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Graduate Students from Zurich and Berlin Joining the Department as Research Collaborators

Ms. Jelena Rakin, a graduate student in the Film Studies Department of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, will spend the academic year 2013-2014 affiliated with the German Department as a Visiting Student Research Collaborator where she will work with Prof. Tom Levin on her dissertation “Filmfarbe 1895-1930. Asthetik, Materialitat, Diskurse der Moderne”[Film Color 1895-1930: Aesthetics, Materiality, Discourses of Modernity]. Ms. Rakin’s thesis explores the aesthetics of applied film color techniques (hand coloring, stencil, tinting and toning), examining the specificity of the use of color in film in the context of color in other visual media of the period, the connection between the aesthetic appreciation of film color and its materiality, and the nature of the production processes involved. Crucial to this project are the aesthetic categories used in different popular and academic discourses on color and their relevance to the attitudes and (normative) understandings of the relation of color to the moving image. These aspects are considered against the dynamic backdrop of modernity in which color was subject to revisions as material substance, cultural value category, and finally as an aesthetic phenomenon. Ms. Rakin’s sojourn as a VSRC is funded by a prestigious grant from the Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Forderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung.

Joining Ms. Rakin as Visiting Student Research Collaborators for the Fall 2013 semester are two graduate students from the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies (FSGS) at the Freie Universität Berlin. Ms. Eva Lieberich will be consulting with Prof. Sally Poor on her dissertation “Envy as an (Anti-) Social Emotion in High Medieval Narrative.” Based on the premise that envy is an emotion as well as a social situation, the thesis analyzes the relationship of the envier, the envied and the object of envy in the literary space of court and ultimately aims to describe the ways medieval conceptions of the emotion differ from modern narrations of envy and how these conceptions are linked to genre. Ms. Sakine Weikert will spend the Fall 2013 term in the German Department doing research for her dissertation ”Photographed Things in Contemporary Literature and Art“ which looks at the generic dissonances provoked by hybrid works combining textual and photographic elements. Ranging from late 1970’s experimental literature (Hubert Fichte, Einar Schleef) and conceptual art (Sophie Calle) to more recent author-artist collaborations (Thomas Demand and Botho Strauß) and a fictional auction catalog (Leanne Shapton), the project draws a historical line from modern to postmodern practices of thing-culture. The VSRC sojourns of both Ms. Weikert and Ms. Lieberich are being funded by Prof. Tom Levin’s multi-year Einstein Foundation grant.

New Books by Our Faculty

“Erst in der Form von Publikationen erreicht die moderne Wissenschaft autopoietische Anschluβfähigkeit. Publikationen sind gleichsam das Zahlungsmittel der Wissenschaft, das operative Medium ihrer Autopoiesis.” – Niklas Luhmann: Die Wissenschaft der Gesellschaft, p. 432

In short:

“Träger der Forschung bleibt die Publikation” – Niklas Luhmann, Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft, p. 785


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: The Sufferings of Young Werther: A New Translation by Stanley Corngold. New York: W.W. Norton and Company 2012.
Review by J.M. Coetzee in the New York Review of Books

Werther Sufferings Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: The Sufferings of Young Werther (Norton Critical Editions). Translated and Edited by Stanley Corngold. New York: W.W. Norton and Company 2012.

Contains: Christiane Frey and David Martyn: Doubling Werther (1774/1787)

Carolin Duttlinger, Ben Morgan, Anthony Phelan (Eds.): Walter Benjamins anthropologisches Denken. Freiburg: Rombach 2012.

Proceedings from the Oxford-Princeton Conference, “At the Crossroads of Magic and Positivism: Walter Benjamin and Anthropology”, Worcester College, Oxford, September 1 – 3, 2009.

Devin Fore: Realism after Modernism: The Rehumanization of Art and Literature. Cambridge: MIT Press 2012.


Stanley Corngold & Ruth Gross: Kafka for the Twenty-First Century. Rochester: Camden House, 2011.

Monatshefte, Volume 103, Number 3, Fall 2011. Special Issue: Franz Kafka. Edited by Stanley Corngold & Michael W. Jennings.

Stanley Corngold & Benno Wagner: Franz Kafka: The Ghosts in the Machine. Evanston: Northwestern University Press 2011.

Walter Hinderer: Vom Gesetz des Widerspruchs: Über Heinrich von Kleist.Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann 2011.

Joseph Vogl: On Tarrying. Translated by Helmut Müller-Sievers. London/Calcutta: Seagull Books 2011.

