At Length with Steve Scher

At Length with Christoph Bode

Prior to his Graduate School Public Lecture, From Event to Node: How ‘Future Narratives’ Impact the Way We Imagine and Shape the FutureChristoph Bode, full professor and chair of modern English literature at LMU Munich, sat down for a conversation with At Length host Steve Scher, ’87.

Recorded on February 24, 2015
Christoph Bode Lecture Poster

Poster from the lecture, Chocolate Cities and Vanilla Suburbs: Race, Space and American Culture After World War II. Click to enlarge.

When it comes to literature, Christoph Bode is a scientist of sorts. In his creation of a unified theory of multilinear future narratives  — stories that unfold through a range of flexible potentialities and multiple continuations — he in a sense created a mathematical framework for the literary vehicle that drives the storytelling and voice for everything from “choose-your-own-adventure” stories to video games to climate science prediction models. For his groundbreaking work, Bode has received numerous grants and awards, including the Advanced Investigator Grant of the European Research Council from 2009 to 2012 and the 2013 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In this conversation with Steve Scher, Bode discusses growing up in a book-loving German anglophile family, the purpose of “difficult” novels and literature and how one should “never approach a book with too much respect.”