Heidegger and the Question of Literary Influence

deadline for submissions: 
September 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Richard Schumaker/Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

--Heidegger and the Question of Literary Influence

This panel on Heidegger and literary influence has both a very broad and quite specific focus.

Broadly, we will examine Heidegger’s writing to examine how philosophers in general and Heidegger in particular read, assimilate, and evaluate all kinds of literature: poetry and fiction both canonical and (post)-modern. We welcome all submissions on the broad and important relationship between philosophy and literature.

More specifically, we will explore many avenues of literary and philosophical experience to determine how representative and how unique Heidegger’s thought is: What were the major literary influences on Heidegger? Did he have a deep understanding of these influence? How does his work on Hölderlin, Sophocles, or Rilke compared to the criticism and commentary of traditional literary scholars and critics?

Underpinning both these two questions is the relationship between the Western literary traditions and Heidegger. This relationship has seldom been deeply explored by either philosophers, writers, or critics: What are the literary influences on Heidegger? To what extent do his themes of boredom, anxiety, or absorption into a conventional nihilistic world derive from the 19th and 20th century literary context? Are there literary themes from 19th and 20th century literature that Heidegger neglects?

This session is meant to be open and welcoming to a very diverse scholarly and artistic audience.