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Agency, Assemblage & Care in Contemporary Life Writing by Migrants in Germany

Presented by Katja Herges, PhD candidate in German at UC Davis.

Oct 02, 2017
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM

912 Sproul

Medical therapy largely focuses on eliminating “foreign” pathological agents such as cancer cells or microorganisms from the body with the goal of restoring health. As a result, the body is not only the victim of such agents but also becomes, once the treatment starts, the passive target of physician-prescribed, almost omnipotent (drug) therapy. Yet long-term care of patients with chronic illness often precludes cure and requires multiple therapeutic approaches. In this presentation, Herges focus on the neglected experiences of chronically ill migrants in contemporary Germany and on how life writings by migrants can allow us to rethink illness and long-term care. She argues that German-Turkish journalist Mely Kiyak’s memoir of her father’s treatment for lung cancer and Evelyne Leandro’s diary of her long-term antibiotic therapy against leprosy as a Brazilian migrant frames illness and care as an assemblage with distributed agency.
This event is sponsored by Department of German & Russian:
UCD German Studies Research Series