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“Materiële autobiografieën en topografieën van het zelf: nieuwe trends in de culturele analyse van de subjectiviteit” is de titel van een workshop dat onder leiding van Christian Moser heeft plaatsgevonden.

Autobiographie und Raum

Martina Wagner-Egelhaaf (Münster):
Topographien der Autobiographie

Stefan Berghaus (Münster):
Goethes Dichtung und Wahrheit in topographischer Perspektive (DuW, Buch 5)

Christian Moser (Amsterdam):
Raum als Element der Selbstkonstitution in Goethes Dichtung und Wahrheit (DuW, Buch 1 und 4)

Carla Dauven-van Knippenberg (Amsterdam):
Topografie der Verzweiflung. Michael Köhlmeiers Idylle mit ertrinkendem Hund

Konstituentien des autobiographischen Textes

Regine Strätling (Berlin):
Autobiographische Spielregeln

Yvonne Delhey (Nimwegen):
Self-fashioning Identity: Der Autor als Text


Material Autobiographies and Topographies of the Self: New Trends in the Cultural Analysis of Subjectivity

(proposed by Prof. Dr. Christian Moser, Chair Professor of German Literature, Universiteit van Amsterdam)

The workshop is designed to bring together two recent trends in the analysis of culture. On the one hand, it examines the relevance of material culture to the ‚technology of the self' (Michel Foucault) in modern Western societies. How does our relation to the objects we buy, consume, collect or discard impinge on our personal identities? Is there such a thing as a ‚material autobiography', a representation of the self constructed by means of the things that we possess? On the other hand, the workshop investigates the consequences of the ‚spatial turn' in cultural theory for the study of subjectivity. Is it possible to describe the constitution of the self in spatial terms? How does the ‚cultural production of space' (Henri Lefebvre) relate to practices of representing and constructing the self?

The aim of the workshop is, firstly, to explore the potential that these two trends possess for the study of autobiography. Secondly, it turns its attention to the points where these trends intersect. Domestic space, for instance, marks a sphere that harbours the individual's cherished possessions - an intimate space filled with things that define its self. The museum - to refer to a different example - is a spatial arrangement of objects that allows the individual to gain a sense of its personal and cultural identity. Thus, there is a strong connection between the material dimension of autobiography and the topography of the self.

The workshop will bring together researchers who have distinguished themselves in the field of autobiography studies, but who are also experts in (at least) one of the two recent trends mentioned above.

The workshop will take place on Thursday, 25th June, from noon until evening, and on Friday, 26th June, until noon. Speakers will present papers of twenty minutes duration, so there will be ample time for discussion.