Lauren Wolfe - Figuring “Austria” Through Translation

Lauren K. Wolfe received a BIAAS grant in the amount of $12,584 to support her project “Figuring ‘Austria’ Through Translation.” This research project, which will be carried out at various literary archives in Klagenfurt and Vienna, focuses on the experimental and politically charged literary projects of two 20th century Austria writers, Karl Kraus and Werner Kofler, both of whom utilized collage as a mode of composition.

The project—which is rooted in an intensive practice of translating collaged texts—asks, on one hand, what it would mean in the field of translation studies to advance a material rather than semiotic approach to language and, on the other, how such an approach might yield new ways of reading how the figure of ‘Austria’ gets obsessively constructed and dissected by its native 20th century writers. This grant is supporting both the first English language translation of Kofler’s 1989 prose text Hotel Mordschein—or, The Murderlight Hotel—as well as the completion of a dissertation in the fields of Translation Studies and Austrian Literary Studies.

Lauren K. Wolfe holds a B.A. in German Cultural Studies from Grinnell College, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently working toward the completion of a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from New York University. She translates literature and contemporary scholarship from German to English and is a founding editor of Barricade—A Journal of Antifascism and Translation.