New Perspective on German Romanticism


Professor Rüdiger Campe (Yale University): "Faith and Believe. Novalis and the Re-invention of Political Theology." Respondent: Russell Bucher (Berkeley)

Professor Jocelyn Holland (UC Santa Barbara): "Schlegel, Novalis, and the Point of Romanticism." Respondent: Eric Savoth (Berkeley).

Reception to follow in the German Department Library.

Symposium on Friedrich Schiller’s, "On the Aesthetic Education of Man in a Series of Letters."

Featuring Helmut Müller-Sievers (Nothwestern): "Playing through Pain. Schiller’s Aesthetics and the Emergence of Masochism"; Karen Feldman (UC Berkeley): "Parables of Relevance: On Schiller, de Man and Aesthetic Ideology"; Gerhard Richter (UC Davis): "Translating Aesthetics: Heidegger’s 1936/37 Seminar on Schiller’s Aesthetic Letters."

Followed by a round table discussion with the presenters and Walter Sokel.

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Kant’s death, the Department of German at Berkeley will host an afternoon symposium. Bringing together scholars from a variety of disciplines on campus, this conference will examine the nexus between Kant’s philosophy and literature.

The event will take place on Friday, December 3, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. in 3335 Dwinelle Hall.

Questions? Please contact graduate student Christina Gerhardt.

Kant Symposium: Kant and Literature

  • 1:00-1:45 p.m. Pheng Cheah (Dept of Rhetoric, UC Berkeley): "'An original Understanding as cause of the world': Nature as Techne in Kant’s 3rd Critique"
  • 1:45-2:30 p.m. Robert Kaufman (Dept of English, Stanford): "Kant’s Theses on Feuerbach, or Marx Ado About Nothing and Poetry"
  • 2:30-2:45 p.m. Break
  • 2:45-3:30 p.m. Hinrich Seeba (Dept of German, UC Berkeley): "'Wahrhaft Wahrheit': Kleist & the 'So-called Kantian Philosophy'"
  • 3:30-4:15 p.m. Jeff Fort (Dept of Comp. Lit, UC Berkeley): "'I cannot do otherwise': Sublimity and Abjection in Kafka’s 'A Hunger Artist'"
  • 4:15-5:00 p.m. Karen Feldman (Dept of Rhetoric, UC Berkeley): "The Poet and the Orator: On Kant, Style and Practical Reason"

Kaushal Raju, one of our German majors (and Philosophy double-major), is presenting a version of his honors thesis titled: "A Rejection of Consequentialist Readings of Nietzsche’s 'Immoralism'" at the 2004 McNair Symposium here on campus.

You are all invited to attend his talk on Friday, August 13 from 4:10-5:40 p.m. in room 235 Dwinelle. His presentation will be for 20 mins (15 mins talk + 5 mins for Q&A), during the above mentioned session time.


Despite the fact that Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) reacted strongly against John Stuart Mills version of Utilitarianism, scholars such as Steven Hales (1995) and Ivan Soll (1994) continue to interpret Nietzsche, like Mill, as a consequentialist. This paper argues that consequentialism was not the central moral view that Nietzsche espoused. I make my case by raising two essential features of his affirmative ethics that such consequentialist readings overlook: (1) They fail to realize that Nietzsches reflections on ethics are not directed towards an erection of a universally valid morality and (2) they ignore the crucial distinctions between agents that are indispensable in understanding anything about Nietzsches ethics. In order to rescue Nietzsche’s ethics from the consequentialist readings ascribed to it, I contrast Nietzsche’s own views from the works of the English Psychologists of his time, i.e. John Stuart Mills Utilitarianism (1861), Paul Rees On the Origin of Moral Sensations (1877) and Herbert Spencers The Data of Ethics (1879). After rejecting the consequentialist readings of Nietzsches immoralism I conclude by suggesting that the Nietzschean ontology and ethics can be better understood in the framework of virtue ethics recently articulated by Christina Swanton (2003).

Other papers that will be presented during the same session include Jin S. Lee’s (University of California at Berkeley) presentation: “The Will to Truth in Nietzsche”.

The German Department plans to honor Theodor W. Adorno’s 100th birthday this year with a one-day symposium:

Adorno: Exile and Ethics
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall, Townsend Center for the Humanities

9:30 a.m. Opening Remarks – Christina Gerhardt, Berkeley


10:00-11:00 a.m. Martin Jay, Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History, Berkeley: “Taking on the Stigma of the Inauthentic: Adorno’s Critique of Genuineness” (Moderator: Anton Kaes, Chair and Professor of German, UC-Berkeley)

11:00-12:00 p.m. Detlev Claussen, Institut für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, Universität Hannover: ”Frankfurter Transfer: Adorno between America and Germany” (Moderator: Robert Holub, Professor of German, Berkeley)

12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch


2:00-3:00 p.m. Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor in Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature, Berkeley: ”Leading a Good Life in a Bad Life" (Moderator: Anthony Cascardi, Professor of Comparative Literature, Rhetoric, Spanish and Portuguese, Berkeley)

3:00-4:00 p.m. Jay Bernstein, Department of Philosophy, New School: ”Bare Life, Bearing Witness: The Ethics of Response” (Moderator: Hans Sluga, Professor of Philosophy, Berkeley)

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

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Roundtable Discussion with all conference participants (Moderator: Christina Gerhardt, Department of German, Berkeley)

Sponsored by the Goethe Institute and the UC Berkeley departments of German, History and Rhetoric, as well as the Townsend Center for the Humanities.

Symposium Organizer:
Christina Gerhardt
Department of German
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720

Thanks to the Goethe Institute San Francisco for co-sponsoring the event.

A History of German Techno

With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, techno has emerged as a musical style that has defined a reunified Germany. Join us in this unique multimedia presentation which will explore the theories and trends behind the success of this culture. The lecture (in English) will be followed by a deejay set which will cover the important styles that emerged in Germany during the past ten years.

Tueday, April 16 in room 155 Dwinelle (450 seats)

  • Doors open at 5:30 pm
  • 6-7 pm lecture
  • 7-9 pm deejay set

Presented by Sean Nye: Known as dj either/or in the Bay Area, Sean Nye has a residence at club tantra in San Francsico. He is acquainted with numerous German deejays and producers, including Dr. Motte, the founder of the Love Parade. Sean graduated from UC Berkeley with high honors in philosophy and comparative literature, with a focus on the philosophy of Soren Kierkegaard.

With special guest Peter Ziegelmeier: Famous as the man behind Kode IV, Peter Ziegelmeier is one of the premier psychedelic trance deejays and producers in the United States. He is the founder of the pioneering Ceiba records label and owner of the Ceiba record store, both based in San Francisco. He performs around the world, including such places as Mexico, India, Hungary, and Zambia. Originally from the Boden See region of Germany, Peter immigrated to the US in 1989.