Thursday, May 8th, 4:00pm
Department of German Studies Awards Ceremony

The Department of German Studies annual awards ceremony honoring the Delta Phi Alpha inductees as well as the recipients of the Asa Clinton Crowell, Caesar Misch and Adolf Conrad Ely prizes.

German Studies Department, Library, Room 103
190 Hope Street
Reception to follow

Friday, Apr. 11th 10:00am - 6:00pm
Dance in/and Theory

A one-day event that will bring three prominent international speakers to Brown to speak about dance and its importance for the study of culture, society, politics, aesthetics, and history.

Our guest speakers are:

  • Jean-Luc Nancy, Professor of Political Philosophy and Media Aesthetics at the European Graduate School and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Strasbourg (Prof. Nancy will participate in the event via web-conferencing)
  • Gabriele Brandstetter, Professor of Theatre and Dance Studies at the Free University, Berlin
  • Jacques Rancière, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris, St. Denis.

10:00am - noon - List Art Center 120
2:00pm - 6:00pm - BERT 1390 (89 Waterman Avenue)

Friday, Apr. 4th 4:00pm

"Walter Benjamin:  A Critical Life"

Book presentation and roundtable discussion.  Authors Howard Eiland (MIT) and Michael W. Jennings (Class of 1900 Professor of Modern Languages, Princeton University) in conversation with Kevin McLaughlin, Gerhard Richter, and Thomas Schestag. 

Pembroke Hall, Room 202
Cogut Humanities Center
172 Meeting Street
Free and open to the public with reception to follow

Wednesday, Mar 19th, 6:30pm

"To Be Seen:  Shame in Kafka's 'Beschreibung eines Kampfes'"

Betiel Wasihun (Oxford University), lecture and discussion on Kafka.

German Studies Department, Library, Room 103
190 Hope Street
Reception to follow

Monday-Tuesday, Mar 17th-18th
Sam Weber seminar and lecture:

Monday, Mar 17th 5:30pm

"The Singularity of Literary Knowledge" 

Pembroke Hall, 3rd floor

Tuesday, Mar 18th 11:00am

"Like Gleich":  Hölderlin Liking Sophocles

Marston Hall, 2nd floor seminar room

Samuel Weber is the Avalon Foundation Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University and co-director of its Paris Program in Critical Theory.  He has published influential books on Balzac, Lacan, and Freud as well as on the relation of institutions and media to interpretation.  More recent books include Theatricality as Medium (2004) and Targets of Opportunity:  On the Militarization of Thinking (2005).  An important major study of Walter Benjamin, Benjamin's-abilities, appeared in 2008.  His most recent book has just appeared in French with the title of Inquietantes singularites. 

Friday, Mar. 7th 8:45am

"Presentability:  The Appearing of Vanishing"

How can one address the bare limit, a barrier, of aorts, that precedes every presentation?  How migh one read the unapparent opening of appearance?  These and related questions, which the distinguished literary scholar
Rainer Nägele pursues in his book from 2008, 'Darstellbarkei' ('Presentability'), will be addressed at a symposium hosted by Brown's Department of German Studies, following a keynote lecture by Nägele himself.

Faculty Club
1 Magee Street

Friday, Feb. 21st 7:00pm

"Faust in a Box" presented by Berlin's transgender performance artist Bridge Markland

In a speactacular one-woman performance, Bridge Markland conjures "Faust" out of the box, performing high speed changes between Mephisto, Faust and Margaret while using hand puppets as her opponents and contemporary music as a backdrop.

McCormack Family Theater, 70 Brown Street
Fones Alley Entrance

FALL 2013

Saturday, Nov. 23rd 10:00am

Hegel Breakfast Seminar w/Professor Rolf-Peter Horstmann

The German philosopher Rolf-Peter Horstmann is one of the world’s leading authorities on Hegel and German Idealism. He will lead a special breakfast seminar on one of Hegel’s most interesting and representative writings, the sections “Vorerinnerung” and “Mancherlei Formen, die jetzt beim Philosophieren vorkommen” from Differenz des Fichteschen und Schellingschen Systems der Philosophie (1801). The German Department will provide coffee, tea, juice, bagels, fruit, etc. If you would like a copy of the reading e-mailed to you, please contact Wendy Perelman <>. This event will be held in German.

German Studies Department, Library, Room 103
190 Hope Street

Tuesday, Nov. 19th 5:30pm

"F.W.J. Schelling's Deities of Samothrace"

Professor David Farrell Krell, Visiting Professor in German Studies and Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Cogut Center, is the author of The Tragic Absolute: German Idealism and the Languishing of God (2005), and Contagion: Sexuality, Disease, and Death in German Idealism and Romanticism (Indiana, 1998).

In 1815, at the height of his powers, Schelling delivered an address to the Bavarian Academy of Sciences on the ancient Greek mystery cult practiced on the island of Samothrace. He later added a long series of notes to his lecture—more than doubling its length—and published it. The Deities of Samothrace is remarkable for a number of reasons: first, it represents the high point of Schelling's systematic philosophy and points to his plans for future work; second, it is one of the most compelling accounts we have of the cult of the Cabiri and "the Great Gods"; third, the issues it raises have much to do with contemporary discussions in archaeology, history of religion, theology, philosophy, and feminism.

Pembroke Hall 202
172 Meeting Street

Friday, Nov. 1st 12:00 noon

"Of Big Ears and Bondage: Benjamin, Kafka, and the Static of Sirens"

Professor Michael Levine is the author of Writing Through Repression: Literature, Censorship, Psychoanalysis (Johns Hopkins UP, 1994); The Belated Witness: Literature, Testimony, and the Question of Holocaust Survival (Stanford UP, 2006); and A Weak Messianic Power: Figures of a Time to Come in Benjamin, Derrida, and Celan (Fordham UP, 2013), which just appeared.

