Dr Yoko Tawada Residency from 17th February to 1st March

The German-Japanese writer Dr Yoko Tawada will be visiting the University of Oxford from 17 February to 1 March 2017, on the invitation of DAAD-Lektor Christoph Held. Christoph has studied German and Japanese and presented on her bilingual writing before; he used the opportunity of the ‘DAAD Writer in Residence’ programme to secure her coming – a real coup. This is also an exciting opportunity for some students reading German and Japanese who have translated some of her texts.

An exhibition on her work, titled ‘Von der Muttersprache zur Sprachmutter’: Yoko Tawada’s Creative Multilingualism, will be launched with an opening address by Professor Katrin Kohl on 17 February at 5pm in the Taylor Institution Library (Room 2/Voltaire Room). It has been curated by Sheela Mahadevan, one of Professor Henrike Lähnemann’s Master students in the Method Option ‘History of the Book’. The exhibition will be open to Bodleian Card holders until 2 March.

On 22 February at 5.30pm, Yoko Tawada will be reading from her books Abenteuer der deutschen Grammatik and Etüden im Schnee in the Taylor Institution Library (Room 2). The reading will be held in German. She will also be reading a selection of German and Japanese texts in St Edmund Hall (Doctorow Room) on 28 February at 5.30pm. In this multilingual reading, Oxford students will be given the opportunity to present their English translations of her texts. The reading will be followed by a panel discussion on ‘Poetics of Translation’. In addition to these events, she will take part in a series of workshops and seminars which will be organised by Dr Alex Lloyd and the German Lektoren.

Yoko Tawada is one of the most distinguished contemporary German and Japanese writers. She has published numerous volumes of prose, poetry and essays as well as plays in both German and Japanese, and has been awarded some of the most prestigious German and Japanese literary prizes, including the Akutagawa Prize (1993) and the Kleist Prize (2016). In 2015, she held the DAAD Distinguished Chair in Contemporary Poetics at New York University. Her work explores spaces between cultures and languages, and poses challenging questions about the various relations between language, culture, body, and identity.

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