Freitag, 28. April 2017, 09:45 - 12:30 iCal

Prof. Dr. Johan Schimanski (Univ.Oslo)

Workshop: Traumatic Figurations of Border-Crossing in Migrant Literature

HG, HS 31, 1. Stock, Stiege 9
Universitätsring 1, 1010 Wien

Seminar, Workshop, Kurs

Using the same text as the lecture, Johannes Anyuru’s 2012 novel En Storm kom från paradiset (A Storm Blew in From Paradise/Ein Sturm wehte vom Paradiese her), as its departure point, the seminar will explore the traumatic aspects of bordering and border-crossing and investigate conceptions of trauma and memory as borders. Processes of trauma (the piercing and thus crossing of physical or psychical borders to the self) and traumatization (the inability to cross epistemological boundaries to the traumatic event) bear formal similarities to border-crossing narratives, especially where the status of the event of trauma/border-crossing and repetition/dissemination over time are concerned. Moreover, recent work on ‘in/visibility’ (and ‘in/audibility’) in migrant borderscapes, inspired by Arendt and Rancière, suggest that border trauma will have a central role to play figuring the ‘sense-ability’ of various others in many narratives, parallell with other figurations such as border spectacle and border surveillance. In interpreting the novel, emphasis will be placed on the interplay of narrative (the audible) and image (the visible) in the tracing of trauma, inspired by Unni Langås’ readings of photography, phototextuality and ekphrasis in trauma literature.


Reading list

Johannes Anyuru, En Storm kom från paradiset (Stockholm: Norstedts, 2012), also available in German and English translations: Ein Sturm wehte vom Paradiese her: Roman, trans. Paul Berf (München: Luchterhand, 2015); A Storm Blew in From Paradise, trans. Rachel Willson-Broyles (Breda: World Editions, 2015).

Langås’ text is only avalable in Norwegian: Unni Langås, Traumets betydning i norsk samtidslitteratur (Bergen: Fagbokforlaget/Landslaget for norskundervisning, 2015).


Johan Schimanski ( is Professor of Comparative Literature and Department Research Head at the University of Oslo and Professor (adjunct) of Cultural Encounters at the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu. He was previously affiliated to UiT The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, where he took part in creating research envronments focusing on borders and culture and on Arctic discourses. He has been co-coordinator for the Research Council of Norway (RCN) projects Arktiske diskurser, Border Aesthetics and Arctic Modernities, and has led a working package on “Border-Crossing and Cultural Production” within EUBORDERSCAPES, a large scale interdisciplinary research project under the EU’s 7th Frame Programme. Currently he is a participant in a NOS-H worskhop on “Borderscapes, Memory and Migration”, and coordinates the interdisciplinary RCN project TRAUM – Transforming Author Museums together with project leader Ulrike Spring at the Western Norway University University of Applied Sciences. In 2015 he and Spring published the monograph Passagiere des Eises: Polarhelden und arktische Diskurse 1874 and in March 2017 he and Stephen F. Wolfe published the collaborative book Border Aesthetics: Concepts and Intersections. He and Spring are at present Visiting Scholars at the University of Vienna, in the departments of Finno-Ugric and History respectively.


Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


EVSL/Abteilung Finno-Ugristik


Wolfgang Müller-Funk
Philologisch Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
EVSL, Finno-Ugristik