Interview with the author of “Das Leben ist eine Karawanserei” [Life is a Carawanserai] and “Die Brücke vom Goldenen Horn” [The Bridge of the Golden Horn] Emine Sevgi Özdamar. The interview was conducted in German and filmed in the winter of 2012 at the foyer of the famous Berlin theatre Volksbühne. In conversation with Jan Homberg, Emine Sevgi Özdamar tells the story of her first years in Berlin and reflects upon the poetics of her writings and the criss-crossing of languages that is so typical for her literary work. Continue reading
Humboldt, Alexander von: Views of the Cordilleras and Monuments of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. A Critical Edition. Edited with an Introduction by Vera M. Kutzinski and Ottmar Ette. Translated by J. Ryan Poynter. With Annotations by Giorleny D. Altamirano Rayo and Tobias Kraft. Chicago – London: The University of Chicago Press 2012 [618 + xxxvii p.]
In 2012, the Chicago University Press published the second volume of the HiE – Alexander von Humboldt in English series. The new critical edition is available online and in the bookstores since January 2013.
This new edition is a key contribution not only to Mesoamerican and Cultural Studies or to the history of science, but also to indigenous and postcolonial studies: Continue reading
Interview with Gesine Müller, Head of the DFG-Emmy Noether Junior Research Group “Transcolonial Caribbean” at the Universität Potsdam, Germany. The interview was conducted in German and filmed in 2012 at the “Tempelhofer Freiheit” on the ground of the former Tempelhof Airport, Berlin. In conversation with Benjamin Loy, Gesine Müller explains and reflects upon the theoretical approach of TransArea Studies and her research focus “Transcolonial Caribbean”. On this subject, Müller has published in 2012 her monograph Die koloniale Karibik. Transferprozesse in hispanophonen und frankophonen Literaturen [The Colonial Caribbean. Literary and Cultural Transfer in Hispanic and Francophone Literature] (De Gruyter).
The video interview was drafted, prepared, and produced by Benjamin Loy, Sarah Wiesenthal, and Catharina Wirsching. It is the result of the project seminar “Broadcasting Science: Video-Interviews zu Schlüsselkonzepten der TransArea Studies” (instructor: Tobias Kraft) and is part of the Master Degree studies program for Romance Studies at the Universität Potsdam.
Technical assistance and consulting: Audiovisuelles Zentrum (AVZ), Universität Potsdam
Ottmar Ette (OE): My name is Ottmar Ette, I was born in the Black Forest region of Germany and was raised bilingually. I live in Potsdam, though not here in the Botanical Garden. I have been working here in Potsdam for many years, studying the works of Alexander von Humboldt for over three decades. Humboldt was very familiar with gardens like this one. So this is a very special place for me. I would describe myself as a scholar in Comparative and Romance literature, and I have always understood Romance Studies to be a global science. It has fascinated me since my days as a student and still does today.
I wrote my PhD thesis on a Cuban poet and my „Habilitation“ on a French theoretician. I am passionate about what I do, and I try to share that passion with others.
Nina Hübner (NH): Thank you so much for this nice introduction, Mr. Ette. As you just mentioned, we are sitting here in the Botanical Garden of the University of Potsdam. We chose this place because you have been working for many years now on the tropics and the Caribbean. You recently published a book concerned with TransArea Studies.
In a nutshell: What exactly does TransArea mean? Continue reading
Interview with Ottmar Ette, Professor of Romance and Comparative Literature at the Universität Potsdam, Germany. The interview was conducted in German and filmed in 2012 at the Botanical Garden, Potsdam. In it, Ottmar Ette explains and reflects upon his concept of TransArea Studies. On this subject, Ette published in 2012 his monograph TransArea. Eine literarische Globalisierungsgeschichte (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter).
The video interview was drafted, prepared, and produced by Jan Schmieder, Maria-Anna Schiffers, Nina Hübner, and Sebastián Roldán. It is the result of the project seminar “Broadcasting Science: Video-Interviews zu Schlüsselkonzepten der TransArea Studies” (instructor: Tobias Kraft) and is part of the Master Degree studies program for Romance Studies at the Universität Potsdam.
