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Stolpertexte: Archives, Literature, and Memory

With German creative writing students and poet Max Czollek

Center for Jewish History (map)
15 W. 16th St.
New York, NY 10011
In person
General: Free

The LBI Archives hold tens of thousands of family collections that include diaries, memoirs, letters, and photographs that document the everyday lives of German-speaking Jews. In LBI's newest project, German-language writers have been invited to engage with these collections and the people described in them in short literary texts called Stolpertexte. Like their namesake brass memorial plaques, these texts interrupt our daily routines and remind us in the here and now on the lives and hopes of people from whom Nazi terror took everything away.

In addition to some of Germany's leading authors, a new generation of literary talent is also engaged in the project. LBI invites you to meet students from the German Literature Institute in Leipzig, Germany’s premiere creative-writing program, who will read from their own Stolpertexte and a short documentary theater piece. German writer Max Czollek, who holds the Spring 2024 DAAD Chair in Contemporary Poetics at NYU, will discuss literary memory culture in Germany and engage in a discussion with the students. Featuring Nadja Etinski, Amalie Mbianda Njiki, Tara Meister, Konstantin Schmidtbauer, Mücahit Türk, Jonë Zhitia, Hannah Beckmann.

Max Czollek was born in East Berlin. He studied political science at the Freie Universität Berlin and received his PhD from the Center for Research on Antisemitism at the Technische Universität Berlin. Czollek’s works are distinguished by their multimediality: from poetry to theater, political non-fiction to museum exhibitions, the range of his expressive forms reflects the staggering spectrum of historical and present-day violence. Central to Czollek’s project are questions of the tension between aesthetic practice and cultural critique – the overlap between artistic freedom and social responsibility.

Cosponsored by Deutsches Haus at NYU. The students are also supported by the Austrian National Union of Students (ÖH Uni Wien and ÖH Bundesvertretung), as well as by the cultural department of the Austrian Federal State of Burgenland (Land Burgenland, Kulturabteilung).

Please note this is an in-person event at the Center for Jewish History and will be held in English.