Kafka, Prague, and the First World War

July 30, 2010

International symposium, St. John’s College, Oxford, 13-15 September 2010

Convenors: Carolin Duttlinger, Manfred Engel, Katrin Kohl, Ritchie Robertson

The First World War, often called the »Urkatastrophe« of the twentieth century, changed Kafka’s life, as it did everybody’s. The famous diary entry for 2 August 1914 – »Germany has declared war on Russia. Went swimming in the afternoon« – gives an impression of detachment which is entirely misleading, as this conference will aim to show.

We envisage the symposium as having three concentric circles: 1) the historical context, recreated with the help of historians of Central Europe; 2) the Prague literary circle and its contacts with Czech-language culture; 3) Kafka and his works, especially those produced in the Alchimistengässchen.



Programme of the conference: www.kafka-research.ox.ac.uk/activities/06kafka_Worldwar.php

(Papers will be given in English and German)

Conference venue: New Seminar Room, St. John’s College

Conference fee (for guests): £ 20 (reduced fee for students: £ 10)

Contact: anatole.oudaille-diethardt@sjc.ox.ac.uk

AGS Conference in Reading, 29-31 March 2010

April 1, 2010

The 73rd conference of the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland took place 29-31 March 2010. The conference was well-attended, with 37 UK and Irish German departments represented. The lead strand of the conference was ‘Everyday culture and the depiction of the everyday in literature, arts and media’, which attracted a broad range of papers, including presentations on the everyday in film and swearing in German! Other panels looked at contemporary literature and film, as well as gender, history and remembrance, Medieval studies, the 19th century, linguistics, literary theory, language learning and postcolonial studies.

As is the AGS tradition, a plenary lecture was given by the most recently appointed member of the host department;  in this case Dr Melani Schöter, who spoke on ‘Silence and public expectations of speech in political discourse’.

The Presidents’ guest this year was F. C. Delius, who gave a reading from his recent prose work, Bildnis der Mutter als junge Frau. He was accompanied by his British publisher Meike Ziervogel of Peirene Press, along with the translator of the book, Jamie Bullock, who spoke about the challenges of translating Delius’ text. After the reading, Herr Delius signed copies of the translation, which was made available to members before its official publication in the autumn.

Delegates at the conference enjoyed both the venue and the excellent catering, and joined the President, Professor Frank Finlay, in thanking the host department for their efforts.

Next year’s conference will take place at Queen Mary in London (further details to follow).

AGS Conference 2010 at the University of Reading

February 9, 2010

The 73rd conference of the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland will be hosted by the University of Reading, and will be held on Whiteknights Campus from Monday 29 March to Wednesday 31 March 2010.

Due to current technical difficulties with the AGS website, please download the full details of the conference, including an application form by clicking on the following link: AGS_2010_invitiation