Life-Stories on the Move: Subaltern Autobiographical Practices from the Early Modern Period to the First World War

24. Mai 2018 13:00 Uhr - 25. Mai 17:30 Uhr

14. Mai 18

The workshop focuses on ego-documents (autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, family books, correspondence/letters, court records, etc.) written by authors who were subservient to the power of others and/or had to live largely from their own labor: peasants, serfs, slaves, artisans, workers, etc. We speak of autobiographical practices, because we examine the texts in their communicative contexts. Whereas the interactive writing-situation for letters is obvious, even texts that seemingly stand alone would be inconceivable without an interlocutor or addressee. In popular milieus writing about one's own life was often chided as a token of excessive vanity, as a flight of Icarus, as the Catalan tanner Miquel Parets expressed it in the 17th century (J. Amelang). Therefore our main focus is on mobilities that were in most cases an inducement for writing and, at the same time, a favored topic and structuring element of the narratives. We roughly distinguish three main types of mobility: geographical, social and ideological mobility.


Image: Georg Wagener: Reisebeschreibung von Clausthal nach Massa Marittima, Groszherzogthum Toscana in Italien (Private Archive Malte Griesse), p.36-37.


Malte Griesse


Thursday 24

13:00 Catherine Gousseff (Berlin) Welcome address – Intro?

13:10 Malte Griesse (Berlin) Introduction: Mobilities and Life-Writing Facing Adversity

Facing Adversity

13:30 Ulrich Niggemann (Augsburg): Confessional Migration and Autobiography. Some Considerations

14:15 Friedrich Beiderbeck (Potsdam/Berlin):Trauma in Early Modern Life-Writing

15:30 Anke Szesny (Augsburg): Briefe armer Menschen im Augsburg des 19. Jahrhunderts (Pauper Letters in 19th century Augsburg) Institutional Framing of Self-Perceptions

Institutional Framing of Self-Percepcions

16:15 Sigrid Wadauer (Wien):Bureaucracy and (Auto-)Biography in the Habsburg Monarchy/ Austria

17:00 Yury Zaretsky (Moscow): Official self-accounts as means of governmentality in the Russian Empire


Friday 25


9:00 Eva Kormann (Karlsruhe): Peasant peregrination between pleasure, curiosity and necessity

9:45 Kai Struve (Halle): Polish Peasant Autobiographies: Historical Contexts and Research Traditions from the Second Half of the 19th Century until the 1930s

Privileged Subalternity in Multi-Religious Spaces

10:50 Michael Kißkalt (Elstal): Caught between all stools – Life and Importance of the Cameroonian Mission Teacher Richard Edube Mbene (1879-1907)

11:35 Franziska Davies (Munich): Privileged Subalternity: Muslim Life-Writing in the Russian Imperial Army

Captivity, Slavery Imprisonment

12:20 Viorel Achim (Bucharest): Autobiographical value of texts coming from the Gypsy slaves in the Romanian Principalities?

13:05 Lunch at the CMB

14:30 Aleksandr Lavrov (Paris): "Gefangenschaft und autobiographische Erzählung: Verschleppte aus dem Moskauer Reich im Krimkhanat und im Osmanischen Reich" (Narrating Captivity: Muscovite Prisoners in the Crimean Khanat and in the Ottoman Empire)

15:15 Malte Griesse (Berlin): Life-Writing in the Russian Enlightenment: Global Horizons and Political Grammars

16:00 Final Discussion

Georg-Simmel Saal
Friedrichstraße 191