Call for Papers

33rd Meeting of Semiotic Circle of California

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Thirty-Third Meeting of the Semiotic Circle of California will be held in the Faculty Club of the University of California, Berkeley on Saturday, January 20, 2018. Please submit this form together with a one paragraph abstract (attachment or CD) by December 15, 2017 for participation in the meeting.

As customary, the meeting will be an open topic research paper meeting. Reservations for housing may be made directly to the Faculty Club at (510) 642-1993/540-5678 or to the Hotel Durant at (510) 845-8981.

Berkeley Germanic Linguistics Roundtable
University of California, Berkeley

Invited Speakers:
John Ole Askedal, University of Oslo
Erhard Hinrichs, University of Tübingen
Ekkehard König, University of Freiburg
Aditi Lahiri, University of Oxford
Anatoly Liberman, University of Minnesota

Scholars (faculty and students) concentrating on Germanic Linguistics, its near and/or distant related languages, diverse approaches, synchrony and/or diachrony, historical and/or contemporary language are invited to submit a one-page abstract of a twenty minute paper by January 31, 2014 to the conference organizer:

Irmengard Rauch, Department of German
Univ. of California, Berkeley; Berkeley, CA 94720-3243
phone/fax (707)746-7480;

Lodging: Reservations can be made at The Faculty Club (510) 642-1993/(510)-540-5678, UC Berkeley, Berkeley CA 94720; The Durant Hotel (510)-845-8981, 2600 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704, or The Hotel Shattuck Plaza (866)-257-5990, 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704.
Friday & Saturday, April 4-5, 2014 @ 8:30am-5pm, Faculty Club

Linguistic Varieties and Variation
Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference
March 1-2, 2014
at the University of California, Berkeley

Werner F. Leopold’s 1959 publication “The Decline of German Dialects” foresaw a grim future for German dialect diversity, positing that “the trend is toward a single colloquial standard over the whole territory.” (Leopold, Werner F. 1959. The Decline of German Dialects. Word 15.) Such claims of widespread dialect leveling in the face of linguistic globalization and standardization are not limited to German, and have persisted in modern literature. Despite this, there is a widening field of literature exploring new varieties of West Germanic, from dialects that mediate between standard and non-standard varieties such as the Dutch tussentaal regiolect, to post-vernacular Yiddish and such emerging “multiethnolects” as the German Kiezdeutsch.

55 years after Leopold’s prediction, the aim of this conference is to survey the past, present, and future status of nonstandard varieties. This conference aims thus most broadly to explore the linguistic structure of German, Dutch, Yiddish, English, and other Germanic dialects, but also to investigate the status of Germanic dialects outside of their traditional political and geographic lines and in the face of the new language policy of multilingual Europe. Our inquiry thus includes, but is not limited to the following questions: Where is the boundary between standard and non-standard? In what ways do non-standard varieties deviate from standard language? What are the effects of standardization on regional dialects, sociolects, and ethnolects? How have changing (and disappearing) linguistic and political boundaries affected non-standard varieties? What characterizes the processes of dialect leveling and dialect emergence? How is variation represented in literature and multimedia?

Please feel free to view or print our conference poster and program.

With generous support from the Student Opportunity Fund, Graduate Assembly, Department of German, Program in Dutch Studies, Department of Linguistics, Department of English, and the Department of History.

