The Politics of Literary Form: Franz Kafka in the Asbestos Industry

Lecture by Professor Isak Winkel Holm, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen.

According to the well-known notion of the 'Kafkaesque', the fictional world in Kafka's literary works is a world determined by fate-like bureaucracies, and hence an immutable world devoid of the political. In this talk, however, I will argue that political action in concert plays a vital role in Kafka. Kafka is not 'Kafkaesque', and in order to show why not, I have to suggest a rethinking of the relationship between literature and politics, shifting the theoretical focus from the political events depicted on the content-level of the literary work towards the political events triggered by the literary form.

Isak Winkel Holm, Ph.D, Professor in Comparative Literature at Department for Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen. He is in the steering committee of several interdisciplinary research networks and research centres, which seek to connect cultural studies with other disciplines. The talk will be based on Stormløb mod grænsen: det politiske hos Franz Kafka (Assault on the Border: Politics in Franz Kafka), to be published in April 2015.

Humanomics Open Research Seminars

New trends in the humanities

Humanomics Research Centre continues to present new guest lectures and invited international scholars throughout the spring semester 2015. Director Frederik Stjernfelt and Co-Director David Budtz Pedersen have prepared an interesting and challenging course of lectures with the intention to gather colleagues, PhD students, and advanced students for discussions of new trends and theories in the humanities - ranging from current research projects to theoretical debates about the past, present and future of humanities scholarship. The objective is to organise one or two monthly meetings with presentations of new research by Copenhagen University staff and invited international scholars.

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