Peter U. Beicken
Professor

Professor Beicken  teaches 20th/21st century Austrian and German literature focusing on Fin de Siècle, Expressionism, the Weimar Republic, Exile, and Post-war literature and culture including GDR-Studies. Best known for his expertise and publications on Walter Benjamin, Ingeborg Bachmann and Franz Kafka, Beicken has placed additional emphasis on authors such as Aichinger, Bernhard, Celan, Fleisser, Fühmann, Kafka, Keun, Seghers and C. Wolf.

Beicken's nine (9) books (7 authored, 1 co-authored, 1 edited) include: Kafka. Eine kritische Einführung in die Forschung. Frankfurt: Athenäum Fischer, 1974; 'Die Verwandlung'. Erläuterungen und Dokumente. Stuttgart: Reclam, 1983, revised 1998; Franz Kafka. Leben und Werk, Stuttgart: Klett,1986, revised 1994. His "Autorenbuch" on Ingeborg Bachmann. (Munich: Beck, 1988) was enlarged and revised in 1992. His second monograph on Ingeborg Bachmann was published by Reclam in Stuttgart in 2001. Beicken's  most recent book publication is an edition in the Anna Seghers Werkausgabe (2014).

In film studies Beicken has co-authored (with Robert P. Kolker) The Films of Wim Wenders: Cinema as Vision and Desire. New York, London: Cambridge University Press, 1993. A Greek edition, enlarged by Beicken's chapter on Wenders' films of the 1990s, appeared in Thessaloniki in 1997. Also, Reclam published his Wie interpretiert man einen Film?, an introduction to film studies in 2004, reprinted 2005.

Beicken approaches literature and film from cultural, semiotic, and psychoanalytic perspectives. He pursues intermedial relations including concepts of the body (Körperbilder), gender studies, sexual identities. Beicken has presented seminars on: Bachmann, Kafka, Literatur- und Filmanalyse, , Wenders und Handke, Kafka and Film, Gender and Space in Film, Opera in Film. Most recently Beicken offered an interdisciplinary seminar on Flanerie, Exteriority, Exile, on Verfilmung and German-Jewish Writers (Kafka, Seghers, Benjamin, Celan).

Focusing his more recent research on the intersections of literature and film, Beicken has presented papers at conferences and published several articles on Kafka's cinematic writing, visual pleasures and the gaze/gays in Kafka. Recently he also presented on the intersections of biography and poetry in Celan. Beicken recently contributed an article on Büchner and Seghers to a volume on Büchner.

A Distinguished Scholar-Teacher in 2001-2002, Beicken also was a Center of Teaching Excellence Lilly-Fellow in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. He served as visiting professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1987), Georgetown University (1989), Universität Giessen (1997), Universität Wuppertal (1997). From 2003-2008 Beicken directed College Park Scholars in the Arts, a living-learning community of undergraduate freshmen and sophomores.

In 1984 Beicken was awarded the Eduard-von-der-Heydt-Preis, Wuppertal 1984, for Kindheit in W. Gedichte und Prosa, Wuppertal: H.P.Sievers, 1983; new edition, Wuppertal: Nordpark Verlag, 2009. In 1998 he received the Elisabeth Frazer de Bussy Prose-Prize, served as Editor, TRANS-LIT, Journal of the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German, SCALG (1998-2002) and president of SCALG (2003-2005). in 2014 he received the Lisa und Robert Kahn-Lyrikpreis (SCALG).

Recent Book Publications:
 
1.  Franz Kafka. 'Der Proceß'. Oldenbourg Interpretationen. Munich 1995, revised 1999, 2005.
2.  Ingeborg Bachmann: Literaturwissen. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2001. 
3.  Wie interpretiert man einen Film?  Stuttgart: Reclam, 2004, reprint 2005.
4.  Anna Seghers. Die Erzählungen 1924-1932. Werkausgabe, Vol. II,1, ed. Peter Beicken.   Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, 2014.    
 
Articles, Contributions:
 
1.  "Erotische Phantasien" und "Bilder im Kopf." Filmisches in Anna Seghers' Erzählungen. Part II. Erzählfilmisches in "Jans muss sterben." Argonautenschiff. Jahrbuch der Anna-Seghers-Gesellschaft Berlin und Mainz,Vol.18 (2009), 103-113.
 
2.  "Kafka’s Visual Method: The Gaze, the Cinematic, and the Intermedial." In: Kafka for the Twenty-First Century. Ed. Stanley Corngold and Ruth V. Gross. Columbia, S.C., Camden House, 2011, 165-178.
 
