News & Events
The Department of German hosts and co-sponsors a range of events throughout the year, including conferences, lecture series, and weekly/biweekly colloquia and social activities.
From Vengeance to Virtue: The Problem of Postwar Germany
While Americans have been deeply divided over many issues since the country’s creation, no issue has proved more divisive or revealed more about the nation’s character than the way it treats its enemies. One impulse has been to punish perceived enemies as harshly as possible. The other impulse has been to exhibit benevolence through mercy. The conflicts over which path to pursue have caused hundreds of thousands to suffer, and other times uplifted millions from disaster. At no point were these clashes more impactful than during and immediately after the Second World War. Most of Franklin Roosevelt’s chief advisors…
On Walter Benjamin’s Origin of the German Trauerspiel
The Program in Critical Theory & City Lights Books, San Francisco, present a panel-and-audience discussion with Howard Eiland: “On Walter Benjamin’s Origin of the German Trauerspiel.” A panel of UC Berkeley faculty from the Humanities and Social sciences will speak with Eiland about Benjamin’s book, including issues involving Eiland’s new translation of and introduction to the text, as well as those raised by Eiland’s Monday, February 10 talk, “Hamlet as Trauerspiel?” (see further below for description of the February 10 talk). The panel will then open things up by inviting questions and discussion from the audience. For those wishing to attend the…
Walter Benjamin on William Shakespeare: Hamlet as Trauerspiel?
The Program in Critical Theory & City Lights Books, San Francisco, present a talk by Howard Eiland, “Hamlet as Trauerspiel?” Origin of the German Trauerspiel was Walter Benjamin’s first full, historically-oriented analysis of modernity. Readers of English knew it until last year under the title The Origin of German Tragic Drama, but in fact the subject is something else: the play of mourning. Howard Eiland’s completely new English translation and introduction (Harvard University Press, 2019), the first to appear since 1977, is closer to the German text and more consistent with Benjamin’s philosophical idiom. Focusing on the extravagant and historical seventeenth-century theatrical genre of the…
Study Abroad Info Session
Hear from fellow students and representatives of UCEAP, the Institute of European Studies, Fulbright, and DAAD about opportunities to study, intern, research, and teach in German-speaking lands! Summer, semester, year-long, and post-graduation opportunities exist for all undergraduates at all language levels. It’s never too early to plan ahead! Kaffee und Kuchen will be served!
In the Name of the Cross: Christianity and Anti-Semitic Propaganda in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany
Heated debate surrounds the question of the role Christianity and Christian churches played in the Nazi and Italian Fascist demonization of the Jews. This talk brings to light similarities and differences in the Nazi and Italian Fascist uses of Christianity in their efforts to turn their populations against the Jews through examination of two of their most influential popular anti-Semitic propaganda vehicles: La difesa della razza in Italy and Der Stürmer in Germany. Both would mix pseudo-scientific racial theories with arguments based on Christian religious authority, and both would present themselves as defenders of Christianity against the Jewish threat. Yet there were also differences,…
“Media, Legends, Mysticism”: International Workshop with Zurich, Princeton, & Stanford
Fritz Lang’s Indian Epic, Part II: The Indian Tomb
In the second half of Lang’s two-part epic, our German hero tries to escape with his beloved, the temple dancer Seetha, but is captured and imprisoned in a dungeon. Meanwhile, a palace rebellion threatens to depose the maharajah. The film reaches a pinnacle of exoticism with Debra Paget’s eye-popping, censor-defying “snake dance.” This event is sponsored by the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and the Institute for South Asia Studies. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (510) 642 0808.
Fritz Lang’s Indian Epic, Part I: The Tiger of Eschnapur
A man-eating tiger, an entrancing temple dancer, a menacing maharajah: such are the thrills and perils encountered by a German architect in India in Fritz Lang’s two-part epic The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb. After decades of exile in Hollywood, Lang returned to Germany in 1958 to direct the films, working from a script that he and Thea von Harbou had originally developed in 1920. The result is part pulp serial, part formal experiment, a fantasia of flamboyant set pieces and exotic colors shown off to full effect in this recent restoration. In The Tiger of Eschnapur, architect…
“Bauhaus Today”: A Student Photo Exhibition
Past Incentives, Present Choices: Ideational Legacies and the Politics of Migration in European Minority Regions
Christina Isabel Zuber presents the main arguments and empirical findings of her book project on ideational legacies and the politics of migration in European minority regions. The empirical analysis focuses on Catalonia and South Tyrol, two minority regions that respond very differently to immigration. South Tyrolean elites frame immigration as a threat and restrict immigrants’ access to social benefits. Catalan elites emphasize the opportunities of immigration and grant social rights to “new Catalans” on equal terms. Tracing the development of the political discourse on and the administrative management of migration and integration in both regions over time, I show that…