Piesche Presents at NeMLA Convention
Peggy Piesche, visiting instructor of German and Russian studies, presented her work on the German author and philosopher Christoph Martin Wieland on March 22 during the 44th annual convention of Northeast Modern Language Association in Boston.
As a member of a panel titled “The Pure and the Impure in 18th- and 19th-Century German Literature,” Piesche discussed the concepts of purity and impurity in the broader context of the aesthetic realm within Wieland’s late 18th century philosophical novels.
Piesche argued that the protagonists in these novels deviate from their assigned roles and call into question social mores and gender boundaries by challenging the standards of purity. At the same time, she said, catharsis (purification), both a physical and a spiritual process, resurfaces as a model for literature and Wieland offers interesting alternatives to concepts such as Goethe’s “Weltliteratur” and Lessing’s “gemischte Charaktere.”