Theses in Focus: ‘The Role of Albania and Kosovo in the “South-Eastern Turn” in Contemporary German Language Literature’ by Chloe Fagan

The first installment of ‘Theses in Focus’ is devoted to Chloe Fagan‘s doctoral research on German writers of Albanian and Kosovar background. She is a PhD candidate based in the Department of Germanic Studies at TCD and her supervisors are Prof. Jürgen Barkhoff and Prof. (emer) Moray McGowan. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in German and English from TCD and currently works for Goethe-Institut Irland. Her broader research interests include German migration literature, cultural trauma, and contemporary Albanian and Kosovar culture and history. She has published ‘Translation and the Renegotiation of Albanian-Austrian Migrant Identity: Ilir Ferra’s “Halber Atem” as a Critique of Migrantenliteratur’ in Moving Texts, Migrating People and Minority Languages (2017) and “Albanian Literature in Translation” in ITIA Bulletin 2/2015.


After completing my Bachelor’s degree in German, I expressed my interest in pursuing a doctorate in German literature to my undergraduate thesis supervisor and I began to consider focusing on Migrantenliteratur. However, he advised me that there was a great amount of research and secondary literature being produced on Turkish-German literature, and that for a PhD it would be better to focus on another aspect of this literature. Whilst searching for ideas. I read the list of winners of the Adelbert von Chamisso Preis, a prize awarded to authors who produce texts in German though it is not their mother tongue. The prize was won in 2012 and 2013 by an author with an Albanian background: Ilir Ferra and Anila Wilms, respectively. There was little attention given to this Albanian presence in contemporary German-language literature, and this formed the beginnings of my research as I sought to fill this gap.

In The Turkish Turn in Contemporary German Literature (2005), Leslie A. Adelson analysed the biggest group in producing texts in the area of migration-linked writing in German literature, at that point Turkish, or hyphenated Turkish-German authors. Following on from Adelson’s work, Brigid Haines in The Eastern Turn in Contemporary German, Swiss and Austrian Literature (2008) has described an “Eastern Turn” in German language literature; that is, a new wave of migrant writing in Germany, Switzerland and Austria produced by authors from Eastern Europe and former Yugoslavia. Haines points to this being evident in the trend of the Chamisso Prize winners in recent years, with authors of Eastern European origin superseding Turkish-German authors who had previously dominated. Research on this “Eastern Turn” has failed to failed to include authors with Albanian or Kosovar background writing in German, or  texts which take Albanian and Kosovar issues and recent history as their primary focus. The primary objective of my thesis then became addressing this gap and to expand this turn into a “South-Eastern Turn”, which would include such Albanian and Kosovar migrant authors.

My doctoral work examines the image of Albania and Kosovo in contemporary German language literature, and assesses how Albania and Kosovo are represented by authors of different nationalities writing in German, and how the issues of migration, Albania’s Communist regime and its legacy, and the Kosovo War are treated in these texts.

As I learned more about Albania and Kosovo’s histories (as well as learning the Albanian language), my own interests shifted more to the issues of cultural traumas and how they are processed. Stuart Taberner in Transnationalism and German Language Literature in the 21st Century (2017) posits that the archive of transnationalism and writing by migrants coming to German-speaking countries is an archive of trauma. I wanted to highlight the memory work being done by these authors in their texts treating the issues of the Hoxha Communist dictatorship in Albania or the Kosovo War in societies where such memory work is absent in the official discourses in the two countries. These Albanian and Kosovar authors would be unable to publish their texts in their country of origin, and so in treating national traumas which are not part of the official national narrative, they then become part of a diasporic counterdiscourse. Ultimately, one of the main concerns of the “South-Eastern Turn” in German language literature is to disrupt the smooth official narrative produced by the dominant discourse in Albania and Kosovo, and to make readers aware that there are other voices, previously excluded, to complicate and problematize the understanding of this history.

 

 

GSAI 2019 Conference Registration and Information

Please register for the coming GSAI conference here – if you do not have a Google account, please contact Dr Sandra Wagner: Sandra.Wagner@mic.ul.ie

You can find the provisional programme here, and directions and hotel recommendations here.

We look forward to meeting you in Limerick!

CfP: Conflict, Crisis, Culture. German Studies Association of Ireland 16-17 Nov

We invite proposals for the upcoming GSAI conference Conflict, Crisis and Culture, on 16-17th November 2018 at University College Dublin. Presentations will be 20 minutes in length, and may be given in German or English.