Technical assistance and consulting: Audiovisuelles Zentrum (AVZ), Universität Potsdam
Researchers from different universities of Costa Rica, Honduras, and Germany met during a two-day workshop (11/30-12/01/2012) in San José, Costa Rica, to outline the roadmap for a joint international research project to be financed by the DFG (German Research Foundation). The workshop was both of strategical and academic nature, with several presentations of individual and group research activities by different participants.
With several internal deadlines to further specify the character of the research project “Convivencia en la diferencia”, the workshop participants agreed on the terms for the second meeting, this time in Potsdam, Germany, to be held from July 4, to July 6, 2013.
Ottmar Ette, Chair of Romance and Comparative Literature at the Universität Potsdam, was recently appointed as member of the Advisory Board at the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies.
The Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies is an inter- and transdisciplinary research institution at the Universität Bayreuth, Germany. It started its operations on October 1, 2012, focusing on “Future Africa – Visions in transformation”. The research focus “Future Africa” has a duration of four years (2012-2016) in its first stage and receives financial support from the Federal Ministry of Research and Education.
The workshop is part of a joint research project by the Universität Potsdam, Germany, and the Universidad de Costa Rica, Cost Rica, with financial support from the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).
This workshop is the first of two joint meetings by scholars from Costa Rica and Germany in order to further develop the combined research efforts. The project “Convivencia en la diferencia” seeks to analyze and better understand the intricate notion of conviviality in difference, most likely one of the most urgent issues of contemporary societies in Central America and the Caribbean in the 21st century. This is especially true as these (like all) societies are facing the challenges of a new phase of accelerated globalization, in which matters of peaceful conviviality in difference have come to a crucial point.
The workshop aims at jointly developing an international research project that explores the cultural dimensions implied in the notion of conviviality. This will be done on three levels: theoretical framing, (trans)disciplinary methodology, and, finally, spatiotemporal specification of the phenomena to be studied.
Alice Pérez, Cecilia Díaz Oreiro, Juan José Marín, Ottmar Ette, Werner Mackenbach, Ronny Viales, David Díaz, Gesine Müller, Tobias Kraft, and others.
- Centro de Investigaciones Históricas de América Central (CIHAC), Universidad de Costa Rica
- Institut für Romanistik, Universität Potsdam
together with the following departments and research groups of the Universidad de Costa Rica
- Posgrado Centroamericano de Historia
- Doctorado en Estudios de la Sociedad y la Cultura
- Centro de Investigación en Comunicación (CICOM)
- Centro de Investigación en Identidad y Cultura Latinoamericanas (CIICLA)
Introduction (in Spanish, longer Version)
El taller procurará analizar la problemática de la convivencia en la diferencia, temática que es probablemente uno de los desafíos más profundos que se presenta a las sociedades Centroamericanas y del Caribe del siglo XXI. Si bien, puede argumentarse que la convivencia es un eterno problema de la condición humana, omnipresente a lo largo de la historia e igualmente sin soluciones definitivas; no obstante, sigue siendo vigente, más aún hoy cuando se vive una nueva fase de globalización acelerada, donde este tema no se puede dejar de plantear ya que de sus posibilidades de solución dependerá, en gran parte, la supervivencia de la especie humana. Continue reading
Ette, Ottmar / Müller, Gesine (ed.): Worldwide. Archipels de la mondialisation. Archipiélagos de la globalización. A TransArea Symposium. Madrid – Frankfurt am Main: Iberoamericana – Vervuert 2012 [416 p.]
Hardcover | List price Euro [D] 29.80
The present volume discusses the historical traces of transarea literatures and cultures in prospective ways. Their future has long‐since begun, as has the future of their theoretical models.
Content (in Spanish) Continue reading
Kutzinski, Vera M. / Ette, Ottmar / Walls, Laura Dassow (ed.): Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas. Berlin: Verlag Walter Frey – edition tranvía (POINTE – Potsdamer inter- und transkulturelle Texte, Vol. 3) 2012 [295 p.]
Softcover | List price Euro [D] 19.80
If Alexander von Humboldt’s writings opened up exciting cultural spaces in his time, they can certainly do so again in our own day. As the twenty-first century addresses the problems of intercultural violence, environmental devastation, social justice, and global climate change, the tools and perspectives Humboldt developed and popularized may offer useful resources to meet challenges that he himself already foresaw. Continue reading
Ette, Ottmar / Kraume, Anne / Mackenbach, Werner / Müller, Gesine (ed): El caribe como paradigma. Convivencias y coincidencias históricas, culturales y estéticas. Un simposio transareal. Berlin: edition tranvía – Verlag Walter Frey (POINTE – Potsdamer inter- und transkulturelle Texte, Vol. 2) 2012 [427 p.]
