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Warwick Workshop for Interdisciplinary German Studies

Funded with the generous support of Warwick's Humanities Research Centre and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

This is an interdiscplinary workshop series dedicated to all areas of German cultural studies. Meeting two to three times during term in the Department of German Studies, the workshop hosts presentations on a Wednesday afternoon by senior national and international scholars, Warwick colleagues and doctoral students. Presentations can be delivered both as finished conference-style papers, or more informally as work-in-progress. Please contact the workshop convenors, s dot horstkotte at warwick dot ac dot uk and e dot oliver dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk, if you wish to offer or attend a presentation!

Coming up next:

Wednesday 7 February 5-7pm Humanities Building H2.44
Alison Gibbons (Sheffield Hallam): Uses and Abuses of Reading Life: Morality, Fictionality, and the Trial of Ahmed Naji

"…they are accusing me as if I were the fictional character in the novel. Whatever the fictional character is doing in the novel, the prosecution is dealing with it as if were my personal confessions. If the court gives us a verdict and if the court agrees that this is literature, this is a novel, I think this will have a huge effect on the freedom of expression in Egypt."

These are the words of Egyptian journalist and novelist Ahmed Naji, speaking in January 2016 (RNW Media 2016) about his prosecution by the state for 'violating public modesty'. The case went to trial with Naji acquitted in December 2015. Subsequently though, the prosecution appealed; Naji was retried at a higher court and found guilty in February 2016, then sentenced to the maximum two-years in prison.
Since then, Naji's case has been taken up by PEN International and high-profile novelists such as Zadie Smith have written in support. In December 2016, Naji's sentence was temporarily suspended and he was released from prison, subject to retrial. Naji's case has captured the public interest, yet it is indicative of more widespread suppression of free speech in the Arabic world. This paper analyses Ahmed Naji's trial in its socio-political context, considering the legal arguments, public discourse surrounding the case, and style of the translated except.

Workshop Programme 2017-18


Term 1:

Wednesday 18 October 2017 5-7pm Humanities Building H2.44
Godela Weiss-Sussex (Cambridge): 'Das doppelte Martyrium des Weibseins und des Judentums': Femininity and Jewishness in Works by Female German-Jewish Writers in Berlin (1900-1918)

Wednesday 1 November 5-7pm Humanities Building H2.44
Katie Stone (Warwick): German Memories of Wartime Rape and the Affective Politics of Cultural Memory

Wednesday 15 November 5-7pm Humanities Building H2.44
Carolin Duttlinger (Oxford): Threshold States: Musil, Self-Help Literature and Nachlaß zu Lebzeiten

Term 2:

Wednesday 24 January 5-7pm Humanities Building H2.44
Pia Deutsch (Warwick): Negotiating Nationhood - Mediating Identity. The Becoming of Germany’s National Radio (1989-1995)

Wednesday 7 February 5-7pm Humanities Building H2.44
Alison Gibbons (Sheffield Hallam): Uses and Abuses of Reading Life: Morality, Fictionality, and the Trial of Ahmed Naji

Wednesday 28 February 5-7pm Humanities Building H2.44
Helmut Schmitz (Warwick): Die eigentlich humane Leidenschaft’? Adornos und Horkheimer’s Begriff der Liebe in Dialektik der Aufklaerung

Term 3:

Wednesday 25 April 5-7pm Humanities Building H2.44
Isabelle Hertner (King's College London): (Love’s) Labour’s Lost? Social Democratic Parties and the challenge of European Union membership

Tuesday 8 May
Donna Harsch (Carnegie Mellon): Infantilizing Mothers -- or Empowering Them? The Fight against Infant Mortality in East and West Germany, 1949-1989

Special event, co-sponsored with the Center for the History of Medicine



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