Conference Program

Saturday, March 1 (in 370 Dwinelle)

9:30-10:30 a.m. Registration/Breakfast

  • Welcome Remarks: Lindsay Preseau & Christine Vais

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Variation and Identity (Moderator: Jenna Ingalls, University of California, Berkeley)

  • Sonia Gollance (University of Pennsylvania): "Encoding Jewish German from Below in Rafael Seligmann’s Der Musterjude"
  • Dr. Rebekka Studler (University of Basel): "Varieties and identity in a diglossic and pluricentric society: Attitudes towards Swiss German and High German in Switzerland"
  • Magdalena Borowik (University of Warsaw): "'Wie alles gemacht worre ist' – Palatinate German, its role and influences. The ‘BIBEL uf Pälzisch’ and the regional identity"

12:00-1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30-3:00 p.m. Historical Variation (Moderator: Justin Farwell, University of California, Berkeley)

  • Alex Estes (University of California, Berkeley): "Old High German i-Umlaut Revisited"
  • Anna Schmidt (University of Potsdam): "Topic Position as an Indicator of Integration"
  • Carolyn Hawkshaw (University of California, Berkeley): "Variation in the Inflection of the Weak Masculine Nouns in Early New High German"

3:00-3:30 p.m. Break

3:30-4:30 p.m. Varieties in Contact (Moderator: Jon Cho-Polizzi, University of California, Berkeley)

  • Matthias Fingerhuth (University of Texas, Austin), "Semantic transference in Texas German: dialectal or idiolectal feature?"
  • Dr. Alja Lipavic Oštir (University of Maribor): "Marburgerdeutsch: Eine (fast) ausgestorbene Varietät des Deutschen im Kontaktbereich mit einer slawischen Sprache"

4:30-5:00 p.m. Break

5:00-6:00 p.m. Keynote Lecture. "Deitsch, Däätsch, Düütsch, Dietsch: Transplanted Varieties of German on the Great Plains" by Professor William Keel (University of Kansas; introduction by Christine Vais.)

6:00 p.m. Dinner

Sunday, March 2 (in 370 Dwinelle)

9:30-10:30 a.m. Breakfast

10:30-12:00 p.m. Standards and Standardization (Moderator: Melissa Winters, University of California, Berkeley)

  • Stephen Giuliani (University of Innsbruck): "The 'Ideology of the Standard' and the Changing Perception of 19th Century English Dialects"
  • Elisabeth Senft (University of Innsbruck): "English double perfect infinitive constructions: 'a fascination – like a cobra’s for a bird'?"

12:00-1:30 p.m. Lunch Break

1:30-2:30 p.m. Youth Varieties (Moderator: Gilad Sharvit, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

  • Georg Oberdorfer and Anna Weiß (University of Graz): "Dialect and Variation in Youth Language(s) in Austria"
  • Benny De Decker (University of Antwerp): "The dynamics of young Flemish Dutch: traces of substandardization processes in teenagers’ chat language?"

2:30-3:00 p.m. Coffee Break

3:00-4:00 p.m. Variation and Directionality (Moderator: Alex Estes, University of California, Berkeley)

  • Thilo Weber (University of Freiburg): "Stability and Convergence in Low German Syntax"
  • Dr. Thomas Shannon (University of California, Berkeley): "Drift and Word Order Freedom in West Germanic"

4:00 p.m. Concluding Remarks and Wine Reception

Semiotic Circle of California


9:00 a.m. Michael James Lundell (UC San Diego): "A Source for Richard F. Burton’s Poetry in The 1001 Nights"

9:20 a.m. Ellen McCracken (UC Santa Barbara): "Paratexts as Intratexts: New Systems of Paratextuality in Enhanced E-Books"

9:40 a.m. José Sanjinés (Coastal Carolina Univ.): "'Screens': Communication Systems in the New Media"

10:00 a.m. Kate Carnell Watt (UC Riverside): "Monstrous Transgressors"

10:20 a.m. Eric Savoth (UC Berkeley): "Militarizing Empathy: Bertolt Brecht and the Salvation Army"

10:40 a.m. Winfried Kudszus (UC Berkeley): "Reflections from the Other Side"

11:00 a.m. Denise Warren (UC San Diego): "Strangers on a Train (1951): Hitchcock’s Strategies of Suspense"

11:20 a.m. William Watt (UC Irvine): "The Wolf Man"

1:20 p.m. Sang Seong (Seoul National Univ.): "The Relevance of Deixis in the Local and Anaphoric Expressions in Korean and German"