Maddock Alumni Center - Brian Room, 39 Brown Street
Lecture with light lunch to follow

Wednesday, Oct. 16th 5:30pm

“Kafka: Freiheit und Fremdheit”

Professor Dirk Oschmann is the author of Auszug aus der Innerlichkeit. Das literarische Werk Siegfried Kracauers (1999); Bewegliche Dichtung. Sprachtheorie und Poetik bei Lessing, Schiller und Kleist (2007); and Friedrich Schiller (2009). His talk, based on a book-in-progress, challenges the widely-held assumption that Kafka’s work presents forms of estrangement and self-estrangement exclusively. What has not been understood is that, in Kafka’s world, the concept of freedom itself is the dialectical other of the strangeness of estrangement. Oschmann’s talk will explicate this systematic relation with respect to Kafka’s great novel fragments, The One Who Sank out of Sight (a.k.a. Amerika), The Trial, and The Castle. [Lecture in German; discussion in German and English.]

German Studies Department Library, 190 Hope Street, Library, Room 103 
Lecture with reception to follow

Monday, Sept. 30th 5:30pm

"Emerson - Nietzsche's Voluptuary"

David Farrell Krell, Visiting Professor in German Studies and Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Cogut Center, is the author of The Tragic Absolute: German Idealism and the Languishing of God (2005), and Contagion: Sexuality, Disease, and Death in German Idealism and Romanticism (Indiana, 1998).

Philosopher, critic, and writer David Farrell Krell, a Professor Emeritus at DePaul University in Chicago, joins Brown’s German Department as Brauer Distinguished Visiting Professor of German Studies and as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow,Cogut Humanities Center in Fall 2013. Krell, who had the opportunity to work with Heidegger himself, is the author of many important books on German, French, and Ancient Greek thought. One of the leading living American thinkers specializing in the German and European critical traditions, he has published a dozen scholarly books on writers and topics such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, the tragic absolute in German Idealism, architecture, the problem of “contagion” in German Idealism and Romanticism,and Derrida and the work of mourning, among others  His most recent book, Derrida and Our Animal Others, just appeared with Indiana University Press.

Maddock Alumni Center, Brian Room, 38 Brown Street
Lecture with Reception to Follow

Friday, Sept. 13th 10:00am

"The Continuing Importance of the Transatlantic Relationship"

A presentation by German Consul General Rolf E.Schütte

German Studies Department Library, 190 Hope Street, Library, Room 103 
Lecture, Discussion and Lunch


Friday-Saturday, Apr. 12th-13th

"Umwege: Detours in German Literature and Thought"

German Studies Graduate Conference

Smith-Buonanno Hall, 95 Cushing Street, Pembroke Campus

Friday, Apr. 12th
2:15pm – Registration (Forum, 107)

2:45pm – Opening Remarks (Room 201)

3:00pm – Panel I: Detours in and of Literature (Room 201)
Peter Erickson (Univ. of Chicago)
Herkules am Scheideweg: Wieland's ‘Musarion’ and the Conversion to Philosophy
Michael Swellander (Columbia Univ.)
To Walk on One’s Head: Language, Walking, and the Resistance to Metaphor in Büchner’s ‘Lenz’
Mordechai Hodkin (Northwestern Univ.)
Surveying the Landscape: Mapping Stifter’s Discursive Paths
Moderator: Stephanie Galasso

5:00pm – Coffee Break (Forum, 107)

5:30pm – Keynote Address (Room 106)
Professor Carol Jacobs (Yale Univ.)
Around ‘The Rings,’ a Detour
(W. G. Sebald's ‘Rings of Saturn’)

7:00pm – Dinner / Reception (Forum, 107)

Saturday, Apr. 13th
10:00am – Breakfast (Forum, 107)

10:30am – Panel II: (Room 201)
Nicole Sütterlin (Univ. Basel)
Of Tours and Tombs: Approximation and Aberration in German Romanticism (Novalis via Derrida)
Sam Heidepriem (Univ. of Michigan)
Telos or No? – A Wandering Line in Hegel Reception
Gerhard Hommer (Konstanz)
The Right to Detours in the Weimar Republic
Moderator: Ian Sampson

12:30pm – Lunch (Forum, 107)

1:30pm – Panel III: Critical Detours (Room 201)
Ross Etherton (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder)
Kicking Against the Pricks: Interrupted Reading in ‘Minima Moralia’
Andrew Cavin (Univ. of Michigan)
Primitivism and the Critique of Modernity
Matthias Hennig (Univ. Trier)
Philosophie des Umwegs bei Adorno und Bloch
Moderator: Dennis Johannssen

3:30pm – Coffee Break (Forum, 107)
4:00am – Panel IV: Detours of Suspicion (Room 201)
Joshua G. Winchester (New York Univ.)
Otherwise than Subjectivity: Into the Unidentified Fluke of Freud’s Protective Fictions
Patricia Gwozdz (Univ. Potsdam)
Detour as Retour? Mapping the Reader's Mind (Friedrich Nietzsche)
Steven Lydon (Harvard Univ.)
The Trace and The Whole: Rhythm and Cognition in ‘Das Kapital’
Moderator: Felix Green

Thursday, Apr. 18th, 12 noon

 "The Possibility of the Work of Art"

Prof. Christoph Menke (University of Frankfurt)

Christoph Menke is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt (Germany).  He specializes in problems of aesthetic theory, political philosophy, ethics, theories of subjectivity, and the social normativity of freedom.  Among his many books are The Sovereignty of Art: Aesthetic Negativity in Adorno and Derrida; Tragödie im Sittlichen:  Gerechtigkeit und Freiheitnach Hegel; Reflections of Equality; Tragic Play; Irony and Theater from Sophocles to Beckett; Kraft:  Ein Grundbegriff ästhetischer Anthropologieas well as an introduction to the philosophy of human rights.

