Writing Life - Autofiction as a Feminist Practice?

24.01.2024 14:42

Seminar with writer Katharina Hartwell: 10-13 September 2024 (10 am-6 pm)

When it comes to autofiction, in particular autofiction written by women, the writer Roxane Gay, known for her memoir Hunger as well as her essay collection Bad Feminist has come to a daunting conclusion:

"I suppose that's the price you pay when you write personally as a woman. [...] that people focus on the personal, and they completely ignore the professional. Like ... that it's a book. That you used craft to write the book [...]."
(Roxane Gay as quoted in Olivia Sudjic, Exposure, 90)

This slippery thing called craft, however, is precisely what we shall focus on in this class. How can we write professionally about the personal? Which parameters and principles should we keep in mind if we want to make public what was created in the privacy of your mind? Do these parameters even exist and how can we utilize them for our own very personal texts?

Katharina Hartwell, a German writer living in Berlin, studied American and British Studies at the University of Frankfurt am Main, before completing her Master in Literary Writing at the Deutsche Literaturinstitut Leipzig. Her first novel Das Fremde Meer (Berlin Verlag) was published in 2013. She published a second novel (Der Dieb in der Nacht) as well as a fantasy trilogy (Loewe Verlag) in the following years. Her latest novel will be published in 2025 by Berlin Verlag. Katharina Hartwell received   several prizes and fellowships, among them the Berliner Senatsstipendium, the MDR prize and the Würth Literaturpreis. She was a fellow at the Literarische Colloquium Berlin, at Künstlerdorf Schöppingen and the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart.

The seminar will be held as a regular blocked 2st SE course (5 ECTS). Registration: 12 to 19 Feb, noon.

For a course description and details on how to prepare for the workshop (between March and August) see u:find.

Katharina Hartwell (© privat)

Katharina Hartwell (© privat)