3.   "Wundmale im Blick. Vom Sehen und Hören im Exil." Lecture presented at: Mother Tongue, Lengua Materna Muttersprache. From National Breaks to International Bridges. A Special Edition of Trans-Lit2. Ed. Frederick A. Lubich. Spring 2011, 58-72.
 
4.   "Die Büchse der Pandora: G. W. Pabsts filmische Sicht von Wedekinds Lulu." In: Pandora. Zur mythischen Genealogie der Frau. Ed. Heinz-Peter Preusser, Françoise Rétif, Juliane Rytz. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2012, pp. 215-230.
 
5.   "'Grab ohne Auferstehung.' - Ingeborg Bachmanns Schreiben gegen Gewalt und Krieg." In: "Die Waffen nieder! Lay down your weapons!" Ingeborg Bachmanns Schreiben gegen den Krieg. Ed. by Karl Ivan Solibakke, Karina von Tippelskirch. Würzburg: Königshausen &  Neumann, 2012, pp. 195-211.
 
6.    "Ein Fall von Aufklärung wie Verschleierung: Georg Büchners Woyzeck und Anna Seghersʼ Grubetsch im Wechselspiel intertextueller Erhellung und Differenz." Georg Büchner und die Aufklärung. Ed.: Gernot Wimmer. Wien: Böhlau Verlag, 2015, 1-19. (Schriften der Group2012, 1)
 
7.     "Paul Celan Revisited: Intersections of Biography and Poetry." sjml (Shippensburg Journal of Modern Languages) Issue 4 (Fall 2015) 52-62.
 
8.   "Mein Lehrer Walter H. Sokel (17.12.1917-21.2.2014) - Eine Hommage im Sinne von Walter Benjamins Schreiben aus memorialer Tiefe." Journal of The Kafka Society of America. Special 40th Anniversary Issue, 39 (2015) 35-39.
 
9.      "'Ich schritte vorüber.' Ernst Jünger als Todesengel in Stahlgewittern." Der Erste Weltkrieg auf dem Deutsch-Europäischen Literaturfeld. Ed.: Bernd Neumann, Gernot Wimmer. Wien, Köln, Weimar: Böhlau Verlag, 2017, 141-163. (Schriften der Group2012, Band 2)  
 
10.        "Exile and Heimat/Homeland: Anna Seghers' View of History in 'The Excursion of the Dead Girls'." sjml (Shippensburg Journal of Modern Languages) Issue 5 (Fall 2017) 38pp. ms [accepted]. (Forthcoming).
 
 
Creative Works:
 
Peter Beicken, SCALG Lyrik-Preis 2014 for a poem on Helga M. Novak:
 

Peter Beicken

Helga M. Novak (1935-2013)

Immer ganz schön liederlich und liebestoll!

Aus der falschen Familie weg in die Arme

des falschen, abrichtenden Staates.

Dauernd auf der Flucht von einem Exil

ins andre, heimatsüchtig.

Gedichte wie eine Schmerzaxt

in die Wahrheitskerbe, schlagfertige Sprache.

Konnte nicht steigen nicht fallen,

ihr Herz eine Mördergrube

in dieser traurigen Gegend Welt Ost/West:

wer ich denn war/bin.

Unstet, unangepasst, unerschrocken.

Bittere Diktaturen, Drittes Reich, DDR.

Ihr verwundetes Herz, kein Stück Seele als Trost.

Freiheit, sinnlich, geliebt und verwildert.

Lange, lange abseits vom Kulturrummel in

bescheidener Landschaft, Heide außer Landes.

Der Tod, die letzte äußere Gewalt.

Noch zu erkennen, ihre wundersame Spur

im Eis der Zeit, schmerzatmig mit einem

Klumpen Hoffnung hinterher!

Sie war uns so ähnlich, voraus.

 

Helga M. Novak (1935-2013)

Always pretty loose and love-crazy!

Leaving the wrong family going into

the arms of the false, straitjacketing state.

Always fleeing from one exile

into the next, homsesick.

Poems like a pain-axt

into the truth-wedge, quick-witted language.

Couldn't rise couldn't fall,

her heart a murderers' den

in this sad region world East/West:

who then was/am I.

Unsettled, maladjusted, undaunted.

Bitter dictatorships, Third Reich, GDR.

Her wounded heart, no piece of soul consoling.

Freedom, sensual, loved and savaged.

For long, long at distance to the culture hype

in a modest landscape, heath outside the country.

Death as the last outer force.

Still, detectable the wondrous track

in the ice of time, pain-breathing with

a chunk of hope following!

She was so much like us, ahead.  

 

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