Contributions to a history of a mental figure in European literature and culture

Symposium at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, October 25-26, 2018 (the first part)

Place of event: The ceremony hall of the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Philosophy

The Department of the German Literature at the University of Sarajevo’s Faculty of Philosophy in cooperation with the Doctoral Study German Language and German Literature in the context of media culture, for the hundred-year celebration of the end of the First World War, organizes a two-part symposium with the subject “Decay. Contributions to a history of a mental figure in European literature and culture”. The first part of the symposium will be held on 25 and 26 October, 2018 at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo. The second part is planned for the end of November and the beginning of the December of this year. The project is realized in the partnership with the Department of the German Literature of the University in Würzburg with the support of DAAD and the Erasmus program, and the partners are also the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, the Austrian Office for the cooperation in Sarajevo and Austrian library in Sarajevo. President of the organizational board is Professor Vahidin Preljević.

The symposium deals with one old and key motive of the European literature reflecting the disappearance of a historical formation, which is often imagined as an “old world”. Almost every great change or systematic twist within one culture produces texts, images or language figures referring to “decay of the old”, and sometimes the beginning of a “new world.”. It appears even today as a dominant thought figure in the narratives of the public discourse, and its political instrumentalization is not rare either.

Interpretation of this motive was particularly intense as a result of disappearance of the “yesterday world” (Stefan Zweig), in the period between the First and the Second World Wars. It is exactly this period that the contributions from the symposium focus on. This motive emerges in this period in a satirical, ironical and especially a nostalgic poetic modus. In the sessions, there will be analyses of the works of Thomas Mann, Joseph Roth, Hermann Broch, Alfred Döblin, Leo Perutz and others. At the symposium, BiH, German and Austrian Germanists participate at the symposium, among them respectable names such as Wolfgang Riedel (Wüzrburg) and Ralph Bogner (Saarbrücken). Besides them, the other participants are Markus Hien, Michael Storch (University of Würzburg), Vahidin Preljević, Naser Šečerović, Irma Duraković, Anja Orozović, Mersiha Škrgić (University of Sarajevo).