Tag Archives: Featured

“Poetic Dimensions of Language: Roman Jakobson Revisited” with Winfried Menninghaus

Princeton University, Department of German
Invites you to a Lecture with

Winfried Menninghaus
Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics,
Frankfurt am Main

“Poetic Dimensions of Language:
Roman Jakobson Revisited”

When: Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Time: 6:00pm
Where: 205 East Pyne

This lecture is free and open to the public

Topics in Medieval Literature: The Song of the Nibelungs and the German National Myth


GER 321G—Summer 2016
Topics in Medieval Literature: The Song of the Nibelungs and the German National Myth
Prof. Sara S. Poor

When: May 31st, 2016 – June 24, 2016
Where: Munich, Germany

Seminar on quintessential German epic, the Nibelungenlied (1200). We will read the modern German translation while visiting sites in and around Munich related to historical background and geography of story. Students examine myth of German hero as epitomized in Siegfried and Hagen (later adopted in nationalist discourses) as well as vilification of heroines Brunhild and Kriemhild. Field trips address medieval notions of learning (manuscripts), space (castle, monastery), and art (objects, paintings, and sculptures in local museums). At conclusion of the course, students consider the transformation of tale in modern re-workings (Wagner, Lang).

For more information, please email spoor@princeton.edu
GER 321G

Hendrik Blumentrath: Nemesis, Göttin des Masses

Princeton University / Department of German
invites you to a Lecture and Workshop with:

Hendrik Blumentrath
Humboldt University

Nemesis, Göttin des Masses
“Nemesis, Goddess of Measure”

Lecture in German: Tuesday, December 1st
Time: 4:30pm
Where: 205 East Pyne

Workshop; Friday, December 4th
Time: 10:00am-1:00pm
Where: 205 East Pyne

Henrik Blumentrath

Grand Harmonie Presents: Beethoven’s Fidelio

Grand Harmonie presents” Beethoven’s Fidelio
Date: Jan 23, 2016
Time 7:30PM
Where: Richardson Auditorium

Boston-based ensemble Grand Harmonie will present a semi-staged performance of Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio on January 23 2016, 7:30PM at Richardson Auditorium, the first on period instruments in the United States. The production is led by Princeton alumnus Geoffrey McDonald, and is supported in part by the Department of Music, the Department of German, the Council for the Humanities, and the Lewis Center for the Arts. Professor Scott Burnham will lead a post-performance talk-back. Tickets $45 General; $35 Seniors; $15 Students; $10 PU Student


“Ex Tempore: Celan, Rilke and Apollinaire among the Autumn Crocuses”

Michael G. Levine
Professor of German and Comparative Literature, Rutgers University
Title: “Ex Tempore: Celan, Rilke and Apollinaire among the Autumn Crocuses”
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2014
Time: 4:30pm
Location: 205 East Pyne


Eric Santner: “The Weight of All Flesh: On the Subject-Matter of Political Economy”

The Spring 2015 German Department lecture series commences with a talk by Eric Santner, the Philip and Ida Romberg Distinguished Service Professor in Modern Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago.

Santner, whose recent work investigates sovereignty as a political, psychoanalytic, religious, and aesthetic phenomenon, will speak at 4:30PM on Thursday, February 12 in 106 McCormick. His talk pursues the entanglement of the human body in the normative dilemmas of political sovereignty in modernity, a topic which was also subject of Santner’s 2014 Tanner Lectures on Human Values at UC Berkeley.

Eric Santner is visiting Princeton in connection with the seminar “Psychoanalytic Turns in Art History and Literary Criticism,” taught by Brigid Doherty in Fall 2014. Santner’s lecture on Thursday, February 12, will serve as the keynote address for a colloquium on Friday, February 13, in which graduate students from the Departments of German, Art & Archaeology, Comparative Literature, French & Italian, and the School of Architecture will present research projects launched in that seminar. For more information on the colloquium, contact Brigid Doherty.

Santner has authored several important books, including The Royal Remains: The People’s Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty (2011),On Creaturely Life (2007), On the Psychotheology of Everyday Life: Reflections on Freud and Rosenzweig (2001), My Own Private Germany: Daniel Paul Schreber’s Secret History of Modernity (1996), and Stranded Objects: Mourning, Memory, and Film in Postwar Germany (1990). He also co-authored, with Slavoj Zizek and Kenneth Reinhard, The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology (2005).

Eric Santner Flyer

December 9th Mini-Symposium on Heidegger’s Schwarze Hefte with Peter Gordon (Harvard) and Karsten Harries (Yale)

The Fall 2014 German Department Lecture Series will conclude with a mini-symposium at 4:30pm on Tuesday, December 9th in 010 East Pyne on Heidegger’s recently published Schwarze Hefte [Black Notebooks] . The event will consist of lectures by Peter Gordon (Amabel B. James Professor of History, Harvard College Professor, Harvard University) and Karsten Harries (Howard H. Newman Professor of Philosophy, Yale University). Anson Rabinbach (Professor of History, Princeton) will serve as the moderator.