1:40 p.m. Mattie Scott: "Semiotic Aspects of Buddhist and Christian Contemplative Practices"

2:00 p.m. Enrique Mallen (Sam Houston State Univ.) and Elizabeth Trux (Uni.Düsseldorf): "Picasso’s Use of Color: Painting in Code"

2:20 p.m. Gilad Sharvit (Hebrew University, Jerusalem /UC Berkeley): "Schelling’s 'das Unbewußt' and the Possibility of Psychoanalytic Freedom"

2:40 p.m. Jeroen Dewulf (UC Berkeley): "The Cosmic Race: Friedrich Nietzsche’s Influence on José Vasconcelos’ Theory of Mestizaje"

3:00 p.m. Kirsten Paige (UC Berkeley): "The Nightingale, the Owl, and the Jew in the Thornbush: Reassessing Walther’s Trial Song in Die Meistersinger"

3:20 p.m. Irmengard Rauch (UC Berkeley): "Sound Semiotics: Human Body, Ambience, Computer"

3:40 p.m. Alain J.-J. Cohen (UC San Diego): "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Rival Versions of a 21st Century Woman Figure"

Robert Walser:
Intersections of Life and Literature, Art and Psychiatry
International conference, April 3, 2013

The singular work and exceptional biography of the Swiss author Robert Walser (1878-1956) have in recent decades attracted the interest of a wide, international readership. During his lifetime, however, Walser lived and wrote at the margins of society. Many of Walser’s most prominent admirers have, therefore, portrayed him as the prototype of the modern writer’s tragic fate. Considering the central importance of writing and psychiatry in his life, Walser’s work and biography invite discussions from perspectives that combine artistic productivity with psychopathology. This conference will thematize ongoing debates on genius and insanity with regard to Walser’s mysterious micrograms and his decision to turn silent as an author. We will also reflect on the possibilities of translating Walser’s unique work into the present day via other languages and art.

This conference intends to foster a dialogue across disciplinary borders and to generate new insights into the relationship between art, deviation and insanity by linking historical perspectives in the fields of literature and psychiatry to contemporary artistic and literary activities and projects. A select group of scholars, critics, and artists has been invited to discuss the topic of this conference from a multiplicity of perspectives including translation, literary writing, plastic art, psychiatry, and academia.

The conference has two parts: The morning and afternoon program will take place on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, with a series of lectures. From there, the conference will move to San Francisco, where it will continue with a special evening program.

Official Conference Poster


April 3, 2013, 9am-5pm

University of California, Berkeley, Institute of European Studies, 201 Moses Hall.

Admission free.

9:00-9:30am Jeroen Dewulf Welcome, Introduction
9:30-10:30am Jörg Kreienbrock

Failure is (not) an Option:
Robert Walser’s Modernity

10:30-10:45am Coffee Break
10:45-11:45am Winfried Kudszus Via Robert Walser: Microwriting, Metaparanoia
11:45a–12:45p Uwe Henrik Peters Robert Walser and the Enigma of Schizophrenia
12:45-2:15pm Lunch
2:15-3:15pm Lucas Marco Gisi

Writing under Observation, or
Robert Walser Falling Silent in the Clinic

3:15–3:30pm Coffee Break
3:30-5:00pm Emily Verla Bovino

Son Mot Mort or Its Word Death: The Recipes and Journals of Constance Schwartzlin-Berberat at the Waldau Clinic (1884-1911)

Euan Macdonald We Already See So Much

Translating Robert Walser:
A Roundtable with the Translators Susan Bernofsky and Mark Harman
Moderation: Winfried Kudszus
April 3, 2013, 7:00-8.30 p.m.
swissnex San Francisco, 730 Montgomery Street
Presented by the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco. Reception to follow.
Mandatory RSVP via:

In this roundtable event, the prominent translators and literary scholars Susan Bernofsky and Mark Harman will provide insights into their work in a discussion session moderated by Professor Winfried Kudszus from the University of California, Berkeley.


