Archive | Events

Berlin in Film – Goodbye Lenin

Department of German Film Series “Berlin in Film” presents:
Goodbye Lenin

Sept 27, 2018 @ 7:30pm – 9:30pm
East Pyne 010

In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

Cancelled: Speaking With Arendt: TV and the Theatricality of Interviewing on “Zur Person”

UPDATE: This event has been cancelled.

On October 28th, 1964, Hannah Arendt appeared on Günter Gaus’ TV Show “Zur Person” to be interviewed about her work and publications, her experiences as a student and scholar in pre-war Germany and as an exile during the Third Reich, her post-war political engagement and her concept of self and biography. The interview, more than one hour long, is a fascinating document, (available for viewing in its entirety and with English subtitles here) not only of Arendt as a philosopher and conversationalist, but of the underlying attempt to re-establish (or rather, to invent) a conversational tradition that had been all but destroyed under the Nazi regime. In “Zur Person,” the most famous of West German talk shows well into the 1970’s, this happens not just by way of dialogical interaction but also on the level of mise en scène, decor, camera work and montage.
Co-Sponsored by the Committee on Film Studies

image Prof Diekmann

Stefanie Diekmann
Institut für Medien, Theater und Populäre Kultur,
Universität Hildesheim


Princeton University
German Department
Fall 2018 Lecture Series
Curated by Thomas Y. Levin & Johannes Wankhammer

All lectures will take place in East Pyne 205, followed by a reception in East Pyne 207.
Unless otherwise noted they will be given in English and are free and open to the public.

Domestic Violence: The Limits and Possibilities of a Concept

Betts Auditorium
October 4th – 5th, 2018

Introduction: Barbara N. Nagel (German, Princeton)
Artist remarks: Ran Ortner

Zeynep Direk (Philosophy, Koç University, Istanbul)
Martin Harries (English, University of California, Irvine)
Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz (Comp.Lit./German, Princeton)
Ekédi Mpondo-Dika (Sociology, Princeton)
Regina Kunzel (Gender and Sexuality/ History, Princeton)
Eunice Lee (Co-Legal Director, Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, University of California)
Michael Snediker (English, University of Houston)
Shatema Threadcraft (Government, Dartmouth College)
Silke-Maria Weineck (Comparative Literature/German, University of Michigan)

This one and a half-day conference seeks to start an interdisciplinary conversation on domestic violence, as a legal, political, anthropological, and psychoanalytic concept but also as an aesthetic and representational problem.
Domestic violence will be addressed both as an object of historical inquiry and as an urgent contemporary question (e.g., in relation to new legislation in Turkey and in Russia as well as in regard to a U.S. president who was accused of rape in the divorce depositions of his wife).
Speakers will analyze domestic violence as a blind spot, a present absence, or an unsaid in certain discourses and representations and pay particular attention to the structural interrelation of domestic violence with other forms of violence (state violence, racial violence, heteronormativity, mass shootings, etc.). We hope to bring together different communities and disciplines on campus to think through an incredibly difficult topic, which not only takes an emotional toll, but which also is conceptually demanding; whereas most conversations err on the side of the concrete and thus study domestic violence only empirically, our conference insists upon a critical, speculative perspective.

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018(Betts Auditorium)
Introduction: Barbara N. Nagel (German, Princeton)
Artist remarks: Ran Ortner
Zeynep Direk (Philosophy, Koç University, Istanbul), “Confronting Domestic Violence in Turkey: Feminism and the Public Space”


Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 (Betts Auditorium)
Moderation: Regina Kunzel (Gender and Sexuality/ History, Princeton)
Shatema Threadcraft (Government, Dartmouth College), “Making All Black Deaths Matter: On Intersectional Power and Lethal Intimate Partner Violence”
Michael Snediker (English, University of Houston), “Tender Epicenter: Figuration and the Substance of Duress”

11:30-1pm Lunch Break

Moderation: Ekédi Mpondo-Dika (Sociology, Princeton)
Martin Harries (English, University of California, Irvine), “Learning Sexual Violence with Tennessee Williams”
Eunice Lee (Co-Legal Director, Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, University of California), “Domestic Violence, Asylum, and the Law”

3-3:30pm Coffee Break

Moderation: Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz (Comparative Literature, Princeton)
Silke-Maria Weineck (Comparative Literature/German, University of Michigan), “’Emergency God’: Stockholm Syndrome and the Family”

See Calendar Event

Open to the Public
Sponsored by: Center for Health and Wellbeing, Center for Human Values, Dept of Anthropology, Dept of Classics, Dept of Comparative Literature, Dept of English, Dept of French & Italian, Dept of German, Humanities Council, PIIRS, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Program in Law and Public Affairs

2018 Summer School for Media Studies

Scaling. What happens when we scale things up or down?
Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies

June 16–22, 2018

The Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies -a collaboration between Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, IKKM) and Princeton University (German Department)-returns to Princeton in 2018 for its eighth installment. The 2018 session will be devoted to the investigation of scale and scaling as operative concepts for the analysis of media. What happens when we scale? Does anything really change? Can scaling ever impact the inner blueprint of an object? Are there laws of scaling? Or does scaling resist any attempt at calculability, such that, to investigate it, we can only ever look at individual events of scaling? As a media practice, scaling is widely used. But, in contrast to the ubiquity of operations, scaling is hardly ever viewed on its own terms as a basic concept of media analysis. The Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies 2018 will attempt to map out approaches to scaling as a basic media-analytical tool.

