Kafkas Heimat-Topographien. Nation, Religion, Kultur und Schrift
Combining notions of "home", "homeland" and "belonging", the German concept of Heimat has been at the center of German collective imagination since the late 18th century. Entitled "Kafkas Heimat-Topographien", my dissertation explores the interconnectedness of notions of Heimat in literary works by the German-Jewish writer Franz Kafka with contemporary discourses on culture and religion. With special attention to texts by Hugo Bergmann, Franz Kafka, Karl Schönherr, and Abraham Grünberg, my analysis focuses on the question of how the spatial constructedness of Heimat employed in Kafka's texts serves as an arena for theory, critique, deconstruction and reconstruction of (imagined) cultural spaces. Through the lense of Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of the ,,chronotope", my analysis seeks to demonstrate that these notions of Heimat form the core of unique constellations in the discourses around narratives of culture and origin in a modernity perceived as "disenchanted" and "secularized". Anchored in the disciplinary context of German Literary Studies, my dissertation therefore also aims to make a contribution to Jewish Studies as well as to the broader scholarly community of the Humanities.
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