Susan Bernofsky is one of the best-known translators of literary works in German into English. She translated Robert Walser’s novels The Robber (2000), The Assistant (2007), The Tanners(2009), and also a selection of his Microscripts (2010). Her translation of the Berlin Stories was published in 2012. She is the author of a great number of articles on Robert Walser and teaches at Columbia University, New York. For her translation of Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, Susan Bernofsky was awarded the Hermann-Hesse-Preis 2012.

Emily Verla Bovino is an artist and author, based in La Jolla. She is pursuing artistic fieldwork asMarfa researcher-in-residence and research as a doctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego. Her projects are informed by her studies on the history of Anarchism as well as on the interrelations among Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and the Arts. Her latest project is an exhibition of works by Constance Schwartzlin-Berberat and also includes Robert Walser.

Jeroen Dewulf is a professor at the Department of German at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a specialist in German-Swiss literature, in particular the work of Hugo Loetscher. Among his books are Brasilien mit Brüchen (2007) and Spirit of Resistance (2010). His numerous articles include considerations of cultural hybridity and intercultural tensions.

Lucas Marco Gisi is the director of the Robert Walser Archives in Bern, Switzerland. He edited two anthologies with texts by Robert Walser (Mikrogramme and Im Bureau, both 2011) and published several articles on Walser, including Das Schweigen des Schriftstellers (2012).

Mark Harman is prominently known as the English translator of Franz Kafka’s Amerika: The Missing Person and The Castle. He also translated Robert Walser into English and edited the influential volume Robert Walser Rediscovered (1985). His translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’sLetters to a Young Poet was published in 2011. Harman is the author of a great number of scholarly articles on Franz Kafka and Robert Walser, among others, and is a professor for English Literature at Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania. For his translation of Franz Kafka’s The Castle, Harman was distinguished with the Lois Roth Award.

Jörg Kreienbrock is a professor at the Department of German at Northwestern University. He is the author of the books Kleiner. Feiner. Leichter. Nuancierungen zum Werk Robert Walsers(2010) and Malicious Objects, Anger Management, and the Question of Modern Literature(2012).

Winfried Kudszus is a professor at the Department of German at the University of California, Berkeley. Among his books are Literatur und Schizophrenie, ed. (1977), Psychoanalytische und psychopathologische Literaturinterpretation, co-ed. (1981), Poetic Process (1995), and Terrors of Childhood (2005). His many articles include “Robert Walser’s Silence”, and “Acknowledgments: ‘An Georg Trakl,’ by Robert Walser”.

Euan Macdonald is an artist based in Los Angeles, whose drawings, videos and sculptures have been internationally exhibited. He published several books, amongst othersEverythinghappensatonce (2006) and Selected Standards (2008). A result of his deep involvement with the work of Robert Walser is the art book We Already See So Much (2013).

Uwe Henrik Peters, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Köln, is a most preeminent German psychiatrist and neurologist. He was Director of the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of Mainz and the Head of the Psychiatric Clinic at the University of Köln. Author of a great many articles and books, among the latter definitive works on Exile Psychiatry, psychiatric terminology, Anna Freud, Sigmund Freud, the history of psychiatry, and his widely discussed books on the complexities of insanity in the cases of Friedrich Hölderlin (Hölderlin. Wider die These vom edlen Simulanten, 1982) and Robert Schumann (Gefangen im Irrenhaus—Robert Schumann, 2011).

Contact information

  • Jeroen Dewulf (
  • Lucas Marco Gisi (
  • Winfried Kudszus (

Sponsored by the Center for the Art of Translation, the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco, the Department of German and the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley, the Goethe-Institut San Francisco, the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, the Robert Walser-Zentrum, Bern, and swissnex San Francisco.

Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference
March 8-10, 2013

With generous support from The Townsend Center for the Humanities, UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly, UC Berkeley Student Opportunities Fund, Department of Comparative Literature, Department of English, Department of Film & Media, Department of German, Department of Philosophy, Program in Medieval Studies, and Department of Spanish & Portuguese.

Official Conference Poster

Friday, March 8

5:00-6:30 p.m. Welcome Reception (5337 Dwinelle)

  • Remarks: Conference Organizers

6:30-8:00 p.m. Film Screening: Loriot (Selections; 142 Dwinelle)

  • Introduction: Jacob Johnson (UC Berkeley)
  • Presentation: "Es darf gelacht werden" by Dagmar Theison (UC Berkeley)

Saturday, March 9 (370 Dwinelle)

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Ethics of Laughter (Moderator: Seth Elliott Meyer, UC Berkeley)

  • Almut Nickel (Universität Kassel): "Mythisches Lachen und 'Fröhliche Philosophie.' 'Frau Nu lacht' in Günther Anders’ Erzählung 'Kosmologische Humoreske'"
  • Dennis Johannssen (Brown University): "Cheerful Pedagogy: Fourier, Jean Paul, and Benjamin’s Anthropological Materialism"
  • Todd Cesaratto (Miami University of Ohio): "Humor, Wit, Jokes, and the Question of Nationality in Jean Paul’s Vorschule der Ästhetik"

2:00-4:00 p.m. Subversive Laughter? (Moderator: Sebastian Haselbeck, UC Berkeley)

  • Claire Amanda Ross (Washington University in St. Louis): "Diegetic Laughter in Fritz Lang’s M"
  • Wiebke Schuldt (Washington University in St. Louis): "Vom Krieg ins Kabarett? Zum Kipp-Phänomen des Lachens in Irmgard Keuns RomanFerdinand, der Mann mit dem freundlichen Herzen"
  • Olivetta Gentilin (Verona University): "'[…] und der Himmel müsse bersten, und die Erde müsse sich wälzen vor Lachen.' Zum politischen Sinn des Lachens in Georg Büchners dramatischen Werken."
  • Michael Huffmaster (Bowdoin College): "Kafka’s Laughter and the Kafkaesque"

4:30-6:00 p.m. Keynote Lecture: "Kafka’s Laughter" by Professor Anca Parvulescu (Washington University in St. Louis; introduction by Alexander Lambrow, UC Berkeley)

Sunday, March 10 (370 Dwinelle)

9:30-11:00 a.m. Caricatures and Masks (Moderator: Erik Born, UC Berkeley)

  • Maria Schnell (Universität Salzburg): "Rhetorisch-poetische Praxis im 16. Jahrhundert. Federführende Darstellungen von renaissance-humanistischer Gelehrtendichtung nach höfisch-soziokulturellem Vorbild in deutschsprachiger Tradierung"
  • Lena Heilmann (University of Washington): "Masking Laughter in Marianne Ehrmann’s Amalie: eine wahre Geschichte in Briefen"
  • Tara Hottmann (UC Berkeley): "Parodying Werner Herzog"

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Parody and Performance (Moderator: Jenna Ingalls, UC Berkeley)

  • Frederike Gerstner (Universität Mainz): "Lachstürme im Theater: Topsy, eine 'Neger-Soubrette comme il faut.'"
  • Iris-Aya Laemmerhirt (Technische Universität Dortmund): "The Great Dictator? Humorously Subverting the Image of Adolf Hitler in Contemporary German Culture"
  • Amila Becirbegovic (University of California, Davis): "Revolutionary Inversions in the Genre of Comedy: Carl Sternheim’s Die Hose versus Steve Martin’s The Underpants"

