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Ottmar Ette (University of Potsdam)


Professor Dr. Ottmar Ette has been Chair of Romance Literatures and Cultures as well as Comparative Literature at the University of Potsdam for almost three decades. He is the Director of a long-term project on Alexander von Humboldt at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (where he is Ordinary Member since 2013), and Director of the Humboldt Center for Transdisciplinary Studies at Hunan Normal University, Changsha. In 2014, he was elected Honorary Member of the Modern Language Association of America (MLA). In 2012, he was introduced into the Ordre des Palmes Acad¨¦miques (France) as Chevalier and was elected, two years later, member of the Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin. He has also been a regular member of the Academia Europaea since 2010. His research focuses on Romance Literatures both in Europe and in the Americas, on travel literature and Alexander von Humboldt, literary studies as Life Science and forms of Living Together, on TransArea Studies in transatlantic and transpacific relations as well as on Literatures with no fixed Abode. He has written and published around 50 monographs in different languages, more than 60 anthologies and over 500 articles. Ottmar Ette directed the BMBF Research Project on ¡°Alexander von Humboldt¡®s American Travel Diaries: Genealogy, Chronology, and Epistemology¡± (2014 - 2017). He has published open access his ¡°Vorlesungen¡± (main classes) at the University of Potsdam in eight volumes. In September 2023, his first novel is published under the title Two German Lives. He is fascinated by China.



MIMESIS: Representations of Lived Reality in Western (and Non-Western) Literatures


Erich Auerbach¡¯s book Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature is certainly, in the long run, one of the most influential publications in the field of studies on realism. In his book written in exile from Nazi Germany, Auerbach investigates the concept of ¡°mimesis¡± in a transhistorical series of studies, organized as an archipelagic writing, from Greek and Roman Antiquity through the Middle Ages until the 20th Century. He distinguishes two different modes of representations of reality (dargestellte Wirklichkeit) in Western literatures that we could qualify as continental and archipelagic. This conference aims to study these two modes of writing realism in Western and non-Western literatures after WW II, focusing on the representations of LIVED reality specially in Literatures with no fixed Abode and writers from the 1940s and 1950s until our days. What are the epistemic changes and transformations when we talk about life and lived reality when dealing with realism?