Maddock Alumni Center - Brian Room, 38 Brown Street

Friday, Apr. 19th, 5:30pm

Waste/Books: Approaching Lichtenberg's Sudelbücher as Intellectual Tools 

Petra McGillen (Assistant Professor of German, Dartmouth College)

Presented by The German Studies Graduate Student Colloquium Series on "Detours, Digressions, and Deviations in International Literature & Thought"

German Studies Department Library, 190 Hope Street, Library, Room 103

Thursday, Apr. 25th, 11:00am - 4:30pm

Symposium on Europe

11:00   Welcome remarks by Kevin McLaughlin (Dean of the Faculty), Introduction by Gerhard Richard (Chair, Department of German Studies)

11:15  Rodolphe Gasché (SUNY Buffalo): “Is ‘Europe’ an Idea in the Kantian Sense?”
Respondents: Paul Guyer (Philosophy), Réda Bensmaia (French Studies)

1:00 Lunch

2:00 Dieter Thomä (Universität St. Gallen, Switzerland): “Europe’s Americanism, Europe’s Europeanism” 
Respondents: Charles Larmore (Philosophy), Massimo Riva (Italian Studies)

3:15  Dietrich Neumann (Art History, Brown University): "Politics and Architecture: The European Cultural Association on the eve of WWII”
Respondent: Susan Bernstein (German Studies /Comp. Lit.), Zachary Sng (German Studies / Comp. Lit.)

4:30   Reception (Wriston Terrace, Faculty Club)

Faculty Club,1 Magee Street, Portrait Room

Wednesday, Mar. 20th, 4:30pm

“Totality and its Discontents: Aesthetics and Politics in Richard Wagner and Sergei Eisenstein”

Dieter Thomä (U. of St. Gallen, Switzerland), Max Kade Distinguished Visiting Professor of German Studies

In 1939 the Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein directed Richard Wagner’s “Valkyrie” in Moscow. An entry in his notebook from this period reads as follows: “What is fascistic in this play, I wonder?“ This uncanny episode from the years of the Hitler-Stalin-Pact, which carries heavy political import, also stands for an encounter between the main representatives of the total work of art (“Gesamtkunstwerk“) in opera and film. This lecture will analyze the Moscow production and address the broad set of political and aesthetic questions shared by Eisenstein and Wagner. Among the issues discussed are: the masses and the individual; order and decadence; the loss of perspective and the (filmic) “shot.”

The lecture also is a contribution to the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth this year.

Barker Room, English Department, 70 Brown St

The GICG sponsored colloquium series: Detours, Deviations, and Digressions

Wed. Feb 13th - "Proust (or Baudelaire): Wanderers and Travelers" led by Ann-Carolin Sieffert (French Studies)
Wed. Feb 27th - "Goethe's Wilhelm Meister: The Grand Detour" led by Eric Foster (German Studies)
Wed. Mar 13th - "Nabokov's Detours" led by Professor Michal Oklot (Slavic Studies)
Wed. Apr 12th -  Special Session: Keynote speaker Carol Jacobs (Yale) at German Graduate Student Conference
Wed. Apr 19th - Closing Session: Keynote speaker Petra McGillen (Dartmouth)

The GICG sponsored colloquium series (organized by a group of German Studies graduate students) investigates how forms of aberration, resistance, and deferral open up a discursive space in which invention and thought can thrive unencumbered; they constitute the creative potentiality from which every new thought and narration emerge. In this context, the series looks at a number of literary works that have shaped the western canon, such as Homer's Odyssee, Dante's Divine Comedy, Sterne's Tristram Shandy.

Graduate International Colloquium Grants (GICG) support collaborative campus-based activites that strengthen or expand Brown University’s connection with the wider world of academic knowledge production, or that will provide new international perspectives on graduate students’ ongoing work. Grants have and continue to support various events, such as individual visiting speakers, speaker series, workshops, or small conferences.

For further information visit:


FALL 2012

Wednesday, Oct. 31st, 12 noon - 2:00pm

"The Miracle of the Dancing Ball: Walter Benjamin, Mechanical Mysticism and the Apocalyptic Epistemology Of Changing Everything, All At Once"

This seminar will consist in a close philosophical reading of Benjamin's short story "Rastelli Narrates" and its accompanying sources and parallels. These enigmatic texts will be placed against the broader background of the modern question of mind and machine and the spiritual automaton that animates some of this author's most telling meditations on the fate of the political in general, and of its critical method and orientation, namely historical materialism and theology, in particular. We will take issue with some recent discussions of Benjamin's stance (notably by Giorgio Agamben and Eric Santner) and aim to resituate him squarely within the much older tradition of the theologico-political that he was one of the first to expose to the unprecedented problems raised by the new technologies of contemporary media.

Speaker Hent deVries will conduct a master seminar for faculty and invited graduate students. Assigned reading required prior to day of seminar. Those who would like to join the Master Seminar must contact Humanities Center

Thursday, Nov. 8th, 12 noon

"Indefensible Ideas: Touching Polemic, Criticism, and Subjectivity"

David Farrell Krell

Pembroke Hall 305

Friday, Nov. 16th, 4:00pm

“The ‘Principle’ of Insufficient Reason: Immediate Heidegger”

Jacques Lezra (New York University)

Smith-Buonanno 106

Think Transatlantic, Campus Weeks 2012

Friday, Nov. 2nd: 
German Quiz Night, The Underground, 6:30 - 8:30pm
Test your knowledge of all things German and win prizes!

Friday, Nov. 9th: Oktoberfest, Andrews Dining Hall, 8:00pm - 12:00am
Tickets $5 @ JWW from Nov 5-9, 12-2pm & at door

Both events sponsored by Brown's Department of German Studies, the German Club and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

The GICG sponsored colloquium series: Detours, Deviations, and Digressions

Wed. Sept 12th
 - "Odysseus' Lying Tales" led by Byron McDougal (Dept. of Classics)
Wed. Sept 26th - "Herodotus and Pindar" led by Prof. Johanna Hanink (Dept. of Classics)
Wed. Oct 10th - "Dante's Divine Comedy" led byAnna Aresi (Dept. of Italian Studies)

The GICG sponsored colloquium series (organized by a group of German Studies graduate students) investigates how forms of aberration, resistance, and deferral open up a discursive space in which invention and thought can thrive unencumbered; they constitute the creative potentiality from which every new thought and narration emerge. In this context, the series looks at a number of literary works that have shaped the western canon, such as Homer's Odyssee, Dante's Divine Comedy, Sterne's Tristram Shandy.

