HU | Winter term 2020/21
Our group has been meeting weekly since November 2020. We’re motivated by a shared interest in literature and the numerous ways to think and write about it. Literary theory can feel overly abstract and overwhelming at times. It doesn’t have to be like that! There are plenty of engaging, interesting, interdisciplinary, even funny texts about literature. We’re trying to create a space for such texts, and an opportunity to experiment with talking and writing about literature without any academic pressure.
We read texts from all corners of the literary world
We tried out different formats and digital spaces to create an impactful online learning experience
We provided an open, interdisciplinary space for discussion and exchange
The group had members from a variety of universities and study programmes
HU | Summer term 2021
Part I: Literature & Reality
Literature makes up its own worlds. Despite „only“ being texts, these worlds are not just shaped by, but also contribute to our sense of reality. Is a reality without text even conceivable? Can we draw a clear boundary between fictional and nonfictional texts, between „our“ world and literary worlds? In this tutorial, we will look at a selection of literary theories and their overlap with history, philosophy, and politics. We will critically examine concepts such as Realism, narrativity, and fictionality from an interdisciplinary perspective. By incorporating texts from such fields as queer and postcolonial theory, we will also attempt to trace the influence of literature and literary theory beyond the text and into the domains of activism and identity.
We read texts ranging from the 1920s all the way to 2020.
developed our own writing skills.
We discussed theories and the role of literature in the world.
We experimented with different writing styles and modes of communication
HU | Winter term 2021/22
Part II: Writing Mind & Body
Fictional characters aren’t real. Yet how “real” they feel is crucial to how deeply we are able to engage with them: a character’s “realness” determines how much we are able to empathise with, or vilify them. We expect that good fiction makes us forget that characters don’t have real thoughts or feelings. In this tutorial, we will try to understand how we are able to perform deep affective interactions with fictional characters. At the same time, we will discuss how we write ourselves and others in the real world and how cultural texts shape our sense of self and other. Ultimately, we will try to move towards a mode of reading that stresses the emotional attachment and affective communities fiction is able to construct across place and time.
We’re reading texts from the Middle Ages to the present day
We tried out different ways of writing about character and identity
We discussed the impact of writing on subjectivity and identity off the page
We experimented with format and style in our workshops