In Turkish: Vogl, Joseph: Tereddüt üzerine. İstanbul : Metis Yayınları, 2011.

Ulrich Breuer & Nikolaus Wegmann (Eds.): Athenäum. Jahrbuch der Friedrich Schlegel Gesellschaft. Paderborn, 2011.

Sabine Flach & Sigrid Weigel (Eds.): WissensKünste: Das Wissen der Künste und die Kunst des Wissens / The knowledge of the arts and the art of knowledge. Weimar: Vdg-Verlag 2011.

Daniel Weidner & Sigrid Weigel (Eds.): Benjamin-Studien 2. München: Fink 2011.

Theodore Ziolkowski: Gilgamesh among Us: Modern Encounters with the Ancient Epic. Ithaca: Cornell University Press 2011.

Peter Hacks: Senecas Tod. Kommentierte Werke in Einzelausgaben. Edited by Theodore Ziolkowski. Berlin: Aurora Verlag 2011.

Visiting Associate Professional Specialist Announced for Spring 2013

Harun Maye Picture

Harun Maye, Researcher and Lecturer in the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, has joined the Department of German as a Visiting Associate Professional Specialist for the spring of 2013. After graduating in German Philology, Philosophy and Political Science, he received his intellectual training in the DFG-Graduate School on Codification of Violence in Medial Transformations at the Berlin Humboldt-University. Focusing on the intersection of media and cultural communication, he was Researcher at the DFG-Collaborative Research Centre Media and Cultural Communication, jointly organized by the Universities of Cologne, Bonn and Aachen. His research and teaching focuses on German literary history, the history of terms and metaphors, cultural technologies and the history of reading. He is currently completing a book on the history of “skipping” and “zapping” as modes of reading. Recent publications are: “Einführung in die Kulturwissenschaft” (München 2011, Coeditor: Leander Scholz); “Die Hyäne. Lesarten eines politischen Tiers” (Zürich/Berlin 2010, Coeditor: Markus Krajewski); “Metapher Internet. Literarische Bildung und Surfen” (Berlin 2009, Coauthor: Matthias Bickenbach).

For more information please visit:

Call for Applications: “Reveals: Seams, Scars, Thresholds, and Frames”

Call for Applications: “Reveals: Seams, Scars, Thresholds, and Frames”
Third Annual Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies
Weimar (Germany) June 15–22, 2013

The Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies – a collaboration between the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, IKKM) and Princeton University (German Department) – returns to Weimar in 2013 for a week-long engagement with the topos “Reveals: Seams, Scars, Thresholds, and Frames.” Hosted by the International Center for Research into Cultural Technologies and Media Philosophy (IKKM) in the historic Palais Dürckheim, it will run from June 15 through June 22, 2013 and will be directed by Thomas Y. Levin (Princeton) and Bernhard Siegert (Weimar).

Besides the directors the faculty will include: Eduardo Cadava (Princeton), Brigid Doherty (Princeton), Lorenz Engell (Weimar), Ute Holl (Basel), Helga Lutz (Erfurt), and Claus Pias (Lüneburg).

The Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies invites applications from outstanding doctoral candidates 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.

For further information please visit:

Inka Mülder-Bach Joins Faculty as Permanent Visiting Professor

Inka Mülder-Bach

Professor Mülder-Bach received her PhD from the University of Tübingen after academic training at Tübingen, Oslo, and Berkeley. Before joining the Institute of German Philology at Ludwig Maximilian Universität (LMU) in Munich, where she has been since 1998, she held positions at the Freie Universität and the Zentrum für Literaturforschung in Berlin. Professor Mülder-Bach has been a visiting professor at Columbia University, New York, the IFK, Vienna, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf, and NYU.

Inka Mülder-Bach is a Vertrauensdozentin der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes.

In 2008-09 and 2010-11, Mülder-Bach held an LMU Excellence-in-Research professorship, and from 2009-2010, she served as vice president of the LMU.
Professor Mülder-Bach is the editor of the works of Siegfried Kracauer and co-editor of Poetica.

Professor Mülder-Bach’s research focuses on German literature from the 18th to the 20th century in a comparative perspective, traditions of aesthetics and poetics, theories or narration, scenes of origins and constructions of the beginning of modernity, and Robert Musil.

Hent de Vries Joins German Faculty as a Visiting Professor


Hent de Vries

Professor Hent de Vries, Russ Family Chair in the Humanities and Director of the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University, is a Visiting Professor in the Council of the Humanities and a Stewart Fellow in the Department of German this fall.

