Workshop: Materiality in German Studies

Dr Alexander Knopf (Visiting German Scholar, DAAD–University of Cambridge Research Hub)

28 February 2017, 4-6pm, RFB 331

MML Faculty Building, Cambridge

Literary texts are not simply objects available for the purposes of a literary scholar. They are, particularly when the writing was passed down to us in form of manuscripts, the result of an editorial procedure and, therefore, an interpretative practice. Hence, a literary specialist who solely deals with prints that are edited may only interpret a text that has already been an object of interpretation.

The workshop ‘Materiality in German studies’ offers an introduction for those interested in getting more familiar with German manuscript culture. It seeks to introduce lecturers, researchers and graduate students to editorial philology. This will include an exploration of exemplary manuscript material, sourced from authors like Hölderlin, Novalis or Kafka, which is famous for its publishing history. The workshop will provide you with key skills in critical editing by analysing the material basis of texts, the relevance of paper, ink, and watermarks. You will be exposed to Deutsche Kurrent, a non-Latin script which was in use until the beginning of the 20th century, and you will learn to read it. Additionally, material for further study or teaching will be provided. The second part of the workshop will leave room for discussion on how to create impact-related teaching material for a given project (such as the ‘Transcribe Schnitzler’ website), in conjunction with palaeographic skills.

The workshop is particularly tailored for postgraduate students and academic staff in the School of Humanities & Arts and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Reading comprehension skills in German are required. The number of participants is limited to 15. For registration, please contact by 26th February 2017.