1:00 p.m. Concluding Remarks, Refreshments and Optional Lunch in Berkeley

Conference organizers: Jacob Johnson, Alexander Lambrow, Seth Elliott Meyer

Semiotic Circle of California 2013


  • 9:15 a.m. Denise Warren (UC San Diego): "Voice-Over, Interiority and Spectator Address in Film Noir"
  • 9:40 a.m. William Watt (UC Irvine): "Sleight of Hand"
  • 10:05 a.m. Jeroen Dewulf (UC Berkeley): "Pinkster in New York: On the Dutch Community and its Slaves in James Fenimore Cooper’s Novel Satanstoe (1845)"
  • 10:30 a.m. Sang Hwan Seong (Seoul National Univ./ UC  Berkeley): "Phonological Transfer and its Interpretation: L2 Perceptual Acquisition Process of Korean Plosives by German Native  Speakers"
  • 10:55 a.m. Dagmar Theison (UC Berkeley): "The Kafkaesque Process of Translation"
  • 11:20 a.m. Winfried Kudszus (UC Berkeley): "Salient Interspace in Benn’s 'Gehirne' and Wittgenstein’s 'Über Gewißheit'"
  • 1:00 p.m. Karl Kaussen (Biotext, LLC): "Is 'tone' important in the translation of health care texts?"
  • 1:25 p.m. Ellen Mc Cracken (UC Santa Barbara): "The New Road to On the Road: Intratextuality in the Enhanced E-Book"
  • 1:50 p.m. Michael Fragomeni (UC Berkeley): "Faithfulness to Musical Phrase: Applying Firstness, Secondness, Thirdness to Songwriting and Sound Recording"
  • 2:15 p.m. Lindsay Preseau (UC Berkeley): "The Irreducible Sign: NSM and Germanic Modal Particles"
  • 2:40 p.m. Irmengard Rauch (UC Berkeley): "Welby’s Significs: 'Does the "animal" ask "when"?'"
  • 3:05 p.m. Alain J.-J. Cohen (UC San Diego): "Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (2011). The Semiotics of Nostalgia"


Faculty Club, Seaborg Room - University of California, Berkeley


Friday, March 23, 2012

 8:00 a.m. Registration
 Morning Session: Marc Pierce, Chair

  •  8:20 a.m. Ann-Marie Swensson and Jürgen Hering (Gothenburg Univ., Sweden): "Stress distinction in prefixed disyllabic noun/verb pairs in English: 'one of the most settled analogies of our language'?"
  • 8:40 a.m. Randall Craig Meister (Brigham Young University): "A Minimalist Approach to German Synthetic Lexical Compounds: A New Look at Thematic Nouns"
  • 9:00 a.m. Sang Hwan Seong (Seoul National University): "German two-way prepositions and L2 acquisition process"
  • 9:20 a.m. Karen Roesch (Texas State University): "Case Loss in Texas Alsatian and Texas German: External vs. Internal Factors"
  • 9:40 a.m. Bhavani Saravanan (Stony Brook University): "Syllable Weight in Dravidian"
  • 10:00 a.m. Michael St. Clair (University of California, Berkeley): "The Uralic-Substrate Model of Germanic Origins from the Perspective of Genetics"
  • 10:20 a.m. Julie Van Bogaert and Torsten Leuschner (Ghent University): "Dutch (‘t) schijnt  / German scheint’s  (‘apparently’): A Grammaticalization Channel for New Evidential Particles"
  • 10:40 a.m. Roslyn Burns (University of California, Berkeley): "Eastern German and the Slavic Connection: An Investigation of Consonant Palatalization"
  • 11:00 a.m. Enrique Mallen (Sam Houston State University): "Computational Approaches to Semantic Domains and Biographical Narratives in Pablo Picasso"

