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Workshop with Hélène Cixous: Writing, Reading,Translating Sexual Differences

May 12, 2016 | 10:30 AM s.t.

Workshop for students (master and PhD) at Freie Universität Berlin

In addition to the Dahlem Humanitites Center’s Hegel Lecture, a workshop with Hélène Cixous will take place the following day, May 12, 2016. The workshop, entitled Writing – Reading – Translating Sexual Differences, will address the question how reading and translating in the context of an écriture féminine can be conceived with regard to the question of sexual differences.

Participation is only possible after registration via e-mail by May 3.

How can sexual differences be read? What does a practice of feminine writing mean? What contemporary positions of feminist theory seize on the concepts of an écriture feminine, try to display them or to discuss them critically?

Within the framing of the one-day workshop Writing – Reading – Translating Sexual Differences, a group of students and young researchers will discuss the theoretical and poetical aspects of Hélène Cixous’ oeuvre. On this basis, the workshop will examine the topics of performativity, of translation theory, and of a literary writing of gender and sex.

The first section of the event will consist of a discussion with the French author and philosopher Hélène Cixous, hosted by her German translator Esther von der Osten. Picking up the questions arising from her lecture the night before, this discussion aims at her latest novels and the general question of translatability. The ensuing sections of the workshop are dedicated to different central aspects of her work, unfolding and re-contextualising her multifaceted writings which oscillate between literary creation and theoretical reflection. Chaired by representatives of different disciplines of the humanities at Freie Universität Berlin, the different sections will focus on approaches of contemporary feminist literature theory, on theories of translation, as well as on the issue of performativity of sex/gender. Michaela Hartl (German Philology) will discuss Cixous’ Écriture Féminine as political and poetical writing; Anne Eusterschulte (Philosophy) will illuminate the question of practices and conceptions of translation with respect to sexual differences; finally, Adam Czirak (Theater Studies) will focus on scenic representation and the (de-)figuration of gender.


The number of participants is limited. Interested persons are asked to register via e-mail to angie.martiens@fu-berlin.de by May 3. Please indicate your field of research / your institutional affiliation and describe your motivation to participate in a few words. A reader with texts for the different sections will be circulated among the participants.


Participants of the workshop need to attend the Hegel Lecture with Hélène Cixous "Ay yay! The Cry of Literature" on the day before. Please register separately via e-mail to the Dahlem Humanities Center.


Organizers: Sara Ehrentraut, Simon Godart, Angie Martiens

Sponsored by the Women’s Representatives at the Department of Philosophy and Humanities of Freie Universität Berlin.


– The detailed program will be circulated among the participants –


Time & Location

May 12, 2016 | 10:30 AM s.t.

Freie Universität Berlin
14195 Berlin-Dahlem
Habelschwerdter Allee 45