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Nr. 83, 02.05.2015  voriger  Übersicht  weiter  REIHEN  SUCHE  Feedback 

Not your typical tourist guide

Combining touristic services and creative writing, a class at the English Depart­ment has created a unique city guide to known and unknown places in Kiel.


Dr. Barbara Röckl (left) and doctoral candidate Tristan Kugland along with students of the English Department have created a tourist guide with literary aspirations.
Credit: Ann-Christin Wimber

Something unusual, yet useful – this ambitious aim was the motivation for a class of students at the Eng­lish Department to create a new kind of city guide. Looking at existing publications, Dr. Barbara Röckl and doctoral candidate Tristan Kugland realized that the only tourist guides in English were mere shopping guides.

“We wanted to create something that would offer academic guests and tourists from around the world a different, more personal view on Kiel”, explains Röckl, lecturer for literary and cultural cultural studies at Kiel University. Kugland adds: “Something rather different from the ordinary, not just another col­lection of sights.” As a result, they created a two-week seminar in September that encompassed a literary and cultural historic part as well as a week of creative writing with travel writer Linda Lappin, an American novelist who teaches in Italy.

During those two weeks, students gathered ideas about places they found suitable to present in a travel guide. “Everyone was asked to choose a place that they felt was an interesting part of the city”, Kugland says. Among the places that made their way into the book are common sights such as Holtenauer Straße, Dreiecksplatz and the City Hall.
Schrevenpark, the Old Botanical Garden, the beach at Falkenstein and the Audimax will also be featured in the book.

But among the 40 places there are also unknown or unexpected places which help readers to acquire a fresh perspective of the city. Amidst those are the Tucholsky bar on Bergstrasse, the basement of Olshausenstraße 10 – where the English Department is situated – or the café “Der Alte Mann” next to the Maritime Museum. The students' short texts offer information about the sights or places, albeit in a different kind of setting. For example, the City Hall is the background of a mystery story; at the Tucholsky the protagonist experiences a kind of initiation rite, and the chapter on the English Department is a crime story set in the basement of the building.

Being a city guide, the book will contain a map that shows where the places are located. The stories are categorized into various chapters, such as university, night life, culture, and green spaces.
“A regional publishing company, the “w.ort.wechsel-Verlag” in Bordesholm, is supporting us”, explains Röckl. To gether with the students, they are working on layout and photographic amendments. The works bearing the title “Writing Kiel” was supported by the jubilee fund. It will be published in the summer of 2015.

Ann-Christin Wimber
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