12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch

Afternoon Session: Tonya Dewey, Chair

  • 1:00 p.m. Stephane Goyette (Ottawa, Canada): "Lingua germanica in bucca romanica: on West Germanic and its romance substrate"
  • 1:20 p.m. Gregor Thuswaldner (Gordon College, Wenham, MA): "The Language of Crisis: An Analysis of the Financial Crisis Metaphors in German Media"
  • 1:40 p.m. David Chisholm (University of Arizona): "Metrical, Lexical and Semantic Aspects of German Knittelvers"
  • 2:00 p.m. Matthias Fritz (Freie Universität Berlin): "A Weakness for Weakness: In the Western World of Germanic"
  • 2:20 p.m. Maria Stopfner  (Universität Innsbruck): "Streitstruktur im Parlament:  Linguistische Analyse der Zwischenrufe im Österreichischen Nationalrat"
  • 2:40 p.m. Ryan Dux (University of Texas, Austin): "Linguistics in the Language Classroom: Using Frame Semantics for Vocabulary Acquisition"
  • 3:00 p.m. Heike Wiese (University of Potsdam): "Grammatical Developments in New Urban Germanic Dialects"
  • 3:20 p.m. Maggie Gemmell (University of Texas, Austin): "German verkaufen in the Conduit Metaphor"
  • 3:40 p.m. Andriy Levytskyy (Kiev Taras Shevchenko National University in Ukraine): "DREAM and SLEEP in West Germanic and East Slavic Language Worldviews"

7:00 p.m. Dinner (Howard Lounge)
Theo Vennemann (University of Munich) on “Reflexives in the British Isles”

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Morning Session:  Thomas Shannon, Chair

  • 8:20 a.m. Dorian Roehrs (University of North Texas): "Two Types of Pre-determiner Structures"
  • 8:40 a.m. Amanda Randall  (University of Texas, Austin): "Positioning Franz Boas amid the Generativist Turn"
  • 9:00 a.m. Dankmar Enke (Universität Tübingen): "Morphosyntaktische Reanalyse von Possessivpronomina: Adjektive oder Determinierer?"
  • 9:20 a.m. John R. te Velde (Oklahoma State University): "On the Status of Left-Dislocated Adverbial Clauses in West Germanic"
  • 9:40 a.m. Solveig Bosse (University of Delaware): "German Dative of Inaction"
  • 10:00 a.m. Eric T. Lander (Ghent University): "Some 'NP Properties' in Old Norse"
  • 10:20 a.m. Marc Pierce, Hans C. Boas (University of Texas, Austin) and Karen Roesch (Texas State University): "Plural Formation in Texas German"
  • 10:40 a.m. Toshihiro Oda (Fukuoka University, Japan): "Phonetic Basis on the Markedness Constraint Banning on Onset Velar Nasal: Evidence from Germanic and Related Languages"
  • 11:00 a.m. Hubert Haider (Universität Salzburg): "The Germanic OV/VO Bifurcation—a V2 + type-III Production"

12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch

Afternoon Session: Sang Seong, Chair

  • 1:00 p.m. Andriy Levytskyy (Kiev Taras Shevchenko University, Ukraine): "Dream and Sleep in West Germanic and East Slavic Language Worldviews"
  • 1:20 p.m. Jóhanna  Barddal (University of Bergen), Tonya Kim Dewey (University of Bergen), Carlee Arnett.(University of California, Davis), Stephen M. Carey (University of Bergen), Thórhallor Eythórsson (University of Iceland), Gard B. Jenset (Bergen University College) and Michael Cysouw (University of Munich): "The Semantics of Oblique Subjects in Early Germanic"
  • 1:40 p.m. G. W. Davis (Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee): "Explaining the HG Consonant Shift: A Comparison of Leading Theories"
  • 2:00 p.m. Irmengard Rauch (University of California, Berkeley): "Gothic Inheritance Networks and Underspecification"
  • 2:20 p.m. Justin Farwell, Michael Fragomeni, Carolyn Hawkshaw, Mary Ellen LeBlanc, Chris Little, Stephanie Peltner, Lindsay Preseau and Michael St. Clair (University of California, Berkeley): "BAG XII: German Netspeak / Textspeak"


The Berkeley Germanic Linguistics Roundtable is supported by the University of California, Berkeley, Division of Arts and Humanities, the Institute of European Studies; and the Max Kade Foundation, Inc.

