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14 Feb 20

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. In this talk, Veronika Fuechtner argues that this story radically alters the way we read not only Mann’s 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.

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