Welcome to the guest lecture by Markus Huss, May 22nd-23rd, 2014

University of Turku, 22–23 May 2014

The project Kirjallisuuden monikielisyys nyky-Suomessa/ Multilingualism in contemporary literature in Finland (Turun yliopisto/Koneen säätiö) and the Network for Research on Multiculturalism and Societal Interaction (MCnet) are organizing a two-day workshop on Literature, Multilingualism and the Monolingual Paradigm:

The Workshop is open to all – welcome!

Thursday, May 22nd, 2–4 pm
(Turun Yliopisto, Sirkkala Campus, Minerva, 2nd floor, room E 225):

Guest Lecture by Markus Huss, Ph.D., (Södertörn University, Sweden):
”The Acoustics of Resistance. On Language and Noise in the Bilingual Works of Peter Weiss”

Peter Weiss was a writer, painter, graphic artist and filmmaker. In his lecture Markus Huss argues that Peter Weiss’s early works written in Swedish and German form a multifaceted reflection on language and its cultural, historical and material preconditions. The metaphors of language in his texts are intimately linked to historical processes, where early postwar Germany plays a crucial role as contextual framework.

Huss will demonstrate how Weiss’s short stories and novels explore an acoustic dimension of language, where non-articulatory sounds and noises oscillate between two poles: they either pose a threat to the narrator, or form a promise of a future emancipatory linguistic expression beyond a territorializing and violent language. Furthermore, the sounds and noises permeating Weiss’s literary work provide a historical soundtrack, intimately connected to a search for a viable postwar literary aesthetic.

Friday, May 23rd, 11 am–1 pm
(Turun yliopisto, Sirkkala Campus, Minerva, 1st floor, room Virkkunen E 104)

Round table discussion on Yasemin Yildiz’ Beyond the Mother Tongue. The Postmonolingual Condition (2012), with an introduction by Markus Huss (Södertörn University, Sweden)

”Monolingualism – the idea that having just one language is the norm – is only a relatively recent invention, dating to late-eighteenth-century Europe. Yet it has become a dominant, if overlooked, structuring principle of modernity. According to this monolingual paradigm, individuals are imagined to be able to think and feel properly only in one language, while multiple languages are seen as a threat to the cohesion of individuals and communities, institutions, and disciplines. As a result of this view, writing in anything but one’s ’mother tongue’ has come to be seen as an aberration.
Beyond the Mother Tongue demonstrates the impact of this monolingual paradigm on literature and culture and charts incipient moves beyond it. Because newer multilingual forms and practices exist in tension with the paradigm, which alternately obscures, pathologizes, or exoticizes them, this book argues that they can best be understood as ’postmonolingual.’”

Markus Huss, PhD in Literary Studies, currently works as senior research officer for ”Time, memory, representation. A Multidisciplinary Program on Transformations in Historical Consciousness” at Södertörn University, Sweden.

For more information contact Julia Tidigs (julia.tidigs@abo.fi) or Heidi Grönstrand (heigro@utu.fi)

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