FMS Symposium: Pandemic Meets Fiction

10.-11. March 2022 - Online

Workshop within the additional module "Pandemic Meets Fiction" of the Fiction Meets Science project, supported by the Corona Program of the VolkswagenStiftung. 


Dr. Michael Fuchs, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg

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Workshop Experimental Encounters: "Blaze Island" by Catherine Bush

8. Dezember 2021

8. December 2021 - Online

Catherine Bush is the author of five critically acclaimed novels, many of which deal with scientific subject matter and themes. She is an Associate Professor and the Coordinator of the Creative Writing MFA at the University of Guelph. Catherine was a Fiction Meets Science Fellow at the HWK in 2019.  

Focusing on a mutual reading of individual science novels by the FMS writers in residence, Experimental Encounters Workshops are designed to generate an intensified cross-disciplinary dialogue and new perspectives on science in society and creative narratives. Participants include members of the FMS network of sociologists, literary and cultural studies scholars, scientists from various fields, creative writers, and invited guests.  


Susan M. Gaines (HWK Alumna)
Prof. Dr. Anton Kirchhofer, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg

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Workshop Experimental Encounters: “Accidentals” by Susan Gaines

8. Dezember 2021

21. July 2021 - Online

Susan M. Gaines ( is the author of the novel Carbon Dreams and the non-fiction book Echoes of Life, as well as numerous short stories and essays in literary journals and anthology. She came to Germany as a HWK Fellow in 2002 and has held a post as writer in residence and served on the FMS Directors Team at the University of Bremen since initiating the program in 2011. 

About "Accidentals": When Gabriel’s mother repatriates to her native Uruguay after thirty years in California, he takes a break from his uninspiring job to accompany her. A birdwatcher since childhood, Gabe is as intrigued by the unfamiliar birds on his squabbling family’s ranch as he is by crumbling, politics-obsessed Montevideo. But as he gets caught up in the national election, falls in love with the wrong woman, and stumbles upon a new species of bird, Gabe finds himself transformed from observer to main character in his mother’s transnational saga. A story of loss and discovery that challenges our notions of family and explores the way that science, with all its uncertainties, illuminates the natural world, Accidentals reveals the long generational shadows of political and environmental violence.


Prof. Dr. Anton Kirchhofer, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Susan M. Gaines (HWK Alumna; University of Bremen)

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Workshop Experimental Encounters: “FACE” by Dr. Jaspreet Singh

8. Dezember 2021

10. December 2020 - Online

Jaspreet Singh is a novelist, essayist, short story writer and a former research scientist. He was born in India and moved to Canada in 1990. He received his doctorate in chemical engineering from McGill University. His debut collection of linked short stories, Seventeen Tomatoes, received the Quebec First Book Prize. His novel Chef (about the damaged landscapes of Kashmir) was a finalist for a Commonwealth prize and won Canada's George Bugnet award for fiction. Helium, his critically acclaimed second novel was a 2013 Observer Best Book of the Year in the UK. Jaspreet Singh started his novel "FACE" (available in spring 2022) during his Fellowship at the HWK from September 2017 to May 2018.

Jaspreet Singh’s latest novel deals with a crime story on the backdrop of  a fossil fraud in India, an ice core archive in Canada, the Burgess Shale quarry, and a climate change laboratory in Germany. Lila, an Indian science journalist, and Lucia, an writer from Europe, meet at a creative writing workshop in Calgary, and it turns out that their life stories are entangled, dealing with past trauma, the fascination and criticism of science, as well as facing the consequences of the Anthropocene.


Prof. Dr. Anton Kirchhofer, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Susan M. Gaines (HWK Alumna)


Workshop Experimental Encounters: “Charmed Particles” by Chrissy Kolaya

8. Dezember 2021

14. February 2020

On Chrissy Kolaya

Chrissy Kolaya is a poet and fiction writer, author of the science novel Charmed Particles and two collections of poetry, Any Anxious Body and Other Possible Lives. She has received a Norman Mailer Writers Colony summer scholarship, an Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies fellowship, a Loft Mentor Series Award in Poetry, and grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Lake Region Arts Council, and the University of Minnesota. As one of the co-founders of the Prairie Gate Literary Festival, she worked to develop the literary arts community in rural western Minnesota. She teaches creative writing at the University of Central Florida.

Chrissy Kolaya was a Writer in Residence at the HWK from January through May 2020. During this time she was working on a novel with the working title "The Second Voyage of Audley Worthington," about a nineteenth-century naturalist who disappears in the Spice Islands.

