Archive | Events

Sophomore Open House

Date: March 29, 2018
Time: 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Place: East Pyne 207

 Hanna Schygulla in the lead role in R.W. Fassbinder’s 1974 adaptation of Fontane’s “Effie Briest” 

Thinking about majoring in German but unsure what exactly this might entail? Come to the Sophomore Open House to meet fellow undergraduates who are majoring in German as well as faculty members who can give you first hand insights into departmental life, classes, advising, summer support, etc. The Director of Undergraduate Studies Prof. Thomas Y. Levin will be on hand to answer any technical questions you may have about the different major tracks (where you have the choice to focus on literature, or media and aesthetics, or philosophy and intellectual history, or German Culture and Politics), about our study-abroad program in Berlin, about the much-beloved Summer Program in Munich, and our popular Summer Work Program. Come learn about the amazing range of interesting things that our majors go on to do after graduation —from Law School and Medical School to careers in Finance, from Graduate School and Teach for America to interesting positions in museums and new media companies like BuzzFeed. You’ll meet lots of interesting people, enjoy some tasty snacks, and who knows – you might just figure out what to major in! The students and faculty of the German Department look forward to meeting and speaking with you!

Refreshments will be served.

Image: Hanna Schygulla in the lead role in R.W. Fassbinder’s 1974 adaptation of Fontane’s “Effie Briest”

SWP Workshop Series

Cultural Vistas (Work Permit Waivers, Visas)
Date: March 29th
Time: 7:00PM
Location: East Pyne 011


Open to SWP Applicants for Summer 2018: What exactly is a “Work Permit Waiver”?
Who needs a visa to enter Germany?
What documents are required for SWP internships?
Join Cultural Vistas Senior Program Director Katerina Holubova for an informational session on the work authorization process and more.
RSVP by 3/16!


*Please note: you do not need to have a confirmed SWP internship for Summer 2018 to attend!

Goethe Workshop

March 30-31st, 2018

Graduate Student Workshop on Goethe’s Hermann und Dorothea with Inka Mülder-Bach (Munich/Princeton), Dorothea von Mücke (Columbia ) and David E. Wellbery (Chicago).
Organized by Professor Joel Lande (Dept. of German)

Registration is now closed.

How Literatures Begin: A Comparative Approach to Problems and Methods

Prof. Joel Lande (Department of German)
Prof. Denis Feeney (Department of Classics)

Symposium for Friday, April 13, 2018

(Event is organized by Denis Feeney and Joel Lande. Sponsored by the Department of German, Department of Classics, East Asian Studies, The Humanities Council, Comparative Literature, and Slavic)

Prof. Dr. Insa Härtel (International Psychoanalytic-University Berlin)

“Sexuality as failure: Psychoanalytic concepts, cultural perspectives”

Date: March 13, 2018
Time: 4:30pm
Location: 106 McCormick

This lecture will examine the ways in which the so-called scandal of the sexual (Oberlehner 2005) is negotiated today. In Western societies a removal of the old sexual moral is predicated: there is talk, for example, of negotiating morals accompanied by the “demand for an agreed-upon, ratified sexual behavior” (Schmidt 1998). While there is of course much to be said for communicative consent, something nevertheless seems to escape consideration here. From a psychoanalytic perspective one might ask: what about sexuality in its potential dis-integrating quality? Shown in view of selected cultural productions, this lecture will confront the question as to what is missing in today’s cultural concepts of sexuality.

Organized by the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society and co-sponsored by the Program in European Cultural Studies and the Department of German.

Prof. Dr. Daniel Weidner (Humboldt-U, Berlin)

“The Spirit, the Letter, and the Life of the Text: Schleiermacher’s Hermeneutics Revisited”

East Pyne 205
March 12 @ 4:30 pm

Schleiermacher’s hermeneutics are usually considered ‘idealist’, ‘romantic’, or essentially ‘Christian’. And indeed, they began as a series of lectures on the hermeneutics of the New Testament, a context that is usually neglected. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes clear that Schleiermacher hardly uses spiritual exegesis or Einfühlung here, but rather deals with specific material problems raised by Biblical Criticism – the (Aramaic-Greek) mixed language of the New Testaments, its insecure textual basis and its composition from fragments. All these features of the New Testament are serious obstacles for grasping the text and transform Schleiermacher’s idealist and logocentric idea of understanding towards a hermeneutics of (written) scripture. The lecture insists on the need for a re-reading of Schleiermacher as a material hermeneutics and argues for a more complex conception of how the religious heritage influences hermeneutic theory.


