Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Central

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Projects | Central | CENTRAL Projects 2015 - 2018 | Teaching and Research Cluster Interdisciplinary Humanities | Poetics of (A)Sociality. Central European Poetry after the End of Literature-Centrism

Poetics of (A)Sociality. Central European Poetry after the End of Literature-Centrism

In collaboration with specialists in Cultural and Literature Studies as well as Social Sciences of the Universities of Warsaw, Vienna, Prague and Budapest, the planned project aims to critically examine the (anti)social position of present-day poetry, which has previously been ignored in research and teaching, in its productively conflicting correlation to current societal, cultural and scientific discourse.

In Central European cultures, poetry has been a vital authority in conveying identity for centuries. In the times of totalitarianism or foreign domination, the voice of the lyrics embodied what was in principle a polysemantic mode of speaking which depicted an alternative to the ideological dictions of the power or the ruling force itself sought the support of poetry. At the latest after reunification and the entry of the Central European countries into the age of new technology, communication possibilities and mass media, such a (self)understanding of literature became an archaism. How does Central European present-day poetry in search of its endangered identities strike a balance between the tabooed pathos and the compulsion of new intimacy, sociality, banality, brutality...? The list of expectations on lyrics goes on. The role of poetry as a specific social lie and demagogy detector of respectively current societal discourse is thereby negated by the other, allegedly politically, socially or culturally relevant discursive productions with a gesture of ignorance which appears hegemonial. The planned project sets itself the aim of scrutinising what importance the poetical word has in the contemporary cultural-societal paradigms of Central Europe.

The targeted workshop and range of lectures, together with student and graduate exchange activities, provides an opportunity for talented experts and engaged interested parties final semester students, young academics, PhD students and post-doctoral staff – to meet with creative cultural and social science interdisciplinary visions. This networking is designed to reinforce the affiliation of the respective students and subject specialists of Humboldt-Universität and our partner universities to a collaborative Central European cultural and scientific space in the long term beyond the cognitive gain of the project.