Head-to-Head: A Meeting of Inspired Minds
The Brazilian Roots of the Mann Family
We regret that this event has been cancelled due to public health concerns with COVID-19. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.
Thomas Mann so shaped the idea of “Germanness” in the twentieth century that even in exile he would claim that German culture was wherever he was. Yet this iconic German writer had a Brazilian mother—Julia Mann (1851-1923), née da Silva Bruhns—whose traumatic experiences of immigration profoundly influenced her son’s life and writing. While our reading of Thomas Mann’s work has been inflected by various parts of his biography—his attraction to men, his wife’s Jewish origins—the critical potential of his Brazilian background remains largely unexplored. In this Head-to-Head discussion, Veronika Fuechtner speaks with writer and journalist Tanja Dückers about how Mann’s Brazilian heritage story radically alters the way we read not only his writing but also his place within German literature, ultimately undermining the notion of canonical German literature and its unspoken assumption of racial and cultural homogeneity.
In cooperation with the Evangelisches Bildungszentrum Hospitalhof Stuttgart and the Deutsch-Amerikanisches Zentrum Stuttgart.
Generously supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, and Berthold Leibinger Stiftung GmbH.