Activities

Kafka, Prague, and the First World War

International symposium, St. John's College, Oxford
13
-15 September 2010

The First World War, often called the »Urkatastrophe« of the twentieth century, changed Kafka’s life, as it did everybody’s. The famous diary entry for 2 August 1914 - »Germany has declared war on Russia. Went swimming in the afternoon« - gives an impression of detachment which is entirely misleading, as this conference will aim to show.

We envisage the symposium as having three concentric circles: 1) the historical context, recreated with the help of historians of Central Europe; 2) the Prague literary circle and its contacts with Czech-language culture; 3) Kafka and his works, especially those produced in the Alchimistengässchen.

Programme

Monday, 13 September
08.30 Welcome
 I. Historical Context

09.00

Mark Cornwall (Southampton): The Wartime Bohemia of Kafka: the Social and National Crisis

09.30

Johannes Birgfeld (Saarbrücken): Der Erste Weltkrieg im Prager Tagblatt

10.00

Discussion

10.30

Coffee-break

11.00

Andreas Kilcher (Zürich): Zionistischer Kriegsdiskurs

11.30

Eva Edelmann (Zürich): Geschichtstheologische Strategien zionistischer Gegenwartsdeutung in der Prager jüdischen Wochenschrift »Selbstwehr«

12.00

Discussion

12.30

Lunch

  II. Czechs and Germans

14.30

Claire Nolte (Manhattan College, New York): Inter arma silent Musae?: Culture in Wartime Prague

15.00

Rajendra Chitnis (Bristol):  Putting »Granny« in a Home: Literary Modernism  and the Bohemian Village

15.30

Discussion

16.00

Tea-break

16.30

Peter Zusi (London): States of Shock: Kafka and Richard Weiner

17.00 Ritchie Robertson (Oxford): Max Brod's Novel »Tycho Brahes Weg zu Gott«

17.30

Discussion

 

 

Tuesday, 14 September
  III. Kafka’s Writings of the First World War Period

09.30

Reiner Stach (Berlin): Franz Kafka: kriegsgefangen

10.00

Juliane Blank (Saarbrücken): Kafkas Oktavhefte im Kontext des Ersten Weltkrieges. Historische Konkretisierung und Verallgemeinerung in den <Gruftwächter>-Aufzeichnungen

10.30

Discussion

11.00

Coffee-break

11.30

Thomas Anz (Marburg): Motive des Militärischen in Kafkas Erzähltexten seit August 1914

12.00

Bill Dodd (Birmingham): Kafka's »Russian Experience« and Images of War in his Writings from 1912 Onwards

12.30

Discussion

13.00

Lunch

15.00

Tour of College (for speakers only)

  
Wednesday, 15 September

09.00

Marek Nekula (Regensburg): Kafkas organische Sprache – Umgang mit Sprachen und nationaler Verortung in den Jahren 1914 bis 1918

09.30

Benno Wagner (Siegen): Franz Kafka, Karl Kraus und die Verteidigung der Sprache gegen die Propaganda

10.00

Discussion

10.30

Coffee-break

11.00

Manfred Engel (Saarbrücken): Entwürfe symbolischer Weltordnungen: China und China Revisited. Zum China-Komplex in Kafkas Werk 1917-1920

11.30

Carolin Duttlinger (Oxford): Verantwortung‹: The »Landarzt« Collection and Kafka's Short Prose Writings 1914-18

12.00

Discussion

12.30

Lunch

 

Convenors

     Carolin Duttlinger, Manfred Engel, Katrin Kohl, Ritchie Robertson

Conference venue

     New Seminar Room, St. John's College

Accommodation for speakers

     St. John's College, St. Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JP (www.sjc.ox.ac.uk)

Conference fee (for guests)

     £ 20 (reduced fee for students: £ 10)

Contact

     anatole.oudaille-diethardt@sjc.ox.ac.uk