Catarina von Wedemeyer has been a research associate at Freie Universität’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures since 2012. Having obtained a B.A. from Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Freie Universität Berlin, she currently holds the position of Visiting Professor at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen. Catarina was a visiting scholar at Fundación Max Aub, Spain (2012); at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2013); Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (2014) and Harvard University (2015 and 2016). Her research focuses on the relationship of history and the arts as well as on the reception of critical theory in Latin America. Her dissertation deals with the poetic oeuvre of Octavio Paz; her postdoctoral project is dedicated to concepts of equality in 19th Century literature.
Literature is about visions of the world. It reveals the models we live by, the hidden stereotypes and underlying concepts. At the same time, literature shapes our vision and models our thinking. In this seminar, I will suggest rethinking culture with poetry by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer and with “The Case for Feminist Revolution” by Shulamith Firestone. In the first part, we will question the personifications of love and discuss if Bécquer’s metaphors create or abolish the stereotypes they evoke. With Firestone, we will question the concept of love itself. Does it have a subversive power? Or do we have to understand love as one of the main instruments of oppression in society? In the third part, we will question models of traditional methodologies in the humanities and experiment with our own approaches toward critical thought.