Graduate International Colloquium Grants (GICG) support collaborative campus-based activites that strengthen or expand Brown University’s connection with the wider world of academic knowledge production, or that will provide new international perspectives on graduate students’ ongoing work. Grants have and continue to support various events, such as individual visiting speakers, speaker series, workshops, or small conferences.

For further information visit:



Wednesday, May 2nd, 5:30 pm

"Music, Religion, Nationalism": A Panel Discussion 

Discussion of Johannes Brahms' A German Requiem, To Words of the Holy Scriptures, Op.45 (Ein deutsches Requiem, nach Worten der heiligen Schrift) on the occasion of its performance by the Rhode Island Philharmonic on May 5. Speakers include Larry Rachleff, conductor and musical director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic; Thomas A. Lewis, Religious Studies; and Michael P. Steinberg, Cogut Center for the Humanities.

Pembroke Hall 305

Friday, Apr. 13th, 4:00pm

"Harun Farocki's Reading of Footage from the Nazi Camp at Westerbork" 
Sven Kramer, University of Lüneburg, Germany & Max Kade Distinguished Visiting Professor, Brown University

Prof. Kramer is Professor of German Literature and Literary Cultures at the University of Lüneburg. In addition, he has held a number of visiting positions in the United States, Canada, and Australia. His research interests include the depiction of violence in literature and of left-wing terrorism in literature. Further fields of research comprise the aesthetics of the Frankfurt School, the theory and the history of the essay and the essay-film, and studies on individual authors and filmmakers, such as H. G. Adler, Améry, Büchner, Geissler, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Kafka, Tieck, P. Weiss, as well as Cronenberg, Kluge, Marker, Riefenstahl.

Wilson 309
Lecture and a screening of Farocki's silent film "Respite" [2007, 40min.])

Monday, Apr. 9th, 12 noon

"Passion Lost, Passion Regained: On the Love of the World in Heidegger and Arendt"

Dieter Thomä, Professor of Philosophy, Universität of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Professor Dieter Thomä is the author of numerous influential books – on such topics as Heidegger; totality and pity in Richard Wagner and Eisenstein; fatherhood; parenthood; the problem of happiness; and the American way of life as interpreted from a European perspective. He also contributes regularly to leading European newspapers such as Süddeutsche Zeitung and NeueZürcher Zeitung. Introduction by Gerhard Richter.

Co-sponsored by the Cogut Center for the Humanities and the Departments of Comparative Literature, English, Modern Culture and Media, and Philosophy.
Cogut Center for the Humanities/Pembroke Hall Room 202. Lunch provided.


Wednesday, Mar. 21st, 12 noon

 Panel Discussion "The Quest for Christa W."

Panelists: Irene Kacandes (Dartmouth University), Max Kade Distinguished Visiting ProfessorSven Kramer (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg), Katrin Dettmer (Brown University), Silja Maehl ( Brown University)

Moderator: Kevin Goldberg (Brown University)

The Department of German Studies plans to commemorate the life (and recent death) of East German and post-unification author Christa Wolf. The panel discussion will consist of questions directed by the moderator to the expertise of particular panelists as well as more general questions meant to stimulate exchange and audience reflection. Discussion topics will be generated from, among other sources, excerpts of Wolf’s writings and controversial scholarly critiques. Following the exchange, the audience will be invited to pose questions to the panelists and to offer their own commentary. Closing remarks will address the future of Wolf scholarship and its place within the German (as opposed to East German) literary canon.

Noon - 2pm, Petteruti Lounge

Lunch will be served


Digital Faust, Digital Editions
Lecture by Fotis Jannidis, University of Würzburg

The Digital Faust Edition is an extremely ambitious piece of digital scholarship, involving the representation of complex relationships among manuscripts and detailed tracking of Goethe's revision process. The edition is being prepared using the TEI Guidelines and has contributed substantially to the creation of a new TEI module for manuscript editing. In addition, the Faust Edition is working with several major tool-building initiatives including InterEdition and
Juxta, both of which focus on developing tools for collating, comparing, and visualizing textual data for digital scholarly editions. This presentation will offer a look at the design and encoding process and the editorial theory underlying this massive work.

Fotis Jannidis is Professor and Chair for German and Digital Literary Studies at the University of Würzburg, where he also is one of the directors of the Digital Faust Edition.

Noon - 1:30pm, Rockefeller Library Conference Room
Bring your lunch.

Organized by the Computers and the Humanities Users Group (CHUG)



Reading and Workshop with Tzveta Sofronieva (Writer in Residence, MIT)

Tzveta Sofronieva is Max Kade Writer in Residence at Massachusetts Institute for Technology for Spring 2012. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, living in Berlin since 1992, and a frequent traveler, Ms. Sofronieva has an academic background in Physics and a doctorate in Cultural Studies. Her work, including short stories, essays, and poetry, explores the relationships across languages and different spheres of knowledge, as well as the impact of gender in these contexts. She writes in Bulgarian, English, and German.

Lunchtime Reading

Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
German Studies Department, 190 Hope St, Library
Lunch will be provided. Please sign up by contacting Wendy Perelman.

Workshop Discussion on Translation

(M)Other Words: How can the Terra Incognita of Multilingualism be located?
Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 3 – 5 p.m.
Sayles Hall 105
Please sign up by contacting Professor Forrest Gander.

Co-sponsored by German Studies, Literary Arts, and Comparative Literature.



 FALL 2011



Breakfast Seminar with Peter Fenves (Northwestern)

Peter Fenves (Joan and Sarepta Harrison Professor of Literature  & Professor of German, Comparative Literature, and Jewish Studies at Northwestern University) will conduct a breakfast seminar to discuss his current work in progress (on the relevance of the quantum mechanical concept of entanglement to the relationship between Walter Benjamin and Martin Heidegger)

9:30 a.m. – noon, Petterruti Lounge

Cosponsored by the Cogut Center for the Humanities, Comparative Literature, English, Modern Culture & Media, and Philosophy

Copies of Fenves’ paper, which will form the basis of our discussion, can be obtained by contacting Wendy Perelman in the German Department



Brauer Lecture and Seminar with Andrew Benjamin (Monash University)

Wed, 10/26Lecture

Andrew Benjamin (Professor of Critical Theory and Philosophical Aesthetics at Monash University) will deliver a lecture entitled "Leben und Glück: Notes on Walter Benjamin and Hölderlin."

5:30 p.m., Brown-RISD Hillel, 80 Brown St

Thu, 10/27: Lunch Seminar and Discussion

Andrew Benjamin willconduct a lunchtime seminar and discussion on the "Where are the Animals? On Kant's Critique of Practical Reason"

Noon - 2:00 p.m., German Department Library, 190 Hope St

Lunch provided. Please register with Wendy Perelman.



"Deutschlandwochen," a series of events on German Culture and Language in the US. Click here for more information.

FRIDAY, OCT. 14TH: Quiz Abend

Come test your knowledge of things German and win Prizes!
6:30-8:30pm, The Underground

FRIDAY, OCT. 28TH: Schnitzeljagd @ Kaffeestunde

What’s German at Brown?! Come find out by participating in our Scavenger Hunt that takes you around campus and brings you back to Kaffeestunde at the German Studies Department!
3-5pm, German Department Library

THURSDAY, NOV. 3RD: Lecture by Friedrich Löhr

Generalkonsul Friedrich Löhr (German Consulate Boston) will deliver a lecture entitled “Germany, the Euro and Transatlantic Relations: Leadership in an Interdependent World”
4 pm with reception following, Watson Institute

SUNDAY, NOV. 6TH: Film Screening

"Kebab Connection" (Fatih Akin, 2004) - a comedy set in Hamburg about a young Turkish-German man who is an aspiring filmmaker, and the clash of cultures and pre-parental anxiety ensues after his German girlfriend announces that she's pregnant.
7pm, Salomon 001 






Friday & Saturday
April 22 & 23

(Re)Making Myths: The Creation, Use, and Abuse of Myths in German Literature, History, and Culture with keynote speaker Peter Uwe Hohendahl

Friday, March 18

A lunchtime colloquium

Join us for lunch and a discussion of Michael Haneke’s latest film, THE WHITE RIBBON (2009). led by Professor FATIMA NAQVI, Department of Germanic, Russian and East European Languages and Literature, Rutgers.

Thursday, December 2 -
Sunday, December 5


sponsored by 
Theatre Arts & Performance Studies

by Peter Handke 
directed by Ioana Jucan '11

November 15

Lecture by Gerhard Richter, University of California, Davis.

Monday, November 15th, 5:30pm
Brown/RISD Hillel House
80 Brown Street 

Gerhard Richter is Professor of German and the Director of the Graduate Program in Critical Theory. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1996. His research and teaching focus on European Critical Thought since Kant; modern German literature and culture (including photography and visual culture); literature and philosophy; and the Frankfurt School. He is the author of Walter Benjamin and the Corpus of Autobiography (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 2000; 2nd edition, 2002), Ästhetik des Ereignisses. Sprache-Geschichte- Medium (Munich: Fink, 2005), Thought-Images: Frankfurt School Writers' Reflections from Damaged Life (Stanford: Stanford UP, 2007), and Afterness: Figures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics (New York: Columbia UP, in press).

Friday & Saturday
November 13 & 14

“Romanticism and the Question of Community"

This colloquium will bring together scholars to present research in progress on the principles, practices, experiences, and theories of community in Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment literatures and cultures, with a special emphasis on Romantic literature and thought.
The colloquium will include 45-minute papers by six invited guests from prestigious North American universities. Three Brown faculty will also present papers and an additional three will serve as session moderators. For more info, click here.


28 Sept


29 Sept




30 Sept


Student workshop, by invitation, for more info.

1pm: lunch and informal discussion (in German and English) at German Studies Dept., 190 Hope Street
8pm: Screening of Christina's new video WAVE CATCHER (2010) about her sound installation work, at Grant Hall, behind Orwig Music Building (1 Young Orchard Avenue.)

4pm: Public Presentation, overview of her work and career with audience Q+A , Visual Arts Dept, List Auditorium, 64 College Street


14 Apr


Prof. Anil Bhatti
(Jawaharlal Nehru University, Centre for German Studies, New Delhi, India)

"Cultural Transformation. Goethe's Divan as an Experiment"

5:00pm, 190 Hope Street, Room 103

Click HERE for flyer

5 Apr


Two events with award-winning poet 
Yoko Tawada

Location: 190 Hope Street, Room 103

Poetry Workshop at 12:00pm

The poetry workshop participants will discuss Tawada’s texts in the original and translations into Czech, English, German, Japanese, and Russian, and observe with the author fascinating processes such as shifts in perception, conceptual mutation, and creation of new meaning.

and a Poetry Reading at 5:00pm

"Translated Faces, Liquefied Letters"

Tawada's reading will be a collage of poems and prose texts on the theme of polyphony and multilingualism. Different texts will be read in Chinese, Czech, English, French, German, Japanese, French and Russian. The audience will experience and participate in the sounds of familiar and unfamiliar voices and languages and will observe how texts communicate with one another and give rise to newer meanings and images.

Yoko Tawada was born in Tokyo in 1960, educated at Waseda University and has lived in Germany since 1982, where she received her Ph.D. in German literature. She received the prestigious Akutagawa Prize – Japan’s equivalent of a Booker or a Pulitzer – for The Bridegroom Was a Dog. She writes in both German and Japanese, and in 1996, she won the Adalbert-von-Chamisso Prize, a German award recognizing foreign writers for their contributions to German culture. She also received the Goethe-Medal, an official decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Co-sponsored by the Cogut Center for the Humanities, Departments of Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, German Studies, Literary Arts, and Slavic Languages

5 Mar


Prof. John Namjun Kim
(University of California, Riverside)

"Yoko Tawada: Writings in German and Japanese"

12:00 - 2:00pm, Marston Hall 209

Pre-Registration Required with
Prof. Zachary Sng

Click HERE for readings..

co-sponsored by: East Asian Studies, Comparative Literature, and the Cogut Center for the Humanities.

