The Language of Dreams: Yoko Tawada in conversation with Elisabeth Krimmer and Jonas Teupert

Apr 16, 2021

Panel Discussion (Virtual) | Featured Speaker: Yoko Tawada; Discussants: Elisabeth Krimmer (University of California, Davis) and Jonas Teupert (University of California, Berkeley)

Sponsorsed by the Institute of European Studies, Department of German, Center for German and European Studies (all at UC Berkeley), German Consulate General San Francisco, Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington, German Program, University of California, Davis

Regiser here

Yoko Tawada will be reading passages from Paul Celan und der chinesische Engel (2020). The conversation will be in German.

Yoko Tawada, born in Tokyo/Japan, is based in Berlin. She completed her undergraduate education at Waseda University with a major in Russian literature, then studied German literature at the Universities of Hamburg and Zurich, graduating with a doctorate degree. Tawada has been publishing poems and prose—novels, stories, plays, and essays—in Japanese and German since 1987. She is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Akutagawa Prize, the Lessing Prize, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, the Kleist-Prize, and the Goethe Medal. The Emissary (Sendbo-o-te) was selected for a National Book Award in 2018. Her many book publications include Wo Europa anfängt (1991; Where Europe Begins), Talisman (1996), Überseezungen (2002), Abenteuer der deutschen Grammatik. Gedichte (2010), Etüden im Schnee (2014; Memoirs of a Polar Bear), and akzentfrei (2016).

Jonas Teupert is a Graduate Student in the Department of German at the University of California, Berkeley. Elisabeth Krimmer is Professor of German at the University of California, Davis.

This event is the third in a series of workshop conversations with authors, “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). The series engages in conversation with contemporary writers who bring diverse perspectives to questions of societal polarization and the power of poetic imagination. Their work in German resonates with readers around the globe. Multilingual archives of migration, both virtual and physical, feed into their processes of writing and translation. Conversations will focus on the possibilities of crafting and reading border-crossing stories that are not contained in national history books. As nation-states around the globe are reinforcing their borders, how do writers and readers of fiction interface with governmental bureaucracy and violence? What can be the role of literature in our era of infotainment where fake news spreads like wildfire in the filter bubbles of social media? Has postmodern enlightenment skepticism laid the ground for the current suspension of reason in favor of belief? Can speculative fiction open up new, more hopeful horizons? Conversations in this series address such questions based on readings.

Archives of Migration Series

The “Archives of Migration” series is supported by the German Consulate in San Francisco and is co-sponsored by the Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington and the Institute of European Studies at UC Berkeley. The series will be continued in fall 2021. 

March 5

Layers of Untold Stories: Sharon Dodua Otoo in Conversation with Translator Jon Cho-Polizzi and Deniz Göktürk [watch recording online]

April 2

Unreadable Archives: Zafer Şenocak in conversation with Deniz Göktürk and Kristin Dickenson

April 16

The Language of Dreams: Yoko Tawada in conversation with Elisabeth Krimmer and Jonas Teupert