'German Dystopian Novels are not about the end of the world'

Stephan Petzold

Dr Ingo Cornils presented his research at the American Comparative Literature Association's annual conference in Utrecht.

Dr Ingo Cornils attended the American Comparative Literature Association's annual conference in Utrecht, Netherlands from 6-9 July 2017. He presented a paper titled 'Coming to Terms with the Future? On recent German Dystopian Novels', arguing that while 'Vergangenheitsbewältigung' (coming to terms with the past) had been vital for Germans to work through, and avoid a repetition of their dark moments in history, 'Zukunftsbewältigung' (coming to terms with the future) is equally important, and that, behind their dystopian guise, German dystopian novels can offer strategies to anticipate, shape and exploit the opportunities of an unwritten future.

Dr Cornils teaches a final year seminar 'German Utopian Thought in Fiction and Film' and is currently working on his next book, titled 'Beyond Tomorrow. German Science Fiction and Utopian Thought in the 20th and 21st Century'.

Around 20 academics from Leeds attended this conference, including German@Leeds Professor Stuart Taberner and PhD student Ian Ellison.