Each year the graduate students of the department organize and host a two-day conference on a specific interdisciplinary theme. The conference offers students and faculty from the U. S. and abroad an opportunity to present their research on such diverse topics as: “Self-Made Germans: Authenticity, Authority and Self-Fashioning” (2001), “The German Soldier” (2000), “Reading Turn-of-the-Century Culture at the Turn of the Century” (1999), “Building Memory: City Space and Urban Experience” (1998), and “Conquering Women: Gender and War” (1997). Our recent conferences have received great praise from faculty and students both at Berkeley and around the country. They familiarize students with all phases of the conference process and provide unique insight into what constitutes an effective abstract and academic presentation.

Tenth Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference
at the University of California at Berkeley, April 5-6, 2002


370 Dwinelle Hall Conference Room

Conference Schedule

Friday, April 5th

8:45 Breakfast
9:30 Opening Remarks: Joel Freeman, UC Berkeley
9:50 – 11:10 Aesthetics of Finitude (Moderator: Micheal Cowan)

  • Michele Ricci, Stanford University: “The Sacramentalization of Maximin: Literary Modernism and Stefan George’s Poetics of Mortality”
  • Bruce Barnhart, University of California, Irvine: “Jazz and the Pathos of Distance: Adorno’s Use of Nietzsche”
  • Sam Ishii-Gonzales, New York University: “Death in Fassbinder, or What Remains to be Thought”

11:20 – 12:40 The Sublime made Finite (Moderator: Joel Freeman, UC Berkeley)

  • Timothy Frawley, Georgetown University: “The Death of the Sublime: Kafka and Kant”
  • Eric Baker, University of Minnesota: The Epicurean Sublime of Equipoise: “The Hedonist Undercurrent of 18th-Century Aesthetic Discourse”
  • Arthur Strum, Stanford University: “Finitude through Transcendence: the Ambivalent Legacy of Kant’s Critical “Tribunal”

Lunch 12:40 – 1:40
1:40 – 2:40 Keynote Speaker: Karl S. Guthke, Harvard University, Kuno Franke Professor of German Art and Culture, on “Memory Culture in the Cemetary: Talking Stones or Silent Tombs?”

3:00 – 4:20 Homicide (Moderator: June Hwang, UC Berkeley)

  • Jessica Wood, University of California, Irvine: “Life Unworthy: Power over Life, Death, and Reproduction in Wolfgang Liebeneiner’s “Ich klage an!”
  • Sace Elder, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: “Death in the City: Murder and Modernity in Weimar Germany”
  • Michael S. Bryant, Ohio State University: “Finding Oneself in Death: On the Uses of Mass Murder in Identity Formation”

Saturday April 6th

9:20 – 10:40 Death and the Nation (Moderator: Jennifer Kapzynski, UC Berkeley)

  • Chad Wellmon, UC Berkeley: “Thinking a (Given) Nation”
  • Wendy C. Nielsen, UC Santa Barbara: “Romantic Death: Nationalism and Gender Trouble in Kleist and Günderrode”
  • Robyn Marasco, UC Berkeley: “Violence, Fear and Death in Hegel’s ‘Lordship and Bondage’”

10:50 – 12:20 Transcending Transcendence (Moderator: Christina Gerhardt, University of Wisconsin)

  • Ingo Zechner, Holocaust Victims Information and Support Center: Vienna, Austria: “Der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland – Heideggers Todesfuge”
  • Noga Wizansky, University of California, Berkeley: “Re-enchanting Finitude – Rationalizing Infinity in Weimar Germany: Lotte Reiniger’s Silhouette Film, ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’ (1923-1926)”
  • Brendan Quigley, University of California, Irvine: “Das Sein zum Tode: Dasein’s Tragic Heroism and The Aporetic Structure of Death in Being and Time”

12:30 – 1:30 Lunch

1:40 – 3:00 Plenary Speaker: Eric Santner, University of Chicago, Department Chair and Harriet and Ulrich E. Meyer Professor of Modern European Jewish History, Jewish Studies, will speak on “Death and the Neighbor: A Reading of Franz Rosenzweig’s The Star of Redemption”.

3:00 – 4:40 Apparitions

  • Sabine Kriebel, UC Berkeley: “Memory and Mourning: the Legacy of Mass Death in John Heartfield’s Photomontages”
  • Maren Witte, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin: “Und nenn es nicht Stillstand” – Gedanken zur Bedeutung von Ruhe und Tod im Tanz des 20. Jahrhunderts.”
  • Maya Maxym, Emory University: “The Fertility of Loss: Paul Celan’s ‘Sprich auch du’ und ‘Vor einer Kerze.’”

Evening Reception