Politics and Literature. Novels for the New Century

Can there be prosperity under the conditions of the climate crisis? Are sustainability and the promise of growth mutually compatible? And how does care work in class society? What is the relationship between identity politics and racism, between the acknowledgement of basic rights and authoritarianism, between migration and the fortress Europe? Who are we allowed to love and how, and how do we want to shape our lives?

Currently, discussions on crises are omnipresent—even in literature. Does the joint reading and discussion of novels help us perceive, experience, and reflect political and social crises as well as conflicts differently? Are novels political in a special way—unlike journalistic texts or parliamentary rhetoric, for example? And what literary traditions is contemporary political literature based on?

In the book club, we want to explore and reflect these and other issues together while also observing what happens to us when we talk about literature and politics. Do we find specific problems unacceptable, outdated, or especially relevant? What worlds can we imagine ourselves to be in, which characters can we show empathy for? Does an engagement with literature provide us with a new orientation in our everyday lives? Can the book club itself be a place where we become more political while having fun in the process?

The book club is a cooperation between the EU-funded project The Cartography of the Political Novel in Europe and the Literaturhaus Berlin where the club meetings take place.

The book club is organized by five moderators who take turns facilitating the meetings in pairs of two. It is held in German. Since some organizers and participants speak other languages, we want to provide temporary translations upon request.
Funded through the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program.
from 2023

Organization: Kyung-Ho Cha, Patrick Eiden-Offe, Ivana Perica (all ZfL), Johanna-Charlotte Horst (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Christoph Schaub (University of Vechta)

   more information on the project



Book club
23 Oct 2023 · 7.00 pm

Natasha Brown: Zusammenkunft

Literaturhaus Berlin, Fasanenstr. 23, 10719 Berlin, Kaminzimmer

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