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International authors visit CCU to present reading and discussion on gender and sexuality

February 6, 2018
Joachim Helfer is one of the authors visiting CCU's campus on Feb. 19.

German authors Antje Ravic-Strubel and Joachim Helfer will read from their works and participate in a discussion of intercultural perspectives on gender and sexuality on Monday, Feb. 19, at 5 p.m. in Coastal Carolina University’s Johnson Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Ravic-Strubel is a prize-winning author, translator and literary critic who grew up in East Germany and began publishing after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Her 2003 novel “Tupolew 134” won the Marburger Literature Prize and the Bremen Literature Prize, and her 2007 novel “Cooler Layers of Air” won the Hermann Hesse Prize and the Rheingau Literatur Preis. She has translated many of Joan Didion’s novels into German.

Helfer, who grew up in West Germany, is the co-author of “What Makes a Man: Sex Talk in Beirut and Berlin,” an extended dialogue with Lebanese author Rashid Al-Daif, as well as several semi-autobiographical novels, including “You Idiot” and “Cohn & König.” Helfer resides in Berlin and has edited and written for numerous German newspapers, including Netzeitung, Suddeutsche Zeitung and Die Welt.

Following the readings, Gary Schmidt, professor and chair of CCU’s Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, will moderate a discussion concerning gender and nationality in German and American cultures. Schmidt co-translated “What Makes a Man” with Ken Seigneurie.

“These authors’ writings explore topics of particular significance to the LGBTQ community, including the struggle for meaningful relationships in a globalized consumer economy,” said Schmidt. “Ravic-Strubel and Helfer also discuss the status of many LGBTQ individuals as outsiders both in mainstream culture and in the LGBTQ subculture, as well as cross-cultural encounters that challenge one’s perspective on sexuality and sexual identity,” said Schmidt.

This event has been made possible through the support of CCU’s Arts and Humanities Global Experience Program, the Center for Global Engagement, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Multicultural Student Services.

“This exciting event offers the CCU community insight into how gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation intersect with nationality to shape everyone’s lived experiences in unique ways,” said Ina Seethaler, assistant professor and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at CCU. “The readings and discussion will speak to how culture influences identity and how important it is to work for diversity and social justice from a global perspective.”

The Johnson Auditorium is located in Room 116 of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration at 119 Chanticleer Drive E. on CCU’s main campus. Parking is available in lot R, outside the Brittain Building and adjacent to the Wall Building; for more information, visit coastal.edu/safety/parking.

For more information on the event, contact Schmidt at gschmidt@coastal.edu or 843-349-2741.