Transnationalism in Contemporary German-Language Literature

Transnationalism in Contemporary German-Language Literature

Edited by Elisabeth Herrmann, Carrie Smith-Prei, Stuart Taberner

Investigates the concept of transnationalism and its significance in and for German-language literature and culture.

"Transnationalism" has become a key term in debates in the social sciences and humanities, reflecting concern with today's unprecedented flows of commodities, fashions, ideas, and people across national borders. Forced and unforced mobility, intensified cross-border economic activity due to globalization, and the rise of trans- and supranational organizations are just some of the ways in which we now live both within, across, and beyond national borders.
Literature has always been a means of border crossing and transgression-whether by tracing physical movement, reflecting processes of cultural transfer, traveling through space and time, or mapping imaginary realms. It is also becoming more and more a "moving medium" that creates a transnational space by circulating around the world, both reflecting on the reality of transnationalism and participating in it. This volume refines our understanding of transnationalism both as a contemporary reality and as a concept and an analytical tool. Engaging with the work of such writers as Christian Kracht, Ilija Trojanow, Julya Rabinowich, Charlotte Roche, Helene Hegemann, Antje Rávic Strubel, Juli Zeh, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, and Wolfgang Herrndorf, it builds on the excellent work that has been done in recent years on "minority" writers; German-language literature, globalization, and "world literature"; and gender and sexuality in relation to the "nation."

Contributors: Hester Baer, Anke S. Biendarra, Claudia Breger, Katharina Gerstenberger, Elisabeth Herrmann, Christina Kraenzle, Maria Mayr, Tanja Nusser, Lars Richter, Carrie Smith-Prei, Faye Stewart, Stuart Taberner.

Elisabeth Herrmann is Associate Professor of German at Stockholm University. Carrie Smith-Prei is Associate Professor of German at the University of Alberta. Stuart Taberner is Professor of Contemporary German Literature, Culture and Society at the University of Leeds and is a Research Associate in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch; German and French at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Contemporary German-Language Literature and Transnationalism
How Does Transnationalism Redefine Contemporary Literature?
Transnationalism and Cosmopolitanism: Literary World-Building in the Twenty-First Century
Affect, Aesthetics, Biopower, and Technology: Political Interventions into Transnationalism
"On the Plane to Bishkek or in the Airport of Tashkent": Transnationalism and Notions of Home in Recent German Literature
Transnationalism, Colonial Loops, and the Vicissitudes of Cosmopolitan Affect: Christian Kracht's Imperium and Teju Cole's Open City
Writing Travel in the Global Age: Transnationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and the Reworking of Generic Conventions of Travel Literature in Ilija Trojanow's An den inneren Ufern Indiens and Nomade auf vier Kontinenten
Europe's Invisible Ghettos: Transnationalism and Neoliberal Capitalism in Julya Rabinowich's Die Erdfresserin
Precarious Sexualities, Neoliberalism, and the Pop-Feminist Novel: Charlotte Roche's Feuchtgebiete and Helene Hegemann's Axolotl Roadkill as Transnational Texts
Dislocation, Multiplicity, and Transformation: Posttransnationalism in Antje Rávic Strubel's Kältere Schichten der Luft and Vom Dorf
Cultural Dichotomies and Lived Transnationalism in Recent Russian-German Narratives
"Wo geh ich her? . . . Wo komm ich hin?": Delineating Transnational Spaces in the Work of Juli Zeh
Transnational Politics in Friedrich Du?rrentmatt's Der Auftrag and Wolfgang Herrndorf's Sand
Appendix: Interview with Ilija Trojanow
Notes on the Contributors


[D]elivers a timely contribution to the development of German literary studies . . . . [A] balanced and critical summation . . . . [A] versatile sourcebook for future embarkations into transnational literature. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

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