Fall 2016 Colloquium Series: Patent Fictions: The Poetics of Invention in Imperial Germany

December 2, 2016

Erik Born

Erik Born

On December 2, 2016, Erik Born (Cornell University) concluded the IGCS fall colloquium series with a paper titled “Patent Fictions: The Poetics of Invention in Imperial Germany,” in which Born examined the cultural techniques and practices of scientific and literary invention from 1871 to 1918. “Patent Fictions” belongs to a larger project that traces the history of invention by analyzing how authors and inventors acquire new technological means of consecrating novelty in their works and how the meaning of invention itself changes as a result of these developments. [Read more…]

Fall 2016 Colloquium Series: Käfige und Lauben: Schauplätze der Bildung und Infrastruktur des Alltags

October 14, 2016

Pál Kelemen

Pál Kelemen

On October 14, 2016, Pál Kelemen (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) work in progress titled “Käfige und Lauben: Schauplätze der Bildung und Infrastruktur des Alltags” in the IGCS colloquium series. Kelemen examined the symbolic structure of modern Gartenlaube, or bowers. The bower, portico, or pergola has a particular function in European modern novels, which can be described as the cultural production of a modern aesthetic. [Read more…]

What Happens to Literature if People are Artworks?

September 22, 2016

Eric Hayot

Eric Hayot

On September 22, 2016, Eric Hayot (Penn State) presented a public lecture titled “What Happens to Literature if People are Artworks?” This lecture was co-sponsored by the Society for the Humanities, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Institute for German Cultural Studies, the Department of German Studies, and the Department of Romance Studies. Hayot began by placing his talk in the context of his previous projects, which sought to undermine binaries. [Read more…]

Theory Transfer: The Fate of German Theory in the United States

September 16-17, 2016

Organized by Peter Uwe Hohendahl and Paul Fleming, a collaborative workshop titled Theory Transfer: The Fate of German Theory in the United States, was held under IGCS auspices September 16-17, 2016. Steffen Martus and Carlos Spoerhase (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) opened the discussion on Saturday with their reflections “Zur Lokalität des Theoretisierens” (“On the Locality of Theorizing”). Arguing for a fine-grained understanding of theorizing as a critical practice, Martus and Spoerhase situated their praxeological project within the larger context of theory in literary studies, thus accounting for “theorizing” among other established practices in the heterogeneous field of Germanistik. [Read more…]

Fall 2016 Colloquium Series: Wege des Wissens und ihre Rekonstruktion. Konzepte und Verfahren zur Beschreibung epistemischer Wanderungen

September 16, 2016

Ralf Klausnitzer

Ralf Klausnitzer

Ralf Klausnitzer (HU Berlin) began the Fall 2016 colloquium series with a presentation of his paper, “Paths of Knowledge and their Reconstruction: Concepts and Procedures to Identify Epistemic Migration (in the Humanities).” Discussion of this paper led off the Institute for German Cultural Studies’ “Theory Transfer Conference,” an international conference addressing the movement of theoretical models across national and epistemological borders. [Read more…]

IGCS Artist in Residence, Fall 2016: Kathrin Röggla

August 26-September 8, 2016

photo by Karsten Thielker

photo by Karsten Thielker

The Institute for German Cultural Studies was especially delighted and honored to host Kathrin Röggla—Vice President of Berlin’s Academy of Arts and prize-winning author of multifaceted work in narrative prose, theater texts, radio plays, and documentary film—as IGCS Artist-in-Residence for two weeks at the start of our fall semester. Over the course of her stay she generously shared excerpts from her newest literary work, critical thoughts on “stuttering” as aesthetic strategy, and poetological reflections on the futurity of contemporary literature in relation to global capital. [Read more…]

Spring 2016 Colloquium Series: No Future? The Anti-Teleological Experimentation of the Prenzlauer Berg Poets

April 29, 2016

Anna Horakova

Anna Horakova

In her IGCS colloquium presentation “No Future? The Anti-Teleological Experimentation of the Prenzlauer Berg Poets,” Anna Horakova (Cornell University) discussed how the collective of writers and artists situated in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg during the GDR’s last decade played with multimedial manipulation of found poetic language in order to wrest the notion of hope away from official party politics and reclaim it for the GDR’s cultural underground. [Read more…]

The Transition from the Infinite to the Finite: Religion and German Literature, 1700-1770

April 20, 2016

John Smith

John Smith

On April 20, 2016, the ICGS hosted John H. Smith (European Languages and Studies, UC Irvine) for a special seminar entitled “The Transition from the Infinite to the Finite: Religion and German Literature, 1700-1770.”  Smith pre-circulated a paper on the role of eighteenth-century religious poetry in transforming concepts of the finite and the infinite, opening the seminar by contextualizing this transformation within the scientific and mathematic developments of the time period.   [Read more…]

Spring 2016 Colloquium Series: Autobiographie und Religion. Zugänge und Konzepte

April 8, 2016

Jens Kugele

Jens Kugele

The penultimate colloquium of the Spring semester was given by Jens Kugele (Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen), who presented a paper titled “Autobiographie und Religion. Zugänge und Konzepte.” Kugele’s paper approached the intersection of religion and literature from a new perspective within cultural and ethnographical studies. In the first part of the paper, Kugele gave an overview on the current discourse in cultural studies on the role of aesthetic representations of religion and its practices in contemporary secular times, and showed how the specific entanglement of religion and culture has shifted in recent years. The second part of the paper offered a close reading of Ruth Klüger’s autobiography weiter leben (1992). [Read more…]

Technologies of the Human: Modern Figures of Thought

March 19, 2016

The workshop “Technologies of the Human: Modern Figures of Thought” on March 19, 2016, was organized by Paul Fleming (Cornell University) and Carl Gelderloos (Binghamton University) and sponsored by the Institute for German Cultural Studies and the Department of German Studies at Cornell. It featured presentations by Carl Gelderloos, Jocelyn Holland (UC Santa Barbara), June Hwang (University of Rochester), Jeffrey Kirkwood (Binghamton University), Elisabeth Strowick (Johns Hopkins University), Leif Weatherby (New York University), and Harald Zils (Binghamton University). [Read more…]