CorpoRealities: Perceptions of ‘Extraordinary’ Time in Literature and Comics

Freie Universität Berlin
June 25 - 27, 2020
Stichtag: 2019 09 01

Literature and comics are each in their own specific ways ‘temporal arts’, unfolding sequences of action, collapsing or contrasting story time and discourse time, and representing temporal sequences in narrative or visual-spatial ways. Both media can deviate from chronological time and work with flashbacks and flashforwards, fragmentation, thus evoking, for instance, the layering of time and simultaneity. When representing experiences of ‘otherness’ due to illness and/ or disability, perceptions of time that deviate from normal chronometry gain center stage: In the face of unexpected physical or psychic changes, subjective time may stretch or contract, bring one’s past and present into aggressive collision or cast a spotlight on mortality itself.

This workshop focuses on the ways in which literature and comics represent the specific sense of time that comes along with corporeal experiences. How do the two media show or tell such ‘extraordinary’ time and what are their aesthetic, individual and sociopolitical repercussions?

We invite papers on literary texts or comics; comparative perspectives are particularly welcome.

Possible topics include:

  • time and the pregnant, pubescent or aging body
  • acceleration and deceleration in the context of diagnoses, pain, or chronicity
  • the experience of time in life with degenerative diseases
  • ‘proliferation’ of time due to incubation and latency
  • Nachträglichkeit (belatedness)and flashbacks in the context of traumatic experiences
  • a/synchronicities in the context of memories or dementia
  • deferral of time and the logic of postponement, e.g. after surgery
  • ‘free time’ and latitude during illness
  • prophylaxis, aftercare, and patient time management
  • mortality and finitude
  • perceptions of time in loss and grief

The workshop, held at Freie Universität Berlin, is a joint event of the AG Comicforschung ( and the PathoGraphics research project located at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies ( Papers may be presented in German or English. Speakers will receive a small lump sum towards travel and accommodation expenses. Due to a planned publication of selected papers, we ask that submitted abstracts are for papers not already promised elsewhere for publication.

Please send a 300-word-abstract and a short bio to Irmela Marei Krüger-Fürhoff, Stef Lenk and Nina Schmidt at by September 1, 2019. Submissions and presentations are welcome in both German and English.

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