Not surprisingly, the first theme is Community, unpacking Kafka’s depiction of collectives in light of his Jewish and Austro-Hungarian context. “Worldliness is the second theme,” Carolin shares, “and focuses on Kafka’s role as a world author. Not only how he’s been received in different times and places, but also his own engagement with a globalising world.”
The third, Transformation theme assesses Kafka's legacy in different art forms and media. As such, the project will fund creative partnerships with leading artists and cultural institutions. It will include a Kafka exhibition at the Weston Library (marking the centenary of Kafka’s death), a dance adaptation of ‘A Hunger Artist’, radio dramas of The Trial and America, new songs, and a new anthology of short stories inspired by Kafka.
In addition, two conferences, Kafka Transformed (2024) and Kafka in the World: Life, Death and Afterlife (2025), will connect scholars from different disciplines around the world. Travel bursaries will encourage the participation of freelance artists, Early Career Researchers and academics based in emerging economies.
“These conferences are central to our aim of building a broad and inclusive research community”, Carolin shared. To that end, the project includes the launch of a new Global Kafka Network and a Digital Kafka Resource. The latter will host media content aimed at younger audiences, introducing Kafka to a new generation of readers.
“Our ambitious public engagement programme puts the experience of general readers, and of different groups and communities, centre stage.”
Our many congratulations to Carolin and colleagues!
To stay up to date with the project’s activities, keep your eye on the Wadham website and the Oxford Kafka Research Centre website.