4 Mar


 Prof. John Namjun Kim
(University of California, Riverside)

“Ethnic Irony: Tawada, de Man and the Poetics of Migrating Borders” 

5:30pm, Maddock Alumni Center, 
Brian Room

Click HERE for flyer and HERE for more information.

co-sponsored by: East Asian Studies, Comparative Literature, and the Cogut Center for the Humanities.

25 Feb


Prof. David Levin
(University of Chicago)

"Wagner in Pieces: The Interstitial Dramaturgy of the Stuttgart *Ring* Cycle"

5:30pm Barus & Holley, Room 190

Click HERE for flyer.

18 Feb

Dr. Daniel Cuonz

"Where does Guilt come from and what will ever come of it? On Nietzsche's Geneaology of the Future" 

(Visiting Scholar at Yale University, University of Zurich, Switzerland)

4:00pm, Library at 190 Hope

Click HERE for flyer.

4 Feb

Prof. Gerhard Richter
(University of California, Davis)

"Rescuing Writing: Benjamin with Adorno, Hölderlin, and Kafka“

5:30pm, Maddock Alumni Center, 
Brian Room

Click HERE for flyer.

30 Sept

Prof. Wolfgang Bernard
(University of Rostock, Germany)

'The Ongoing Process of German Reunification - A Look Behind the Scenes'

Noon, Library at 190 Hope
Pizza lunch provided 

1 Oct

Professor Kevin McLaughlin
(Professor of English and Comparative Literature and German Studies)

“Making Room for Reason in Kant and Derrida”

4:30pm, 190 Hope, Room 103
Click HERE for flyer.

23 Oct

Come join us for Wurst und Kuchen

3:00 pm, lawn, 190 Hope Street

29 Oct

Beatrix Himmelmann 
(Visiting Professor in Philosophy) 

“How to Make Sense of the World - Nietzsche's Aesthetic Point of View”

4:30pm, Library at 190 Hope 

4 Nov


11 Nov


"From Peaceful Revolution to German Unity”.  An ongoing exhibition of posters depicting the history of events which lead to the Fall of the Wall and to German reunification.                                

Watson Institute lobby
Free and open to the public

4 Nov


“Goodbye Lenin” 
(In German with English subtitles)     

8:00 pm, MacMillan 117
Free and open to the public.

Screening of award winning film, “Goodbye Lenin” (2003).  German comedy about a son who must hide the fall of the Berlin Wall from his sickly mother because he believes that the shock might kill her. 

5 Nov


“West meets East – Past Experiences and Current Challenges”

Reiner Möckelmann, Consul General Reiner Möckelmann, Retired West German Diplomat and Director of Summer School Wust

7:00 pm, Joukowsky Forum at the Watson Institute
Free and open to the public with reception following

Consul General Reiner Möckelmann, a former West German diplomat, who held posts at the embassies in Moscow, Belgrad, Vienna, Lima, Ankara and as Consul General in Istanbul, will lecture about his experiences working for the embassy during the Cold War and now since 2006 as Director of the Summer School Wust located in former East Germany. This school was founded in order to give educational opportunities to former citizens of the GDR.  Consul Möckelmann’s career was influenced greatly by the existence of the Berlin Wall. Due to security reasons, as a western diplomat he did not enter East Germany except in transit to Moscow.  Upon his retirement, he assumed the Directorship of the Wust Summer School and celebrated  the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the wall at the school this summer by hosting prominent figures from politics and law who were participants in the ‘peaceful revolution’ and members of formal roundtable negotiations in eastern Germany in 1989-1990.  Brown University’s German Studies Professor Kay Goodman was a founder of this summer school.  Each summer, two to three Brown students travel to Wust to work as instructors at the summer school and to live with families in the village.

Sponsored by the C. V. Starr Lectureship Fund

6 Nov


“Brown/Rostock Exchange 1979-1989: Scholarly Exchanges with East Germany”

Professor William Crossgrove, Professor Marilyn Rueschemeyer, Professor Duncan Smith

3:00 pm:  Kaffeestunde
3:30 pm:  Roundtable Discussion with reception following

Joukowsky Forum at the Watson Institute, Free and open to the public.

Brown University has a long tradition of exchanges with former East Germany (German Democratic Republic). In 1979, the first exchange between any university in the US and in the GDR was established between Brown and the Wilhelm Pieck University in Rostock, East Germany. Undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty from such disciplines as English, medicine, physics, chemistry and German participated in this exchange. This exchange grew to be the largest exchange program between a US and an East German university. About one hundred students participated in the semester or year program, and many more in the summer programs. Another fifty or so faculty members also regularly participated. The exchange took place between libraries as well, which led to Brown having an extensive collection of holdings relating to the GDR. The Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University still maintains an exchange with the medical school in Rostock.  In this roundtable, Professors emeriti Duncan Smith and William Crossgrove from Brown’s Department of German Studies along with Professor Marilyn Rueschemeyer from the Watson Institute will reflect on these exchanges and on their own research on the topic.

7 Nov


Semi-formal Event (Please dress nicely! Suit and tie are not required, no sneakers, flip-flops or blue jeans)

8:00pm-12:00pm:  Music and dancing, food and fun!

8pm-9pm: Live piano music performed by Brown students Ja Bin Hong and Sang Bin Hong

Bach: Partita in e minor
Brahms: Intermezzo in e-flat minor (Op.118 No.6)
Schumann-Liszt: Widmung

9-midnight: Dance to the best German music!

Sayles Hall, Ticket required.
Please email for more information.

Click HERE for ticket sales information.

9 Nov

“Tear Down this Wall”

11am – 1pm:  Wall Art Competition. Add graffiti to our miniature replica of the Berlin Wall and get the chance of winning a trip to two to Berlin!   Sharpies will be provided! Bring your own paints! All participants will receive their own Freedom without Walls pens and highlighters.

12noon – 1:00 pm:  Public Speaking and Spoken Word Competition.  Give a short “speech” or perform a “poetry slam” about the fall of the wall.  Winning speech will be entered into nationwide competition.  Prize is trip for two to Berlin. All participants will receive a drawstring backpack filled with cool prizes, including a water bottle, and gummi bears! Click HERE for competition guidelines.