Abstracts in Word format, not exceeding 250 words in length, should be sent as email attachment to Gillian Pye (Gillian.pye@ucd.ie) and Sabine Strümper-Krobb (strumper.krobb@ucd.ie). Please include your affiliation in the body of the email. Deadline for abstracts 1st Sept.

 

Conflict, Crisis and Culture

Significant anniversaries relating to conflicts and crises in the German-speaking lands are taking place in 2018, and often they are situated in a transnational framework: 170 years have passed since the Revolutions of 1848; 100 years since the end of the First World War; 50 years since the protests of the ‘68 movement; 10 since the 2008 financial crisis; and, following the so-called Zirkeltag on the 5th February 2018, the Berlin Wall has now been down for longer than it was standing. Contemporary conflicts and crises, including the so-called crisis in contemporary Germanistik, the rise of AfD/ Pegida, the refugee crisis, have also had an impact upon the German language, German culture as well as the teaching of German.

Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

·       the relationship of conflict and crises to cultural and linguistic change

·        the relationship between politics, economics and culture as debated in literature and culture

·       the contribution of cultural texts towards radical movements

·       cultural texts and the process of dealing with conflict and expressing trauma

·       the concept of ‘Sprachkrise’ in all its manifestations since modernity

·       perceived ‘cultural conflict’ and ‘cultural crises’

Zu der GSAI Tagung am 16-17 November 2018 am University College Dublin laden wir zu Beiträgen zum Tagungsthema Konflikt, Krise und Kultur ein. Die Vortragsdauer beträgt 20 Minuten.

Vortragsvorschläge im Word-Format (250 Wörter), sollten bis zum 1. September 2018 als Email-Anhang an die Organisatorinnen Gillian Pye (gillian.pye@ucd.ie) und Sabine Strümper-Krobb (strumper.krobb@ucd.ie) geschickt werden.

 

Konflikt, Krise und Kultur

2018 kommt es zu verschiedenen Gedenktagen, die an Konflikte und Krisen in den deutschsprachigen Ländern erinnern und durch die diese sich häufig in einen transnationalen Zusammenhang einordnen lassen: 170 Jahre sind seit den Revolutionen von 1848 vergangen, 100 Jahre seit dem Ende des Ersten Weltkriegs, 50 Jahre seit den Protesten der 1968er Bewegung, 10 Jahre seit der Finanzkrise von 2008; zudem ist, seit dem sogenannten „Zirkeltag“ des 5. Februar 2018, der Zeitraum seit dem Fall der Berliner Mauer erstmals länger als der Zeitraum ihrer Existenz.

Aktuelle Konflikte und Krisen – das Erstarken von AfD/Pegida, die Flüchtlingskrise, und schließlich die sogenannte Krise der zeitgenössischen Germanistik haben ebenfalls eine Einwirkung auf die deutsche Sprache, die deutsche Kultur und nicht zuletzt den DaF-Unterricht gehabt.

Beiträge könnten sich unter anderem mit folgenden Themen befassen, müssen sich aber nicht auf diese beschränken:

·       Das Verhältnis zwischen Konflikten, Krisen und kulturellem und linguistischem Wandel

·       Das Verhältnis zwischen Politik, Wirtschaft und Kultur

·       Der Beitrag kultureller Produktion zu radikalen Bewegungen

·       Kulturelle Texte und die Bewältigung von Konflikt und Trauma

·       Das Konzept von ‚Sprachkrise‘ in all seinen Manifestationen seit der Moderne

·       Andere als Kulturkonflikte oder Kulturkrisen wahrgenommene Prozesse und Entwicklungen

Data Protection

As GSAI members, you provide us with information about who you are, your email & contact details and your institutional affiliation. We also keep track of membership fee payments.

The GSAI mailing list is used to disseminate information about seminars & workshops, Calls for Papers, invitations to conferences, events, book launches etc. If you do not wish to receive e-mails, please send an email to the GSAI’s Secretary.

Danke!

GSAI Annual Conference 2014: Programme Announcement

The German Studies Association of Ireland (GSAI) is pleased to announce the detailed programme for its upcoming conference to be held on 14 and 15 November, 2014 at the Trinity Long Room HubTrinity College Dublin.

Please click here for the programme.

Those wishing to attend should email Dr. Caitriona Leahy by 3 November; those wishing to attend the conference dinner should also email Caitriona to confirm this: cleahy@tcd.ie.