these connections within a larger hero genealogy hinder or facilitate the writer being remembered or forgotten? Which forms of material networks can be traced from Europe to Asia and vice versa?

 

SPEAKERS

9-10 Kirk Denton (Ohio State University)

“Literary Heritage:  An Overview of Literature Museums in Postsocialist China”

 

10-11 Harald Hendrix (Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome)

“Writers’ House Museums and the Challenge of Universalism”

 

11-12  Carlos Rojas (Duke University)

“Lu Xun’s Whiskers: Face, Masks, and Materiality in Author Museums”

 

12-13  Anastasia Felcher (Independent Scholar, St. Petersburg)

“Sovietizing Author Museums: Culture as Politics after 1945”

 

14-15    Sun Yu 孙郁 (Renmin University of China 中国人民大学)

“The Lu Xun Museum as a Metaphor of Knowledge in East Asia 作为东亚智慧隐喻的鲁迅博物馆”

 

15-16 Barbara Schaff (University of Göttingen)

“Narrativising the Author: Tales and Anecdotes Literary Museums Tell about Authors”

 

16.30-17.30 Guangchen Chen (Princeton University)

“The Writer versus the Collector: Reflections on the Contrasting Fates of Luo Zhenyu’s and Wang Guowei’s Residences”

 

17.30-18.30  Emily Graf (Heidelberg University)

“The Intermateriality of World Literary Heritage: Unexpected Encounters”

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