PD Dr. Sascha Pöhlmann (Universität Konstanz): "With Modernity against Modernity: American Romanticism"

Thursday, December 3, 2020, 2:15-3:45 p.m., online lecture
Zoom-Call ID: 951 4731 7808 (opens at 2 p.m. sharp)

This lecture will give an overview of the major cultural, social, philosophical and literary developments that are subsumed under the label of 'American Romanticism.' I will discuss the 'movement' in relation to its predecessor of European Romanticism and in its US-American specificity, and I will argue that it is fundamentally fueled by a dialectic critique of Modernity from within: as perhaps the most revolutionary moment since the actual Revolution, Romanticism offers a progressive counterposition to the dominant aspects of Modernity that exemplifies and embraces the massive tensions of its historical moment.

Sascha Pöhlmann studied at the University of Bayreuth and at Trinity College Dublin. He is the author of the monographs Pynchon’s Postnational Imagination (2010), Future-Founding Poetry: Topographies of Beginnings from Whitman to the Twenty-First Century (2015), and Stadt und Straße: Anfangsorte in der amerikanischen Literatur (2018). He edited the essay collection Playing the Field: Video Games and American Studies (2019) and (co-)edited essay collections on Thomas Pynchon, Mark Z. Danielewski, foundational places in/of Modernity, electoral cultures, American music, and unpopular culture. He has published essays on contemporary fiction and poetry, queer theory, film, video games, and black metal, among other things, and he is currently working on a monograph on assassination in American literature. He was a visiting professor at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and at the universities of Warsaw, Odense, Cordoba, and Exeter. In his research, he is generally interested in the relation between aesthetics and politics, and particularly with regard to unpopular culture. (Homepage)