Event Ticker: the authors of the book series “mimesis” (De Gruyter) present their recent publications in Berlin

06/19/2012
(Ticker by Tobias Kraft)

The evening's panel (from left to right): Albrecht Buschmann, Gesine Müller, Anne Kraume, Ottmar Ette, Frank Hahn, Anke Birkenmaier, Jenny Haase

The evening's panel (from left to right): Albrecht Buschmann, Gesine Müller, Anne Kraume, Ottmar Ette, Frank Hahn, Anke Birkenmaier, Jenny Haase

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