"Julya Rabinowich’s Transnational Poetics: Remembering Border Crossings in Narrative and Theater"
A lecture by Christina Guenther, Bowling Green State University
Even before migration became such an urgent issue in the European Union, it was the focal point of Julya Rabinowich’s writing and art. Since she began writing fiction in 2007, the experience of transnational migration, especially during the Cold War and the immediate post-Wall era up to the present, has remained a central preoccupation for her. Her novels and dramas reflect an intimate and personal knowledge about the challenges involved in emigration—especially from East to West, both from the former Soviet Union to Central Europe, and from post-Soviet Russia to Austria and back again.
This lecture elucidates what Prof. Guenther calls Rabinowich’s transnational poetics as articulated in her novels Spaltkopf (2008) and Die Erdfresserin(2012) and, in particular, in her theatrical works. For Rabinowich, reconstructing, if not constructing, transnational memory represents an integral part of her transnational poetics. Prof. Guenther explores how Rabinowich transforms practices of cultural transfer and translation into narrative and dramatic art forms that highlight the impact of political persecution and economic developments, such as the globalization of capital, and the ensuing border crossings on the marginalized poor across various continents.