Prof. Dr. Carolin Duttlinger
Carolin Duttlinger studied at the Universities of Freiburg i.Br. and Cambridge, where she received her PhD in 2003. From 2003 until 2006, she was Tutorial Fellow in German at Wadham College Oxford. Since 2006 she has been Associate Professor in German at the University of Oxford. She is Ockenden Fellow in German at Wadham College Oxford and Co-Director of the Oxford Kafka Research Centre. She has published widely on nineteenth-, twentieth-and twenty-first-century literature, thought and visual culture, has given guest lectures in the UK, Germany and the US and is regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement.
- Kafka and Photography (Oxford University Press 2007);
- Co-ed., Curiosity in German Literature and Culture from 1700 to the Present (Oxford German Studies 2009);
- Co-ed., Walter Benjamins anthropologisches Denken (Rombach 2012);
- The Cambridge Introduction to Franz Kafka (Cambridge University Press 2013);
- Ed., Franz Kafkas "Betrachtung": Neue Lektüren (Rombach, 2014)
Dialectics of Attention: Immersion and Distraction in Modern German Culture
The German 'Aufmerksamkeit' can be translated as either attentiveness or attention - terms which respectively foreground its active and passive dimensions: attentiveness as a conscious state, the voluntary giving of attention, as opposed to attention as the passive, often involuntary response to a disciplinary injunction to pay attention. Indeed, Aufmerksamkeit is itself an umbrella term which encapsulates a wide spectrum of stances ranging from alertness and vigilance to introspective states such as concentration, immersion and contemplation. All of these, however, are points on a spectrum, their exact position impossible to fix or define. My project presents this dialectical configuration as one of the driving forces of critical theory, aesthetic innovation and social practice in twentieth-century Germany and Austria. After a historical introduction surveying theories and practices of attention in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the main part is dedicated to the years 1900-1933. In a series of case studies, I analyse the interplay of attention and distraction in philosophy (Benjamin), sociology (Kracauer), literature (Kafka, Musil), photography (Sander, Blossfeldt, Lendvai-Dircksen, Lerksi) and musical theory (Adorno). A concluding chapter offers an outlook on more recent literature, using the examples of Paul Celan and W. G. Sebald to show how modernist terms are refigured in the wake of National Socialism.