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18:00 - 20:00 22 November 2017

A Child Refugee in London: On WG Sebald's Novel Austerlitz


Grant Museum of Zoology | Rockefeller Building (link Map)
21 University Street | London | WC1E 6JJ | United Kingdom

Open to: Alumni | Public | Academic | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Ticketed

Speaker information

Dr Mererid Puw Davies, Senior Lecturer in German, UCL, Mererid Puw Davies is interested in modern German literature and culture in all their forms, and has been fascinated by WG Sebald's work for years. She is now researching the Welsh connections in 'Austerlitz'.
Dr Zoltan Biedermann, Senior Lecturer in Luso Brazilian Studies, UCL, Zoltán Biedermann lectures on history, literature and cartography at UCL. He is interested in the settings of Sebald's 'Austerlitz' and tries to make sense of the novel by observing the map(s) underlying its plot.
Professor Stephanie Bird, Professor of German, UCL, Stephanie Bird is interested in the different types of comedy in Sebald’s prose fiction and how this comedy relates to questions of gender and representation.
Professor Mairead Hanrahan, Professor of French, UCL, Mairéad Hanrahan is interested in how Sebald explores the question of finding lost memories in his writing, and the value of the memories that literature helps to find.

Today images and stories of child refugees, lost and found across Europe and beyond, challenge and haunt us. Come along for a free evening of talks, discussions and a film screening about one such story. The event focuses on one of our century’s greatest novels, W G Sebald’s Austerlitz (2001), about a child who comes to London in 1939 on a Kindertransport from Nazi-occupied Prague, and what happens to him afterwards. This book, entrancing, shocking and enigmatic by turns, recounts a search for Europe’s past and present, as well as a lost personal history. Academics and students from University College London will present their perspectives on the novel.


Dr Mererid Puw Davies
+44 (0) 7905 787071 | mererid.davies@ucl.ac.uk