1pm-2pm:  “Tear Down this Wall”.  Grab a hammer, put on a Freedom without Walls t-shirt and tear down this wall!

Main Green
Free and open to the public. 

Twenty years ago, on the 9th of November, 1989, the world watched in astonishment as jubilant crowds gathered around midnight on both sides of the Berlin Wall. A peaceful revolution had forced the Wall open.  What is the significance of the fall of the wall? What does it mean to students born twenty years ago? To present and future generations, the fall of the Berlin Wall sends a universal message of hope. It reminds us that peaceful change remains possible even where hard line regimes reign. It reminds us that freedom will prevail.

Thu 19 Nov


“Anschauung in Kant, Marx and Benjamin”
Michael Powers, German Studies

“Musikähnlich, Sprachähnlich, Musiksprachlich: Repetition and Variation in Adorno” 
Susan Solomon, Comparative Literature 

4:30pm, Library at 190 Hope

Click HERE for flyer.



5 Feb
1 March 
5-8 March

Brown University Theatre

Click HERE for more information

6 March

Ulrike Küchler

The Magical Mechanical: Automata
and the Fantastic in literature.
E.T.A. Hoffmann´s Olimpia and Alfred de Musset´s Blandine

4:30 pm
190 Hope Street, Library
Click HERE for flyer

11 March

Ian Cooper
(Selwyn College, Cambridge) 

'Faces, Fingers and Photographs: Les Murray and his European Contexts'

Noon - 2:00pm
Marston 209

Preregistration required with 
Lunch provided 
Sponsored by the Departments of German Studies and Comparative Literature
Click HERE for flyer 

13-14 March

Theatricality and Performance

Click HERE for event website.

30 March

Ian Cooper 
(Selwyn College, Cambridge)

"Durs Grünbein's Voices" 

5:00 - 7:00 pm
190 Hope Street, room 103

Pre-registration required with
Sponsored by the Dept. of German Studies
Click HERE for flyer

3 April

Meet alumni to hear about their career paths post Brown.

190 Hope Street, Library
Cleck HERE for flyer

7 April

Professor Bernd Stiegler
"Montage as Cultural Technique"

190 Hope Street, room 203 
Click HERE for flyer

8 April


Hourglass Café (basement @ Faunce House) 
Click HERE for flyer 

28 April

6th annual Bruniale Filmfest 

Noon - 2:00pm
Salomon 101 
Click HERE for flyer

5 May

Katrin Dettmer 

Silja Maehl
"The body of Language: Yoko Tawada and Walter Benjamin".

190 Hope Street, room 103

8 May


190 Hope Street, room 103

May 8


190 Hope Street, lawn 

FALL 2009


Freedom Without Walls Campus Week

Click HERE for more information.


Past EventsFALL 2008

16 Sept


German Studies and the Humanities: New Directions
Elisabeth Weber, "'Torture was the essence of National Socialism': Reading Jean Améry Today." 
Free, refreshments, 4:00pm, Faunce House, Petteruti Lounge. 

23 Sept


Professor Roberto Simanowski
Eating Text: The Life of Words as Image, Sound and Action @ Goethe Institüt-Boston. Click HERE for details.

30 Sept

Professor Roberto Simanowski
Digitale Median in der Erlebnisgesellschaft. Kunst - Kultur - Utopie
Goethe Institut - Boston

7 Oct


in English and German 
Jan Wagner
Click HERE to hear Wagner read some of his poems. McCormack Theater @ 7:00pm

23 Oct
German Studies and the Humanities: New Directions
Lutz Koepnick
"Benjamin in the Age of New Media.

30 Oct


German Studies and the Humanities: New Directions
Stefan Andriopoulos,"Phantasmagoria: Specters of Kant."
Free, refreshments, 4:00pm, location Pembroke Hall 305.


11 Nov


German Studies and the Humanities: 
New Directions

Peter Fenves,"Kant and the Idea of 'Other Human Beings of a Different Species (Race).'" 
Free, refreshments, 5:00pm., 190 Hope, Room 203.


4 Dec

“Coming to Terms with the Ghost:  Spectral Narration in Uwe Johnson's Jahrestage” by Prof. Lara Kelingos. Free, refreshments, 4:00pm, 190 Hope, Room 103.





25 Jan
  Clemens Risi Welcome Receptionrefreshments, 4:30-6:00pm., Library, 190 Hope Street
1 Feb
  Bettina Brandl-Risi talk: "this is my theory-friendly everyday life. It is intense and it is gradually becoming capable of theory! ... and not that art shit or shit like that!" René Pollesch and the Politics of Virtuosity on German Stages, 4:00-5:30pm, Theater, Speech and Dance, Lyman Hall, Room 007.


  Senior Showcase: Hamletmachine, by Heiner Müller In a new translation by Katrin Dettmer and J.E. Macián, Directed by José Enrique Macián, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM, Leeds Theatre
23 Feb
  Conference: Fascism, Nazism and Sexuality, 9:00am - 4:00pm, Vartan Gregorian Quad Lounge, 101Thayer Street, Saunders Inn
13- 14
  Conference: Cogut Center presents "WAGNER and SCANDAL - A Rigorous Conversation with Music and Drama", Grant Recital Hall, Brown University. Check HERE for details.
Mar 18
  Colloquium: "Opera in Performance - In Search of New Analytical Approaches" Prof. Dr. Clemens Risi, Max Kade Visiting Professor of German Studies and Music colloquium (in English), 4:00pm, Smith-Buonnano 106, Reception to follow .
Mar 20
  Guest speaker, Robert Sollich, dramaturg, to visit Clemens Risi'sGRMN1660X: Richard Wagner's Theater course.
3 Apr

Concert: "Spiritual Resistance: Music from Theresienstadt" by baritone Wolfgang Holzmair, Russell Ryan on Piano, 7:30pm, First Unitarian Church, Benefit and Benevolent Streets, Prov., RI. Free and open to the public. Reception to follow. Presented by the Cogut Center for the Humanities.

