114th Annual Conference - Pasadena, California
Friday, November 11 - Sunday, November 13, 2016

Franz Kafka and the Kafkaesque

Session Chair: 
Andrea Gogrof, Western Washington University
Los Feliz I


  1. Charles Hammond, Jr., University of Tennessee, Martin
    In 1916, Kafka wrote two letters to his publisher in which he claimed that his masterpiece Das Urteil was more of a poem than a short story. This paper provides a reading of the canonic tale through a poetic lens, which yields some surprising discoveries.
  2. Riley Jessett, Western Washington University
    A history and examination of the role that biography plays in the critical tradition of reading Kafka, as well as the inclusion of biographical materials as more or less ‘canonical’ texts in what we consider to be the ‘works’ of Franz Kafka (his diaries and letters, especially his Brief an den Vater, as well as classic biographies, such as Max Brod’s). This issue is taken up by examining the very popular 2016 publication of Is That Kafka?: 99 Finds by Reiner Stach.
  3. Peter Lang, University of Missouri, Columbia
    Kafka's works The Trial and "In the Penal Colony," as well as his letters and notebooks, provide a nuanced reading of the present as one contingent on the punitive, shaming gaze of the Other. The advent of the current sociotechnological era has positioned the individual within a hyperpanoptic system which, by way of the gaze, validates the subject through a process of alienation and as such has given rise to a culture of punishment that is intensely masochistic. 
  4. Imke Meyer, "University of Illinois, Chicago"
    One of Kafka’s most incisive critiques of Enlightenment models of subject formation can be found in his narrative “Ein Bericht für eine Akademie.” The ape Rotpeter’s development into an educated creature becomes a vexed and vexing image not just of the emancipatory promise of seemingly universalist Enlightenment discourses, but also of the fear that the other these very discourses produced could rise up to take the place of the bourgeois subject.
Session Cancelled: