kafka quad


A programme of University events and activities will celebrate the literary works and enduring global legacy of Franz Kafka.

Published: 27 March, 2024


Share this article

Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) is widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. 2024 marks the centenary of his untimely death.

Oxford University is encouraging awareness of the enduring global legacy of Kafka through a fabulous array of events aimed at the public as much as students.

The programme will include a free public exhibition Kafka: Making of an Icon, public installations, talks, dance and theatre, and to mark the 100-year anniversary of Kafka’s death on Monday 3 June, a collective public reading of Metamorphosis will be held at the Sheldonian Theatre.

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian and Director of Gardens, Libraries and Museums at Oxford University, said: ‘100 years after his death, younger generations continue to learn from and be fascinated by Kafka’s life and works – many of which are held in the Bodleian archives. We therefore saw this as a perfect opportunity to celebrate his legacy and enduring influence.’ 

Here we note the two exhibitions that will run, for for a much fuller list please visit the website link in the footnote below. 



Kafka: Making of an Icon
30 May–27 October, 2024
ST Lee Gallery, Weston Library
Free admission
Find out more: Kafka: Making of an Icon | Visit the Bodleian Libraries (ox.ac.uk)

Kafka: Making of an Icon exhibit

Kafka: Making of an Icon marks the 100th anniversary of the author’s death, celebrating not only his achievements and creativity but also how he continues to inspire new literary, theatrical and cinematic creations around the world.

The exhibition will feature materials from the archives of the Bodleian Libraries, which hold the majority of Franz Kafka's papers, including literary notebooks, drawings, diaries, letters, postcards, glossaries, and photographs. Notably, the notebooks in the archive include the original manuscripts of two of Kafka’s unfinished novels, Das Schloss (The Castle) and Der Verschollene (America), as well as a number of short stories.

Using this rich archive, the exhibition not only sets Kafka in the context of his life and times but also shows how his own experiences nourished his imagination. His notebooks show how his travels in Western Europe enabled him to practise descriptive writing, while his readings strengthened his fascination with remote spaces and made him aware of European colonialism.

11 May–29 June, 2024
Oxford University Museum of Natural History
A pop-up exhibition titled Metamorphosis will be held at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

There are numerous events not detailed above, all available HERE