Sie sind hier: FRIAS School of Language & … Veranstaltungen Realisms in Contemporary Culture: …

Realisms in Contemporary Culture: Theories, Politics and Medial Configurations

Wann 23.09.2010 um 13:00 bis
25.09.2010 um 18:00
Wo FRIAS Seminarraum, Albertstr. 19
Teilnehmer nach Anmeldung
Termin übernehmen vCal

Organisation: Dr. Dorothee Birke (Internal Fellow, FRIAS), Dr. Stella Butter (University of Mannheim)



Realisms in Contemporary Culture: Theories, Politics and Medial Configurations

23. Sept. – 25. Sept. 2010 / FRIAS (Freiburg University)


In the context of structuralist and poststructuralist theory, realism, with its implication of a transparent representation of reality, was deemed at best out-moded and at worst ideologically insidious. Recent years, however, have seen a revival of the term in analyses of contemporary developments in literature and film, at times even as a yardstick for measuring the quality of individual works. A closer look shows that in critical debates widely differing concepts of realism are used, often connected with explicit or implicit ideological positions. The question of what may be understood by realism is thus still very much open to debate and, what is more, highly charged. The aim of this conference is, firstly, to chart the territory of the usages of the term ‘realism’ in contemporary theory. Secondly, we want to discuss the validity and usefulness of the ‘realisms’ posited for describing and analyzing trends in contemporary literature and film. How does the debate on realism tie in with the ongoing controversies regarding the connections between ethics or politics and form? In what ways do ‘realist’ contemporary works relate to socio-cultural developments?



>> Abstracts

>>Programm as pdf-file


Thursday 23rd Sept.

12.30 – 2 pm Conference Warming / Lunch

2.00 pm Welcome (Werner Frick, FRIAS Board of Directors)

2.15 pm Dorothee Birke (Freiburg/FRIAS) / Stella Butter (Mannheim): “Introduction”

3 pm Coffee break

3.15 pm Pam Morris (Aberdeen): “Realism as metonymic mode: a political defence“ (Keynote and discussion)

4:15 pm Moritz Baßler (Münster): “Popular Realism” (presentation and discussion)


Friday 24th Sept.

Psychological Realism / Social(ist) Realism

9:30 am Georgia Christinidis (HU Berlin): “Types of Truth: Authenticity and Totality”

10 am Gesine Drews-Sylla (Tübingen): “Post-colonial Social(ist) Realism: The Case of Ousmane Sembène”

10:30 am Discussion

11 am Coffee break

Realism, Agency, Locality and the Material World

11.15 am Nick Turner (Manchester): “Realism and the Contemporary British Novel“

11.45 am Elizabeth Allen (London): “More is Less: Representing the Planet”

12.15 am Discussion

12:45-3:30 pm Lunch break

3.30 pm Jakubowski, Zuzanna (FU Berlin): “The Consolation of Objects: Museums and Catalogues of Lost Love in Orhan Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence and Leanne Shapton’s Important Artifacts”

4 pm Thomas Fechner-Smarsly & Reinhard Hennig (Bonn): “Realism as practice. Literature between documentarism, activism and concept art - two scandinavian examples”

4.30 pm Discussion

5-6 pm Break

6-7 pm Nancy Armstrong (Duke University): “The Contemporary Novel as a Theory of Realism“ (Keynote)

Saturday 25th Sept.

Realism, Drama and Audiovisual Media

9.30 am Janine Hauthal (Wuppertal): “Realisms in Contemporary British Drama”

10.00 am Guido Isekenmeier (Stuttgart): “Visual Event Realism“

10.30 am Discussion

11:00 am Coffee break

11.20 am Birger Langkjaer (Copenhagen): “Realism and Film”

11:50 am Sebastian Richter: “Digital Realism”

12.20 am Discussion

12.50 pm Lunch

2.30 - 4 pm Round Table / Closing Statement



For further information, please contact Dr. Dorothee Birke ( or Dr. Stella Butter (