Homeland as Nightmare: Fatma Aydemir and Hengameh Yaghoobifarah in Conversation with Jon Cho-Polizzi and Deniz Göktürk

Jan 21, 2022  | 12:00 - 1:30pm PT

Panel Discussion (Virtual) | Speakers: Fatma Aydemir and Hengameh Yaghoobifarah, Jon Cho-Polizi, and Deniz Göktürk

Sponsors: Department of German and Institute of European Studies at UC Berkeley, German Historical Institute Pacific Regional Office

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This event is part of the series “Archives of Migration: The Power of Fiction in Times of Fake News” organized by Deniz Göktürk (UC Berkeley, Department of German, Multicultural Germany Project and Transit Journal) and Elisabeth Krimmer (UC Davis, German Department, Migration and Aesthetics Project). 

Published in early 2019, the intersectional essay collection Eure Heimat ist unser Albtraum brought together fourteen contemporary German-language authors to present their individual perspectives on the concept of Heimat [homeland]. Critiquing the reappropriation of this word that carries deep-rooted associations with the language of National Socialism, and in particular, the renaming of the German Ministry of the Interior to include as Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat, the collection struck a nerve with scholars and the general reading public. But the interventions of these essays resonate far beyond the confines of the German-language, providing new viewpoints on global conversations around communal belonging and participation, integration and diversity.

Now, nearly three years after its initial publication, as national borders have been tightening, creating obstacles for refugees, labor migrants, and tourists, in the face of visceral polarization and rising rightwing violence, this collection’s interventions are more relevant than ever. On the occasion of the online publication of the English translation, Your Homeland is Our Nightmare (2021), co-editors Fatma Aydemir and Hengameh Yaghoobifarah will speak about the ongoing resonance of their project, as well as their own independent literary works.

Hengameh Yaghoobifarah is a journalist and author. They studied media culture and Scandinavian studies at the University of Freiburg and the University of Linköping. In 2021, they published their first novel entitled Ministerium der Träume, which was awarded the Franz-Tumler Literaturpreis. Yaghoobifarah is a prolific contributor to newspapers and magazines, including die tageszeitung and Missy Magazine.

Fatma Aydemir is a journalist and author. She studied German and American studies at the University of Frankfurt. Her first novel Ellbogen (2017) won the Franz Hessel Prize and the Klaus Michael Kühne Prize. Her second novel Dschinns is forthcoming from Hanser Verlag on February 14, 2022. As a columnist, she has worked for die tageszeitung and the music magazine Spex. She also created the bilingual web portal taz.gazete to combat the repression of the freedom of the press in Turkey. 

Jon Cho-Polizzi is a freelance literary translator and educator. He received his PhD in German and Medieval Studies at UC Berkeley, as well as an MA in Translation Studies from the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. His English-language translations of Max Czollek’s Desintegriert Euch! (2018) and Sharon Dodua Otoo’s Adas Raum (2021) are forthcoming in 2022.