Softcover | List price Euro [D] 32.00
Content (in Spanish)
A lo largo de las últimas décadas, la región del Gran Caribe ha ido cobrando de forma continuada un gran auge como uno de los lugares privilegiados para la producción de teorías como la négritude, la créolité o la relationalité; y es en ese orden cronológico que se intenta centrar la mirada, concretamente, en la convivencia en las islas de ese archipiélago y de su diáspora, o de desarrollar a partir de ahí categorías universales como las que han propuesto varios intelectuales. Continue reading
Buschmann, Albrecht: Max Aub und die spanische Literatur zwischen Avantgarde und Exil [Max Aub and Spanish Literature between Avant-Garde and Exile] Berlin, Boston: Walter de Gruyter (Reihe mimesis – Romanische Literaturen der Welt 51) 2012 [282 p.]
Hardcover | List price Euro [D] 119.95. RRP for USA, Canada, Mexico US$ 168.00
This book is the first study of the complete works of Max Aub (1903‑1972) in German. On the one hand, the study aims to analyze a representative selection of his complete works based on current theory and thus to make it accessible to a broad academic readership. On the other hand, the focus is on the complete works as an example for the generation of Spanish authors born around 1900 who mostly published their first works in the context of the avant-garde writers of the 1920s. In the course of the politicization of the literary scene in the 1930s and even more in exile, they were increasingly pushed into the role of the committed author who wrote documentary literature. Continue reading
Müller, Gesine: Die koloniale Karibik. Transferprozesse in hispanophonen und frankophonen Literaturen [The Colonial Caribbean. Literary and Cultural Transfer in Hispanic and Francophone Literature] Berlin, Boston: Walter de Gruyter (Reihe mimesis – Romanische Literaturen der Welt 53) 2012 [288 p.]
Hardcover | List price Euro [D] 89.95
RRP for USA, Canada, Mexico US$ 126.00
Were phenomena and processes set in motion during the 19th century in the Caribbean of which we are only now becoming fully aware? This examination of the kaleidoscopic world of the Caribbean through the literary and cultural transfer that took place during that epoch offers completely new insights into early processes of cultural globalization. Racist discourses, established models of “white” abolitionists, the politics of memory, and the previously ignored importance of the Haitian revolution come together to form an amalgam that forces us to question our current notion of a purely Western modernity. Continue reading
(Ticker by Tobias Kraft)
6:30 p.m. – Frank Hahn, director of the Berlin based cultural association Spree-Athen e.V., inaugurates the evening with reflections on the mimesis book series and its underlying concept.
6:45 p.m. – In his opening comments, the series’ editor Ottmar Ette (Potsdam) reviews the the past decades as a time of memoir discourse, which has been dominating both the artistic production and the theoretical thinking in the humanities.
Today, as Ette argues, literary and cultural studies have gone through a paradigm shift from memoir to knowledge. What is it that literature knows, about man, about cultures, about models and practices of life and conviviality (Zusammenleben)? What is it, ultimately, that literature knows about our lives?
As Ette points out, the subtitle of the series „Romanische Literaturen der Welt“ aims at pluralizing the literary canon in the tradition of Erich Auerbach’s concept of world literature. While Auerbach’s famous study Mimesis focused on models of representing »reality«, the life-centered focus of this series aims at analyzing representations of „lived realities“. These „lived realities“ are examined as models of conviviality in different periods of accelerated globalization. Hence, literatures studied in the mimesis book series are characterized by their prospect as global discourse and their capacity to highlight cultural „polylogics“ (Ette), both in its temporal and spatial unfolding.
