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Oxford Kafka24

A series of lectures and talks from across the University celebrating the literary works and enduring global legacy of Franz Kafka. 100 years after the death of Franz Kafka (1883-1924), the University of Oxford celebrated the life and work of one of the most influential writers of all time.

Since the posthumous publication of his work and ‘rediscovery’ in the middle of the twentieth century, Kafka became a truly global writer who embraced his own multicultural identity. His novels and short stories were translated into multiple languages. His body of work offered profound insights into the human condition, alienation, relationships, and transformation.

Oxford is the natural home for a centenary celebration of Franz Kafka: the Bodleian Libraries has the world’s largest Kafka archive; and the University is a leading centre for Kafka studies led by the Oxford Kafka Research Centre.

# Episode Title Description People Date
5 Hunger Artistry: Kafka and the Art of Starvation Kafka’s provocative story “The Hunger Artist” explores starvation, art, and the nature of human existence. Experts discuss the story and its reception. Peter Boxall, Ankhi Mukherjee, Meindert Peters, Karen Leeder 10 Jul 2024
4 ‘Franz Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’: Insects and Disgust and Repulsion’ Franz Kafka exploited people’s disgust at insects as his protagonist, Greger Samsa, was transformed into a giant insect. Is this disgust innate, widely shared or justified and what are the consequences for our treatment of insects? Liam Crowley, Rosemary Gillespie, Clair Linzey, Geraldine Wright 12 Jun 2024
3 Tuberculosis: vaccines, diagnostics and experience  Kafka died in 1924 of tuberculosis, which remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases. This talk looks at the various aspects of tuberculosis from candidate vaccines, the role of genetics in TB treatments and the perspective of a patient. Helen McShane, Philip Fowler 12 Jun 2024
2 Oxford Reads Kafka A collective public reading of 'Metamorphosis' to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Franz Kafka’s death. Bringing together literary figures, civic leaders and University academics and students, this event celebrates the power of Kafka’s voice today. Lemn Sissay, Ben Okri, Lisa Appignanesi, Helen McShane 12 Jun 2024
1 'Kafka's Ape' and 'Words and Music' Interview with the creatives behind two shows inspired by Kafka's story 'A Report for an Academy' which explore race, migration, ageing and "humanimal" agency. Ed Gaughan, Karen Leeder, Tony Miyambo, Wes Williams 07 Jun 2024