The Institute for Contemporary and Comparative Literature (ICCL) explores current conceptions and practices of both ‘the contemporary’ and ‘comparative literature’, and works towards (re)definitions of these fit for the twenty-first century. Launched in 2010, the Institute hosts seminars, workshops and conferences, operating alongside a suite of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

Two Leverhulme grants related to the Institute have been secured: a Visiting Professor Award (Jan.-May 2015) and an International Network Award (2015-2018: see menu). A Writers in Residence programme was launched in 2017.

Forthcoming Events

Our new Writer in Residence, Christian Lehnert, joins us next semester.

Born in 1969 in Dresden, Christian read Theology, Religion and Oriental Studies; he spent time in both Jerusalem and Northern Spain before returning to Germany where he has worked as a priest and academic. From 2008-12 he was Director of Studies at Sachsen-Anhalt Lutheran Academy in Wittenberg, and from has been Academic Director of the Unified Lutheran Church’s Institute for Liturgical Studies at the University of Leipzig since 2012.

As a creative writer, Lehnert is primarily a lyric poet and since 1995 he has published eight volumes of poetry with Suhrkamp, as well as publishing poems in renowned literary journals, including German Academy of Arts’ Sinn und Form. In addition, he wrote the libretto for Hans Werner Henze’s opera Phaedra, which was performed in the Barbican in 2010. Lehnert’s work has been awarded several prizes including the Eichendorff Prize for Literature in 2016, and the Hölty Prize in 2012.

He is a member of the Saxon Academy of Arts, and the Mainz Academy of Science and Literature.

Lehnert’s poetry is often characterised by a concern for form. His most recent volume of verse, Aufkommender Atem (2017), contains mostly short poems which deal with the experience of nature.