The Samuel Fischer Guest Professorship for Literature was instituted at the Freie Universität Berlin in 1998 by the publishers S. Fischer in association with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Freie Universität Berlin and the Veranstaltungsforum of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. In addition to teaching at Freie Universität, the author holds a special Guest Professorship Lecture in Berlin and reads in further cities at various literary events.
The guest professorship is intended to promote the dissemination and critical analysis of world literature. It gives students at Freie Universität Berlin the chance to create literature with internationally renowned authors. The results of this collobaration have been documented and published in Edition AVL.
In the winter term 2016/17 Abdourahman Waberi is S. Fischer guest professor. He is considered a "National Writer of Djibouti" and was counted by the French literary magazine Lire to the 50 most important and influential contemporary authors in 2005.
Waberi was born in 1965 in Djibouti. In 1985 he moved to France and studied English and French literature in Caen and Dijon, where he completed his studies with a thesis on the Somali author Nuruddin Farah. 2012 Waberi received his doctorate at the University of Paris Ouest-Nanterre La Défense. He has also worked as a journalist and literary critic as well as a publishing consultant for contemporary African literature. As a columnist, he writes regularly for Le Monde diplomatique. For his literary work Waberi received numerous fellowships and lectureships abroad. He currently teaches as a professor of Francophone literature and creative writing at George Washington University in Washington DC, USA.
His books have been translated into more than ten languages and won numerous awards. Waberi’s first volume of stories «Le Pays sans ombre» appeared in 1994. It was followed by the band «Cahier nomade» (1996) and the novel «Balbala» (1997), which can be read as a trilogy about Djibouti. Short stories of the two volumes, in the center of the stories is the daily live of the small state, have been published in 1998 in German «Die Legende der Nomadensonne». For «Cahier nomade» Waberi received the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique Noire. His satirical novel «Aux États-Unis d'Afrique» (In the United States of Africa, 2008) creates an imaginary cartography of the world, historical and political conditions and usual viewpoints are turned upside down. Last Waberi published the novel «La Divine Chanson» (2015) and the poetry collection «Mon nom est aube» (2016).
Austrian author and artist Teresa Präauer is the 35th Samuel Fischer Guest Professor. She was born in 1979 in Linz and lives in Vienna. She studied German philology at Paris-Lodron-University Salzburg and Humboldt-University Berlin and graduated in fine arts at Mozarteum Salzburg and Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
For Teresa Präauer fine arts and literature are closely connected: In 2009 she published the postcard book «Taubenbriefe von Stummen an anderer Vögel Küken» with drawings and made the illustrations for Wolf Haas’ picture book «Die Gans im Gegenteil» (2010). Her first novel «Für den Herrscher aus Übersee», published in 2012, is an eloquent story about flying and falling, about reading of letters and star maps and won the aspekte-Literaturpreis for the best German-speaking debut in prose. Her novel Johnny und Jean (2014) tells the story of two unequal young men who want to be famous and is full of smart allusions to art, fashion and pop. It was awarded the Droste-Literaturförderpreis and Förderpreis zum Hölderlinpreis 2015 and was nominated for the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair in 2015. In 2015 she was «Honorary Fellow in Writing» within the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa and she teaches at the Bayerische Akademie des Schreibens and in 2017 at Grinnell College of Liberal Arts in the US.
Together with the guest professorship a series of S. Fischer guest of honour-lectures was established beginning with Antonio Skármeta from Chile and Carlos Fuentes from Mexico. In May 2007 Orhan Pamuk, Nobel-Prize Winner of Literatur 2007, read from his Book Istanbul. To mark the 10th anniversary of the guest professorship, Paul Auster read in September 2008 at the Berliner Ensemble and the Nobel-Prize Winner Kenzaburo Oe on 1 November 2008 at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt as guests of honour. For the 15th anniversary the first guest professor from 1998, Vladimir Sorokin, read in June 2013 at the Berliner Ensemble from his book The Blizzard.
Since 1995, the Samuel Fischer Guest Professorship was held by the following authors (in alphabetical order):
Former Samuel Fischer Guests of Honour:
Andreas F. Wilkes
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