Werner Sollors is one of the first scholars of American literature to focus on African American literature before it was thought to constitute a canon in the academy. Unlike many other scholars who shared his focus, he completed his education in postwar Germany. The title of his doctoral dissertation on LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), completed at the Free University of Berlin in 1975, has a still-contemporary ring: “The Quest for a ‘Populist Modernism.’” He taught at Columbia University, received a Guggenheim fellowship, and spent the bulk of his career in the United States. In this interview he discusses his intellectual formation and offers reflections on the development of his field, the evolving institutional culture of the university, and 1970s-era multiculturalism.
Between Europe and America: An Interview with Werner Sollors
Arvind Rajagopal is a professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication and affiliate faculty in both the Department of Sociology and the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. He is the author or editor of four books, including the prize-winning Politics after Television: Hindu Nationalism and the Reshaping of the Public in India (2001). His latest book, on a global genealogy of media theory, is forthcoming.
Arvind Rajagopal; Between Europe and America: An Interview with Werner Sollors. Public Culture 1 May 2020; 32 (2 (91)): 255–285. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-8090087
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