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Ergebnisanzeige "Phantasmata. Techniques of the Uncanny"
RessourcentypKonferenzen, Tagungen, Kolloquien
TitelPhantasmata. Techniques of the Uncanny
BeschreibungPhantasmata. Techniques of the Uncanny

Berlin, 06.04.-08.04.2009

The concept of the ‘uncanny’ is one of the most floating in contemporary aesthetics. The ‘uncanny’ delineates a strange proximity between the known and the unknown, either as something familiar presenting itself under an extraneous shape, or as something extraneous revealing an element of familiarity in its features. Structurally close to other experiences of ‘defamiliarization’ theorized between the 19th and the early 20th centuries (e.g., the Marxist notion of 'alienation', Russian formalists’ definition of ostranenie [Sklovskij], Heidegger’s Unheimlichkeit, Brecht’s ‘A-effect’), it reverberates in 20th century debate, from psychoanalysis (Lacan) to deconstruction (Derrida, Royle), from literary theory (Todorov, Cixous, Kristeva) to philosophy of history (de Certeau), and eventually to architecture (Vidler). In our perspective, the tension individuated by Freud between familiarity/un-familiarity (homely/unhomely, Heimlichkeit/Unheimlichkeit) can still be used as an approximate framework in which to place the manifold aspects of uncanniness. From this point of view, the uncanny is related to scientific paradigms and epistemological practices, insofar as these define what a given cultural context interprets as natural or un-natural, or rather super-natural.
The two keywords of our proposal, ‘techniques’ and ‘uncanny’, are interconnected, since they both refer to a common cultural background, that of Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment western culture. The epistemological model of critique produces a number of techniques in the sense of both structured thought and scientific practices. In the ‘culture of critique’, the subject is split, as reflected in the double genitive in the expression ‘subject of observation’. This causes a constant abstraction from individual experience to a common and collective level. We therefore propose to interpret the uncanny as a model for understanding the interrelation between possible and impossible, norm and deviation.

This conference is organized within the frame of the Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry’s current core project Tension/Spannung, in collaboration with the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. It aims to gather scholars and artists from different disciplines and backgrounds to engage in a three-day interdisciplinary workshop, where participants are expected to present their papers (15 minutes). Texts will circulate among attendants before the beginning of the workshop, in order to build up a basis for discussion. The workshop will be complemented by two public keynote addresses and the screening of The Dangers, a movie by Siouxzi L Mernagh, followed by a discussion.

Evening events are public. We kindly ask those interested in attending the workshops to register in advance by e-mail:

For further information please visit

Monday, April 6th

15.00-18:30 I Constellations
Chair: Christoph Holzhey

- Michaela Wünsch (Berlin) Uncanny Thinking
- Monika Shafi (Delaware) Houses and the Uncanny in Contemporary German Literature
- Roman Widholm (Vienna) Uncanny Methods for Uncanny People: How Behaviorism Approaches the Subject of Autism

19.00 Public Event
- Welcome (Christoph Holzhey, ICI Berlin)
- Keynote: Elisabeth Bronfen (Zürich) Visuality - Textuality: An Uncanny Encounter

Casual Reception

Tuesday, April 7th

10:00-13:30 II After-Image(s)
Chair: Fabio Camilletti

- Hécate Vergopoulos (Avignon/Montréal) Uncanny, but Towards What? A Referential Approach to the Uncanny Based on the
- Study of Legends
- Tan Wälchli (Chicago) «Living Images» and Literary Technique: E.T.A. Hoffmann at the Intersection of Theology and Philosophy
- Orsetta Innocenti (Siena) Self Made Phantasmata and «Bleak» Houses. The 19th Victorian Society and its Well-Hidden Ghosts
- Giuseppe Episcopo (Naples) The Medieval Selva and the Postmodern Zone: The Locus Horridus as Spatial Dimensions of the
- Uncanny

15:00-18:30: III Creating Spectres
Chair: Rupert Gaderer

- Elisa Leonzio (Turin) «Er hatte eine Wasserscheu vor Gespenstergeschichten»: The Ghost Story in Late Eighteenth-Century
- Germany in the Light of Jean Paul’s Novel Die Unsichtbare Loge
- Victoria Llort-Llopart (Paris/Madrid) Aesthetics of the Uncanny Across the Arts: The Case of E.A. Poe and Claude Debussy
- Morena Corradi (New York) Staging the Uncanny. Phantasmagoria in Post-Unification Italy
- Catrin Misselhorn (Tübingen) Empathy and the Uncanny Valley

19:00 Public Event
Screening of The Dangers, a short experimental narrative film by Siouxzi L Mernagh (Berlin/Sydney). Discussion led by Daniel Eschkötter (Weimar).

After-Screening Reception

Wednesday, April 8th

10:00-13:30: IV Figures
Chair: Jan Niklas Howe

- Simona Micali (Siena) The Disobedient Shadow
- Claudia Peppel (Berlin) Lifelike yet Impassive: The Puppet as a Transmutable Embodiment of Human Reality
- Vita Zilburg (Berlin) Engführung as a Case Study of Paul Celan’s Poetics of the Uncanny
- Laurie Johnson (Illinois) Uncanny Love: Schelling’s Meditations on the Spirit World

15:00-18:30: V Political Phantoms
Chair: Martin Doll

- Christine Blaettler (Potsdam/Berlin) Walter Benjamin’s Phantasmagoria and the Aesthetical-Political Dialectics of the Un-Canny
- Matthias Korn (Berlin) On the Uncanniness of Death: Bio-Power in Venice between Modern Age and Modernity
- Sandra Evans (Tübingen) Intangible Notions of the Uncanny
- Jaime Cuenca (Bilbao) The Political Potential of the Uncanny: The Zombie as a Metaphor for the Consumer

19:00 Public Event
Keynote: Anneleen Masschelein (Leuven) Between Animism and Animation: The Challenges of the Uncanny as (Un)concept in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Century
Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
Verknüpfte Ressource
PersonName: Gaderer, Rupert  
Funktion: Organisation 
KontaktdatenName/Institution: Kulturlabor Berlin - Institute for Cultural Inquiry  
Strasse/Postfach: Christinenstr. 18-19, Haus 8 
Postleitzahl: D-10119  
Stadt: Berlin  
SchlüsselbegriffeLiteraturwissenschaft; Literatur 1500 - 1580; Literatur 1580 - 1700; Literatur 1700 - 1770; Literatur 1770 - 1830; Literatur 1880 - 1945; Literatur nach 1945; Literatur- u. Kulturgeschichte; Medien- u. Kommunikationsgeschichte (Hand-, Druckschrift, Film, Rundfunk, Computerspiel usw.)
Klassifikation01.00.00 Allgemeine deutsche Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft; 03.00.00 Literaturwissenschaft
Ediert von  H-Germanistik
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