Gordon Thumb
Prof. Gordon describes the stakes of his talk “Prolegomena to any Future Destruction of Metaphysics” as follows:

The official publication of the first set of Heidegger’s schwarze Hefte, or “black notebooks” (originally written between 1931 and 1941) has generated great controversy in the world of Continental philosophy. Composed during the very last years of the Weimar Republic and the formative years of the Third Reich, the notebooks reveal Heidegger’s private and political ruminations on many themes: the “failure” of his rectorship, the future of Germany in an age of technological metaphysics (or “Machenschaft”) and the need for an “other beginning” beyond the errors of the metaphysical tradition. They also reveal a deep and philosophically motivated strain of anti-Semitism beyond what was known before of the philosopher’s prejudices. For those who may still wish to take Heidegger seriously as a philosopher and are unwilling to dismiss his work as hopelessly contaminated by the ideology of National Socialism, the urgent question remains: How should we read him from this point forward, and what model of interpretation underwrites our encounter with his philosophy?

In his talk, entitled “The Most Recent Heidegger Controversy: Missing the Forest for a Few Trees,” Prof. Harries’ will argue that

Heidegger’s recently published Black Notebooks have been said to demonstrate once more his ongoing commitment to National Socialism, an essential connection between that commitment and his philosophical thought, and his obsession with ‘World Jewry,’ reason enough for us to dismiss him as a philosopher to be taken seriously. However, a thorough reading of the Black Notebooks calls all three claims into question. What the notebooks do show, in tiring and repetitive detail, is that Heidegger came to understand himself ever more decisively as an untimely thinker, who found it impossible to make his peace with the modern world, projecting that home of which he dreamed into an indefinite future. At issue is the legitimacy of the modern age.

The mini-symposium will be conducted in English and is free and open to the public.


Thomas G. Schestag Lecture “Zuschreiben” Wednesday, Nov 12th @ 4:30pm EP205

Thomas G. Schestag

Thomas G. Schestag

Thomas G. Schestag (Brown University) will give a lecture in German entitled “Zuschreiben” on Wednesday, November 12, 2015 at 4:30pm in East Pyne 205. The lecture will explore, “how to attribute, how not to attribute, a name to what we see? But what is there to see? Here: in a drawing attributed to Gentile Bellini.”

Prof. Schestag joined the faculty of the German Department at Brown University in January 2014 as an Associate Professor and is currently the Director of Graduate Studies. A scholar of German and comparative literature, he has taught in the United States at Northwestern University, Johns Hopkins, University of Michigan, NYU and the University of Virginia, as well as in Japan, Hungary and in Germany at the universities of Bonn, Frankfurt, Bochum and at the LMU, Munich. In the fall of 2013 he was the John P. Birkelund Fellow in the Humanities at the American Academy in Berlin.

Educated in Paris, Strasbourg, Zurich (PhD, 1988), at the Freie Universität Berlin (MA, 1984), and the University of Frankfurt (Habilitation, 2003), Schestag has published widely on theories of names and naming, hermeneutics and translation, and the intersection of philosophy, poetry, and political theory. An English translation of his 2006 book, Die unbewältigte Sprache (Engeler), on Hannah Arendt’s theory of poetry, is in preparation. He is also investigating the idea of sensus communis (koinē aisthēsis) concerning the existence of a sense for language preceding the pre-conceptual notion of a linguistic “common sense.”

For a PDF of the poster, please click here

Bellini thumbnail

Claus Pias to lecture on “Friedrich Kittler and the ‘Misuse of Military Equipment’” on Oct 2 at 4:30pm in 106 McCormick


Prof. Claus Pias (Leuphana University, Lüneburg), one the leading media theorists in Germany today, will give a lecture entitled “Friedrich Kittler and the ‘Misuse of Military Equipment’: On the Situation of an Expression 1964 / 1984 /2014” on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 4:30pm in 106 McCormick. In his talk, which is co-sponsored by the Program in Media + Modernity, Prof. Pias will historicize Kittler’s media theory of the 1980s by means of its own media-historical conditions. In so doing, the expression “misuse of military equipment” will play a central role: why is media history at the start of the 1980s conceptualized as a history of mis-use? Why was this figure of thought so obvious at that time? What is the relationship of the mis-use theory and the media-technological apriori? And why have their consequences become problematic for the understanding of digital media (or digital cultures) today?

Prof. Pias holds a chair for Media Theory and History at the Institut für Kultur und Ästhetik Digitaler Medien (ICAM) at Leuphana University, Lüneburg where he is also the Director of the Center for Digital Cultures (CDC), the Director of MECS (Institute for the Advanced Study of the Media Cultures of Computer Simulation). His classic 2010 study of gaming Computer Spiel Welten (Diaphanes) will soon appear in a much-awaited English translation.

Claus Poster