Susan Sontag in the destroyed national library of Sarajevo, 1993. (Photo: Annie Leibowitz)

Susan Sontag in Sarajevo

Susan Sontag in the destroyed national library of Sarajevo, 1993. (Photo: Annie Leibowitz)


Early Crisis Detection through Literary Analysis

The research team of Project Cassandra analyzes the literature of selected regions vulnerable to conflict. The aim is to identify and point out key issues and literary reception processes and thus to identify the potential for crises and violence as well as their likely dynamics at an early stage.

Domestic conflicts are complex phenomena. They involve crises of legitimization, identity, and values, and develop primarily along the lines of emotional dynamics. The project’s early case studies on the war in Kosovo (1998/99), Nigeria, and Algeria have shown that the monitoring and analysis of literature can be used as an early indicator of where and how perceptions and interpretations of reality change and where fictional texts influence the views of groups and societies – often years before these changes manifest themselves in the form of concrete action. The awareness of existing and emerging fictions and narratives enables a differentiated understanding of the roots of conflicts and their mental and emotional contexts. This allows for an early recognition of latent/protracted conflicts and violence-endorsing narratives. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg).

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Cassandra Worldmap

Research regions 2018/2019, further analyses in progress.

Learn more about the regions


Goethe-Institut, Paris
ARTICLE: "On the Essential Natureof Literature"

15 June 2020

How are pandemics and their effects reviewed in literature and how does literature influence our perceptions of SAR-CoV2. An article about how this pandemic is becoming collevtive memory.

The article was commissioned by Goethe-Institut Belgium and first appeared at www.goethe.de

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INTERVIEW: Wole Soyinka on Literature in Nigeria

23 MAY 202

Wole Soyinka is not only a critically acclaimed author and Nobel Prize winner, but also a close observer of Nigerias political and literary scene. In this excerpt from the forthcoming publication of Project "Cassandra", Wole Soyinka talks about the current state of literature in Nigeria and the role of Biafra.

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MSC 2019
INTERVIEW: Literature as an instrument for prognosis

8 APRIL 2019

The works of Aleida Assmann about cultural memory have shown the importance of remembrance for the process of nation building, but also for the reactivation for crises and conflicts. In 2018 Aleida and Jan Assmann were awarded the Friedenspreis des deutschen Buchhandels. With Project Cassandra Aleida Assmann talks about literature as a storage medium of collective emotions and the practical use of literature for the stabilisation of peace processes.

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© 2018 Studienprojekt Cassandra — Krisenfrüherkennung durch Literaturauswertung
(Study Project Cassandra – Early Crisis Detection through Literary Analysis)
Weltethos-Institut (Global Ethic Institute)
Hintere Grabenstraße 26, 72020 Tübingen, Germany
Phone +49 70 71 5 49 40 30, info@projekt-cassandra.net

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