W.G. Sebald

Special Sessions on the Work of W.G. Sebald

**All Sessions on W.G. Sebald Will Take Place Saturday, May 6th**

10:00-11:30 AM

W.G. Sebald I: Materiality and Suspension

Chair: Professor André Aciman

Joseph Goodale (PhD Student, the Graduate Center, CUNY)

John Knight (PhD Student, the Graduate Center, CUNY)

Samuel Elias Sokolsky-Tifft (PhD Student, University of Cambridge)

11:40 AM-1:10 PM

W.G. Sebald II: His Influence, His Impression

Chair: Professor Caroline Rupprecht

George Westby (PhD Candidate, the Graduate Center, CUNY)

Jonathon Catlin (PhD Student, Princeton University)

Disha Karnad Jani (PhD Student, Princeton University)

Becca Rothfeld (PhD Candidate, Harvard University)

1:20-2:50 PM

W.G. Sebald III: Theorizing Creation & Destruction

Chair: Professor John Brenkman

Irina Kogan (PhD Student, Yale University)

Samuel Gold (PhD Candidate, the Graduate Center, CUNY)

Phillip Campanile (PhD Candidate, University of California, Berkeley)

Josh Dawson (PhD Student, University of Buffalo, SUNY)

Special Sessions Call for Papers

Sebald situates his work in the gray zone between fiction and history, positioning himself with both proximity and distance to his subject matter, alternating between first-hand victim and third-hand witness. At the center of Sebald’s writing is the taboo of the “wrongful trespass:” a fear that either he will falsely identify with events he himself has not experienced or that his objectivity will dilute the emotional impact of what he describes. In response to this concern, Sebald creates works that straddle the boundary between fact and fiction in order to portray and grapple with historical events.

These special sessions will examine the relationship between fiction and history in Sebald’s work. Possible topics include: theoretical and philosophical approaches to Sebald; Sebald’s inclusion of documents, pictures, and other media in his novels; the place of the Holocaust in Sebald’s thinking and artistry; Sebald’s use of fictional testimony; Sebald’s style as a way of examining memory and enduring trauma; Sebald’s work and collective memory; techniques of dislocated narration; Sebald’s reimagination/reconstruction of time and space; and Sebald’s engagement with other writers, artists, and thinkers.

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