On "Charmed Particles"  (2015)

Set  in  a  rural  Illinois  community  transformed  both  by  encroaching  urban  sprawl and  by  the  presence  of  a  particle  accelerator  lab,  Charmed  Particles  is  centred around  two  families:  Abhijat  Mital  is  an  ambitious  scientist  at  the  lab,  his  wife Sarala,  recently  arrived  from  India,  is  eager  to  fit  in  with  her  new  small-town surroundings.  Their  daughter  Meena  strikes  up  a  friendship  with  Lily,  daughter  of Rose  Winchester,  an  enterprising  local  politician  and  Randolph,  a  globe-trotting freelance  ‘explorer’.  When  plans  for  a  new,  bigger  particle  accelerator  expose  the tensions  between  scientists  at  the  lab  and  the  community  surrounding  it,  the  two families  find  themselves  in  the  middle  of  it.  Through  the  emerging  conflicts, Kolaya  explores  questions  of  science  communication,  risk  perception,  expertise and  elitism  as well  notions of  home,  belonging,  and  cultural identity.   


Anton Kirchhofer (University of Oldenburg), Anna Auguscik (University of Oldenburg), Susan M. Gaines (HWK Alumna, University of Bremen), Karsten Levihn-Kutzler (University of Oldenburg) 

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Download the workshop program here.

FMS Workshop: Work in Progress, Publications, Presentations, Evolving Perspectives

13. February 2020

  • Draft Paper Discussion: „On  the ‚Siting of Science‘: Lab  Life  and its Subjects in  the  US-American TV Series  Breaking Bad”   Martin Butler
  • Draft Paper Discussion: „Plutoing Pluto:  The  Role of Narrative in  the Arenas of Scientific  and  Public Discourse“ Fabian  Hempel
  • Reconstructing Expeditions  in Historical  Novels: PreWWI Heroic  Exploration  in Beryl Bainbridge’s  The Birthday  Boys  and  Barry Unsworth’s  Land of Marvels   Anna  Auguscik
  • Problematizing  the Scientific  Breakthrough Narrative in  Contemporary, Historical, and Speculative Fiction   Anton Kirchhofer,  Sina Rothert, Mark  Kitchingman
  • Better  Stories  about Science?  The Contemporary Science  Novel  and the Field  of ‘Literature and Science’  –  Interdisciplinary Perspectives for Literary Studies Anton Kirchhofer
  • Dos and  Don’ts: A  Guide to Running Interdisciplinary Research Projects Keir  Waddington,  Martin Willis
  • Open Discussion:  Interdisciplinary Practices in FMS and  Beyond 


Anton Kirchhofer (University of Oldenburg), Anna Auguscik (University of Oldenburg), Susan M. Gaines (HWK Alumna, University of Bremen), Karsten Levihn-Kutzler (University of Oldenburg)

FMS Workshop: Comparing Narratives Across Media and Genre: Nuclear Accidents

24. October 2019

Fiction Meets Science members come together to discuss modern representations of the Chernobyl catastrophe.

  • Chernobyl (TV series, 2019)
    Input Sina Farzin and Martin Butler
  • Svetlana Alexievich: Chernobyl Prayers (orig. 1997)
    Input Anna-Katharina Hornidge
  • Charles Perrow: Normal Accidents (orig. 1984)
    Input Uwe Schimank
  • Joint Discussion: works in comparison, relevance of comparative perspective for various projects, ideas for future experiments


Susan M. Gaines (HWK Alumna, University of Bremen), Prof. Dr. Sina Farzin (University of Hamburg)

FMS Workshop: Narrative Across Disciplines - Transmedial Narratology and the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse in FMS II

8. Dezember 2021

26. March 2019

Fiction Meets Science members discuss the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse and apply it to their projects.

  • Koschorke, A. 2012. Wahrheit und Erfindung. Grundzüge einer Allgemeinen Erzähltheorie. Chpt. 1: Universalität des Erzählens
    Introduction - Peter Weingart
    Reflections from Subproject ‘Science in Postcolonial Speculative Fiction’ - Sina Farzin
  • Thon, J.-N. 2016. Transmedial Narratology and Contemporary Media Culture. Chpt. 3: Narrative Representation across Media
    Introduction - Martin Butler
    Reflections from Subproject ‘Science Narratives across Genre and Media’ - Kim Hofschröer & Norbert Schaffeld
  • Keller, R. 2011. The Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD), Human Studies
    Introduction - Anna-Katharina Hornidge
    Reflections from Subproject ‘Scientific Expedition Narratives’ - Anna Auguscik


Anna-Katharina Hornidge (ZMT & University of Bremen), Martin Butler (University of Oldenburg), Peter Weingart (University of Bielefeld)

