The Department of German, Russian & East European Languages & Literatures presents...
Prof. Judith Kasper (Goethe University, Frankfurt)
On Gleaning Leftovers, or Reading in the Void
Jean-François Millet, Gleaners (draft)
Who or what are the gleaners in myth, in history, and in philology? The gleaners begin to gather once the harvest has been completed and the field is empty. The gleaners glean in the void. What is it that makes their gathering different, enabling them to find what is still left in the field? What is the (economic and ontological) status of the leftovers that they glean? In which space are these leftovers gleaned? What temporality of gathering does the gesture of gleaning open up? And to what extent does the figure of the gleaner informs us of another way of reading in philology that goes beyond the interpretation of the whole and the appropriation of meaning?
In my lecture I would like to delve into these questions by presenting my reading of the biblical Book of Ruth. Those who would like to prepare for the talk are invited to read the short story of the biblical gleaner in a bible edition of their choice.
Judith Kasper is Professor of Comparative Literature at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and co-editor-in-chief of the German psychoanalytic journal RISS. Her research focuses on philology and psychoanalysis, Holocaust Studies and trauma theory, and theories of the lyrics. Recent publications include Der traumatisierte Raum. Insistenz, Inschrift, Montage bei Freud, Levi, Kertész, Sebald und Dante (Traumatized Space: Insistence, Inscription and Montage in Freud, Levi, Kertész, Sebald und Dante) (Berlin: de Gruyter 2016).
PLEASE NOTE: A boxed lunch will be provided at 11:30am in the German Department sitting area for guests to enjoy prior to the lecture. Food will not be permitted inside the seminar room during the event.