'22 Spring Term Visiting Professor Ulrike Draesner

The Spring '22 Max Kade Distinguished Visiting Professor was Ulrike Draesner.

Professor Draesner, whose novels, poetry, essays, and translations have received a number of important awards, taught a seminar titled "The Hill We Climb – Down: Poetry and Short Fiction Nature Writing." Her description of the course (taught at 10A):

"As every experienced mountaineer is happy not to tell you: getting down will be the hard part. Tough on your knees, exhausting, dangerous. I grew up in a village close to the Alps, which provided me with multiple occasions to learn to hate them (alternatively: read them, see them, wonder) which seems a fair starting point for our adventurous climbs through the hilly landscape of German fiction and poetry. We will be dealing with trips to mountains and the insights, visions and pitfalls they provide us with. Our guiding questions will be: is there any such thing as 'nature writing' in German? If yes: how and why does it differ from the Anglo-American tradition? How is it possible to translate any-'thing' critterly (picking up a term used by Donna Haraway) into language? And which kind of language would we like to use – rather: need to invent – in order to do so?

"The course is taught partly in German, partly in English. It contains creative writing exercises related to stones, heights, plants and animals (of the mountains). Together we reflect on concepts of translation between languages, between 'reality' and language and within a language itself."