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Borrowing Your Body: Poetry Reading by Laura Passin

Saturday, January 22, 2022; 6 - 7 p.m. (via Zoom)    

This poetry reading was co-organized by JProf. Dr. Judith Rauscher (U of Cologne) and Mareike Spychala (U of Bamberg) and co-funded by the American Studies section of the University of Bamberg.


During this poetry reading, American poet and feminist at large, Laura Passin, read poems from her recent book of poetry on grief and illness entitled Borrowing Your Body (2021) as well as selected unpublished works focusing on what it means to live in a world in crisis.

Laura Passin earned a PhD in English from Northwestern University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon. She has written about literature and culture for major feminist blogs and her poetry has appeared in a variety of publications, including Prairie SchoonerAdrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer WomenThe ToastRolling Stone, and Best New Poets 2013. She is the author of the chapbook All Sex and No Story (2019) and the poetry collection Borrowing Your Body (2021).


Author Reading by Sofia Samatar (James Madison U, USA)

"Fairy Tales for Robots" (Friday, September 24, 6 p.m., Zoom)

This event was co-organized as part of the GfF Conference 2021 "Speculative Fiction and Ethics" by JProf. Dr. Judith Rauscher (U of Cologne), Mareike Spychala (U of Bamberg), Sara Tewelde-Negassi (U of Cologne) and Lorena Bickert (U of Bamberg). It was financially supported by Amerikahaus NRW e.V.

Sofia Samatar is the author of the novels A Stranger in Olondria and The Winged Historiesthe short story collection, Tender, and Monster Portraitsa collaboration with her brother, the artist Del Samatar. Her work has won several awards, including the World Fantasy Award. She is a long-standing member of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA) and she teaches African literature, Arabic literature, and speculative fiction at James Madison University. During this event, she will read from her story "Fairy Tales for Robots" and discuss questions of ethics in Fantasy and Science Fiction, focusing on the way old stories can illuminate current concerns. What do the magical beings and animated dolls of fairy tales share with robots? How might fairytale depictions of nonhumans comment on artificial intelligence? Where do the oldest stories gesture toward issues that haunt technological societies, such as racialized and gender-based violence, economic injustice, and environmental degradation? And what explains the powerful attraction in tales of the non-quite-human, both in the past and today?