Though separated by a generation, the two modernist scholar-poets Adler and Sebald are still linked by a dense nexus of poetic, ethical and historiographical concerns. This symposium aims to draw out these commonalities between these two great writers of the Holocaust and memory, and suggest productive avenues of comparison between them. While the literary work of W G. Sebald has been intensely celebrated and studied during the ten years since his death in 2001, Adler has principally been known for his sociological study Theresienstadt: Antlitz einer Zwangsgemeinschaft (1955), and interest in his literary works is only now growing following the centenary of his birth, Franz Hocheneder’s 2009 biography, Peter Filkins’s translations of Eine Reise (2008) and Panorama (2011), and Hocheneder and Katrin Kohl’s collection of his poetry, Andere Wege (2010).
This symposium is kindly supported by the British Academy and the Austrian Cultural Forum, and co-organised by the University of Leeds, the University of Stuttgart, and the IGRS. The official website for the conference can be found here: H.G. Adler/W.G. Sebald Witnessing, Memory, Poetics
Public Keynote Lecture – Peter Filkins
On Wednesday, 10 October, Peter Filkins will hold a talk on the writers H. G. Adler and W. G. Sebald, ‘Memory’s Witness – Witnessing Memory’, at 19.00 at the Austrian Cultural Forum.
International Symposium – Programme
On Thursday, 11 October, the main symposium will take place in the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies.
09:00-09:20 Helen Finch (Leeds) /Lynn Wolff (Stuttgart): Welcome.
09:20-09:30 Jeremy Adler: Introduction
09:30-10:30 Panel 1: Katrin Kohl (Oxford): Poetics of Bearing Witness: H.G. Adler and W.G. Sebald
Lynn Wolff (Stuttgart): ‘Der Autor zwischen Literatur und Politik’: H.G. Adler’s ‘Engagement’ and W.G. Sebald’s ‘Restitution’
11:30-12:30 Panel 2: Ruth Vogel-Klein (Paris): Dreimal Theresienstadt: Adler, Sebald
Thomas Kraemer (Berlin): Wissenschaft, Dichtung, Erinnerung
14:30-15:30 Panel 3: Dora Osborne (Edinburgh): Trauma in the works of Adler and Sebald
Martin Modlinger (Bremen): ‘Die Kartoffeln dem Volke! Kampf und Tod dem Hunger!’ – The Kafkaesque in H. G. Adler’s and W. G. Sebald’s Literary Historiography
16:30-17:30 Panel 4: Frank Finlay (Leeds): H G Adler and the Literature Culture of Post-war West Germany
Helen Finch (Leeds): Heimat in Poetry: Adler and Sebald’s Shared Literary Elective Affinities
18:00-18:30 Closing Remarks