Anticipating Modernities

Online annual conference of the Excellence Cluster "Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective" at Freie Universität Berlin from July 6-8, 2022

The idea of modernity in literature will be the subject of an online conference open to the public that will be held at Freie Universität from July 6-8, 2022. The participants will discuss whether and to what extent this concept should be interrogated within the framework of modernity, given that in many cases it is entangled with grand narratives that are quintessentially Western. The "Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective" event will be online and open to the public. Participants are required to register via the conference software Webex. The "Anticipating Modernities" event will be held in English. This is the second annual conference of the Cluster of Excellence, which has been supported by the German federal and state governments’ Excellence Strategy since 2019.

In the age of what has come to be known as globalization, the term "modernity" is increasingly being called into question. A number of drastically worsening environmental factors have played a key role in this development. This trend inevitably has had a knock-on effect on literature, which invariably engages with questions of temporality - to the extent that it constructs its own temporalities. How many modernities are there, how are they constructed, and how do they relate to the cultural modernisms associated with them? In what way do literary temporalities grapple with their own pasts and futures, particularly in a manner that moves beyond dichotomies such as "old" and "new?" The participants will address these topics in seven panels: Communities in Time, Planetary Modernities/Modern Temporalities, Global Anticipations, Mapping Modernities, Projections, Encounters, and Liminal Anticipations.

The Cluster of Excellence "Temporal Communities" aims to rethink literature from a global perspective and has been funded by the German Research Foundation since 2019. It investigates how literature moves beyond the categories of geographical space and time (sometimes even reaching across millennia), establishing extensive temporalities and networks while constantly interacting with other forms of art, media, institutions, and social phenomena.

Conference Timeline

  • Wednesday, July 6, 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

  • Thursday, July 7, 1:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

  • Friday, July 8, 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

  • Registration

    Conference Website, Schedule, and Further Information

  • Video with Professor Andrew James Johnston about the annual conference in campus.leben online magazine: "Today literature can be all sorts of things"

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