Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities (GSAH)

HS 2017
Workshop of the Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities

The Grace of the Social in Writing

Dienstag, 07.12.2021, 10:15 Uhr

Workshop of the Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities

Veranstaltende: Friedrich Dürrenmatt Guest Professorship | Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities
Redner, Rednerin: Adania Shibli, Author (Palestine) | Friedrich Dürrenmatt Guest Professor Fall 2021
Datum: 07.12.2021
Uhrzeit: 10:15 - 13:00 Uhr
Ort: 320
Mittelstrasse 43
3012 Bern
Anmeldung: Until 30 November 2021 to or on KSL
Merkmale: Öffentlich

Seeking to explore the ‘together’ and ‘in common’ as a writing methodology, the workshop contemplates the act of writing a singular text by different authors who relinquish their authorship and authority on the text; an act referred to here as ‘social writing’. Social writing approaches the writer as a social body, a community rather than an individual.Adopting social writing as a method also implies a non-linear writing. A text in this instance can be accessed by all contributors, where they interject their own contribution to the text in the place they find most suitable in relation to the rest of contributions. While individual writing takes place in isolation, social writing demands reorienting the writing process in relation to others and with them as writers, rather than as readers. An underlying question to the experience is: Can social writing locate a corpus of shared morals and strategies for a new form of togetherness and shared, non-hierarchical forms of knowledge? Guest artists contributing to the workshop are Shahana Rajani & Zahra Malkani, founders of Karachi LaJamia; an anti-institution based in Karachi seeking to collectively explore new radical pedagogies and art practices.

Course reading (available upon registration):

al-Maʿarrī, Abū l-ʿAlāʾ 2013: The Epistle of Forgiveness. Volume One: A Vision of Heaven and Hell. New York and London: New York University Press (short excerpt).

Barthes, Roland 1977: The Death of the Author. In: Image, music, text. London: Fontana, S. 142-148.

Kilito, Abdelfattah 2016: The Oblivion of Adam. In: The Paris Review (November 1st, 2016). Online:


Adania Shibli

was born in Palestine in 1974. Her first novel, Misās (2002, English Touch), was awarded the Young Writers Award - Palestine, as was her second, Kullunā Baʿīd bi-Ḏāt al-Miqdār ʿan al-Ḥubb (2004, English We are All Equally Far from Love). In addition to her novels, which have been translated from the original Arabic into several languages, Shibli has written essays and short stories, as well as a play entitled The Error (2005), which was performed in London and San Francisco. Her latest novel, Tafṣīl Ṯānawī (2017, English Minor Detail), is about the persistent difficulty of piecing together the shards of a narrative concealed by history writing. The work was nominated for the National Book Award and the International Booker Prize.