Writers from around the Black Sea between Art and Academia

Event: Debate

Location: Zoom

25 March 2021, 17.00 – 19.00 (Bucharest time)

A Conversation with three Pontica Magna Alumni, writers Maria RYBAKOVA, PhD, Andriy LYUBKA and Tamta MELASHVILI, moderated by Markus BAUER, PhD (literary scholar, author and critic in Berlin)

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Meeting ID: 816 1159 5424
Passcode: 254084

Statements on similarities and differences by the three authors will be followed by a joint conversation, moderated by Markus Bauer.

Here are some questions that could form the basis of the discussion:

  • How does it come that you all three are writing prose and poetry and at the same time are engaged in research in the humanities?
  • Is there any special aspect in this that reacts to post-Soviet situations (regarding themes, styles, genres)?
  • You write in your native tongues, but have your works translated in foreign languages for international audiences. What do you that gets lost in translation?
  • Your research obviously influences your literature and vice versa. When you are writing prose, how do you get rid of scientific formulas and rhetoric? When you are writing texts in the humanities how do you prevent them sounding like literature?
  • Could/Should there be more “literature” in humanities’ research? Or more “science” in literature?
  • Do you find it helpful for your position to remember Soviet perspectives on literature and science? Are such positions still prevalent in your countries of origin?
  • You are all civically involved in your countries and promote different causes related to democratic values or social equality. Is there a relation between this social activism and your literary production? Are fellowship residences within groups of scholars (such as the one you had at NEC) any inspiration for your literature?

Markus BAUER, PhD, literary scholar, author and critic in Berlin; dissertation on melancholy in Walter Benjamin. From 1998 to 2003 the decisive encounter with Romania as lecturer of the German Academic Exchange Service at the Al. I. Cuza University in Iași – since then, his work has focused on the (cultural) history of this region. Two-year research stay at the University of Portsmouth (UK) for a project about the Jewish press in Chernivtsi. Numerous publications as author (e.g. In Rumänien. Auf den Spuren einer europäischen Verwandtschaft, Berlin 2009) or editor, as well as essays and lectures on Southeast Europe, especially Romania; journalistic work for several major German newspapers.

This event is organized within the framework of the Pontica Magna Fellowship Program, supported by VolkswagenStiftung, Hannover.