CFP: Magister Mundi? Hermann Hesse's Global Impact (01.05.2022)

Ingo Cornils's picture

Dear Colleagues,

We cordially invite you to contribute a chapter of 6-8000 words to a volume titled

Magister Mundi? Hermann Hesse’s Global Impact

Hermann Hesse remains one of the great figures of world literature. He is the world’s 35th most translated author, with more than 1,500 translations of his works currently listed on UNESCO’s Index Translatorium. Our understanding of the reciprocal transcultural reception of literature has been radically transformed in the last two decades. David Damrosch (2003), What is World Literature?, Pascale Casanova (2004), The World Republic of Letters, Emily Apter (2006), The Translation Zone, have laid the groundwork for rethinking and re-examining the world literature system. Thomas Beebee (2014), German Literature as World Literature, B. Venkat Mani (2017), Recoding World Literature, Sandra Richter (2019), Eine Weltgeschichte der deutschsprachigen Literatur, James Hodkinson & Benedict Schofield (2020), German in the World, and Rebecca Braun & Benedict Schofield (2020), Transnational German Studies, have contributed to further theoretical advances in the field.

Meanwhile, some thirty years have passed since the third volume of Martin Pfeifer’s anthology Hermann Hesses weltweite Wirkung was published, which leads us to believe that it is time to consider Hesse’s Global Impact again, though not necessarily in terms of a country-by-country study. Rather, we wish to explore Hesse’s global legacy and continuing relevance more broadly. How does Hesse figure in a time of an emerging planetary consciousness? How do we position Hesse in the twenty-first century?

Interested scholars are invited to submit brief proposals for papers to the organizers. The suggested areas of focus below are intended solely as creative impulses and we welcome proposals from all disciplines.

The project will examine Hermann Hesse’s global impact in the past, in the present, and in the future. There is a ‘universal’ element to be found in Hermann Hesse’s works. Hesse is ‘global’ as a writer in the sense that his texts reach and affect individual readers transculturally in a way that they perceive to be of personal relevance. However, this does not mean that Hesse appeals to the lowest common denominator among a global readership but rather that he touches upon themes that refer to the non-material side of human existence and to which readers have found specific individual responses in different cultural communities. His prose and poetry offer potentially an oasis of calm, authenticity, and spirituality - ringfencing a mental terrain for profound and genuine meaning. It may be argued that this ‘spiritual capital’ flows from the fact that Hesse’s journey, and that of his works, was not over with Das Glasperlenspiel by any means, and that his willingness to adapt and change while holding on to universal truths may in turn help us in uncertain times, without the doctrines of organized religions or ideologies.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • The role of publishers, libraries, collections, museums, societies and archives in propagating Hesse and his works.
  • The electronic migration of Hesse’s works.
  • Comparisons with other authors such as Franz Kafka or Thomas Mann, who may be termed ‘global’ and have reached individual readers across cultural borders without the same connection to a community of ‘spiritual wayfarers’.
  • Deterritorialization and reterritorialization of Hesse’s texts (e.g., appropriation in other cultures and re-appropriation).
  • Non-representative nature of Hesse’s writings (vs. Thomas Mann) and his cosmopolitan appeal to fundamental human concerns.
  • Hesse’s reception in the light of recent theoretical advances in the conceptualisation of an epistemology of World Literature
  • Hesse and education/pedagogy
  • Hesse in art and music
  • Hesse in film (Narziss und Goldmund, Siddhartha, Steppenwolf)
  • Hesse in thought (war and peace)
  • Hesse in translations and translational networks
  • Hesse in gaming and utopias (Das Glasperlenspiel)
  • Hesse in postcolonial awareness (Robert Aghion)
  • Hesse in psychology (e.g., dealing with the COVID pandemic)
  • Hesse in environmental awareness (planetary consciousness)

We look forward to your response and a short 250-word proposal by 1 May 2022

Prof. Ingo Cornils (Leeds, UK)                      i.cornils@leeds.ac.uk

Dr. Neale Cunningham (Tokyo, Japan)          nealecunningham@hotmail.com


Redaktion: Constanze Baum – Lukas Büsse – Mark-Georg Dehrmann – Nils Gelker – Markus Malo – Alexander Nebrig – Johannes Schmidt

Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Johannes Schmidt] betreut – editorial-germanistik@mail.h-net.msu.edu