Schrift: Writing & Image-Character in the Work of Walter Benjamin


Schrift
Writing and Image-Character in the Work of Walter Benjamin
November 2-5, 2011
Princeton University

Biennial Conference of the International Walter Benjamin Society
Writing, the graphic character of inscription, and its relation to the image forms a central problematic in the work of the German-Jewish critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin. His work might in fact be said to constitute a theory of writing, if that term is understood broadly, so as to include not just issues of signification but of the graphic nature of handwriting and printing, as well as those of inscription and display processes in such diverse media as photography, film, drawing, painting, and architecture. The term “Script” (Schrift) emerges in the 1920’s as the center around which Benjamin’s meditations on the relationship between writing and image crystallize. This conference seeks to provide a forum for the investigation of the production, dissemination, and reception of “script” and the “script-image” that is the basis of all writing.

Organizers
Michael Jennings (Princeton University)
Karl Solibakke (Syracuse University)

Sponsors
Syracuse University Humanities Center
Goethe-Institut North America
Institute of Jewish Studies, University of Antwerp
Princeton University Council of the Humanities
The Departments of Art and Archaeology, German, Comparative Literature, English, French and Italian, History, and Spanish and Portuguese, and the Programs in Judaic Studies and Media and Modernity at Princeton University

Wednesday, November 2

7 PM – Welcome
Michael Jennings & Karl Solibakke
101 McCormick Hall

7:30 PM Plenary Talk One
“Walter Benjamin: The Sequel”
Avital Ronell, New York University
101 McCormick Hall

Thursday, November 3

9:30-11:30 AM – Parallel Session One
Panel One: Religion I
Profane Illuminationen
(Vivian Liska and Hent de Vries, moderators)
010 East Pyne Building

“Die Sprache der Vögel”
Luca di Blasi, ICI Berlin

“’Am Baum des heiligen Textes’. Kommentar und Übersetzung bei Walter Benjamin”
Caroline Sauter, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

“Die Euthanasie der Schrift – Religion und die messianische Zitierbarkeit des Gewesenen”
Thomas Regehly, Philosophisches Kolloquium, Frankfurt am Main

Panel Two: City I
Passage to Oppida: Architecture / Cityscapes
(Andrew Benjamin and Justus Fetscher, moderators)
106 McCormick Hall

“Paris als Ort und Topos. Stadt – Schrift – Geschichte”
Isabel Kranz, Universität Erfurt

“Die Architektur des Traumas. Walter Benjamins traumatologische Wissensgeschichte”
Kyung-Ho Cha, Universität Bayreuth

11:30 AM-1:00 PM – Lunch

1:00-3:00 PM – Parallel Session Two

Panel 3: Media I
Contexts and Consequences of Benjamin’s Theory of Media
(Bettine Menke and Detlev Schöttker, moderators)
010 East Pyne Building

“Benjamin’s Borrowings. A Little History of Influences and Contexts of the Essay on Photography”
Kathrin Yacavone, University of Edinburgh

“Benjamins Bildrecherchen im Cabinet des Estampes und seine Interpretation von Eduard Fuchs’ Blick auf die Druckgrafik”
Steffen Haug, Berlin

“Image – Script – History. Models of Montage in Benjamin, Eisenstein, and Kluge”
Philipp Ekardt, Freie Universität Berlin

Panel 4: Memory and Politics I
Memory and Politics
(Daniel Weidner and Jose Gonzalez, moderators)
106 McCormick Hall

“Translating ‘Dasein an sich:’ Kurt Hiller and Benjamin’s Move to ‘bloßes Leben’”
Jeffrey Champlin, Bard College

“Benjamins ‘Begriff sachlichen und zugleich hochpolitischen Schreibens’”
Uwe Steiner, Rice University

“Das Schweigen der Spur. Bild-Zeit, Erkenntnis-Politik”
Nassima Sahrhaoui, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

3:00-3:30 PM – Coffee Break

3:30-5:30 PM – Parallel Session Three (Sections 1 & 2)

Panel 5: Religion II
Language and Lament
(Vivian Liska and Hent de Vries, moderators)
010 East Pyne Building

“Lament and the Theory of Language: Benjamin and Scholem”
Ilit Ferber, Tel Aviv University

“Benjamin’s Philosophy of Expression: Monadic Ideas, Adamic Language, and Legibility to God”
Paula Schwebel, University of Toronto

“Writing, Image, Revelation, Lament, Firlefanz: On Extremes That Meet Or Don’t”
Adam Lipszyc, Polish Academy of Sciences