FMS Workshop: Doctoral Candidates & FMS Board of Directors

5. March 2019

  • The Art of Resistance: Afrocyberpunk, Empowerment and Re-Individualization in Janelle Monáe's Dirty Computer
    Julia Schmeink
  • The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Contemporary Films About Artifical Companions
    Katalina Kopka
  • Narrating Lives – The Lives of Historical Scientists across Media and Genres
    Kim-Nicola Hofschröer
  • Rewriting the History of Science from a Feminist Perspective? Women Scientists in Contemporary Historical-Biographical Fiction
    Christine Müller
  • Heteroglossia and Translation in Transcultural Fictions of Science
    Karsten Levihn-Kutzler
  • A (Science) Novel Discourse Approach to the Autonomy and Social Responsibility of Science
    Fabian Hempel
  • Re-approaching Film Adaptation Studies: Going beyond current Research by focusing on the complex Film Production Process and how Science is transferred to the Screen
    Wladyslaw Rudzinski


Susan Gaines, Kim-Nicola Hofschröer, Katalina Kopka (University of Bremen)

Lesung mit dem ehemaligen Writer in Residence Bernhard Kegel

Bernhard Kegel stellt im Universum® und im Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) seinen neuesten Wissenschaftsroman "Abgrund" vor

Fesselnd und zugleich sachlich fundiert gewährt der ehemalige Writer in Residence am HWK, Bernhard Kegel, in seinem neuesten Wissenschaftsroman Einblicke in Faszination und Abgründe der biologischen Forschung – diesmal vor der zauberhaften und legendenumrankten Kulisse des Galapagos-Archipels.

Eingeladen vom Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung, begleitete der Biologe und Schriftsteller im Rahmen des Projekts „Fiction Meets Science“ mehrere Wochen ein Forschungsteam auf den Galapagosinseln. Die Expedition diente ihm als Grundlage für den vorliegenden Roman, dessen erste Entwürfe er im HWK im Rahmen seines Fellowships als Writer in Residencekonzipierte.

In seinem neuen Roman Abgrund schickt Kegel seinen Protagonisten Hermann Pauli und dessen Frau auf die Insel Santa Cruz, wo die beiden einen erholsamen Urlaub verbringen wollen. Doch mit der Ruhe ist es schnell vorbei – denn der Biologe Pauli begibt sich auf die Suche nach einer mysteriösen Haispezies und seine Frau, Leiterin einer Mordkommission, jagt skrupellosen Brandstiftern hinterher.

Am Donnerstag, 2. März 2017, im Universum® Bremen und am Freitag, 3. März 2017 um 19.00 Uhr im HWK, liest der Bestsellerautor ausgewählte Kapitel aus seinem neuesten Buch vor.
Der Roman erscheint am 28. Februar 2017 im mareverlag.

Die Lesung im HWK beginnt um 19.00 Uhr, der Eintritt ist frei.

Writer in Residence Anne von Canal - Der Grund

Im Februar 2015 ist Anne von Canal als „Writer in Residence“ im Rahmen des Projekts „Fiction Meets Science“ am Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg in Delmenhorst zu Gast, um ihr neues Buch vorzubereiten – und eine Expedition nach Spitzbergen, die in Kooperation mit dem Alfred-Wegener-Institut Bremerhaven zustande gekommen ist.

Im Rahmen ihres Aufenthaltes am HWK fand dort am 03. Februar 2015 eine öffentliche Lesung statt.

Öffentliche Lesung „DER GRUND“ 

Der Grund  (erschienen im Sommer 2014) ist das Romandebut der Schriftstellerin Anne von Canal. Erzählt wird die Geschichte eines Mannes, der immer wieder gezwungen ist, sich neu zu erfinden - und entwickelt dabei einen atmosphärischen Sog, dem sich der Leser kaum Der Protagonist stammt aus großbürgerlichem Elternhaus, wo er zwischen Pflichterfüllung und Freiheitsdrang hin- und hergerissen wird. Dieses Dilemma wird ihn ein Leben lang begleiten auf seiner Suche nach Aussöhnung, die ihn um die ganze Welt führt.

Anne von Canal, geboren 1973, war nach dem Studium der Skandinavistik und Germanistik zehn Jahre lang im Verlagswesen tätig, bevor sie sich selbst dem Schreiben widmete.

Fiction Meets Science (FMS): Interview mit Prof. Norbert Schaffeld

Radio Bremen 16. November 2014

Ein Interview mit dem Literaturwissenschaftler Norbert Schaffeld von der Bremer Universität:  "Ab wann ist ein Roman ein Wissenschaftsroman? Wie viel Fachwissen brauchen Autoren dafür?"