Deutsches Haus at NYU and NYU's Department of German present a performance of Esther Dischereit's "Flowers for Otello" with the author and current DAAD Chair of Contemporary Poetics, and Katharina Menschick. The performance will be followed by a conversation between Esther Dischereit and Ela Gezen, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director at UMass Amherst.
About "Flowers for Otello:"
"Flowers for Otello: On the Crimes That Came out of Jena" is about a series of racially motivated murders committed by the so-called National Socialist Underground (NSU) between 1998 and 2011. Of the ten victims, all were immigrants or foreigners with the exception of a German police officer. The NSU were also responsible for two bomb attacks, with numerous injured. This terrorist organization was known to the investigative and intelligence authorities but was not pursued. Instead, the victims and their families were themselves accused over several years of involvement in violent crime and other criminal acts.
"Flowers for Otello: On the Crimes That Came out of Jena" commemorates the dead. It is a literary manifesto of grief and complaint against those responsible. Politicians promised a full investigation; the trial of five persons accused of the crimes has not fulfilled that promise. The families of the victims assert their right to the truth.
Translation into English by Iain Galbraith. Translation into Turkish by Saliha Yeniyol.
About the panelists:
Esther Dischereit has published fiction and poetry and writes for radio and the stage. She has given lectures and readings around the world. Most recently she published "Blumen für Otello. Über die Verbrechen von Jena" [Flowers for Othello. On the Crimes of Jena] and edited "Havel, Hunde, Katzen, Tulpen, Garz erzählt" [Havel, Dogs, Cats, Tulips – Garz Talking]. Her work spans multiple genres and often reflects the post-Holocaust landscape in Germany, e.g. "Joëmis Tisch" [Joëmis Table] and "Übungen jüdisch zu sein" [Exercises in Being Jewish]. Dischereit has received many prizes for her work, including the Erich Fried Prize in 2009. She was professor of language arts at the University of the Applied Arts in Vienna until 2018, Max Kade German Writer in Residence at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 2013, Visiting Max Kade Professor at the University of Virginia in 2017, Resident of the International Writing Program (IWP) in 2017, and is the 2019 DAAD Chair of Contemporary Poetics at NYU's German Department. Esther Dischereit lives in Berlin.
Ela Gezen’s research and teaching focus on 20th century German and Turkish literature and culture, with emphases on literatures of migration, minority discourses, historical and theoretical accounts of transnationalism, and literary and cultural theory. Her first book "Brecht, Turkish Theater, and Turkish-German Literature: Reception, Adaptation, and Innovation after 1960," examines the significance of Bertolt Brecht for Turkish and Turkish-German literature. She has co-edited two special issues, "Colloquia Germanica" (“Transnational Hi/Stories: Turkish-German Texts and Contexts”) and the Jahrbuch "Türkisch-deutsche Studien" (“Turkish-German Studies: Past, Present, and Future”), exploring new directions in Turkish-German Studies by expanding geographical, methodological, and temporal frameworks. In addition she has published articles on music and literature, focusing on the intersection between aesthetics and politics in both Turkish and German contexts. Currently, she is working on her second book, "Cultures in Migration: Turkish Artistic Practices and Cultural-Political Interventions in West-Berlin, 1970-1980." Situated at the interdisciplinary nexus of cultural studies, history, migration studies, and the study of cultural policy, it investigates cultural practices by Turkish artsits, academics, and intellectuals during the late 1970s and early 1980s as an early manifestation of Turkish self-presentation in West Germany, and more specifically as a key part of the formation of a Turkish public sphere in West Berlin.
Katharina Menschick studied language arts and political science in Vienna, where she was also an editor for the magazine MALMOE. She is currently pursuing an MA in Liberal Studies at the City University of New York as a Fulbright scholar. Her present research focuses on (oral) history, exile and memory. She has published articles about immigration and asylum politics, literature and exile and contributed literary portraits to "Havel, Hunde, Katzen, Tulpen – Garz erzählt" [Havel, Dogs, Cats, Tulips – Garz Talking, ed. Esther Dischereit].
Events at Deutsches Haus are free of charge. If you would like to attend this event, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event. Thank you!
"Flowers for Otello: A Performance and Conversation with Esther Dischereit" is a DAAD-supported event.