International Conference: “Canonizing David Lynch – Audiovisual Aesthetics and Shocking Standards” at the University of Siegen (Germany)

Marcel Hartwig's picture
September 5, 2019 to September 6, 2019
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Film and Film History, Popular Culture Studies, Theatre & Performance History / Studies

With films like Blue Velvet (1986) and Wild at Heart (1990), David Lynch was hailed as one of the defining artists of postmodern cinema in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His further works like Twin Peaks (1989-2017), Lost Highway (1997), and Mulholland Drive (2001) are even considered to be paradigmatic examples of employing cinema as a medium of philosophical imagination and exploration. In his works, Lynch transgresses both narrative and genre structures as well as gender roles. Also, the Fine Arts and his defining work as a sound artist add to Lynch's status as an agent provocateur during the 1990s and the turn of the century.

The assessment and impact of Lynch’s œuvre currently strive towards a more conservative reconsideration of canonization, musealization, authorship, and archiving without taking into account the transgressive and thought-provoking implications of the larger transmedia picture framing the different networks. Regressive trends of nostalgia and retromania are challenged and at the same time subverted by the director’s latest work: Twin Peaks – The Return.

Using this point-of-(re)entry this interdisciplinary and international conference will revisit methods and theoretical perspectives from distinct academic disciplines providing new perspectives on the œuvre of David Lynch as a larger transmedia network. Further, it ponders the position Lynch holds in current debates about creative control, the fine arts, and cinema. The individual papers of this conference encompass perspectives from musicology, American studies, film studies, media studies, art history, cultural studies, media sociology, and literary studies. This conference attempts to provide a theoretical road map for pop-cultural research and reflection beyond postmodernism and damn fine deconstruction.

Speakers: Eckhardt Pabst (Kiel University), Mads Outzen (NTNU Trondheim), Marcus Stiglegger (DEKRA University of Berlin), Andreas Rauscher (University of Siegen), Willem Strank (Kiel University), Tom Simmert (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz), Peter Niedermüller (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz), Thomas Klein (University of Hamburg), Marcel Hartwig (University of Siegen), Bernd Zywietz (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz), Jannik Müller (University of Siegen), Gunter Süß (HTWM Mittweida), Chris Bakkane (NTNU Trondheim)

Keynotes by Constantine Verevis (Monash University), Anne Jerslev (University of Oslo), Lindsay Anne Hallam (University of East London)

This conference is organized by the Department of British and American Studies (Siegen University), the Department of Media Studies (Siegen University) and the Department of Musicology (Johannes-Gutenberg-University Mainz). For more information or participation in the event, please get in touch with Dr. Marcel Hartwig (

Contact Info: 

Dr. Marcel Hartwig
University of Siegen

Adolf-Reichwein-Str. 2
D-57068 Siegen