The World Elsewhere
20th Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference

“For you the city, thus I turn my back: There is a world elsewhere.” – from Coriolanus, Shakespeare

Keynote speakers: Professor James A. Schultz (Chair, Department of Germanic Languages, UCLA) and Professor David Shneer (Department of History, University of Colorado)

The power of literature is to imagine worlds. From Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Kingdom of Zazamanc to fantastic imaginings of faraway lands in Medieval and Early Modern Cosmographia and from Calvinist cities upon hills to Kafka’s penal colony, literature’s renderings and attempted realizations have fueled the imagination, sparked debate and far too often led to disaster. The world elsewhere may, following Thomas More, be called Utopia, but this is both a “good place” and “no place”, making such constructions inherently fraught with challenges from pragmatism and problematic in their definitions of what ‘”good” is. These worlds are often fantastic, but can also be terrifying; are often familiar, but upon closer inspection utterly alien. They are “imaginative spaces” in which we work through the hopes, fears, desires and possibilities that human experience engenders.  They provide the means through which we imagine ourselves as part of a world, a universal community.  The Internet and digital media grant us new power to simulate our imagined worlds.  But how have the nature and use of these imagined worlds changed in our increasingly interconnected and globalized age?

Conference organizers: Jenna Ingalls, Tara Hottman, Kenneth Fockele

The Neighbor

How do we identify a neighbor or neighborhood in our current age of migration and mobility? Examining the religious, political, and cultural implications of “the neighbor” in the German-speaking world, this interdisciplinary conference seeks to enrich our understanding of not only genocide and violence but also exchange, aid, and co-operation.

The conference will span March 11-13, 2011. We will launch our events on Friday evening with a screening of “Siamo Italiani” (“The Italians”) in Dwinelle 142. This screening will be preceded by a presentation from Jeroen Dewulf, Director of the Dutch Studies program at Berkeley, and it will be followed by a discussion panel and a reception. The conference will convene again in Dwinelle 370 for three panels on Saturday (March 12) from 9:00am to 6:30pm and three panels on Sunday (March 13) from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Each panel will be introduced and moderated by a graduate student at Berkeley. There will be two keynote addresses: David Frick (UC Berkeley) on Saturday 9:00am-10:00am; and Kenneth Reinhard (UCLA) on Saturday from 5:00pm-6:30pm.

Our first keynote speaker, David Frick, will present a talk entitled “Kith, Kin, and Neighbors in Seventeeth Century Wilno.” Professor Frick teaches Polish literature, language, and history, and Medieval Slavic, language, and history at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include Church reforms in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Enlightenment Poland, cities, and Vilnius/Wilno. His current research is on neighborhoods and networks in the interfaith community of seventeenth-century Vilnius.

Our second keynote speaker, Kenneth Reinhard, will present his current research on our theme with a talk tentatively entitled “The Three Neighbors.” Professor Reinhard, whose research has focused on the history of critical and aesthetic theory, contemporary critical theory, and Jewish Studies, is the Director of the Program in Experimental Critical Theory at the University of California, Los Angeles. His current research focuses on “the political theology of the neighbor,” seeking to transform the binary distinction between the notions of enemy and friend. In his forthcoming book for Princeton University Press he will continue to investigate the possibility of “an ethics of the neighbor.”

Past conferences organized by the Department of German have developed the reputation for providing scholars from the US and abroad with a venue for presenting and discussing their research on cutting-edge topics. The proceedings of several recent conferences, “Rebellion and Revolution” (2008) and “The Threat and Allure of the Magical” (2009), have been published. This year we are inviting submissions from graduate students, advanced undergraduate students, and faculty in a wide range of fields. We look forward to your participation in our conference.