The suggestion to work on Camus’ The Plague comes from the fields of philosophy and cultural studies, where it was developed by teaching staff and students and will be organized by several colleagues from varying disciplines. The project will run until the end of 2021.
Reading and Discussing Camus’ The Plague
In his novel, which was published in 1947 and still remains one of the classics in world literature, Albert Camus describes how a small, normal town is struck by a plague. Different protagonists live through and reflect on solidarity, friendship, and revolt against evil. Opportunities for neighborly love and civil courage are set, literarily illustrated, and reflected against physical and moral destruction.
“The relevance to today could not be clearer thanks to the corona crisis and the connected challenges for us all,” says Professor Thomas Hoffmeister, vice president academic at the University of Bremen. However, the plague can stand for many things: “Several societal and global challenges are leading us to apply ourselves to opportunities for solidarity with a friendly and calm face.”
A Diverse Program
Links between the book and current issues will be illuminated from the perspectives of different disciplines. What does solidarity mean exactly and how can it be differentiated from loyalty or paternalism, for example? Can a solidary town be scientifically planned? When is an extreme weather situation, discrimination in daily life, or a case of illness a sad or tragic anomaly and when are we dealing with a general problem? What does solidary saving mean today? And last but not least: What can Camus’ literary work teach us in the face of the corona pandemic and the related restrictions, fears, and problems? What can a fruitful confrontation with it yield for the here and now?
The Plague by Camus will be discussed in all its facets and investigated in terms of its relation to current happenings on a UBlog, in (online) panel discussions, classes, expert talks, workshops, and further formats. The UBlog offers background information, dates, event announcements, videos, and much more.
“One Uni – One Book”
The “One Uni – One Book” initiative, which is a joint venture of the Stifterverband and the Klaus Tschira Foundation in cooperation with the DIE ZEIT newspaper, aims to understand university as a social form and promote the communication of as many university members as possible by engaging in joint reading experiences. Around 3,000 companies, corporate networks, foundations, and private persons have come together in the Sterfterverband für deutsche Wissenschaft (Foundation Association for German Science) in order to push science and education forward together.
Dr. Svantje Guinebert
“One Uni – One Book” Project Leader and Research Assistant
Institute of Philosophy
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 (0)421 218-67822
Email: svantje.guinebertprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de
Dr. Martina Grimmig
Topic Semester on “Solidarity”
Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 (0)421 218-67644
Email: grimmigprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de