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October 13, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Over the last two decades, the figure of the migrant has become the central imaginary subject of human rights precisely because the universal acknowledgement of migrancy as a human rights issue has been lacking and inconsequential. During the same time, a global literature of migration has emerged as an important medium that transcends national boundaries and calls for more universal formations of the legal status and acknowledgment of migrants as subject(s) of human rights. Such fictions of migrancy do not only illustrate how subjects on the move are imagined but emphatically link the universality of human rights and the global scale of injustice toward migrants to literature as a universal form of political rhetoric and a medium of social justice. Migrancy fictions, Schneck and Zander will thus argue, negotiate the contradictions and conflicts inherent in the legal formation of the migrant, and reflect on how literary forms and narrative modes may present and suggest alternative visions of migrant subjectivity and agency.
Laura Zander is a Research Fellow at the “Law and Literature” Collaborative Research Centre at the University of Muenster. Publications include Writing Back / Reading Forward: Reconsidering the Postcolonial Approach (Berlin 2019), as well as articles on law and literature, gender and postcolonial studies, and South African and Caribbean literature. Most recently, she edited the volume Europe in Law and Literature: Transdisciplinary Voices in Conversation (DeGruyter 2023). Her current research focuses on human rights, subjects on the move, and fictions of migrancy.
Peter Schneck is Professor and Chair of American Literature and Culture at Osnabrück University and currently the director of the Institute for English and American Studies. His publications include The U.S. and the Questions of Rights (Heidelberg 2020; co-ed) and Rhetoric and Evidence: Legal Conflict and Literary Representation in American Culture (Berlin, 2011). Since 2019, he has been leading a research group at Osnabrück University on the formation of literary property within the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 1385) “Law and Literature,” hosted by the WWU Münster and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). His current research is concerned with human rights and global literatures of migration, flight, and dislocation.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Legal Humanities Research Focus Group