Archive | Events

Explore the Languages of East Pyne

April 9th & 15th 2019
10:30AM – 12:30PM
Chancellor Green Upper Hyphen – East Pyne

Journey to a new land at the East Pyne Languages Open House! Discover French and Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, German, Slavic (Russian, Polish, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Czech) and Classics (Greek and Latin). Sample international food delicacies while you learn about the exciting opportunities each department offers, including: study abroad programs, international research and internships, and courses on literature and culture.


Whether you’re thinking about learning a new language or taking your language to the next level, be sure to stop by early to find an open course you can attend on campus!

Corngold to Discuss new Kaufmann Biography at Labyrinth Bookstore on Feb 27th

Emeritus Prof. Stanley Corngold will speak about his intellectual biography Walter Kaufmann: Philosopher, Humanist, Heretic – An Intellectual Life, recently published by Princeton University Press, at Labyrinth Books on Wednesday, February 27th at 6pm. The event is free and open to the public. Corngold’s 760-page volume is a powerful account of the astonishingly prolific, erudite and charismatic philosopher, critic, translator, poet and Princeton professor who fled Nazi Germany at the age of eighteen and emigrated to the United States where he went on to single-handedly rehabilitate Nietzsche’s reputation after World War II and was enormously influential in introducing postwar American readers to existentialism.

Corngold recently delivered the prestigious Thomas-Mann-Lecture at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) —Einstein’s old hunting grounds— in Zurich. The lecture, titled “Thomas Mann im Lichte unserer Erfahrung. Zum amerikanischen Exil,” describes Mann’s life and achievements during his residence in Princeton from 1938-1941: it is available online and will soon appear in print in the Thomas Mann Jahrbuch (2019).

The Operations of Culture: Ernst Kapp’s Elements of a Philosophy of Technology

Jeffrey West Kirkwood Art History/Cinema, SUNY Binghamton
Leif Weatherby German, NYU
Date: February 19, 2019
Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Location: N107 School of Architecture

The origins of what has come to be called “new German media theory” are traceable to an unlikely location far from Germany-Texas-and by way of an even less evident path: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. A German émigré, Ernst Kapp, reading Hegel in the rural expanses of central Texas in the middle of the nineteenth century, penned what is arguably the first philosophy of technology. Elements of a Philosophy of Technology: On the Evolutionary History of Culture (1877) has shaped and predicted the course of much of contemporary media theory. Drawing on the book’s recent publication for the first time in English, the talk will explore the implications of Kapp’s ideas of “organ projection” the unconscious, and engineering on the contours of theory.

artwork of patented mechanical hand on poster

Organized by Program in Media and Modernity and co-sponsored by the Princeton University German Department.

Re-Thinking Ideology: A Practice-Theoretical Account – Rahel Jaeggi (HU, Social Philosophy)

February 11th, 2019
4:30pm – 6:00pm
205 East Pyne
Professor Dr. Rahel Jaeggi of Practical Philosophy with Emphasis on Social Philosophy and Political Philosophy at the Humboldt University of Berlin.

“How is it possible for people to uphold, promote, stabilize, or simply not actively challenge social structures that cause them suffering and that can be said to run contrary to their own interests? How is it that our day-to-day behavior, actions, and beliefs sometimes in fact promote oppressive power structures even when we neither intend nor realize it? It is along these lines that we might formulate the problem to which the concept of “ideology” offers a response.”

“This talk is an attempt to revitalize the concept of ideology for social critique while understanding ideology in terms of practices and practice-theory.”
US flag in background with man on stool, light from foreground

Sponsored by the Department of German.
Image credits: Jasper Johns at Pearl Street studio in 1955. Photograph by Robert Rauschenberg

Don Giovanni – Metropolitan Opera Event

The German Department is sponsoring a trip to The Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center to see Don Giovanni.
(Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, Sung In Italian)

DATE: Saturday, February 9, 2019
TIME: The performance starts at 8:00 pm and has an estimated run time of 3 hours and 25 minutes.
TRANSPORTATION: A bus will depart from Princeton University, Lot 23 at 3:30 PM.

  • The cost to attend is $20, which includes roundtrip bus fare to Lincoln Center, a ticket to the performance, and a boxed meal with a drink.
  • Interested students should bring $20 cash or check (written out to Princeton University) to 203 East Pyne. Along with that payment, students will also be asked to provide contact information and food restrictions, if any.
  • The department has purchased 50 tickets. They are available on a first come first serve basis to Princeton students only –undergraduate and graduate. (The German department is covering all costs above the $20 per student fee.)

Do Giovanni and characters on stage

(Images Courtesy of World premiere: National Theater (now Estates Theater), Prague, 1787, and Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center)

Topic Announced for the 2019 Summer School for Media Studies

The Technologization of Cultural Techniques.
What Happens When Practices Become Algorithmic Technologies?

Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar)
German Department (Princeton University)
Weimar, Germany, June 22–29, 2019

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 Weimar in 2019 for its ninth installment. At an historical moment marked by a shift from mass media to what could be described as the implementation of cultural techniques, the 2019 session will be devoted to the question what happens to concepts derived from cultural techniques – like writing, erasure, image, number, not to mention the concept of culture itself – when implemented by algorithmic routines that run on computers or mobile media and thus effectively become digitized cultural technologies.

The 2019 Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies – which will be directed by Thomas Y. Levin (Princeton) and Bernhard Siegert (Weimar) – will attempt to map out approaches to media as networks of cultural technologies. We invite 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.

All application materials should be sent via email to: and must be received no later than December 16th, 2018.

Katharina Rein (Weimar), Elias Pitegoff (Princeton)
Please submit all inquiries to:

Further information regarding this year’s theme

Image credit:
Trevor Paglen
A Prison Without Guards (Corpus: Eye-Machines)
Adversarially Evolved Hallucination, 2017
Dye sublimation metal print
32 x 40 inches

Summer Work Program

Want to spend your summer working and traveling in Germany? SWP places first-, second-, and third-year students in internships with leading German companies and institutions. SWP is your ticket to improve your German language skills, build your resumé and professional network, and discover Europe!
Attend our Fall Information Session for an overview of the program and application process, and to hear from returning SWP alums about their internships in…

Arts & Culture
Banking, Finance & Economics
Energy & Environment
Government & Public Policy
Medicine & Healthcare
STEM Research & Industry …and more.

November 1st, 2018 – Online Application due
December 1st, 2018 – Interview and Supporting Materials due

For details and online application: How to apply
Or contact

SWP Program Cover Artwork

Entropy and Constructed Worlds: Paul Kammerer’s “Law of the Series”

Thursday Dec 6 @ 4:30pm
Kirk Wetters
Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures,
Yale University

Entropy and Constructed Worlds: Paul Kammerer’s “Law of the Series”

Austrian biologist Paul Kammerer’s controversial 1919 work Das Gesetz der Serie argues for a privileged ontological and epistemological status of anomalies, claiming that so-called “coincidences” reflect an underlying universal principle of the series that always reflects ordered lawfulness, regularity, and cohesion. This talk argues that Kammerer’s “series” may function better in constructed or literary worlds, which are premised on the idea that every anomaly and ambiguity can be recuperated as meaningful or symbolic. Reinterpreted as a hermeneutic-philological model, Kammerer’s law may thus prove useful as a sourcebook for “ways of worldmaking” (N. Goodman) – i.e., for designing and understanding rule-based constructed worlds.


Feuersalamander, Salamandra Maculosa, Image #13 in Das Gesetz der Serie (1919)


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.

Schubertiade: An Evening of Song, Stories, and Philosophy

December 1st, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
East Pyne, Chancellor Green Rotunda

“But courage! Perhaps there exists a kindred spirit who will hear the tunes behind my words and give them back to me.” —Wilhelm Müller, Poet of Schubert’s Song Cycles (1815)

The Princeton Chamber Music Society and friends explore the dynamic relationship between music and text in the songs of Franz Schubert. Through an interdisciplinary program of performance and scholarship, the musicians of PCMS and PhD candidate Rachel Bergmann (Department of Comparative Literature) present an aesthetic and political history of Schubert’s reinvention of song, including its reverberations in our own time.

Schubertiade painting by Schubert’s friend Moritz von Schwind

(Image: the famous Schubertiade painting by Schubert’s friend Moritz von Schwind with Johann Michael Vogl and Schubert at the piano and friends gathered around.)

“I can’t go on, I’ll go on.” The Problem of Narrative Continuity in Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre

Thursday Nov 15 @ 4:30pm
Helmut Müller-Sievers
Center for Humanities and the Arts; Dept. of Germanic & Slavic Languages
& Literatures, University of Colorado at Boulder

“I can’t go on, I’ll go on.” The Problem of Narrative Continuity in Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre

How do novels generate in the reader the expectation that the story they tell goes on, from page to page, chapter to chapter, book to book? How do they negotiate the division imposed by the book market and the demands of the genre? And what conception of continuity is involved in the novelistic enterprise? This paper takes Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister’s Lehrjahre (1796-96) as an example to highlight some of the philosophical implications of modern narratives, and to outline a practice of interpretation that pays attention to visual and technical material.


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.