Anne Dippel | National Identity and Literature
Anne Dippel is a socio-cultural anthropologist and historian.
socio-cultural anthropology, media theory, fieldwork, literary ethnography, high-energy physics, CERN
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National identity formation, literature

Writing and Thinking in Austria. A Literary Ethnography.

About This Project

How literature influences collective identity and nation-building in Austria

A two and a half years of cultural-anthropological fieldwork in Vienna in the years 2009-2011 resulted in the publication of a book Dichten und Denken in Österreich. Eine literarische Ethnographie (Turia + Kant 2015). The fieldwork comprised of participant observation of the literary field, narrative interviews and critical-hermeneutic source analysis. The undertaken research contributes to the understanding of how writers shape the process of collective identity formation through stories and histories. It tries to explore how reflected transformations of the self can be reciprocally related to transformations of a collective, and how the self and the collective interfere with each other in the production of creative goods. I am discussing the notion of national identity with reference to Austria and I exemplify my hypothesis, drawing from examples of poetry and prose by numerous Austrian writers, Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973) being one of them.