Aesthetic Education as a Programme of Intercultural Empowerment in German Literary Texts


CALL: 2016

DOMAIN: ID - Humanities and Social Sciences

FIRST NAME: Bernadette




HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: LiteratureAestheticsAesthetic EducationInterculturalitySchiller, FriedrichPostcolonial Studies

START: 2016-10-01

END: 2020-09-30


Submitted Abstract

The planned dissertation asks how literature uses concepts of aesthetic education as a means of an intercultural culture politics. Literary scholarship has discussed the idea of aesthetic education, especially with regard to its namesake Schiller mainly to its philosophical implications and to its reception in Aesthetic Theory. In contrast, the dissertation considers to what extend concepts of aesthetic education has (consciously or unconsciously) become a part of literary practice, that runs contrary to Schiller’s universalistic intentions and highlights local cultural particularity. Quite recently, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has updated Schiller’s concept, subversively transforming it into an instrument of reading which aims at strengthening our sensitivity for traces of locality and alterity in literary works. The dissertation will show, that this method has actually been used as an established literary practice in order to influence reader responses and to raise intercultural awareness. Objects of investigation are selected works of German literature from the 18th and 19th century, which serve as examples for this subversive literary appropriation of Schiller’s programme. The first example is Goethe’s collection of novellas “Unterhaltungen deutscher Ausgewanderten” which can be conceived as an immediate critical response to Schiller’s text. The analysis of selected literary work applies close readings and methods of reader-response criticism and combines them with approaches of Interculturality research. This approach is novel in itself and will enable the project to uncover a hitherto rarely perceived subversive facets of German literary culture politics.

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