7:15 p.m. – Gesine Müller (Potsdam) presents her book on Die koloniale Karibik. Transferprozesse in hispanophonen und frankophonen Literaturen [The Colonial Caribbean. Literary and Cultural Transfer in Hispanic and Francophone Literature] (2012). In her opening remarks, Müller highlights the productivity of 19th century Caribbean literature and their vivid conscience of processes of globalization. Juxtaposed with 20th century discourses on cultural theory and „multiple modernities“, the Caribbean presents itself as a complex (trans)area, continuously negotiating (post)colonial structures and conflicts. The focus of this book is set on the dynamics of cultural transfer in the „long“ 19th century, starting with the French Revolution 1789 and ending 1888 with the abolition of slavery in the colonized West. Continue reading
June 19, 2012, 6:30 p.m.
Literaturhaus Berlin, Fasanenstraße 23, Berlin-Charlottenburg
»Kaleidoskop der Erinnerung / Kaleidoskop der Zukunft«
Presenting the Books Series mimesis – Romanische Literaturen der Welt (De Gruyter)
Short presentations and panel discussion with Ottmar Ette and selected authors of the book series, including Anke Birkenmaier, Albrecht Buschmann, Jenny Haase, Anne Kraume and Gesine Müller. »Kaleidoskop der Erinnerung / Kaleidoskop der Zukunft« is an event in cooperation with »Spree-Athen«.
Ette, Ottmar: TransArea. Eine literarische Globalisierungsgeschichte. Berlin, Boston: Walter de Gruyter (Reihe mimesis – Romanische Literaturen der Welt 54) 2012 [334 p.]
Hardcover | List price Euro [D] 99.95. RRP for USA, Canada, Mexico US$ 140.00. *
This volume takes the view that globalization is not a recent phenomenon, but instead an enduring process, marked by four periods of accelerated change. The Early Modern Period in European historiography is linked to our present experience of globalization by way of the diverse global trends that took place during the Age of Modernity. The literatures of the world provide a visceral understanding of that which can only be understood from the perspectives offered by multiple logics – namely, the life of our planet and its inhabitants. The wisdom of literature cannot be replaced by any other kind of knowledge: it is life’s wisdom about life. Continue reading
Pedro Barceló, Professor for Ancient History at the University of Potsdam and member of POINTS, receives the “Catedra de Excelencia” by the University Carlos III de Madrid. The “Catedra” is the highest research prize to be awarded by a Spanish university. Barceló will hold the „Catedra de Excelencia“ from September 2012 to March 2013.
The prestigious “Catedra” is a lifetime achievement award, honoring the academic excellence of an internationally renown scholar. During the time given, the awarded scholar will lead an international research project at the University Carlos III de Madrid and represents his academic field in the public sphere and for the sake of consolidating the bilateral relations. After all, the award is given to forster the academic ties between the researcher’s home university and the awarding institution.
The University Carlos III de Madrid is member of an international Cluster of Excellence and has set up Student Exchange Agreements with 200 Universities from 30 different countries. Founded in 1989, the Spanish institution consists of three schools: the School of Social Science and Law, the School of Humanities and the School of Engineering situated on three different campuses in Getafe, Leganés y Colmenarejo.
Ottmar Ette will publish his new book TransArea. Eine literarische Globalisierungsgeschichte [A literary history of globalization] in May 2012 in the deGruyter book series “mimesis / Romanische Literaturen der Welt” (Vol. 54).
Hardcover | List price Euro [D] 99.95. RRP for USA, Canada, Mexico US$ 140.00. *
See for details the pages of deGruyter.
See for more details on Ottmar Ette his personal profile at the University of Potsdam.
Recent POINTS activities have taken place in Madrid, Bern and Milan.
The activities result from cooperations between Ottmar Ette, Miguel Ángel Puig-Samper, Chelo Naranjo Orovio, Yvette Sánchez, and Dante Liano.
March 15, 2012, in Madrid
International Conference »Los imaginarios del miedo«, organized by the Instituto de Historia of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CCHS-CSIC).
Opening lecture by Ottmar Ette on “La economía del miedo”. Continue reading
1st day, 02/17/2012
(Ticker by Tobias Kraft)
1:30 p.m. - Ottmar Ette, Horst Nitschack, Pablo Hernández, and Werner Mackenbach inaugurate the international TransArea Conference “TransPacífico. Conexiones y convivencias en AsiAméricas.”
