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Symposium on “Literature and Remembrance”

20 10 2009
Memorial culture in the countries of southeast Europe after 1989 – Focus on Romania

“Literature and Remembrance” is the subject of an international symposium marking the 20th anniversary of the collapse of communism in eastern Europe and taking place from 22 to 24 October 2009 at Heidelberg University. The focus is on memorial culture in southeast European literature after 1989, with special reference to Romania. The Department of Romance Studies in conjunction with the Romanian Cultural Institute Bucharest (ICR) extend a cordial invitation to attend the symposium. Some 20 speakers and several authors from five countries will be participating.

Subjects addressed at the symposium include memories of exile, fiction and remembrance, and historical policy and memorial cultures. Alongside scholarly lectures there will also be various readings, notably in connection with the focal topic “Romania after 1989”. One of the talks will be on the novel Atemschaukel by this year’s Nobel Prize laureate Herta Müller. Students from the Department of Romance Studies will be reporting on a project involving the translation into German of an anthology of contemporary prose from Romania. Symposium coordinators are Prof. Dr. Edgar Radtke, Dr. Romanita Constantinescu and Dr. Edda Binder-Iijima, all from Heidelberg University.

One symposium event open to the general public is the “Balkan Night” on Friday, 23 October. Under the heading “Bridges and Breaches” various authors will be presenting literary accounts of the highly volatile situation in Albania and former Yugoslavia. After the readings there will be an opportunity for discussion. The Balkan Night takes place at Heidelberg’s German-American Institute (DAI, Sofienstraße 12) and begins at 8 p.m. Another event open to the public is “The Echo of Literature” at 8 p.m. on Saturday, 24 October, again at the DAI. Well-known Romanian authors writing in Romanian, German and Hungarian and reflecting the multicultural diversity of the country and its literature will be reading from their works.

Alongside the DAI, the co-organisers of this international symposium are the Institut für donauschwäbische Geschichte und Landeskunde Tübingen (IdGL), the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Folosofici (IISF) and the A.I. Cuza Gesellschaft (Heidelberg).

For more information on the symposium “Literature and Remembrance. Memorial Culture in the Countries of Southeast Europe after 1989” go to

Dr. Romanita Constantinescu
Dr. Edda Binder-Iijima
Department of Romance Studies
phone: +49 6221 542756/542727

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