The summer school will be directed by Bernhard Siegert (Weimar) and Nikolaus Wegmann (Princeton). The Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies invites applications from outstanding doctoral students throughout the world in media studies and related fields such as film studies, literary studies, philosophy, art history, architecture, sociology, politics, the history of science and visual culture.

Hanne Darboven’s Address – Place and Time

The opening of the exhibition Hanne Darboven’s Address — Place and Time on April 27, 2018, will be accompanied by a series of readings, lectures, and performances featuring presentations by composer and artist Seth Cluett and artists Nick Mauss and Ken Okiishi, as well as readings by students from Art & Archaeology, Comparative Literature, European Cultural Studies, German, and Classics.

Sponsored by the Department of Art & Archaeology, the Princeton University Art Museum, the Department of German, and the Program in European Cultural Studies.

Event Poster and Schedule:

Exhibition Information:

The works in the Department of German (207 East Pyne Building) can be viewed 9 AM – 12 PM and 2 PM – 4 PM, Monday through Friday, Through June 12th.
More information at European Cultural Studies

Superstition and Magic in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods

“The Magical and Superstitious Past as a Foreign Country”
Michael Bailey, Keynote Speaker, Iowa State University
Date: Friday, April 20th
Time: 9:00 am — 10:30 am · Jones Hall 202

Co-organized by:
Jonathan Martin, PhD, Department of German 2018
Sonja Andersen, Graduate Student, Department of German

In an age when authorities attempt to assault our modern modes of critical thinking, the term “superstition” and its premodern associations take on rearranged values. Current political discourse denounces fake news and climate change as humbug with a zeal not unlike that of medieval and early modern establishments censuring false prophets and fallacious astrologers. Given these similarities, the classic narrative of a medieval society emerging into a modern one, “the disenchantment of the world” (Max Weber), urgently needs reappraisal. This conference proposes the examination of a wide range of evidence in various genres over time in order to foster this dialogue. In returning to the original meaning of “superstition” as an excessive fearfulness or belief, or a misapprehended and abused knowledge of a supernatural subject, how can we refine our understanding of superstition and magic in the premodern world? How can we make the overlaps between science, superstition, and magic productive?

Co-organized with Princeton Medieval Studies

Download Medieval Studies Graduate Conference

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)

2018 Graduate Student Symposium

Princeton University

Department of German
Graduate Student Symposium

Friday, April 6th, 2018
2:00 – 5:00PM

Rocky-Mathey Theater
Rockefeller College


Andreas Strasser
“Heimat ist das Entronnensein”: Heimat in the Writings of Theodor W. Adorno

In light of the ongoing debates around the term Heimat, Theodor W. Adorno’s dispersed comments on Heimatcan help us understand the presuppositions and contexts the term comes with. First, this talk looks at how the Dialectic of Enlightenment presents a general dialectical account of Heimatas standing opposed to myth. Then, I turn to Adorno’s comments on why he returned to Germany to specify this dialectic in relation to language and individual experience. Finally, a close reading of Adorno’s short text “Amorbach” presents a model of individualized historical experience of Heimat, which needs to be understood in its historical context.


Mary Grayson Brook
Mutterherz: Maternal Inheritance in Adalbert Stifter’s Brigitta and Theodor Storm’s Der Schimmelreiter

Adalbert Stifter wrote, “The mother’s heart is the most beautiful and most lasting place for the son, even when his hair has turned gray. And everyone has only one such heart in the whole universe.” Read closely, this tribute to motherhood disrupts traditional notions of father-son inheritance, while the positioning of the mother’s heart in spatial terms creates an image of motherhood as landscape. This talk will explore latent maternal affinities in two German realist novellas written four decades apart, following the calls of recent scholarship to explore otherness and eccentricity in the German realist canon. In each, an expansive model of motherhood emerges from the particularity of the landscapes Stifter and Storm describe. In addition to these charged landscapes, both authors use phonemically or anagrammatically similar character names to denote lines of kinship beyond the shared family name. These spatial and textual clues present a latent inheritance that transcends biology and conventional notions of family.


Alexander Draxl
Freud and Schicksal: Reality, Fantasy, and Tragedy

The German word Schicksal is a peculiar term:
Immanuel Kant, for instance, declared the word Schicksal unfit for usage as its vagueness defies determination. By analyzing Sigmund Freud’s use of Schicksal this talk examines how a term as ambiguous as Schicksal demands consideration precisely because there seems to be so much at stake in the ambiguities of its figural and literal implications. Perhaps what has been referred to in terms of ambiguity and indeterminacy should be addressed as ambivalence – and more accurately, in psychoanalytic terms, ambivalence as indicative of conflict. Investigating invocations of Schicksal thus holds the promise of uncovering conflicts that are usually concealed by the seeming precision of the ideas from which that term is derived.

Download PDF

Prof. Geoff Winthrop-Young (University BC, Vancouver)

“Why a Student is a Willing Termite rather than an Irish Elk: Karl Escherich and the (De)Nazification of Universities and Social Insects”

East Pyne 205
April 4th, 2018,

This is a lecture about a disturbing lecture. In November 1933, Germany’s leading entomologist and pesticide pioneer is appointed President of the University of Munich. In his inaugural address he mobilizes his expertise to discuss possible similarities between the social insect colonies and the new Nazi regime, and how this will impact the role of the university and the relationship between students and instructors.

Geoff Winthrop-Young is Professor of German at the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver). His main research areas are German theories of media, materialities of communication and/or memory and theories of cultural evolution.

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”