Literature, exhibitions and communication: A conversation


  • Heike Gfrereis German Literature Archive Marbach
  • Helmut Neundlinger Danube University Krems
  • Johan Schimanski University of Oslo
  • Ulrike Spring University of Oslo



Informed by her competence in literature and the theory and practice of exhibitions, Heike Gfrereis is Head of the Museum Department at the Archive of German Literature in Marbach, and curator of many literary exhibitions. Helmut Neundlinger, curator of the W. H. Auden Memorial Museum in Kirchstetten, is a writer, researcher and critic working at the Center for Museum Collections Management at the Danube University Krems and the literary collection of Lower Austria. The following “exchange of knowledge” between them and two researchers in the TRAUM– Transforming Author Museums project took place in Oslo in 2019. We discuss the desire to exhibit literature and not only biography, how one can free oneself from objects and how objects can create freedom, how to unlearn received notions of literature, the importance of interaction and play, what can make authors difficult to exhibit, and the economic realities of exhibiting literature.

Author Biographies

Heike Gfrereis, German Literature Archive Marbach

Head of the Museum Department

Helmut Neundlinger, Danube University Krems

Center for Museum Collection Management

Department for Arts and Cultural Studies

Johan Schimanski, University of Oslo

Department of Literature, Area studies and European Languages






Ulrike Spring, University of Oslo

Department of Archeology, Conservation and History

Associate Professor