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Summer Seminar: Warfare – Migration – Witch-hunt: Queer Life Writings in/of Early Modern Europe

This one-week summer seminar is dedicated to queer life in early modern Europe focusing on the Thirty-Years-War and its aftermath, both in 17thcentury and in 21st century German narrative prose. From the Baroque period we’ll discuss Grimmelshausen’s picaresque novels Der abenteuerliche Simplizissimus (Adventurous Simplicissimus) and Landstörtzerin Courasche (Runagate Courasche), comparing these fictional auto/biographies with real life accounts by early modern women, such as Leben Frauen Johannä Eleonoren Petersen … von ihr selbst mit eigener Hand aufgesetzt (Life of Lady Johanna Eleonora Petersen … written in her own hand). Secondly, we’ll investigate two new forms of hybrid between picaresque and historical novel dealing with runnagates, crossdressers, rogues and queer life in the 17th and 18th centuries: Daniel Kehlmann’s Tyll (2018) and Angela Steidele’s Rosenstengel (2015).

Instructor: Gaby Pailer (UBC-CENES) in collaboration with Daniela Fuhrmann (University of Zürich, Switzerland)
Summer Term 2, 2019 – August 26-31, 2019
Course languages: English and German. Advanced German reading knowledge is required.

The seminar will have a research symposium format with introductory lectures and discussion moderation by the instructors. Students are expected to prepare a presentation pertaining to one of the course readings. UBC graduate students as well as those from other institutions (under the Western Deans Agreement or via Study Mobility Agreements with UBC) are eligible and warmly invited to apply. Please send a notice of intent of approximately 300 words describing your academic curiosity of the topic, potential focus of investigation and textual preference to Gaby Pailer, Professor of German Literature, ( by March 31, 2019. Daniela Fuhrmann will be a Swiss National Fund Postdoctoral Fellow at the UBC-V campus, from mid-May to mid-September 2019. A preparatory meeting for all students accepted into this course will be held in late May in conjunction with the CAUTG conference as part of CONGRESS 2019.

Primary Course Readings

Grimmelshausen, Hans Jacob Christoffel, Simplizissimus and Courasche (multiple editions, English and German).

Petersen, Eleonora, The Life of Lady Johanna Eleonora Petersen, Written by Herself. Ed. Barbara Becker-Cantarino, Chicago, London 2005. (Leben Frauen Johannä Eleonoren Petersen… von ihr selbst mit eigener Hand aufgesetzt… (ed. by her husband) 2nd ed. 1719).

Kehlmann, Daniel, Tyll. Roman. Reinbek, 3rd ed. 2017.

Angela Steidele, Rosenstengel. Ein Manuskript aus dem Umfeld Ludwigs II. Berlin 2015.


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