Visiting Scholar to Present Research on Machine-Mediated Love in Literature

Sophie von Werder
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Sophie von Werder

Sophie von Werder, visiting scholar in the comparative literature and cultural studies program, will present a talk on her research, titled Machine-mediated love in literature: A comparative study of E.T.A. Hoffmann, Adolfo Bioy Casares and Cristina Civale, at 12:30 p.m.. March 27 in Old Main 329.

Werder is an associate professor of linguistics and literature at the University of Antioquia, where she specializes in German and Latin American literature, comparative literature, and translation. She is the author of Latin American Nomads: Cortazar and Bryce Echenique (2012) and co-editor of Intolerance and Globalization (2014), Alterity, Globalization and Literary Discourse (2015) and Literature and Transatlantic Dialogue (2015).

Werder's presentation will focus on a comparative study of three stories: The Sandman (1816/17), Invention of Morel (1940), and "Perra Virtual" (1998). During her presentation, she will explain the influence of technology and its relationship to love through the use of narratives.In the three stories, the main characters fall in love, but their love is disrupted and mediated by the technology of their respective eras: they fall in love with a machine, a mirage, or a virtual identity.

Each story can be read as a love metaphor, as love is based on deception and self-deception, to such a degree that it does without the other. The authors are perceived as having an ambivalent relationship to technology; technology that in turn enthralls man, though it disorients him and leads him to misfortune. The comparative study of the stories presented in the talk, highlights the profound relationship of literature to other media and to current reality.

About the Comparative Literature & Cultural Studies Program: Established in 1958, the Comparative Literature & Cultural Studies Program (CLCS) is an innovative interdisciplinary graduate program devoted to the study of literature and culture from a global perspective and across languages, genres, disciplines, nations, and cultures. The program offers advanced academic training in world languages, literary translation, comparative literature, and cultural studies. The program is supported primarily by the Departments of Communication, English, and World Languages. It has affiliated faculty members in several programs and departments in the humanities and social sciences, including Anthropology, area studies (European, Latin American, Middle East, African, Asian), Art, Classics, Drama, Gender Studies, Jewish Studies, Indigenous Studies, History, Music, Philosophy, and Sociology.


Luis Fernando Restrepo, University Professor
World Languages, Literatures & Cultures


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