Panel 6: City II
Lost and Sound. Urban Media
(Andrew Benjamin and Justus Fetscher, moderators)
106 McCormick Hall

“Benjamin’s Concept of Orientation”
Ori Rotlevy, Tel-Aviv University

“Kunstwerk Neapel.
Walter Benjamins Neapel im Licht einer medialen Soziologie der Kunst”
Benjamin Fellmann, Universität Hamburg

“Hören schreiben. Walter Benjamins ‘akustische Stadtpläne’“
Uta Kornmeier, ZfL Berlin

5:30-6:45 PM – General Meeting of the IWBS
010 East Pyne

7:00-8:15 PM – Plenary Talk Two

“Absolutes”
Peter Fenves, Northwestern University
101 McCormick Hall

Friday, November 4

9:30-11:30 AM – Parallel Session Four

Panel 7: Religion III
Messianism, Hope
(Vivian Liska and Hent de Vries, moderators)
010 East Pyne Building

“Writing the Image of the Falling Star: Notes on the Schrift of the Theological Figures of ‘Hope’ and ‘Redemption’ in Benjamin’s ‘Elective Affinities’”
Alison Ross, Monash University

“Vom Text zur Textur: Messianische Lektüren bei Walter Benjamin”
Andreas Greiert, Hamburg

“Pseudomenon: Walter Benjamin, The Liar’s Paradox, and the Extra-Logical Truth of the Artifact”
James McFarland, Vanderbilt University

Panel 8: Literature I
Points of View: Clouds, Treason and Incompletion
(Eduardo Cadava and Gerhard Richter, moderators)
106 McCormick Hall

“’Wolkenwandelbarkeit:’ Visual Potentiality in Benjamin”
Michael Powers, Brown University

“Apollinaire’s Prophecy: Towards a Theory of Poetic Treason”
Zakir Paul, Princeton University

“Essence and Gesichtspunkt: Benjamin’s Incompletion of Romanticism”
David Ferris, University of Colorado, Boulder

11:30 AM-1:00 PM – Lunch

1:00-3:00 PM – Parallel Session Five

Panel 9: Script, Image, Script-Image I
Modalities of ‘Performance’: Literarisierung, Tanz, Bewegung
(Brigid Doherty, Peter Gilgen, and Karl Solibakke, moderators)
010 East Pyne

“Literarizing the Photograph”
Michael Shane Boyle, UC Berkeley

“Benjamin, Hausmann and the Dance of ‘Dada’”
Paul Flaig, Cornell University

“’Salto mortale des S.’ Die Bedeutung von Tanz und Bewegung für Walter Benjamins Verständnis der Schriftbildlichkeit”
Alexander Schwan, Freie Universität Berlin

Panel 10: Literature II
Andersgerichtete Zeichen: Kritik und Ästhetik
(Michael Jennings and Gerhard Richter, moderators)
106 McCormick Hall

“Mortifikation und Anamorphose: Überlegungen zum Begriff der Kritik bei Walter Benjamin und Roland Barthes”
Sebastian Treyz, Universität Basel

“Einschreibungen der Trauer: Schrift und Zeichen, Blick und Musik in Benjamins Sonetten auf C.F. Heinle”
Rolf Goebel, University of Alabama, Huntsville

“Kritisch-Werden eines körperlichen Phänomens: Die ‘Abwehrkräfte der Scham’ bei Benjamin”
Florian Fuchs, Yale University

3:00-3:30 PM – Coffee Break

3:30-5:30 PM – Parallel Session Six

Panel 11: Media II
Writing as Medium
(Bettine Menke and Detlev Schöttker, moderators)
010 East Pyne Building

“Benjamins Lassowurf – Analyse seiner Interviews und Gespräche”
Sabine Schiller-Lerg, Münster

“Schere, Stein, Papier: Ein Bruchstück aus Walter Benjamins Einbahnstraße zum medial-historischen Lesen zwischen den Zeiten“
Nils Plath, Universität Erfurt

“Orte der Berliner Kindheit um 1900 – Konzepte von Räumlichkeit in Walter Benjamins Kindheitserinnerungen”
Alina Bothe, Freie Universität Berlin

Panel 12: Memory and Politics II
Spaces of Memory
(Daniel Weidner and Jose Gonzalez, moderators)
106 McCormick Hall

“Spatial and Graphical Remembrance in Walter Benjamin’s Historiography“
Akos Herman, Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis de Bruxelles
(FUSL), Brussels

”The Child Reading in One-Way-Street”
Melissa Tuckman, Princeton University

“Topographisches Erinnerungsbild. Das Nachleben der Jugend in Walter Benjamins Berliner Chronik”
Johannes Steizinger, Universität Wien

