Festival for World Literature
Jan. 9–14, 2017 – Cologne


The Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies is a center of excellence funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The name ›Morphomata‹ derives from the Ancient Greek, meaning form as the result of attaining or being given shape, and it indicates what the Center aims to discover. Morphomata investigates how, through cultural artefacts, through works of art and literature, knowledge is shaped and how aesthetic ideas give answers to central questions of our existence. Since 2009, Fellows from around the world have come to the University of Cologne annually in order to investigate, as members of the Center's interdisciplinary research community, topics such as figurations of the creative, of death, of rule or of time. Since Spring 2015, the focus has been on the question of how, through biographies and portraits across different eras and cultures, a knowledge of the particular is formed. Characteristic of the work at Morphomata is the dialog between scholars and writers in a joint effort to analyse aesthetic ideas, an effort that transgresses cultural and disciplinary boundaries. Poetica is thus intended to promote public debate on topics in world literature. The Curator of Poetica is part of the Center's community of Fellows and he develops, in collaboration with the Fellows as well as the German Academy for Language and Literature, the topics and the types of events of this international meeting of authors.

The German Academy for Language and Literature, founded in 1949, gathers renowned German-language writers, translators, critics, and scholars from Germany and abroad. The Academy sees its primary aims as:

  • Closely following the development of language, with the combined competence of linguists, literature, and literary criticism;
  • Initiating dialog about neglected or marginalized literature through publications;
  • Discussing critical literary, linguistic, and culturally critical topics in cooperation with European academies of literature and related institutions in Germany;
  • Supporting the free exchange of opinions in speech and writing and contributing to a differentiated culture of debate;
  • Granting awards to outstanding authors, for example, the Georg Büchner Prize for German literature.

The work of the Academy is financed by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media, the Kulturstiftung der Länder (Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States), the Federal State of Hesse, and the City of Darmstadt.