Mittwoch 08.05. 19.00 Uhr

World Literature from the Clay Tablet to the Internet

Lecture & Discussion

Head-to-Head: A Meeting of Inspired Minds

Location: wizemann.space, Quellenstraße 6a, 70376 Stuttgart
Admission: free
Language: English
Registration: via program@americanacademy.de

Stories are much more than entertainment—they shape our world. They have inspired the rise and fall of empires and nations, sparked our understanding of basic political and philosophical concepts, and given rise to religious beliefs. In this talk, Martin Puchner, author of the bestseller The Written World, will discuss how literature has influenced the course of history with Prof. Dr. Eckart Goebel. Their discussion will focus on the intersection of storytelling and writing technologies, including the inventions of paper, parchment, print—and the internet.

With: Prof. Dr. Martin Puchner, Byron and Anita Wien Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Harvard University, Prof. Dr. Eckart Goebel, Professor of German and Comparative Literature, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
In cooperation with: American Academy in Berlin, Evangelisches Bildungszentrum Hospitalhof Stuttgart
Generously supported by: Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, and Berthold Leibinger Stiftung GmbH

Prof. Dr. Martin Puchner

Martin Puchner, the Byron and Anita Wien Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University, is a prize-winning author, educator, public speaker, and institution builder in the arts and humanities. His writings, which include a dozen books and anthologies and over sixty articles and essays, range from philosophy and theater to world literature and have been translated into many languages. Through his best-selling Norton Anthology of World Literature and his HarvardX MOOC Masterpieces of World Literature, he has brought four thousand years of literature to audiences across the globe.

His most recent book, The Written World, which tells the story of literature from the invention of writing to the Internet, has been widely reviewed in The New York Times, The Times (London), the Financial Times, The Atlantic, The Economist, among others, covered on radio and television, and is forthcoming in over a dozen languages. In hundreds of lectures and workshops from the Arctic Circle to Brazil and from the Middle East to China, he has advocated for the arts and humanities in a changing world. At Harvard, he has instituted these ideas in a new program in theater, dance and media as well as in the Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research.


Prof. Dr. Eckart Goebel

Eckart Goebel is a professor for German and Comparative Literature at the German Department of the University of Tübingen. He studied Literary Studies and Comparative Literature, Philosophy and German Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin and German Studies at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford. Goebel further received his PhD in General and Comparative Literature at Freie Universität Berlin. He taught for ten years at the New York University and was a fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.