Literature, Multilingualism and the Monolingual Paradigm

Den 22-23 maj ordnar vi en workshop med temat Literature, Multilingualism and the Monolingual Paradigm. Vår gäst är Markus Huss från Södertörns högskola.

Huss är forskningssekreterare i projektet "Tid, minne, representation. Ett mångdisciplinärt forskningsprogram om historiemedvetandets förvandlingar" vid Södertörns högskola.  I sin doktorsavhandling Motståndets akustik. Språk och (o)ljud hos Peter Weiss 1946–1960 (2014) har Markus Huss undersökt språkproblematik och språkmetaforik i Peter Weiss litterära verk.

Workshopen är öppen för alla – välkommen!


Thursday, May 22nd, 2–4 pm

(Turun Yliopisto, Sirkkala Campus, Minerva, 2nd floor, room E 225):

 Guest Lecture by Markus Huss, Ph.D., (Södertörn University, Sweden):

”The Acoustics of Resistance. On Language and Noise in the Bilingual Works of Peter Weiss”

 Peter Weiss was a writer, painter, graphic artist and filmmaker. In his lecture Markus Huss argues that Peter Weiss’s early works written in Swedish and German form a multifaceted reflection on language and its cultural, historical and material preconditions. The metaphors of language in his texts are intimately linked to historical processes, where early postwar Germany plays a crucial role as contextual framework. 

 Huss will demonstrate how Weiss’s short stories and novels explore an acoustic dimension of language, where non-articulatory sounds and noises oscillate between two poles: they either pose a threat to the narrator, or form a promise of a future emancipatory linguistic expression beyond a territorializing and violent language. Furthermore, the sounds and noises permeating Weiss’s literary work provide a historical soundtrack, intimately connected to a search for a viable postwar literary aesthetic.

 Friday, May 23rd, 11 am–1 pm

(Turun yliopisto, Sirkkala Campus, Minerva, 1st floor, room Virkkunen E 104)

 Round table discussion on Yasemin Yildiz’ Beyond the Mother Tongue. The Postmonolingual Condition (2012), with an introduction by Markus Huss (Södertörn University, Sweden)

 ”Monolingualism – the idea that having just one language is the norm – is only a relatively recent invention, dating to late-eighteenth-century Europé. Yet it has become a dominant, if overlooked, structuring principle of modernity. Acccording to this monolingual paradigm, individuals are imagined to be able to think and feel properly only in one language, while multiple languages are seen as a threat to the cohesion of individuals and communities, institutions, and disciplines. As a result of this view, writing in anything but one’s ’mother tongue’ has come to be seen as an aberration.

Beyond the Mother Tongue demonstrates the impact of this monolingual paradigm on literature and culture and charts incipient moves beyond it. Because newer multilingual forms and practices exist in tension with the paradigm, which alternately obscures, pathologizes, or exoticizes them, this book argues that they can best be understood as ’postmonolingual.’”


For more information contact Julia Tidigs (julia.tidigs@abo.fi) or Heidi Grönstrand (heigro@utu.fi)