Brian Christian HAMAN
NEC UEFISCDI Award
School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Warwick
Postdoctoral Associate Fellow
The research to be undertaken during the New Europe College Fellowship will examine the German-language writings of Herold Belger, who was born in Engels, the capital city of the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (1918-1941). Belger was one of approximately 1.2 million ethnic Germans who were forcibly deported to Kazakhstan under Joseph Stalin’s communist Soviet regime at the end of the Second World War. Despite his early experiences of physical and cultural dislocation, however, Belger would become one of Kazakhstan’s most prominent and prolific writers, displaying a remarkable linguistic facility and sensitivity in three languages (Kazakh, German, Russian). His oeuvre, which includes over 20 books, 25 articles, and 200 translations, reveals a lifelong exploration of cultural hybridity and transnational identity. Nevertheless, despite his prodigious output and prestigious honours, which include the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2010) and Kazakhstan’s Order of Parast (1994), Belger remains virtually unknown in today’s scholarly and literary circles.