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Augsburg Dialogs – Towards Literature and Commitment

The series Augs­burg Dia­logs – To­wards Litera­ture and Com­mit­ment, estab­lished in 2018, pro­vides a fo­rum where au­thors, crea­tive artists, stu­dents, and re­searchers ex­change their view­points on con­tem­porary topics of socie­tal rele­vance as well as their impact on the arts. In addi­tion to public events, read­ings, theatre per­for­manc­es, and panel dis­cussions, the series en­courages ongo­ing de­bates be­tween all of its partic­ipants.

The ethical relevance of literature

The sig­nifi­cance of art and litera­ture be­comes espe­cially appar­ent in times of social change, global­ization and medi­aliza­tion. Thus, art and litera­ture evoke new forms of ex­pres­sion, rede­fine their posi­tion in socie­ty, en­cour­age reflec­tion and, if neces­sary, re­sis­tance. In con­trast to the politi­cal litera­ture of the 1960s and 70s, con­tem­porary litera­ture focus­es on the reflec­tion of norms and values rather than gener­ating moral claims. This shows above all its ethical rele­vance.

Social interchange

Hence, the con­cept of com­mit­ment in con­tem­porary litera­ture and culture plays a sub­stan­tial role again. This is also re­flect­ed in the lively inter­est shown by con­tem­porary au­thors in so­cial dis­course. More­over, the scien­tific dis­course has redis­cov­ered its inter­est in politi­cal litera­ture. By mak­ing the dis­cussions sound, bun­dled, and acces­sible to a broad public audi­ence, the Augs­burg Dia­logs have adapted and con­tribut­ed to this devel­op­ment.

Provid­ing a plat­form for this equal­ly aes­thetic and social pro­cess that not only con­trib­utes to further a stimu­lating dia­logue be­tween the uni­versity and the citi­zens of Augs­burg, but also arous­es su­pra-re­gional inter­est. Ulti­mate­ly, mak­ing Augs­burg a central loca­tion of liter­ary and social prove­nance is one of the series’ major aims.

In close coop­eration with the Friedensbüro as well as a strong the­matic link to the Augs­burger Friedensfest, Ger­man-speaking au­thors are invit­ed for three days each July to dis­cuss poten­tials of social partic­ipation (this year: 28-30th of July 2019).

The dia­log is gov­erned by an annu­ally chang­ing, con­trover­sial motto, which is dis­cussed among both public and closed groups to inves­tigate ongo­ing changes in social reali­ties as well as their reflec­tion in litera­ture. Last year’s motto Utopia is fol­lowed by free­dom in 2019.

Text: Elite Graduate Program "Ethics of Textual Cultures"