Literature and Media Art
Professor Claudia Benthien, our DAAD visiting scholar from Germany, will present a talk on “Literature and Media Art“ based on her current research project founded by the DFG (German Research Foundation). The project analyzes the aesthetics of language in emerging forms of artistic expression. The guiding concept is “literariness”, as developed by Russian Formalism, denoting a poetic “surplus” of meaning generated by a “non-pragmatic” use of language. Within her talk Prof. Benthien will explore dimensions of signification generated through language, voice, and script in exemplary media artworks of which excerpts will be presented. The talk will focus on Gary Hill’s single-channel video Incidence of Catastrophe that is based on Maurice Blanchot’s novel Thomas the Obscure and on Nalini Malani’s video/shadow play In Search of Vanished Blood that is, among many other literary texts, referring to Christa Wolf‘s narrative Cassandra.
Claudia Benthien is professor of German literature and cultural theory at the University of Hamburg. She did her graduate studies at University of Hamburg, Washington University (St. Louis), and Humboldt-University (Berlin). She was visiting professor at the University of Washington, Seattle; the University of California, Berkeley; and Emory University (Atlanta) and held fellowship at the Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften (Vienna), the Herzog August Library, (Wolfenbüttel), the Warburg Institute (London), and the Maison des sciences de l’homme (Paris).
Benthien’s most recent book examines the intersection of notions of shame and guilt cultures in the German tragedy around 1800 (Schiller, Kleist). She has also published a monograph on the rhetorics and performativity of silence in the 17th century and is the author of Skin: On the Cultural Border between Self and the World, for which she received the Tiburtius price, awarded by the Berlin Senate.
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Literature and Media Art is a DAAD-sponsored event.