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Out and About in World Literature

Study Days at Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School from October 8 to 11 / Opening with Lecture by Russian Author Vladimir Sorokin

№ 332/2014 from Sep 30, 2014

"If you don't have to write – don't" is the title of a keynote address by the Russian author Vladimir Sorokin at the Study Days being held for the first time this year by the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School. At the meeting on October 8 to 11, researchers and doctoral students of the Graduate School of Literary Studies will provide insights into the work of this structured doctoral program. In a total of twelve discussion rounds, which were jointly developed by graduate students, postdocs, and their supervisors, the participants will address such diverse issues as the importance of world literature in schools or food and hunger in literary texts. The opening event will take place on October 8 at 6 p.m. in the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities. Media representatives are welcome to attend. Due to the limited number of seats, please sign up in advance by sending an email to The forums on the following days will be held in rooms of Freie Universität and the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Center of Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. They are public, and advance registration is not required.

The conference lectures will be given by researchers of the participating institutions as well as visitors from Germany and abroad. Scholarship-holders from the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School will address and discuss literary texts from the European, American, Arab, and Asian cultures that they are exploring in their doctoral and postdoctoral projects. A comparison of texts, media, and cross-cultural practices will be associated with various theoretical questions. Relationships between literary texts and cultural processes will be examined. The participants will take into consideration all the eras from ancient times to the present. The Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School was established in 2007 at Freie Universität Berlin with funds from the German government's Excellence Initiative. Since 2012 the graduate school has been working closely with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and the graduate students can also select a supervisor from Humboldt Universität.

Vladimir Sorokin was born in 1955 in Moscow. He is one of the most internationally acclaimed contemporary authors while also being one of the most controversial contemporary authors in his homeland. His origins lie in the Moscow Conceptualism of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Sorokin's works, which were published in Russia until 1991, were repeatedly criticized in recent years. The Russian youth organization, Nashi, which was launched by the Russian government, criticized his works in a public book burning that drew a great deal of attention. In 2010 Sorokin was awarded the Gorky Prize. His works of the past ten years (“Ljod,” “The Day of Opritschnik,” “Sugar Kremlin,” “Blizzard,” and most recently, “Tellurija”) are characterized by a successful synthesis of classics and experiment, and they are also politically relevant as a perceptive diagnosis of the present in a fictional guise.

Time and Location

  • Opening ceremony: Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 6 p.m., Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities, Leibniz-Saal, Markgrafenstraße 38, 10117 Berlin. Subway station: Hausvogteiplatz (U2) or Französische Straße (U6). Advance registration at:
  • Panel 1–11: Thursday, October 9, and Friday, October 10, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 7:15 p.m., Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45 (Rostlaube), Room JK27/14 and JK 27/103, 14195 Berlin. Subway station: Dahlem-Dorf and Thielplatz (U3)
  • Panel 12: Saturday, October 11, 2014 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum, Auditorium, Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 3, 10117 Berlin. Subway and S-Bahnhof Friedrichstraße (U6, S 3, 5, 7, 75)

Link to the Conference Schedule

Further Information

  • Kathleen Kriebitzsch, Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School, Tel.: +49 30 838 52525, Email:
  • Dr. Anja Hallacker, Managing Director, Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School, Tel.: +49 30 838 75044, Email: