Archive | Events


The German Department Presents:

Film Screening and Discussion Double Bill of Queer Weimar Film.

Reconstruction of this banned and highly controversial first film about homosexuality co-written
by the pioneering sexologist Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld; English intertitles; improvised piano score
by Joachim Bärenz.

This feature-length drama about Prussian gender politics in a boarding school for girls is based
on Christa Winsloe’s theater piece Gestern und heute, considered one of the first plays of the Weimar
Republic that engaged issues of lesbianism; in German with English subtitles.

Location: East Pyne 010
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Date: Novermber 28th, 2017

Reshaping the Humanities and Sciences: The Berlin Lautabteilung in the 1920s

Princeton University German Department
Fall 2017 Lecture Series

Date: Thursday, November 16, 2016
Time: 4:30pm
Location: 205 East Pyne

Viktoria Tkaczyk (Humboldt U., Berlin; Max Plank Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)
“Reshaping the Humanities and Sciences: The Berlin Lautabteilung in the 1920s”

This talk’s focus is the Lautabteilung (“sound department”) of the Prussian State Library, directed by the language teacher and phonetician Wilhelm Doegen in the 1920s. In terms of academic infrastructures, I trace how the Lautabteilung emerged from the Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission, led by Doegen with the aim of recording prisoners of war interned near Berlin during 1915 and 1918. Doegen’s later Sound Department continued to serve several state authorities in interwar Germany, and attempted to unite the potentials of a scholarly sound collection and an acoustic laboratory. It aimed to establish the gramophone as a novel research technology that could unite multiple disciplines ranging from linguistics and language studies to musicology, ethnology, anthropology, zoology, criminology, medicine, and psychology. I will look more closely at two projects incorporated by the department, in applied psychology (led by psychologist Fritz Giese) and applied linguistics (led by linguist Theodor Siebs), which reveal regulative and future-oriented projections of German labor policy and language use. These two projects marked an important shift from earlier visions of scientific sound archives, motivated by a historicist desire for exhaustiveness and conceived as serving the purposes of analysis, toward an understanding of sound archiving as applied research.

Viktoria Tkaczyk leads the Research Group “Epistemes of Modern Acoustics” at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, and is a professor at the Institut für Kulturwissenschaft, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She is currently working on the emergence of new techniques of “thinking with sound” in a range of disciplines around 1900, and on a long history of architectural acoustics.

Weimar Cinema: METROPOLIS

The German Department Presents:

FRITZ LANG, 1927; 148 MINS

A new 4K restoration of the
2010 “complete” reconstruction
of this pioneering expressionist
sci-fi political allegory; German
intertitles with English subtitles
and the original orchestral score
by Gottfried Huppertz.

When: November 7th
Where: East Pyne 010
Time: 7-9pm

Appearance: Fragments of a Political Phenomenology

Princeton University’s Department of German presents:

Appearance: Fragments of a Political Phenomenology

Juliane Rebentisch

Date: October 2nd, 2017
Location: East Pyne 010
Time: 4:30pm –

What does it mean to make a public appearance? If one believes Hannah Arendt, it involves very particular conditions; those of a specific space in which this appearance will be perceived by others. A “space of appearance,” as Arendt calls it, by no means automatically exists in every place where people gather as a crowd. Instead it is constituted wherever “people are together in the manner of speech and action.” It is only in this being together that an intersubjective “interstitial space” is created in which people exist not merely as things that are indifferent to one another but explicitly make their appearance in front of and for one another. The talk will critically develop the aesthetic, ethical and political dimensions of Arendt’s concept of a “space of appearance” in the context of contemporary debates on democracy and media.

Reading the Social: Lenz, Moritz, Karsch

Princeton University’s Department of German presents:
Nacim Ghanbari (jun. Prof., Univ. Siegen; Visiting Prof., Princeton German Dept.)
Reading the Social: Lenz, Moritz, Karsch

Date: September 20, 2017
Location: East Pyne, Room 205
Time: 4:30pm –

Is there a ‘new social’ in the literary and media history of 18th century? And if this is the case, what would the ‘old social’ have been? I will discuss these questions by drawing on current research on collaborative writing and epistolary network cultures. By juxtaposing Karl Philipp Moritz’ highly canonized novel “Anton Reiser” with Anna Louisa Karsch’s letters as well as marginalized works subsumed as ‘prose’ by Jacob Michael Reinhold Lenz, this talk considers the significance of patronage in the history of modern authorship, and comes to the conclusion that the ‘new social’ is much more hierarchical and media-driven than the apologists of the ‘old social’ would imagine.

Nacim Ghanbari is Assistant Professor for German Literature at the University of Siegen and principal investigator in the Collaborative Research Centre “Media of Cooperation”. She has published on German literature and culture from the eighteenth to twentieth century. Her work has been recognized with a Humboldt Foundation Feodor Lynen Fellowship for research at the University of Chicago, and a research fellowship at “IFK Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften” in Vienna

Weimar Cinema: Nosferatu – Eine Symphonie Des Grauens

The Department of German presents:

Nosferatu – Eine Symphonie Des Grauens

F.W. MURNAU, 1922; 93 MINS
This unauthorized Expressionist adaptation of Bram
Stoker’s Dracula, often described as the first horror film, is here
presented in a restored and tinted print with German intertitles,
English subtitles and the original soundtrack by Hans Erdmann.

Oct 3rd, 7-9pm
East Pyne 010

Open to the Public

Weimar Cinema: Der Heilige Berg East Pyne 010

The German Department Presents:
Film Screening and Discussion
The problematic aesthetic
politics of nature are combined
with the cinematic debut of the
dancer Leni Riefenstahl in this
classic of the “mountain film”
genre. Restored and tinted print
with English intertitles and a
contemporary soundtrack by
Aljoscha Zimmermann.


Graduate Student Symposium

Princeton University
German Department
Graduate Student Symposium

Friday, March 31, 2017
Rocky-Mathey Theatre

1:00-1:30 Coffee and refreshments

1:30-2:15 Ron Sadan, “Writing as Practice: Toward Reading Robert Walser”

2:15—3:30 Diba Shokri, “How to know thyself (properly). Cases of self-observation in Moritz’ Magazin zur Erfahrungsseelenkunde

3:30-4:00 Coffee Break

4:00-4:45 Hannah Hunter-Parker, “Specimens, Scraps, and Cut-Ups: Johann Jakob Bodmer (1698-1783) and German Classics in Practice”

5:00—7:00 Reception / Dinner — Princeton Center for Language Study

Speech Unbound. Prose and the Problem of Form

Princeton University
Department of German

Susanne Lüdemann, Professor of German and Comparative Literature, LMU (Munich)
currently Carlotte M. Craig Distinguished Visiting Professor, Department of German, Rutgers University

Monday April 10, 4:30 pm

205 East Pyne Building

In modernity, and also in the historical narratives of modernity, ‘prose’ has never been a neutral or a purely descriptive concept. On the one hand, the “prosaic state of the world” (Hegel) is part of a narrative of decline and disappointment (or disenchantment), linked to the “end of art“ and to the repression or loss of a “poetic“ state of mind in the instrumental rationality of modern state and society. On the other hand, the concept of ‘prose’ is part of a narrative of hope and freedom, linked to the idea of free or “unbound“ speech, and to polyphony (the plurality of ‘voices’ or ‘votes’) as an aesthetic as well as a political value. The semantics of “unbound speech“ (ungebundene Rede) is thus, across languages and from the beginning of modernity, bound to the question of the social bond, of what binds free speech and modern society, of both linguistic (grammatical, syntactical) and social or genealogical bonding, of the ‘weaving’ of modernity and its representations. Against this semantic background, Prof. Lüdemann’s talk will discuss prose as a problem of form in both literature and historiography. Special emphasis will be placed on Hannah Arendt’s reflections on “thinking without a banister” and on literary modes of writing history after the break with tradition.

Department of German: Open House

department of german
open house

Come meet faculty, current majors, and graduate students


German Literature
German Philosophy and Intellectual History
Media and Aesthetics
Germanic Linguistics
Comparative Study of Two Literatures
Joint Program in German Culture and Politics

Certificate in German Language
and Culture

Princeton in Munich
Summer Work Program
Berlin Study Abroad

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
207 East Pyne
4:30 pm

Refreshments will be served