Writing Home: A Conversation between Olivia Wenzel and Kaoutar Harchi

Wednesday 16 March 2022 (17:00-18:30)

The Institute for German and European Studies (IGES) and the Graduate Centre for Europe (GCfE) at the University of Birmingham invite you to an online panel discussion addressing questions of home and belonging from a transnational perspective.

French sociologist and writer Kaoutar Harchi and Afro-German novelist and playwright Olivia Wenzel will explore how notions of home(land) relate to the themes of inclusion/exclusion in their respective creative and critical works, and how these connect to the intersections of gender and sexuality, race, class, and religious traditions/cultures. Both writers are prominent voices in their countries’ respective discourses on contemporary literature and culture, and their works are frequently discussed in the media as well as in academic settings.


Oliva Wenzel Olivia Wenzel

Olivia Wenzel published her first novel, 1,000 Coils of Fear, in 2020. The novel was shortlisted for the German Book Award and is currently being translated into English. Olivia is also the author of several plays and song texts that reflect timely topics such as queerness, gender, racism, classism, and the legacies of the German past.




Kaoutar Harchi Kaoutar Harchi

Kaoutar Harchi is a French writer and sociologist of French literature. She has published several novels and essays, and in 2021, an autobiographical piece entitled Comme nous existons (As We Exist, in English), exploring issues of identity and belonging. She is an associate researcher at several institutions and currently teaches at Université Paris 13. She regularly writes for a range of French radical journals, such as Ballast and La Déferlante.



 Photographs curtesy of Juliane Werner (Photograper) and S. Fischer Verlag (Publishing House)