Tag Archives: Featured

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”

SWP Workshop Series

Cultural Vistas (Work Permit Waivers, Visas)
Date: March 29th
Time: 7:00PM
Location: East Pyne 011


Open to SWP Applicants for Summer 2018: What exactly is a “Work Permit Waiver”?
Who needs a visa to enter Germany?
What documents are required for SWP internships?
Join Cultural Vistas Senior Program Director Katerina Holubova for an informational session on the work authorization process and more.
RSVP by 3/16!


*Please note: you do not need to have a confirmed SWP internship for Summer 2018 to attend!

Goethe Workshop

March 30-31st, 2018

Graduate Student Workshop on Goethe’s Hermann und Dorothea with Inka Mülder-Bach (Munich/Princeton), Dorothea von Mücke (Columbia ) and David E. Wellbery (Chicago).
Organized by Professor Joel Lande (Dept. of German)

Registration is now closed.

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)

Prof. Dr. Insa Härtel (International Psychoanalytic-University Berlin)

“Sexuality as failure: Psychoanalytic concepts, cultural perspectives”

Date: March 13, 2018
Time: 4:30pm
Location: 106 McCormick

This lecture will examine the ways in which the so-called scandal of the sexual (Oberlehner 2005) is negotiated today. In Western societies a removal of the old sexual moral is predicated: there is talk, for example, of negotiating morals accompanied by the “demand for an agreed-upon, ratified sexual behavior” (Schmidt 1998). While there is of course much to be said for communicative consent, something nevertheless seems to escape consideration here. From a psychoanalytic perspective one might ask: what about sexuality in its potential dis-integrating quality? Shown in view of selected cultural productions, this lecture will confront the question as to what is missing in today’s cultural concepts of sexuality.

Organized by the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society and co-sponsored by the Program in European Cultural Studies and the Department of German.

Prof. Dr. Daniel Weidner (Humboldt-U, Berlin)

“The Spirit, the Letter, and the Life of the Text: Schleiermacher’s Hermeneutics Revisited”

East Pyne 205
March 12 @ 4:30 pm

Schleiermacher’s hermeneutics are usually considered ‘idealist’, ‘romantic’, or essentially ‘Christian’. And indeed, they began as a series of lectures on the hermeneutics of the New Testament, a context that is usually neglected. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes clear that Schleiermacher hardly uses spiritual exegesis or Einfühlung here, but rather deals with specific material problems raised by Biblical Criticism – the (Aramaic-Greek) mixed language of the New Testaments, its insecure textual basis and its composition from fragments. All these features of the New Testament are serious obstacles for grasping the text and transform Schleiermacher’s idealist and logocentric idea of understanding towards a hermeneutics of (written) scripture. The lecture insists on the need for a re-reading of Schleiermacher as a material hermeneutics and argues for a more complex conception of how the religious heritage influences hermeneutic theory.


Daniel Weidner (Institut für Kulturwissenschaft der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Acting Director of the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin)

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