Jürgen Barkhoff is Professor of German (1776) at Trinity College, University of Dublin. He is an expert on German literature and culture since 1750 with a strong focus on interdisciplinary research. He studied in Tübingen, Hamburg and Dublin and holds a Dr. phil. from the University of Hamburg. He joined Trinity College in 1995 after a Fellowship at the Kulturwissenschaftliche Institut in Essen. Barkhoff was Director of the Centre for European Studies 2002-2005, Registrar (Vice-Rector) of the University 2007-2011, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute 2012-2015, Head of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures 2015-2018 , and Convener of Trinity College's interdisciplinary research theme ›Identities in Transformation‹ 2013-2018. He is Vice-Chair of the Executive Board of the Coimbra Group of European Universities.
Strategies of Autofiction in Thomas Hürlimann`s Writings
The Swiss author Thomas Hürlimann counts among the most important contemporary German language writers. Through his literary works he is also a distinct voice in the cultural and societal debates in his country. Like no other German language author has Hürlimann, who is the son of a well-known Swiss politician, put his family history at the centre of his literary œuvre, which can thus be read as literature grounded in autobiography. He uses this fictionalized family history to thematize politics, society, culture and mentality of modern Switzerland in the spirit of a critical patriotism. This makes his texts central contributions to Swiss cultural memory and identity discourses. Prominent themes in Hürlimann’s work to be discussed are: the opportunism of Switzerland during the Second World War and the subsequent historical myths which repressed and aimed at making this opportunism invisible; isolationist and xenophobic tendencies; patriarchal power structures and -rituals in the political system; issues of gender; the role of religion in a secular society; the relevance of belonging as well as Heimat and the rapid modernisation processes of globalisation. The project will interrogate Hürlimanns complex strategies of life writing in their intertextual interdependencies across his novels and novellas, plays, autobiographical essays, poetological reflections and interviews. It will analyse their mechanisms and functions with a thematic focus on elements of autofiction, literary biography, Schlüsselliteratur, family novel and generational novel.