News & Events

Past Events Archive

  • 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…

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  • 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…

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  • 28th Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference

    Schul(d)en: Guilt, Debt, Education Stretching across 200,000 square feet in the heart of Berlin, The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was inaugurated in 2005, sixty years after the European conclusion of World War II. The monument, funded by the German federal government at a cost of approximately €27 million, is a site of both remembrance and education for many, including students who receive tours and participate in workshops.   This year’s conference finds inspiration in the German word Schuld and its connotations of both ‘guilt’ and ‘debt’ in English, and further seeks to connect Schuld to education, and…

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  • 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…

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  • Revisiting the Economics of German Overseas Imperialism, 1884-1918

    In the early 1900s, Germans discovered the richest diamond fields in history in the Protectorate of German Southwest Africa. Namibian diamonds quickly proved more than baubles. These tiny stones made an overlooked impact on the German colonial economy and even on German domestic politics. In addition, Namibian diamonds intersected with what has become a major topic of study: Germany’s genocidal campaign against the Nama and Herero peoples.   Steven Press is an Assistant Professor of History at Stanford University. He received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Recently, Steven has worked on two book projects:…

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  • European Disintegration? The Politics of Crisis in the European Union

    The Eurozone, Ukraine, refugees and Brexit – the European Union has had to confront and manage several major crises during the last decade. However, the outcomes of these crises in respect of political integration have been divergent. The Eurozone has become politically more closely integrated. The Ukraine crisis has not produced any significant effect one way or the other. In contrast, the refugee crisis has provoked some, albeit limited, political disintegration and, with Brexit, the EU is losing one of its three largest and most powerful member states. This divergent pattern of crisis outcomes is not easily explicable in terms…

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  • “Bauhaus Today”: A Student Photo Exhibition

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  • Lecture:”Fremde Heimkehr: Zu einem Literaturprogramm der Moderne”

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  • Lecture: “Der Zorn der Moralisten und die Theorie des Ressentiments: Gegenwartsdiagnose mit/gegen Nietzsche”

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  • “As on the First Day”: The Struggle of Firsts in Heidegger’s “First Elaboration” of his “Origin of the Work of Art”

    The primary thesis of this paper is that Heidegger’s “First Elaboration” of the thoughts that would emerge as his essay on “The Origin of the Work of Art” provides a tantalizing brief index of an insight into the work of art from which the later elaborations of the “Artwork” essay would progressively retreat. The secondary thesis of this paper is that, even if its primary thesis appears as though it were only a parody of the primary thesis Heidegger advances in Kant and the Problem of the Metaphysics, the index in question is itself parodic. Specifically—and this is the tertiary…

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