Finding the Foreign 2005

Dwinelle 370

This conference aims to explore constructions of the ‘foreign’ in the German-speaking context throughout the centuries. Etymology reveals that ‘friend’ was once related to family; ‘foe’ was related to strife. Situated between friend and foe one finds the stranger or the foreigner – ‘der Fremde’- potentially inspiring curiosity or fear, potentially a friend or a foe, potentially a source of insight about oneself.

Who or what is foreign? What tropes or techniques create a sense of the foreign, and how do they serve to position the foreign on the spectrum from friend to foe? How have such discourses been countered by minority voices, hybrid cases, or the uncanny within oneself to destabilize or re-appropriate these categories? What does the construction of the foreign reveal about the formation of national, communal, and personal identities? How is the foreign affected by globalization and migration?

The conference takes place in 370 Dwinelle, Saturday March 12th, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and from 9:30 am-12 p.m. on Sunday, March 13th.

Organized by the UC Berkeley German Department and the Goethe-Institute – San Francisco, in collaboration with DAAD, the Institute for European Studies, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.