4 Apr
  LectureSoccer and German Patriotism: From the 1954 Miracle to a "Summer's Tale" by Jochen Vogt, (2006), Library, 190 Hope St, 3:00pm
15 Apr
  Colloquium: Thomas Bäumler, "Shaping Crisis, Shaping Religion: Thinking Social Form in Schleiermacher's 'Speeches'", Dept of German Studies Library 190 Hope St., 4:00pm.
Kabarettabend. April 29th, 7PM at Peterutti Lounge. Please
before Sunday, April 27th if you would like to perform a German related skit, poem, song, or anything else. Free. All welcome.
1 May

May 1st, 3pm, Lawn @ 190 Hope St. Free.
5 May 
May 5th, 4pm, Library @ 190 Hope St.


FALL 2007

20 Sep
  Seminar: Avital Ronell Presents: Kleist’s Militerary Strategy: Overturning the Story Line in THE MARQUISE VON O. 5:00 – 7:00 PM , Crystal Room, Alumnae Hall

2 Oct

  Oktoberfest, Tuesday, October 2nd, starting at 3 pm. on the lawn near the German Studies Dept. @ 190 Hope St.
4 Oct

Reading Digital Literature Conference, Opening reception and Exhibition: 8:00pm - 9:00pm in List Art Center
Click here to view our conference website.

5 Oct


Reading Digital Literature Conference, Conference Opening: 4:30pm - 5:00pm 
Sessions: 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Performance of Digital Literature: 7:00pm - 8:00 pm
All in Smith-Buonanno 106

6 Oct


Reading Digital Literature Conference,
Sessions: 9:30am to 6:30pm 
Performance of Digital Literature: 8:30pm to 10:00 pm 
All in Smith-Buonanno 106 

7 Oct

Reading Digital Literature Conference,
Student Panel: 10:00am - 12:00pm 
All in Smith-Buonanno 106


26 Apr
  "One Hans with Hot Sauce - Life in Two Worlds" 
A reading in German by author, Hatice Akyün. 4p.m., Dept. of German Studies, 190 Hope Street, Rm.103, Reception will follow the talk.
10 Apr
  "Sentiment and the Sublime in the 18th Century"
Lunchtime Seminar at the Cogut Center for the Humanities, by Zachary Sng.
Paper will be pre-circulated, and pre-registration is required. For details, clickhere.
5 Apr
  "Watching Watching: Surveillant Intermediality in Fritz Lang's The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse." Seminar by Thomas Y. Levin, Princeton University. McKinney Room, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street. 12-2 pm.
Pre-registration required. For details, click here. Hosted by Cogut Center for the Humanities.
4 Apr
  "Anxious Cinema: Surveillance as Narrative Form." Lecture by Thomas Y. Levin, Princeton University. Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, 
111 Thayer Street. 7:30 - 9:00 pm. Hosted by Cogut Center for the Humanities.
3 Apr
  "Suicide and Biopower: Elias Canetti's 'Auto-Da-fe'".
Colloquium given by Katrin Dettmer. In English.
Dept. of German Studies, 190 Hope Street, Rm. 103, 4 p.m. Reception will follow.
19 Mar
  "Talking Cures: The Unconscious as (Operatic) Mise-en-Scène."
Colloquium given by Michelle Duncan. In English.
Dept. of German Studies, 190 Hope Street, Rm. 103, 4 p.m. Reception will follow.


FALL 2006

2 Nov 
  "Writing in the Web of Words"
An Evening with the Author Yoko Tawada, organized by East Asian Studies. Reception and meeting of the author at 6 p.m. 
Lecture and reading at 7 pm . Located at: 333 Brook Street.
1 Nov
  "Sound Scraps, Vision Scraps: Paul Celan's Poetic Practice," Marjorie Perloff
Reinhard Kuhn Memorial Lecture organized by Dept. of Comparative Literature
Smith-Buonanno 106, 5 p.m.
26 - 28 
  "Freud and the Humanities," 
A conference, film series, and concert organized by the Cogut Center for the Humanities.
(See details on the Cogut Center website)
17 Oct 
  "False Alarm: On Responsibility in Kafka's Story "A Country-Doctor.'"
Colloquium given by Prof. Zachary Sng, Assistant Professor of German Studies.
Dept. of German Studies, 190 Hope Street, Rm. 103, 4 P.M. Reception will follow.
22 Sep
  A Seminar by Werner Hamacher (U. of Frankfurt)
to discuss 2 pre-circulated papers:
- "The Right to Have Rights"
- "The Right Not to Use Rights"
Faculty Club, 12-2 p.m.
Pre-register with Lunch provided. 
(sponsored by Comparative Literature, Cogut Center, and German Studies)
21 Sep

"Uncalled: A Commentary on Kafka's 'The Test,'"
a Lecture by Werner Hamacher (U. of Frankfurt)
Brian Room, Maddock Alumni Ctr
5:30 p.m., with reception to follow
(sponsored by Comparative Literature, Cogut Center, and German Studies)



4 May
  Colloquium (in English) given by Prof. Roberto Simanowski entitled "Aesthetics of the Spectacle. On Interaction and Reflection in Digital Literature and Art." (Department Colloquium Series) 
190 Hope Street, Rm. 103, 4 p.m. to 5p.m.
16 Mar
  "No Place in Reality: The autonomy of Reflection and the Diminution of the Subject in W.G. Sebald's "Austerlitz."
Talk by Katrin Dettmer. 
(Departmental Colloquium Series) 
190 Hope Street, Rm. 103, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
2 Mar
  "Projections of America: The New World in the texts of 20th century German-Jewish authors"
Talk by Thomas Kniesche
(Departmental Colloquium Series)
190 Hope St., Rm. 103, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
28 Feb
  "Deep Walls"
Exhibition opening and lecture
by artist Scott Snibbe
CIT Lecture Room 165, 7 pm
Reception at 8 pm
(Exhibition runs until March 28, 2006) 
3 Feb
  "Unsettling Opera," a 1-day Workshop
Grant Recital Hall, 1 Young Orchard Ave
9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
Organized by Cogut Center for the Humanities
(click here for details)