3, 2, 1…
I’m very happy to launch this blog after a rewarding first month on the project! Even a few days before its official start date on 1 November, I got to join Das kritkable Queertett in Hamburg. Organised by Pajam Masoumi, the Queertett regularly brings together critics and writers at the cultural centre Kampnagel for a public discussion of fresh (new or old!) texts, centring perspectives that don’t usually dominate the literary debate in Germany. This time poet Elisa Aseva chose Claude McKay’s Romance in Marseille (1933/2020), literary scholar Maha El Hissy introduced Négar Djavadi’s Arène (2022) and I brought Yara Rodrigues Fowler’s there are more things (2022) – a novel that will centrally feature in my research on authorial strategies for discursive interventions. While Elisa Aseva was greatly missed due to illness, the evening’s host Alexandra Antwi-Boasiako, Maha El Hissy and I got to have a rich discussion on the politics of the novel form, digital language in print, and fictional depictions of activism. A video of our talk will soon be available with subtitles and sign language.
Aptly for a project that examines the position of authors from marginalised communities in the creative industries and that rethinks the notion of didactic intentions, I also explore these issues through my teaching on the publishing industry for our Literature Today MA. I have redesigned our central publishing course to focus on the exclusionary mechanisms that mark every level of the industry both locally and globally and to discuss strategies for structural change with the students. We are working with reports like Anamik Saha’s and Sandra van Lente’s Rethinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing and for the coming half of the course we will conduct in-class interviews with guest speakers who are actively shaping the publishing scene. I’m greatly looking forward to that – and to conducting my first large-scale research interview for publication in this coming month, too! Stay tuned and thanks so much for your interest in this project!