Between Departure and Arrival. Re-Assessing the Work of Ilse Aichinger and Helga Michie

Between Departure and Arrival. Re-Assessing the Work of Ilse Aichinger and Helga Michie
15 January 2020, 9.00am - 17 January 2020, 6.00pm
Conference / Symposium
Bloomsbury Room, G35, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

The twin sisters Ilse Aichinger and Helga Michie have responded to the tremors of the twentieth century through different creative media. 

This conference will be the first occasion where their oeuvres in literature and the visual arts will be examined conjointly and considered as reflections of personal experience and in the context of their time. In light of the recent publication of a number of English translations of Ilse Aichinger’s major works (The Greater Hope, 2016; Film and Fate, 2018) and a publication of Helga Michie’s mixed media prints, drawings and etchings (I Am Beginning to Want What I Am, 2018) this conference will allow fresh comparisons and explorations to be made. The resulting volume of papers will be published in 2021, the year that marks the centenary of their birth.

Contributions of a comparative nature would be particularly welcome and may examine, among other topics:

  • the choice and use of artistic medium and language
  • manifestations of trauma and silence
  • issues of migration, motifs of place and displacement
  • structure and symbolism

Confirmed keynote speakers: Professor Rüdiger Görner, Dr Christine Ivanovic, Professor Dolors Sabaté Planes, and Dr Geoff Wilkes.

Presentations should last 20 minutes and will be grouped into panels. Papers may be given in English or in German. Abstracts of no more than 500 words and a short biography (100 words) should be sent by email to 

Call for Papers (full text - PDF)
Closing date: 31 March 2019

Statement on Insourcing and the Boycott of Senate House


Jane Lewin
020 7862 8966