6:30-7:45 PM – Plenary Talk III

“Morality, Law, and the Place of Critique: Walter Benjamin’s “The Meaning of Time in the Moral World”
Andrew Benjamin, Monash University
101 McCormick Hall

Saturday, November 5

9:30-11:30 AM – Parallel Sessions Seven

Panel 13: City III
Thresholds and Sites
(Andrew Benjamin and Justus Fetscher, moderators)
010 East Pyne

“Berlin im Wandel – Benjamins Darstellung der Stadt in den Rundfunkgeschichten, der Berliner Chronik und der Berliner Kindheit um neunzehnhundert.”
Anja Nowak, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

“L’Arc de Triomphe: a Key Temporal Threshold in Benjamin’s Late Writings”
Christina Svendsen, Harvard University

“Towards a Theory of Spatialized Reading. Walter Benjamin’s One Way Street and the Power of a Text”
Ingo Kieslich, Vanderbilt University

Panel 14: Memory and Politics III
Afterlife
(Daniel Weidner and Jose Gonzalez, moderators)
106 McCormick Hall

“’Vorgeschichte’ und ‘Nachleben’. Zum dialektischen Verhältnis von Geschichte und
Leben in zwei Konzepten Walter Benjamins”
Eva Axer, Universität Bonn

“Gedächtnis und Nachleben. Kunstwerke, Bilder und Übersetzungen”
Maria Teresa Costa, Freie Universität Berlin

“Pain and Memory in Benjamin’s ‘Origin of the German Mourning Play’”
Björn Quiring, LMU München

11:30 AM-1:00 PM – Lunch

1:00-3:00 PM – Parallel Session Eight

Panel 15: Script, Image, Script-Image II
Sites of ‘Reading’: Schriftbilder, Photo-Graphie, Tatort
(Brigid Doherty, Peter Gilgen, and Karl Solibakke, moderators)
010 East Pyne

“Schriftbilder als Schwellenphänomene in Benjamins Betrachtungen über Kindheit und Kinderbücher”
Fabian Grossenbacher, eikones/Universität Basel

“Licht-Schrift – Licht-Bild – Photo-Graphie“
Jessica Nitsche, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

“Leere Bilder. Das Lesen des Tatorts bei Walter Benjamin”
Mareike Stoll, Princeton University

Panel 16: Literature III
Dislocations: Theory of Language as Other-directedness
(Eduardo Cadava and Gerhard Richter, moderators)
106 McCormick Hall

“The Forestial Interior. The Dislocation of Language in Benjamin’s Early Work”
Henrik Sunde Wilberg, Northwestern University

“’Die Sprache trägt die Seele der Frauen nicht’:
Gender in Walter Benjamin’s Theory of Language”
Sabine Gölz, University of Iowa

“Das Problem der Schrift in den ersten dekonstruktivistischen Lektüren Walter Benjamins”
Anne-Sophie Kahnt, Universität Marburg

3:00-3:30 PM – Coffee Break

3:30-5:30 PM – Parallel Session Nine

Panel 17: Script, Image, Script-Image III
Vicissitudes of ‘Image’: Ursprung, Fixierung, Signatur
(Brigid Doherty, Peter Gilgen, and Karl Solibakke, moderators)
010 East Pyne

“Westphalianism and the Fullness of Material Display: ‘Word
Baroque’/’Image Baroque’, Sovereignty, and the Ursprung of German Language Theory”
Jane Newman, UC Irvine

“Schrift als Fixierung – Fixierung als Schrift”
Georg Otte, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brasil

“Signatur als Forderung. Zur Lesbarkeit geschichtlicher Phänomene
bei Walter Benjamin und Giorgio Agamben”
Stefano Marchesoni, University of Trento, Italy / Technische Universität Berlin

Panel 18: Literature IV
(David Ferris and Michael Jennings, moderators)
Unsettling Script
106 McCormick Hall

“Written Miniatures – Miniature Writing: The Contraction of the Letter and the
Miniaturization of Thought in Walter Benjamin, Robert Walser and WG Sebald”
Nikolai Preuschoff, Freie Universität Berlin/University of Michigan

“Between Total Effacement and Extreme Individuality: Benjamin’s ‘Theses on the
Problem of Identity’ and Baudelaireian Textuality”
Yoav Rinon, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

“Der Stand des Lebensfadens:
Normativity, Bodiliness, and Schrift in Walter Benjamin’s Berliner Kindheit um 1900”
Alice Christensen, Princeton University

7:00 PM Closing Reception
Chancellor Green Rotunda