In-Between Literatures: Contemporary writing and publishing in Central Europe and North America in the age of Covid



Literature has a long history as a coping strategy for times of confinement: Both the practice of writing and the practice of reading can be experienced as traveling across time and space. The current increasing interconnectedness of lifeworlds might expand this dimension of literature and create more awareness of its value. Nevertheless, writers, translators and distributors are also heavily affected by the pandemic. The field of literature is globalized and heavily relies on transcultural exchange – and who can read what if all the libraries remain closed?

Austrian literary scholar Johanna Öttl, Canada-based Ukrainian author and translator Vasyl Lozynsky and Austrian author Clemens Berger will discuss with 2019/20 Austrian Doctoral Research Fellow Xenia Kopf how the current pandemic has affected all aspects of contemporary literary production – writing, translating and publishing – in both Central Europe and North America. They'll focus on their work 'in-between literatures', the relation of 'minor' and 'major' literatures, programming and small-scale publishing structures, as well as funding opportunities and the digital transformation of the field.


Xenia Kopf

xenia-kopf.jpgMag. Xenia Kopf is a PhD candidate at the University of Salzburg and Mozarteum Salzburg’s interuniversitary Science and Art doctoral program and the 2019/20 Austrian Austrian Doctoral Research Fellow at the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies at the University of Alberta. 



Hannes Machor

hannes_machor.jpgHannes Machor has been Deputy Head of Mission at the Austrian Embassy in Ottawa and Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Ottawa since 2019. A career diplomat, he served both at Headquarters and abroad, including as Counsellor at the Austrian Embassy in Italy and Austria’s Permanent Representation to the United Nations in New York.


Joseph F. Patrouch

I am a historian of Early Modern Europe, with a particular interest in the Holy Roman Empire and the lands ruled by members of the Habsburg Dynasty, both inside the Empire and elsewhere around Europe and the world. My primary chronological period of research concentration is between approximately 1550 and 1650.

Additional research interests include the roles of Habsburg women and their courts in early modern Europe, as well as early modern empire and urban studies. I have experience directing a program in Public History and am also interested in museum studies.

My current research project centers on the imagined and experienced landscapes of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1560's and 1570's.


Clemens Berger


Born in Burgenland, Austria in 1979, Berger studied philosophy in Vienna, where he lives as a freelance writer. He has taught at the Mozarteum University Salzburg and at Bowling Green State University in the US, and was co-editor of the pan-European online magazine Versopolis. Berger has published novels, plays, and essays , and has been awarded numerous prizes and grants for his work. Recent novels include "Das Streichelinstitut" (2010), "Ein Versprechen von Gegenwart" (2013) and "Im Jahr des Panda" (2016). His recent novel "Der Präsident" was published by Residenz Verlag in autumn 2020. 

Photo: Katharina Susewind

Vasyl Lozynsky


Vasyl Lozynsky (born 1982 in Lviv, Ukraine) – poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and curator, studied German language and literature, translation in Lviv and Berlin. Author of several poetry collections. Articles, translations and poetry were published in the journals manuskripte, Lichtungen, Ostragehege, The Common, Hawai’i Review, Trafika Europe, 10 TAL, Vozdukh, Wizije, Wyspa, punctum and many magazines in Ukraine. Publications in anthologies: Znak (Kyiv 2013), Wschód-Zachód (Bydgoszcz, 2014), Grand Tour. Junge Lyrik aus Europa (München, 2019), New York Elegies (New York, 2019). His poetry has been translated into eight languages. Books of poetry has appeared in Germany, the U.S. and Poland. Since 2008 a member of the interdisciplinary curatorial association Hudrada (“Artcounsil”) and editor of Prostory (“Spaces”) (, an online magazine about culture and society, especially of a chapter “Luftbrücke“ (“Airlift”). Vasyl Lozynsky lives and works in Kyiv, Ukraine and abroad.

In German his selected poems have been published in 2016 in collection as „Das Fest nach dem Untergang” at hochroth, Wiesenburg (

Johanna Öttl

oettl_01_2020.jpgJohanna Öttl studied German and English and held teaching and research posts in the German Studies Departments at the University of Salzburg, the University of Vienna and Trinity College Dublin. She worked for the literary magazine wespennest and hochroth, an independent publishing network focusing on contemporary poetry. Since 2018 she has been the program director in Alte Schmiede Vienna, a venue for readings, book presentations, panel discussions around literary topics. She publishes as a literary critic and as a literary scholar.