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Samuel Fischer Guest Professorship for Literature

Photo: Julia Moraes
Photo: Julia Moraes

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. 

Literatures of the World

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.

Winter Term

This winter semester the Brazilian writer, journalist and playwright Bernardo Carvalho will be our guest. Carvalho, born in 1960 in Rio de Janeiro, initially worked as a journalist and foreign correspondent for the Brazilian daily newspaper "Folha de São Paulo" in Paris and New York. When his post was cancelled due to the Brazilian economic crisis, he spontaneously decided to stay in New York for a few months to start his career as a writer.

His debut Aberração, a collection of short stories that was immediately nominated for the country's most important literary prize, appeared in 1993. In this volume, the leitmotifs already emerge, which in many variations run through the 11 following novels: Secrets to be revealed, the past that permeates the present, poetry and truth that are inextricably entangled, the play with different perspectives and identities.

 

 

Madeleine Thien and Rawi Hage in the Canadian Embassy, Photo: Phil Dera"Room of Canada" in the Canadian Embassy, Photo: Phil DeraMark McLaughlin welcomes the audience, Photo: Phil DeraMadeleine Thien and Rawi Hage in conversation with Claudia Kramatschek, Photo: Phil DeraClaudia Kramatschek in conversation with Madeleine Thien and Rawi Hage, Photo: Phil DeraRawi Hage, Photo: Phil DeraMadeleine Thien, Photo: Phil DeraMadeleine Thien and Rawi Hage in the "Room of Canada", Canadian Embassy, Photo: Phil DeraMadeleine Thien reads from her current book, Photo: Phil DeraManaging Director Andres F. Wilkes and Project Manager Christine Laule in conversation with Madeleine Thien, Photo: Phil Dera
Madeleine Thien and Rawi Hage in the Canadian Embassy, Photo: Phil Dera
"Room of Canada" in the Canadian Embassy, Photo: Phil Dera
Mark McLaughlin welcomes the audience, Photo: Phil Dera
Madeleine Thien and Rawi Hage in conversation with Claudia Kramatschek, Photo: Phil Dera
Claudia Kramatschek in conversation with Madeleine Thien and Rawi Hage, Photo: Phil Dera
Rawi Hage, Photo: Phil Dera
Madeleine Thien, Photo: Phil Dera
Madeleine Thien and Rawi Hage in the "Room of Canada", Canadian Embassy, Photo: Phil Dera
Madeleine Thien reads from her current book, Photo: Phil Dera
Managing Director Andres F. Wilkes and Project Manager Christine Laule in conversation with Madeleine Thien, Photo: Phil Dera

Summer Term

This summer semester, the Canadian writer couple Madeleine Thien and Rawi Hage are jointly teaching at Freie Universität.
Madeleine Thien was born in Vancouver. Her diverse oeuvre includes three novels, a volume of short stories, a children's book, and numerous essays. Central to her writing is the question of how one can retell one's own and shared history against the background of migration, trauma, and the search for identity and belonging. Her work has been translated into more than 25 languages and has won Canada's most prestigious literary prizes and numerous other awards. Thien has taught literature and creative writing in Canada, China, Germany, Nigeria, USA, Zimbabwe, Singapore and Japan.
Rawi Hage was born in Beirut and grew up in Lebanon and Cyprus. His work includes three novels and a variety of literary, artistic and journalistic forms that deal with issues of homelessness, exile and the consequences of war. His debut novel De Niro's Game from 2006 about the war-torn Beirut of the 80s won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

In their seminar „Insinuation and Double Exposure: Appropriation as Literary Response“ the two of them deal with literature against the background of a new questioning of history and the retelling of their own existence.

Samuel Fischer Honorary Lectures

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):

  • Hector Abad, Colombia
  • Nora Amin, Egypt
  • Scott Bradfield, USA
  • Mircea Cartarescu, Romania
  • Javier Cercas, Spain
  • Amit Chaudhuri, India
  • Joshua Cohen, USA
  • Victor Erofeyev, Russia
  • Nuruddin Farah, Somalia
  • Lavinia Greenlaw, Great Britain
  • Nedim Gürsel, Turkey/France
  • Andrew Sean Greer, USA
  • Robert Hass, USA
  • David Hinton, USA
  • Daniel Kehlmann, Germany und Adam Thirlwell, Great Britain
  • Etgar Keret, Israel
  • László Krasznahorkai, Hungary
  • Alberto Manguel, Canada
  • Yann Martel, Canada
  • Michèle Métail, France
  • Valentin Yves Mudimbe, DR Congo
  • Kenzaburo Oê, Japan
  • Alice Oswald, Great Britain
  • Fernando Pérez, Cuba
  • Sergio Ramirez, Nicaragua
  • Richard Powers, USA
  • Teresa Präauer, Austria
  • Raoul Schrott, Austria
  • Sjón, Iceland
  • Vladimir Sorokin, Russia
  • Marlene Streeruwitz, Austria
  • Sara Stridsberg, Sweden
  • Dubravka Ugrešic, Croatia
  • Tomas Venclova, Latvia
  • Abdourahman Waberi, Dschibuti
  • Cécile Wajsbrot, France
  • Feridun Zaimoglu, Germany
  • Joshua Cohen, USA

 

Former Samuel Fischer Guests of Honour:

  • Paul Auster, USA
  • Carlos Fuentes, Mexiko
  • Kenzaburo Oê, Japan
  • Orhan Pamuk, Türkei
  • Antonio Skármeta, Chile
  • Vladimir Sorokin, Russia

Information

Bernardo Carvalho
Brasilia

Seminar
„Desire against Identity“
Freie Universität Berlin, Peter Szondi Institut

Inaugural Lecture
6 November 2019
Seminarzentrum, Raum L 115
Otto-von-Simson-Straße 26, 14195 Berlin

Reading
12 December - 7 pm
DAAD Galerie
Oranienstraße 161, 10969 Berlin

Further Information
Homepage Samuel Fischer Guest Professorship

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