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Invitation to Press Conference: Cees Nooteboom to Be Granted Honorary Doctorate from Freie Universität

№ 286/2008 from Sep 29, 2008

Cees Nooteboom erhält Ehrendoktorwürde der Freien Universität
Cees Nooteboom to receive honorary doctorate from Freie Universität Image Credit: Simone Sassen

The Department of Philosophy and Humanities of Freie Universität Berlin is granting the Dutch author Cees Nooteboom an honorary doctorate for his outstanding achievements as a novelist, lyric poet, and essayist. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 13, 2008, at 6:00 pm. The day before the ceremony, Freie Universität will be holding a press conference. Please register in advance, if you can attend.

Date and Location of the Press Conference:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 11:00 am
Goldener Saal, Kaiserswerther Straße 16 – 18, 14195 Berlin

Freie Universität Berlin is honoring Cees Nooteboom as an important representative of world literature as well as being an author whose work is closely connected with the city of Berlin and its turbulant history. Cees Nooteboom, born in 1933 in Den Haag, wrote a series of essays in 1989 and 1990, describing the fall of the Berlin Wall and the resulting political and social developments from the perspective of a foreign eyewitness. They were published as Berlijnse notities  (1990, Berlin Notes). In Nooteboom's subsequent work the German capitol also often plays an important role, as in the commentary Terugkeer naar Berlijn (1997; Return to Berlin) and in one of his major works, the great Berlin novel Allerzielen (1998; All Souls Day, 2001).

Cees Nooteboom's fiction, poetry, and essays contain literary and philosophical discourses at a high level of reflection. Firmly rooted in Dutch tradition, Cees Nooteboom has proven to be a European author, not only questioning collective and national identities, but also through the broad spectrum of his literary work contributing to increased understanding among the various cultures. He is very successful in placing his own work in a subtle dialog with literary predecessors. In Germany Nooteboom's  travelogues have been particularly popular, in addition to the short novel, The Following Story (1991), and the novel Paradise Lost (2004).

The speakers will include:

  • Dutch author Cees Nooteboom
  • Professor Dr. Ursula Lehmkuhl, First Vice President of Freie Universität Berlin
  • Professor Dr. Joachim Küpper, Director of Dahlem Humanities Center
  • Professor Dr. Peter-André Alt, Dean of the Dept. of Philosophy and Humanities
  • Professor Dr. Jan Konst, Associate Dean of Research of the Dept. of Philosophy and Humanities

Date and Location of the Ceremony:

Thursday, November 13, 2008, 6:00 pm, Lecture Hall 1b, Humanities and Social Sciences Complex, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem (subway U3, Thielplatz)

Please register in advance, if you can attend:

Office of News and Public Affairs, Freie Universität, Telephone: +49 (0)30 / 838 73180,

For further information, please contact:

Prof. Dr. Jan Konst, Institute for German and Dutch Language and Literature, Telephone: +49 (0)30 / 838-54423, Email: