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Sebastian Schirrmeister

… My PhD project “Encounters in another place” (working title) is situated at the crossroads of German and Israeli literature studies and seeks to engage in a ‘disciplinary dialogue’ on German prose written by Jewish writers in Palestine and Israel since 1933…

Biographical note

After my volunteer service in Tel Aviv in 2004/2005, I studied Jewish Studies, German Literature and German as a Foreign Language at Potsdam University. In the course of the studies I participated in an academic exchange program with Haifa University and studied there for one year. When I received my M.A. in 2011 I started to work as an assistant to Prof. Dr. Doerte Bischoff in the Department of German Language and Literature and the Walter A. Berendsohn Research Center for German Literature in Exile at Hamburg University. In 2013 I received the Joseph Carlebach Prize for the publication of my M.A. thesis on the German-Jewish Aliyah and the Hebrew Theater in Palestine. Since January 2014, I have been a doctoral fellow at the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

My PhD project “Encounters in another place” (working title) is situated at the crossroads of German and Israeli literature studies and seeks to engage in a ‘disciplinary dialogue’ on German prose written by Jewish writers in Palestine and Israel since 1933. These texts are not easily integrated into the narrative of any history of a national literature and have been repeatedly termed an ‘exception’ by scholars of German exile literature. Based on Dan Miron’s suggestions concerning the plurality and contiguity of Jewish literatures and drawing from additional theoretical contexts like the concept of a ‘minor literature’, my main objective is to cross-read a selection of German texts with some of their Hebrew contemporaries, analyzing their poetological negotiations of de- and re-territorialization in narrating the transition from Europe to Eretz Yisrael.

The Walter A. Berendsohn Research Center for German Literature in Exile

Named after one of the founding fathers of German exile studies, the Walter A. Berendsohn Research Center at Hamburg University is the only academic institution in Germany that is exclusively devoted to the study of German literature in exile. From its establishment in 1970 the center has mainly focused on the collection and preservation of literary and non-literary materials documenting the massive intellectual emigration from Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. In recent years the scope of the center’s research field has broadened towards comparative exile studies incorporating e. g. Jewish concepts and experiences of exile and Diaspora or literary representations of historic exile(s) in contemporary German literature. The Berendsohn Research Center is a cooperating partner in the national network “Arts in Exile” [Künste im Exil] and is headed by Prof. Dr. Doerte Bischoff.

Selected Publications

Recent (first) Book:

  • Das Gastspiel. Friedrich Lobe und das hebräische Theater 1933-1950. Berlin: Neofelis 2012. [revised M.A. thesis]

Reviews

  • Anat Feinberg in Medaon 11 (2012) – PDF
  • Tom Lewy in MB Yakinton 254 (September 2012) – German / Hebrew
  • Judith Siepmann in Einsicht. Bulletin des Fritz-Bauer-Instituts 09 (spring 2013) – PDF (p. 94)
  • Jan Kühne in PaRDeS. Zeitschrift der Vereinigung für Jüdische Studien 19 (2013) – PDF (pp. 256-259)
  • Brigitte Dalinger in Zeitschrift für interkulturelle Germanistik 4,2 (2013)

Articles

  • Vier Zeitungsartikel und ein Präzedenzfall. Spuren des deutschen Theaters in Palästina. In: Das Kulturerbe deutschsprachiger Juden. Eine Spurensuche in den Ursprungs-, Transit- und Emigra­tionsländern. Ed. by Elke-Vera Kotowski. Berlin: De Gruyter [to be published in 2014]
  • Der erste Mamlock. Eine Spurensuche. In: Einspruch. Schriftenreihe der Friedrich-Wolf-Gesellschaft. „Was bleibt und was lohnt!“ Friedrich Wolf zum 125. Geburts- und 60. Todestag. Ed. by Hermann Haarmann and Christoph Hesse. Marburg: Tectum 2014, pp. 117–154.
  • Von der Bühnenkante an den Rand Europas und wieder zurück. Friedrich Lobe und das hebräische Theater 1933–1950.In: Am Rand. Grenzen und Peripherien in der europäisch-jüdischen Literatur. Ed. by Sylvia Jaworski and Vivian Liska. München: edition text+kritik 2012, pp. 169–177.
  • Eine kurze Geschichte des Aufbau. In: Elke-Vera Kotowski (ed.): Aufbau: Sprachrohr. Heimat. Mythos. Geschichte(n) einer deutsch-jüdischen Zeitung aus New York 1934 bis heute. Berlin: Hentrich&Hentrich 2011, pp. 11–28.