Dr. Nora Ramtke» Aktuelles


April 2018

Call for Papers: Coherence & Interruption: Seriality in Periodicals, International Summer School Ruhr-Universität Bochum 13.-15. September 2018

With Laurel Brake (London), Ellen Gruber Garvey (New Jersey), Matthew Philpotts (Liverpool), Madleen Podewski (Berlin), Geoffrey Belknap (National Media Museum Bradford) and Members of the DFG Research Unit 2288 ‘Journal Literature’

The search for coherence is a fundamental mode of reception, just as the reading process of periodicals is structured by interruptions. With a systematic focus that encompasses the full range of periodical media formats, genres, and periods, the International Summer School investigates these mechanisms of seriality and will thereby shed light on structural similarities (and differences) across boundaries of genre, time, and media formats. Researchers in periodical studies at an early stage of their careers (PhD students and post-doctoral scholars up to five years after their PhD) are welcome to present their research projects and work together with peers and renowned experts on methodological and theoretical approaches concerning patterns of coherence and interruption in periodicals.

Possible objects of investigation are the seriality of written texts, serial structures in graphic narratives, the ‘serial’ materiality of periodicals (i.e. their physical presentation including continuous layout, format, typography, or recurring illustrations, indexes, advertisements, etc.), or the temporal structures of periodicals. Seriality, in this sense, must be considered not merely as a narrative phenomenon, but rather as an effect of the media itself. Several questions may be addressed in the Summer School:

  1. How is seriality constructed within different periodical media formats in general and within the microcosms of their ‘content’? How are different features of the media format deployed in this regard?
  2. How is coherence constructed or irritated by mechanisms of the media formats? How are the ‘contents’ of periodicals arranged in order to indicate cohesion or discontinuity? What strategies are pursued to ensure the reader’s ‘loyalty’?
  3. How are journal issues filled in between sequels? In what relation do other contents stand to the focused ones?
  4. Which general strategies can be identified for different media formats, genres, and periods?
  5. How are coherence and interruption of the media formats linked with coherence and interruption within the literary texts?
  6. What methodological and theoretical approaches can be applied for the research of seriality of periodicals?

Project presentations should be 15 minutes long. The Summer School will be conducted in English. Subject to confirmation of funding, travel and accommodation costs are fully covered for up to 15 participants. Applicants should send a short abstract of their research project (maximum length 500 words) and a short CV (maximum length 150 words) to coherence@rub.de by 24 June 2018.


August 2017

Call for Papers: Writing Time: Temporality of the Journal in the Eighteenth Century – DGEJ-Panel at ASECS 2018, Orlando, Florida, March 22-25.

This panel of the German Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (DGEJ) aims to investigate eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century journals and related periodical publication forms, such as magazines, newspapers, or moral weeklies, in light of their relationship to time. One obvious mode in which time enters into these media is periodicity: journals typically appear at intervals, a quality that is constitutive to their production and reception. Moreover, journals and their contributors actively “write time” (Sean Franzel) — for example, by commenting on current events; by archiving the present in structures of repetition and duration (e.g. rubrics); and by developing aesthetic strategies of temporality. Our panel invites case studies of journals, authors, literary texts, and periodical genres that shed light on the many ways in which periodicals “write time.” How did authors, editors, or journals respond to the temporal conditions of periodical publishing? How did they render history, revolution, and ‘newness’? Which aesthetic, material and medial features did periodicals develop in order to create their own, internal temporalities and archive time? And how do these journal-specific temporalities map onto other temporal modes, such as historiography? By exploring these and similar questions, our panel seeks to discuss the potential of “writing time” as a new approach to periodical history.

The Annual Meeting 2018 of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies takes place in Orlando, Florida, March 22-25. We invite proposals for papers (15–20 minutes), which should be sent along with a brief biographical note no later than 15 September 2017.


Januar 2017

Special Issue – German Life and Letters 70.1


Although the anthology has its roots in the ancient world, it arose in German letters in the eighteenth century. While the nineteenth century can be called – quantitatively and terminologically – the heyday of the anthology, the eighteenth century was the dawn of its diversity. The present special number examines this variety, as represented in particular examples. The first and most obvious problem for our period is terminological. Once we overcome the heterogeneous terms for anthologies, however, we propose a focus on their functions. Central to these is an acknowledgement of an anthology’s agenda, which can be applied or aesthetic, cultural-political or poetological. Consequently, we contend that examining eighteenth-century anthologies and collections into the mid-nineteenth century contributes more broadly to an emergent body of scholarship on editorship and its relationship to the topic of authorship at a time when a commercial book market was becoming established, and for which the ‘modern author’ was increasingly plural in its manifestations.

November 2016


Anonymität – Onymität. Autorname und Autorschaft in Wilhelm Meisters ›doppelten Wanderjahren‹. Heidelberg 2016.

»Sich einen Namen machen«, heißt es bei Lyotard, bedeutet nichts anderes als »Held einer Geschichte zu werden, die dazu geeignet ist, weitergetragen zu werden«. Es sind solche Geschichten, auf deren Spuren sich die Studie begibt. Sie führen unmittelbar in einen aufsehenerregenden Skandal um ›Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre‹, die 1821 doppelt erscheinen – einmal anonym, einmal unter Goethes wohlbekanntem Namen. Dieses publikationsgeschichtliche Kuriosum bildet den Ausgangspunkt für die vorliegende systematische Diskussion der Folgen und Funktionen von Namentlichkeit in der Literatur und ihrer Wissenschaft seit dem 19. Jahrhundert. Die um ›Anonymität‹ und ›Onymität‹ zentrierte Rekonstruktion der literaturkritischen Debatte zeigt, wie Autorname und Autorschaft Texten und ihrer Rezeption nicht äußerlich bleiben.