Hent de Vries received his PhD in Philosophy of Religion from the University of Leiden in 1989. From 1993 to 2002 he held the Chair of Metaphysics and Its History in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam), where he remains a Regular Visiting Professor of Systematic Philosophy and the Philosophy of Religion. He was a co-founder of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), an interdisciplinary research institute with a graduate program, and served as the Director of its governing board (1994-98) and its Scientific Director (1998-2004).

Hent de Vries works at the borders of religion, philosophy and politics: his research fields include Modern European thought, the history and critique of metaphysics, philosophies of religion, political theologies, concepts of violence, as well as literature and temporality. At Princeton, Professor de Vries is teaching a seminar on the relationship between philosophy and literature through the lens of Martin Heidegger and Paul Celan and their meditations about time.

Visiting Fellow Announced

Anna Tuschling, Junior Professor in the Media Studies Department at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, has joined the Department of German as a Visiting Researcher for the spring of 2012. After receiving academic training in Marburg, Bremen, and New York, Tuschling completed her PhD at the University of Basel in 2006 with a dissertation on gossip in the age of electronic communication. Her research and teaching focuses on 19th and 20th century media and its impact on science, cultural theory and the history of learning. She is currently completing a book on the history of mediality and anxiety. Recent publications include: medias in res. Media-cultural Positions (Bielefeld 2011, co-edited with Till A. Heilmann and Anne von der Heiden) and articles on “Deutungswahn und Wahnanalyse” and “The Discrete in Psychoanalysis,” among others.

In June 2012, Tuschling will be part of the faculty of the Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies.

For more information please visit

Second Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies

Spaces of Media: The Second Annual Princeton-Weimar
Summer School for Media Studies
Princeton University
June 17-23, 2012

Following the successful inauguration of the Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies at the International Center for Research into Cultural Technologies and Media Philosophy (IKKM)of the Bauhaus-University, Weimar in June 2011, the second annual Summer School in Media Studies will take place on the campus of Princeton University in June 2012 with a focus on the complex intersections of media and space.

Media Studies starts with Harold A. Innis’s exploration of the role of media in shaping the cultural and political spaces of societies. Yet the question of how to understand the ways in which spaces, localities, and modes of navigation in such domains are all generated by media remains an urgent challenge for media studies to this day. How much do we know, for example, about the history of navigation and its technologies and techniques, from maps, sextants and compasses to the latest GPS devices? How might questions of textual navigation raised by newer media be located within a broader account of navigating by and within files, books, and writing? Do we fully understand the ways in which the spatiality of the diagram contributes to the operations of the signifier, whether in the production of meaning or in the production of economic values, or of administrative control? Do we have an adequate grasp of the way in which media of distribution and circulation effect the constitution and control of geographic spaces? And what is the status today of those so-often invoked media utopias according to which space was effectively rendered insignificant by blazing data-transmission rates and minimal transaction costs? Does it even make sense to speak of the “spaces” of new media and, if so, how? These are just some of the issues that will be explored in the second Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies this coming June.

Reflecting the partnership between the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (IKKM) and Princeton University’s Department of German, the summer school will again be an institutional collaboration in every respect. This year’s program will be directed by Bernhard Siegert (Weimar) and Nikolaus Wegmann (Princeton) and the faculty, which will be drawn from Princeton and a number of other internationally renowned institutions, will include Jimena Canales (Harvard), Christoph Engemann (Weimar), Devin Fore (Princeton), Laura Frahm (Weimar), Mladen Gladic (Princeton), Ben Kafka (New York), Joel Lande (Princeton), Thomas Y. Levin (Princeton), Emily Thompson (Princeton), and Anna Tuschling (Bochum).

The first Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies took place in Weimar in June 2011. For six days, young scholars from seven countries (USA, Brazil, Israel, Canada, Iran, the Netherlands, and Germany) met at the Bauhaus University under the supervision of Princeton University’s Thomas Y. Levin and the Co-Director of the IKKM Lorenz Engell to engage in a sustained interrogation of state-of-the-art debates in both the practices and theories of surveillance. Together with a faculty that included Joseph Vogl (Humboldt/Princeton), Sam Weber (Northwestern), and Volker Pantenburg (Weimar), the thirteen students (selected from a very competitive international pool of over one hundred applicants) engaged in a series of spirited and high-level discussions, screenings and excursions. The numerous intellectual friendships forged through this intense critical immersion have had an extended afterlife, manifest for example in the “Post-Hermeneutical Reading Group” convened and run by three Summer School graduates from Princeton, NYU and Columbia.

