Transatlantic Kafka

17. 6. 2024 - 20. 6. 2024

Since the late 1940s, Franz Kafka has been considered one of the most influential 20th-century thinkers and writers in Europe and the United States. His work was particularly well received in the United States, where Salman Schocken, a Jewish émigré from Nazi Germany, published English translations of Kafka’s books in 1945, thereby introducing this unique author to the American public. At the same time, the philosopher Hannah Arendt, another refugee from Nazi Germany, interpreted Kafka’s works in the context of totalitarianism and fascism. As a result of such engagement, Kafka became acknowledged as one of the most influential 20th-century thinkers and writers in Europe and the United States.

In the centenary year of the writer’s death, the Transatlantic Kafka project will provide a range of innovative, inspiring and topical discussions about Kafka in the context of contemporary events. In June 2024, the project will bring together prominent writers, academics and artists from the US and Europe to facilitate the interplay of various perspectives on Kafka’s work. Through this meeting, we aim to stimulate an enriching cultural dialogue and exchange of ideas, and to contribute to the preservation of Kafka’s legacy for current and future generations.

The keynote lecture will be delivered by Merve Emre, a professor of creative writing and criticism at Wesleyan University and the director of the Shapiro Center for Creative Writing and Criticism. Emre is a contributing writer at The New Yorker and has written for The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and The London Review of Books. She has received various prestigious awards and scholarships, including the Philip Leverhulme Prize (2019) and a scholarship from the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin

The Transatlantic Kafka project is organized by the Jewish Museum in Prague in cooperation with the Anglo-American University, the Václav Havel Library, and Harvard University. It is supported by the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic, the Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague, and the City of Prague.