"Transit: Narrating Diaspora, Escaping History," Elisa Ronzheimer (Bielefeld)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 11:30am - 01:00pm

Upon its release in 2018, Christian Petzold’s film Transit was lauded for its alternative vision of historical cinema. Transit transposes Anna Seghers’s eponymous novel which relates the experiences of German emigrants trying to escape the Nazi terror in the 1940s into images of the present-day refugee crisis. Petzold’s narrative experiment raises a number of questions: How are we to approach the overt anachronism set up in Transit? What does the film tell us about the representation of the past in German cinema of today? How does Transit relate to current narratives of migration? The talk will develop some of the implications following from Petzold’s version of Transit, focusing in particular on its significance for the ongoing question of the (aesthetic) representation of migration.

Elisa Ronzheimer is Akademische Rätin in the department of Comparative Literature at Bielefeld University. She received her PhD in German literature from Yale University with a dissertation on concepts of rhythm in late eighteenth-century German literature. Her first monograph entitled “Poetologies of Rhythm ca. 1800. Meter and Verse Form in Klopstock, Hölderlin, Novalis, Tieck und Goethe” is forthcoming with De Gruyter in 2020. Elisa is interested in eighteenth-century poetics and aesthetics, theories of the lyric and concepts of poetic form between music and language. She currently works on a second book project which traces the ‘afterlife’ of stylistics as a method of interpretation in structuralist and post-structuralist literary theory. 

The Craig Young Scholars Series is made possible by the generous support of Dr. Charlotte M. Craig and Colonel Robert B. Craig.

Location Craig Seminar Room, AB 4050, West Wing