Fatih Akin’s Cinema of Hospitality: Guest lecture by Donald Weber

head_on.1Date: Tuesday, March 18
Time: 15:00 – 17:00 hours
Location: P.C. Hoofthuis, room 1.05

This presentation focuses on the contemporary German-Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin and his exploration of the condition of exile and longing in films like Head-On (Gegen die Wand; winner of the Golden Bear award for best film at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival) and The Edge of Heaven (Auf der anderen Seite; 2007). The talk examines Akin’s vision of a globalized Europe, of borderline outsiders seeking spiritual asylum, of journeying souls in transition between identities, languages, and territories. In this respect, Akin’s films participate in current theorizing around the philosophical-political idea of “hospitality,” what Derrida calls “world-openness.” For Akin, a person’s openness towards the stranger can create the possibility of a Europe more receptive to outsiders; such an ethics of hospitality can, perhaps, ease the anxiety of belonging that currently afflicts so many of Europe’s newer citizens, who don’t feel at home, even in their native lands.

Donald Weber is the Lucia, Ruth, and Elizabeth MacGregor Professor of English and American Studies at Mount Holyoke College. In 2003, Weber was the recipient of a fellowship to the Bellagio Center for his project “The Anxiety of Belonging: Multiculturalism and Identity Politics in U.S. and UK Literacy and Popular Culture.” The project compares how the idea of belonging and the constructions of ethnic identity are explored in the literary and popular cultures of the U.S. and UK. In 2005 Weber published Haunted in the World: Jewish American Culture from Cahan to “The Goldbergs” (2005, Indiana University Press). The book explores the ways modern Jewish writers and makers of popular culture responded to the challenge of adjusting to America, voicing their imaginative encounter in accents of resistance and celebration, irony and longing.
The lecture is sponsored by the Institute for Culture and History.

For more information on prof.dr. Donald Weber see: https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/facultyprofiles/donald_weber

For more information on the guest lecture contact: prof.dr. Ruud Janssens, American Studies at r.v.a.janssens@uva.nl

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