Nos reunimos aquí en esta conferencia, que forma parte de una serie de conferencias transareales, para seguir repensando lo que se conoce como “area studies” desde una perspectiva diferente. (Ottmar Ette)
Mas allá de lo económico, lo que hace falta en las relaciones transpacíficos – es decir, las relaciones en las AsiAméricas – es profundizar y comprender con mayor calidad las relaciones culturales. (Horst Nitschack)
Reanudamos con esta conferencia una cooperación entre Berlin y Brandenburgo (en el contexto de ForLaBB) y lo ampliamos por las cooperaciones existentes entre Potsdam y Costa Rica (UCR) y Chile (U de Chile). (Werner Mackenbach)
2:00-2:45 p.m. – Opening the conference’s first panel Relaciones y miradas transpacíficas, Héctor Pérez Brignoli (San José) discusses “Las relaciones transpacíficas en las Américas. Un panorama en la larga duración”. Specifying the inmense distances of the Pacific as maritime space and region of negotiated borders, Pérez Brignoli shows different images of the most important Pacific islands. Discussing historical cartography by Waldseemüller and Guamán Poma de Ayala in comparison to Chinese maps, Brignoli points out the very diverse strategies of declaring/depicting center/periphery. With the aid of several geopolitical maps, Brignoli examines the Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch, French, and English maritime expansions in the Pacific from the 15th to the 19th century. In the 20th century eventually, the United States of America become the principal constituent of political, economic and military power in the (Trans-)Pacific, consolidating its 19th century expansion and annexation strategies (Alaska, Carribean protectorate, the Philippines, Hawaii, Panama Canal). In the 21st century, “el nuevo dato es la expansión china en el Pacífico y las Américas”, as Brignoli states. The Chinese export has given a new prominence to the Panama Canal as point of distribution towards Mercosur, the US Westcoast and Canada.
2:45-3:30 p.m. – In their joint lecture, Marianne Braig and Barbara Göbel (Berlin) discuss “Relaciones socio-económicas transpacíficas: ¿Nuevos espacios de desigualdades interdependientes?”. Their lecture has two objectives: 1) to analyze the Latin American-Chinese economic relations as an example of transregional interdependences, and 2) to exemplify its ecological costs.
TransPacífico. Conexiones y convivencias en AsiAméricas. A TransArea Symposium.
International Conference organized by Ottmar Ette, Werner Mackenbach (both University of Potsdam), together with Horst Nitschack (Universidad de Chile) and Alexander Jiménez Matarrita (Universidad de Costa Rica) at the University of Potsdam.
February 17, 2012
Haus 12 (Obere Mensa), Am Neuen Palais
13:30-14:00 Bienvenida: Ottmar Ette, Werner Mackenbach, Horst Nitschack, Pablo Hernández
Relaciones y miradas transpacíficas
14:00-14:45 Héctor Pérez Brignoli (San José): Las relaciones transpacíficas en las Américas. Un panorama en la larga duración Continue reading
TransPacífico. Conexiones y convivencias en AsiAméricas
International Conference, organized by Ottmar Ette and Werner Mackenbach (University of Potsdam) together with Horst Nitschack (University of Chile), and Alexander Jiménez Matarrita (University of Costa Rica) at the University of Potsdam.
Conference Outline (in Spanish)
En los estudios de área América Latina tradicionalmente ha sido entendida y delimitada en sus relaciones con Europa y Norteamérica, especialmente en relación con su papel para y en las construcciones hemisféricas “occidentales”. Mientras que las relaciones entre los mundos y culturas africanos han sido ampliamente estudiadas en este contexto, es solamente hace algunos años que se ha abierto esta dimensión transatlántica para las relaciones y entrecruzamientos entre América Latina y los mundos árabes. En contraposición, las conexiones e intersecciones transpacíficas entre los mundos y culturas asiáticos y América Latina han sido escasamente analizadas. Continue reading
The head of the Potsdam based DFG Junior Research Group “Transcolonial Caribbean”, Gesine Müller, will publish her new book Die koloniale Karibik. Transferprozesse in hispanophonen und frankophonen Literaturen in August 2012 in the De Gruyter book series “mimesis / Romanische Literaturen der Welt” (Vol. 53).
Hardcover | List price Euro [D] 89.95. RRP for USA, Canada, Mexico US$ 135.00. *
See for details the pages of De Gruyter.
See for more details on Gesine Müller and her research the pages of the DFG Junior Research Group “Transcolonial Caribbean”.