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Fantasies of Prevention: Foreknowledge and its Critique in Contemporary German Literature



Stefan Willer


Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 5:15pm - 6:15pm


Building 260 Rm 252



Fantasies of Prevention: Foreknowledge and its Critique in Contemporary German Literature

Stefan Willer is Associate Director of the Center for Literary and Cultural Research (ZfL) Berlin and Director of the research project "Prognostik und Literatur" since 2010 and a lecturer at the Institute for Philosophy and the History of Literature, Science, and Technology at the Technical University Berlin since 2010.

He is interested in German and other literatures since the 18th century. One of his main interests has always been contemporary literature. His first book, Botho Strauß zur Einführung (Hamburg: Junius, 2000), is an introduction to one of today's most important German playwrights and novelists. Another focus is German and European romanticism. His second book (based on his PhD thesis), Poetik der Etymologie. Texturen sprachlichen Wissens in der Romantik (Berlin: Akademie, 2003), examines the both speculative and playful practices of etymology that were topical in the science of language around 1800. He is co-author of the book Das Konzept der Generation. Eine Wissenschafts- und Kulturgeschichte (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp 2008) and wrote his 'habilitation' thesis about theories and practices of cultural inheritance in German modernism: Erbfälle. Theorien und Praktiken kultureller Übertragung in der Moderne (München: Fink 2012). He co-edited several volumes and special issues, e.g. about religious poetry, exemplarity, and aging in literature. The latest one, Prophetie und Prognosik. Verfügungen über Zukunft in Wissenschaften, Religionen und Künsten (co-edited with Daniel Weidner, München: Fink 2012), is the first result of his ongoing project: the historical and contemporary interrelations between literature and knowledge about the future.