Johannes Ahlborn

Sprachkritik - Sprachgewalt - Sprachmagie. Modelle der Einwirkung in Poetiken der Avangarde

Doctoral Candidate

Address Habelschwerdter Allee 45
Room JK 33/103
14195 Berlin
Email j.ahlborn@fu-berlin.de

Johannes Ahlborn, born in 1981 in Braunschweig, studied Comparative Literature, Philosophy and Theatre Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. He finished his Magister Artium in 2012 with a thesis titled „Image and Sound. Technical Synaesthesia 1787 – 1919“, that explored the continuous influence of poetological concepts and Naturphilosophie of early German Romanticism on experimental arts and media theory.

His research interests include aesthetics, critical theory, history and theory of the avant-garde, transmediality, experimental film and music.

Since October 2013, Johannes Ahlborn is a doctoral student at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies.

The dissertation project examines positions within 20th century avant-garde literature that focus on the concept of Einwirkung (impact, effect, influence) of language on the reader or listener. This term is used to describe linguistic and artistic strategies that aim to physically and psychologically affect the percipient, to manipulate his or her mind or to control social situations through use of language.

The dissertation aims to show how, in the historical context of the avant-garde, „experimental“ forms of literature are deployed on the one hand to subvert and overcome these mechanisms of Einwirkung, and how they are on the other hand utilized by writers for their own artistic agendas. Different aspects of this complex interrelation will be exemplified in close readings of literary and theoretical texts by Antonin Artaud, William S. Burroughs and Oswald Wiener, among others. In exploring how these writers adapt and transform influences from linguistics and philosophy of language as well as magic and pseudo-sciences, it is also of interest to show how the literary experiments and poetological speculation of the avant-garde can make a very own contribution to our understanding of how language works.