Daniel Weidner (Institut für Kulturwissenschaft der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Acting Director of the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin)

Prof. Rebecca Comay (University of Toronto) Graduate Workshop

Workshop based on “Testament of the Revolution (Walter Benjamin)”

Date: March 8th
Time: 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Place: East Pyne 205

“Our heritage was left to us without a testament.” Hannah Arendt repeatedly borrows this formula (from René Char) to capture the predicament of revolutionary modernity. Without a testament, without any symbolic means of transmitting the event, there is no way to bequeath the treasure to future generations—to harvest its energy or even to bear witness to what happened. Here’s the thought experiment: what if Char’s formula needs to be reversed? What if the problem is not intestacy but rather a kind of hyper-testamentarity—not a deficit but a surfeit of testamentary protocol? The past confronts us as a thicket of injunctions, promises, exhortations, incitements—obscure messages from the dead, unsigned and undated but time-stamped and addressed to us uniquely. What if the testament itself were the heritage—or rather, if there were no heritage, only the pressure of a demand as enigmatic as it is insistent?

Rebecca Comay is a Professor in the Dept of Philosophy, the Centre for Comparative Literature, and the Program for Literature and Critical Theory at the University of Toronto. She has published widely in continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, and contemporary art, including Mourning Sickness: Hegel and the French Revolution (Stanford, 2011) and The Dash- the Other Side of Absolute Knowing (co-authored with Frank lRuda, forthcoming MIT 2018).

The Graduate Student Workshop/Seminar is based on her article “Testament of the Revolution (Walter Benjamin)”.
The event is open to all graduate students.

An evening of Kammermusik

Chamber music and poetry by German composers and authors
Presented by students, faculty members and friends of the German Department


In collaboration with the Princeton Chamber Music Society

Including selections by

Date: Friday, March 2nd 2018
Time: 7:30pm
Location: Chancellor-Green Rotunda

Open to the Public
Light reception to follow

Aesthetic Ecologies: Air and the Space of Art around 1900

The Department of German presents:

A Lecture by
Professor Margareta Ingrid Christian (University of Chicago)
Aesthetic Ecologies: Air and the Space of Art around 1900

Location: East Pyne 205
Time: 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Date: February 20, 2018

This talk explores air as the material space surrounding an artwork – its “Milieu,” “Umgebung” and “Umwelt.” It takes as its starting point evocations of air within and without an artwork, thus, evocations that cut across the separate realms of reference between artwork as image and as material object. The talk examines artworks that “overspill their form” and become continuous with the space environing them, in order to ask: What would an intellectual history of the environment look like when told from the perspective of the literature of art history?

Margareta Ingrid Christian is an Assistant Professor in Germanic Studies and the College at the University of Chicago. Her work is situated at the intersection of literature, art history, and the history of science. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2012.


Auerbach’s Augustine: Existential Realism and the Low Style

The Department of German & the Department of Humanities presents:

A Lecture by

Professor Jane O. Newman on Auerbach’s Augustine: Existential Realism and the Low Style

Location: East Pyne 205
Time: 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Date: February 12th, 2018

This lecture situates Auerbach in the context of the Christian Existentialism of Marburg during his (pre-Istanbul) time there and then sets his readings of Augustine in conversation with the Augustines of Arendt and Hans Jonas (both influenced by Heidegger’s Augustine, as both Arendt and Jonas of course had also been in Marburg). In the process it will extricate Auerbach out of the critical impasse he has been wedged into between a pre-post colonial Saidianism and a DWM New Critical stance. The talk also discusses the Catholic New Criticism so prevalent in the U.S. academy at the time, which accounts for the incredible popularity of his Mimesis, deeply informed as it was by Auerbach’s Marburg sojourn, when it was published in English translation in 1953.

This event is Open to the Public

Professor Jane O. Newman
is a visiting professor in the Humanities Council and Old Dominion Fellow in German, for the Spring Semester 2018, during which she will teach a graduate seminar GER 520 / COM 520 on Erich Auerbach and the Origin of Existential Realism (Erich Auerbach and the Origin of Existential Realism).