Dates: 6.−8. (9.) October 2022
Venue: University of Gdańsk
This conference is organized with the intention to celebrate the 95th birthday anniversary of the omnicreative artist, Günter Grass. We look forward to discussing and exchanging views on the latest research trends concerning the reception and the present impact of the artist’s oeuvre which is characterized by its continuous power to reflect the rapidly changing social and cultural processes. We would like to invite you to Gdańsk/Danzig, the birthplace of the Nobel Prize Winner, which he would describe as a city located in the borderland, a place whose intercultural discourses and intricacies became the subject of Grass’ literature.
Globalization, migrations and climate change are unavoidable aspects of our times. Beside them linger the unsettled matters from the past (among them the Second World War and colonialism), along with the intensification of nationalistic tendencies (with the inclination towards the authoritarian and cultural homogeneity) shaping the everyday life of the societies today. This reflects Grass’ idea of “Vergegenkunft” – the fourth tense combining the past, the present and the future experience. For Günter Grass these were the problems he himself would often address, not only in order to share his perspective with the contemporary audiences, but also to propose alternative solutions. He treated literature and art as media of (inter)cultural dialogues conveying multiple meanings, as sources of the potential to design the future.
Grass’ work stands for his multilevel dialogue with the predominant spirit of his times. As a citizen, he used his words to express “what has to be said”. As a writer, he saw his duty in visualizing the invisible and “tearing open the wounds that scarred too fast”. As a relentless enlightener, he was always willing to take the responsibility and set the change in motion.
What is the present meaning of Grass‘ oeuvre perceived from various points of view? How do we interpret his oeuvre in today’s social and cultural contexts depending on our perspectives? – these are the leading questions we would like to address at the conference.
The above major issues will be further analyzed within the following interdisciplinary areas:
- About and beyond literature. The artist as a citizen. Engaged art and civil society. Grass‘ literary language, texts as interventions and politic al strategies (suggested keywords: migrants, cultural minorities, women and patriarchy, climate change, collective memory, intergenerational communication).
- The artist and his transcultural networks. Grass‘ intellectual dialogues and intertextual correspondences.
- Intermedial dialogue – word and image within Grass‘ oeuvre. Word as a starting point for developing intermedial artistic dialogues.
- Translating Grass today (suggested keywords: Grass‘ translator’s workshop, dialectal imprints, local specificities, strangeness and otherness as a translational perspective, Grass‘ oeuvre as a reference point in the translation and memory studies).
- Grass‘ oeuvre in new media – inspired by the current situation and practices we would like to take a special look at Grass‘ presence in the virtual world, not excluding the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Proposals (ca. 1500 signs) together with a short biographical note about the authors should be submitted until March 31th, 2022 by email to the address firstname.lastname@example.org. The list of accepted proposals will be published until the end of March. There will be a possibility to publish the texts in the post-conference issue of „Studia Germanica Gedanensia“.
The conference will be held in a hybrid mode and simultaneously translated into Polish, German and English. The conference fee is 250 PLN / 60 EURO for the in-person participants, and 150 PLN / 35 EURO for the virtual participants.
The agenda also includes a literature-inspired walk in the footsteps of Grass held in Gdańsk-Wrzeszcz (Langfuhr), as well as an optional literary daytrip in the Kashubian region the day after the end of the conference.
Uniwersytet Gdański / Wydział Filologiczny / Instytut Filologii Germańskiej / Pracownia Badań nad Narracjami Pamięci Pogranicza / University of Gdańsk / Faculty of Languages / Institute of German Philology / Research Lab for Memory Narratives of Borderlands / International Border Studies Center
Stowarzyszenie Güntera Grassa w Gdańsku / Günter Grass Association in Gdansk
Instytut Kaszubski / Kashubian Institute
Assoc. Prof. Miłosława Borzyszkowska-Szewczyk
Marta Turska, PhD
Marta Wróblewska, MA