Once again this June, the second annual Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies will provide a forum for a sustained and intensive engagement with the state of the art of contemporary German media theory and its North American critical theoretical reception. For further information go to:

Rhetorics of Religion in German, 1900-1950 Conference

Rhetorics of Religion in Germany, 1900-1950

An international interdisciplinary conference organized by Leora Batnitzky, Michael Jennings, and Sarah Pourciau.

This conference examines the role played by religious discourse in German culture in the early twentieth century. This period saw the emergence of a body of religious thought—and reflection on the role of religion in culture—that rivals that of any other period in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Scholars in such diverse fields as intellectual and cultural history, German studies, history of philosophy, and religious studies have in recent years made remarkable advances in our understanding of specific topics and thinkers within this enormously important field, but there have been few attempts to bring together scholars not just across disciplines, but across religions and denominations in order to discuss larger, synthetic issues.

Rhetorics of Religion in Germany, 1900-1950

An Inderdisciplinary Conference
Princeton University
March 31-April 2, 2011

Thursday, March 31

2 PM Welcome: Leora Batnitzky, Michael Jennings, Sarah Pourciau

2:30-5:00 PM Session One
Philosophical Theology

John H. Smith (German, UC Irvine), “The Infinitessimal as Theological Principle in Cohen, Rosenzweig, and Barth”

Elias Sacks (Religion, Princeton), “Reenacting the Philosophical Past: Rosenzweig, Hegel, and Neighbor Love

Ben Morgan (German, Oxford), “Heidegger with and Beyond Paul and Augustine”

5:30-7:00 PM Plenary Talk I

Hent de Vries (Philosophy and Humanities Center, Johns Hopkins), “Inverse versus Dialectical Theology (Adorno, Horkheimer, Barth)”

Friday, April 1

9:30 AM-12 PM Session Two
The Inexpressible in Modernity

Niklaus Largier (German, Berkeley), “Mysticism and Kulturkritik”

Lisa Cerami (New York), “Mysticism contra Religion”

Ilit Ferber (Philosophy, Tel Aviv), “A Language of the Border: Scholem’s Notion of Lament”

1:00-3:30 PM Session Three
Towards a Theological Politics

Nitzan Lebovic (History, Lehigh), “Destruction, Consolation, and Rebellion in Paul and Jeremiah” (Zweig, Werfel, Buber, Taubes)

Michael McGillen (German, Princeton), “Religion as Social Poliics in Hermann Cohen”

Daniel Weidner (German and Comparative Literature, Berlin and Basel) “Rhetoric, Religion, and Political Theology “As If” in Barth”

4:00-6:30 PM Section Four
Religion and the State

Paul Franks (Philosophy, Toronto), “State and Religion: Orthodox Judaism and Neo-Kantianism in Isaac Breuer”

Martina Urban (Religious Studies and Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt), “Nation and Essentialism in Jewish Thought”

Udi Greenberg (History, Dartmouth), “Calvinism and Democratic Legitimacy in Carl J. Friedrich”

8:00 PM Plenary Talk II

Peter Gordon (History, Harvard), “Jürgen Habermas: German Religious Discourse in Retrospect”

Saturday, April 2

9:30 AM-12 PM Session Five
Religion and Aesthetics

Asher Biemann (Religious Studies and Jewish Studies, Virginia), “The Aesthetics of Religion in Cohen and Simmel”

Sabine Mueller (German, Oxford), “Religion and Filmic Narration”

Anthony Phelan (German, Oxford), “Martyrs and Monarchs in Benjamin’s Trauerspiel Book”

1:30-4:00 PM Session Six
The Uses of Rhetoric

Thomas Meyer (Judaic Studies, Zürich), “Leo Strauss and Religious Rhetoric”

Eugene Sheppard (Judaic Studies, Brandeis), “Presenting the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain in the Third Reich”

Christian Wiese (Jewish Thought, Frankfurt), “Ethical Monotheism: Politics, and Theology of a Protestant Concept in 20th Century German-Jewish Discourse”

Princeton Alumni Association of Germany Receives Award

In July 2010, the Princeton Alumni Association of Germany received an award by the initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas”, sponsored by the German government, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and leading corporations, for having presented one the most innovative 365 ideas in Germany for 2010. The idea is to establish an endowment modelled on the Princeton German Summer Work Program and to include students from other leading American universities, thus significantly expanding the base for German-American economic, academic and cultural cooperation in the United States.