KONF: European Literatures of Military Occupation 1938-1955, Loveno di Menaggio (04.04.-07.04.2022)

Matthias Buschmeier's picture

Dr. Matthias Buschmeier (Universität Bielefeld), Prof Dr Jeanne E. Glesener (Universität Luxembourg)

Gefördert durch: MIS – Migration and Inclusive Societies, UNIVERSITÉ DU LUXEMBOURG)

The conference aims to shed light on the literary and cultural representation of occupation as a European experience. Literary scholars from all over Europe will come together to discuss the outlines and implications of a comparative perspective on the topic. Since this is almost-uncharted territory, the conference is intended as a first step for mapping the literary representation and articulation of the experience of occupation. Differentiating between two periods of occupation – 1938-1945 (period of the heterogeneous German occupational regimes established throughout Europe) and 1945 to 1955 (period of the allied presence in Germany and Europe after the war, the death of Stalin in 1953, which changed the occupational regime of the Soviet Union in the Baltic States and the official end of the time of occupation in Western Germany through the “General Treaty” in 1952/1955) – the aim is to investigate how literary texts figure the complex and often intertwined relationship between complicity, collaboration, and resistance. It also seeks to see to what extent historical differences in the reality of occupation in various European countries are mirrored in literary texts. Finally, it endeavors to point out the role played by literary representations in the reconstitution of the (formerly) occupied countries, and the accompanying and highly debated memory politics.



16:30 Opening of Conference:
Matthias Buschmeier (Bielefeld): Military Occupation and its Literature between Historical Representation and Memory Politics

17:30 Evening lecture: Tatjana Tönsmeyer (Wuppertal): Occupied Societies: Encounters with the enemy, experiences of insecurity and the “new normal” of extraordinary times

19:00 Welcome Aperitif

19:30 Dinner


I. Literary Perspectives of German Occupiers in Western Europe

09:00 – 10:00 Jan Andres (Bielefeld): Vertreibung aus dem Exil. Rudolf Borchardts Anabasis‘-Fragment

10:00 – 11:00 Christopher Meid (Freiburg): Occupation as tourism? Griechenland. Ein Buch aus dem Kriege (1942) and Ölberge, Weinberge (1953) by Erhart Kästner

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee

11:30 – 12:30 Stefanie Siess (Heidelberg): German Writers as Occupiers and Occupied. Franco-German Representations in the Works of Felix Hartlaub (1940-1945) and Tami Oelfken (1945-1955)

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

II. Literary Perspectives of the Occupied from South-Eastern Europe

14:00 – 15:00 Aleksandar Momčilović (Prag): Literature from Below: Literary Competitions on the Territory of the German Military Commander in Serbia and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

15:00 – 16:00 Atinati Mamatsashvili (Tbilisi/Luxembourg): Literary Representations of Occupied Cities: Tbilisi, Paris, Luxembourg

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break

16:30 – 17.30 Joanna Rzepa (Essex): Translating Occupied 
Poland: Politics, Propaganda, and Polish-English Translation in Britain (1939-1946)

17:30 – 18:30 Jelena Subotić (Atlanta): Contested Remembrance of Occupations in Post-communist Europe

19:30 Dinner


III. Occupation in Literature after the War

09:30 – 10:30 Daniela Lieb (Luxembourg): Semantiken der Besatzung(en) in Pierre Grégoires Trilogie Europäische Suite (1951-1952).

10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:00 Benedikts Kalnačs (Riga): Reflections on Twentieth-century Military Occupations in Latvian and Estonian novels

12.00 – 13:00 Stefan Laffin (Venedig): Liberation or Occupation? Allied Occupation in Italy between Literature and Propaganda between 1943 – 1947

13:00 – 15:00 Lunch

15:00 – 16:00 Sandra Schell (Heidelberg): Margret Boveri’s Amerikafibel für erwachsene Deutsche (1946) – an Example for Literature of Military Occupation?

16:00 – 17:00 Klaus-Michael Bogdal (Bielefeld): "Es war vorbei. Düsseldorf war tot." Narrative einer erneuten Besatzung

17:00 – 17:30 Coffee Break

IV. The Endurance of Occupation in Contemporary Literature

17:30 – 19:00 Round table with Jeroen Olyslaeggers (Belgium)
Host: Jeanne E. Glesener (Luxembourg)

19:30 Dinner


10:00 Departure


Dr. Francesca Zilio (Villa Vigoni)
phone+39 379 20 00 41
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