“‘Down and Out’ but in the ‘Works’: Homeless Soldiers and Homeless Youth in German Literature and Film” (European Studies Group Fall Lecture Series 2011)

1117 University Capital Centre
Friday, December 9, 2011 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Kirsten E. Kumpf, UI Department of German, Division of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Germany was defeated in two world wars, both of which resulted in the loss of sizeable territory and the dislocation of many people. It suffered through the Great Depression, it was forced to divide into two separate and competing states, and finally it underwent national reunification causing economic and social maladjustments for many. One of the results of the political and social upheaval of the twentieth century was widespread homelessness in Germany. This condition also establishes itself as an important theme and literary and cinematic device in various artistic pieces. Kumpf's talk will focus on the fabrication and aesthetics of homelessness as it surfaces in children and youth literature and in works dealing with the great wars.