The English and American Studies Library, in cooperation with the Department of English and American Studies , cordially invites you to a book launch, celebrating new book and journal publications by Julia Lajta-Novak, Leopold Lippert and Sandra Mayer.
Short presentations by the authors will illustrate the range of topics currently researched in English and American literary and cultural studies. A drinks reception will provide further opportunity for discussion.
Welcome and Opening
Karin Lach, Librarian | English and American Studies Library
Short presentation of books by the authors / editors
Performing America Abroad
Oscar Wilde in Vienna
Life Writing and Celebrity
Sandra Mayer & Julia Novak (eds.)
Experiments in Life Writing
Lucia Boldrini & Julia Novak (eds.)
Reception / Drinks and Snacks
Lippert, Leopold. Performing America Abroad: Transnational Cultural Politics in the Age of Neoliberal Capitalism. Heidelberg: Winter, 2018.
What happens to ‘America’ when it does not coincide with the geographical and institutional boundaries of the U.S. nation-state? What does ‘America’ mean when it is performed abroad, and circulates among populations and publics outside U.S. national contexts? Performing America Abroad explores an unlikely American studies archive: contemporary cultural performances in Austria and Germany which refer to the American cultural imaginary but enact it with a ‘transnational difference.’ The book discusses the ambivalent cultural politics of these enactments in the context of neoliberal capitalism; specifically, it looks at several cross-racial performances of ‘Indianness’ on various Austrian stages, it examines queer political demonstrators on Vienna’s central Ringstraße who celebrate the legacy of the 1969 New York Stonewall riots, and it discusses the ‘Americanness’ of a series of theatrical adaptations of Arthur Miller’s 1949 play Death of a Salesman in Germany and Austria. (Verlagstext)
Mayer, Sandra. Oscar Wilde in Vienna: Pleasing and Teasing the Audience. Amsterdam: Brill | Rodopi, 2018.
Oscar Wilde in Vienna is the first book-length study in English of the reception of Oscar Wilde’s works in the German-speaking world. Charting the plays’ history on Viennese stages between 1903 and 2013, it casts a spotlight on the international reputation of one of the most popular English-language writers while contributing to Austrian cultural history in the long twentieth century. Drawing on extensive archival material, the book examines the appropriation of Wilde's plays against the background of political crises and social transformations. It unravels the mechanisms of cultural transfer and canonisation within an environment positioned – like Wilde himself – at the crossroads of centre and periphery, tradition and modernity. (Verlagstext)
Mayer, Sandra, and Julia Novak, eds. Life Writing 16.2 (June 2019). Special issue: Life Writing and Celebrity. London: Routledge
This special issue brings together life writing and celebrity studies — two of the most vibrant and innovative areas of Humanities research, which are closely connected through their shared concerns with authenticity and intimacy, public and private selves, myth-making and revelation. It examines the relationship between life writing and celebrity in English-language and comparative literary and cultural contexts, focusing on historical as well as contemporary auto/biographical subjects that include the 18th-century actress Peg Woffington, Charles Dickens, Mary Pickford, Sergej Eisenstein, W.H. Auden, Marilyn Monroe, and Michael Jackson. The individual articles cut across a wide range of disciplines and approaches, exploring the representation of famous lives in genres as varied as TV documentary, biopic, biofiction, journalism, (authorized) biography, and painting. They address, among others, broad themes like authenticity, self-fashioning, identity politics, and ethics, and reflect on the ways in which these affect the reading and writing of celebrity lives.
Boldrini, Lucia, and Julia Novak, eds. Experiments in Life-Writing: Intersections of Auto/Biography and Fiction. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
This volume examines innovative intersections of life-writing and experimental fiction in the 20th and 21st centuries, bringing together scholars and practicing biographers from several disciplines (Modern Languages, English and Comparative Literature, Creative Writing). It covers a broad range of biographical, autobiographical, and hybrid practices in a variety of national literatures, among them many recent works: texts that test the ground between fact and fiction, that are marked by impressionist, self-reflexive and intermedial methods, by their recourse to myth, folklore, poetry, or drama as they tell a historical character’s story. Between them, the essays shed light on the broad range of auto/biographical experimentation in modern Europe and will appeal to readers with an interest in the history and politics of form in life-writing: in the ways in which departures from traditional generic paradigms are intricately linked with specific views of subjectivity, with questions of personal, communal, and national identity. (Verlagstext)