News & Events

Past Events Archive

  • Memory and Democracy: Civil and 'Uncivil' Activism for Remembrance in Germany and Beyond

    Across the country, civic activism is toppling statues in the name of historical justice. The debate over how to confront our racist, colonial, or genocidal past – and the ways history challenges contemporary democratic governance – has recently made headlines. Examining the relationship between memory and democracy, Jenny Wüstenberg’s work focuses on how grassroots actors engage with institutions in order to shape public mnemonic space in Germany. In particular, she asks how to assess the role of civil society when it is not always an advocate for “progressive” modes of remembering violent histories. Jenny Wüstenberg is the DAAD Visiting Assistant…

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  • Erinnerungsreisen zur Geschichte der Germanistik in Berkeley

    The Department of German invites you to attend this year’s Bonwit-Heine Lecture.   Lesung und Diskussion:  Erinnerungsreisen zur Geschichte der Germanistik in Berkeley Freitag, 30. November, 14-15:30 Uhr   3335 Dwinelle Hall   Karl S. Guthke (Kuno Francke Emeritus Research Professor of German Art and Culture at Harvard University) lehrte 1958-65 in Berkeley. Er liest aus seiner neuen Autobiographie Von Heidelberg nach Harvard (2018) das Kapitel über seine Zeit in Berkeley vor dem Free Speech Movement:   Von Heidelberg nach Berkeley: Erinnerungen an die Goldenen Jahre der Migration nach Amerika.   Professor emeritus Hinrich C. Seeba, der seit 1967 in Berkeley lebt und lehrt, gibt den Kommentar.  …

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  • Poland at 100: The Continuing Challenges of Nationhood

    This talk will consider the meanings and consequences of the reemergence of a Polish state in 1918 in new boundaries, after 125 years of rule by foreign powers. The event is celebrated as liberation, but what did it mean for ethnic minorities like Jews and Ukrainians? What did it mean for women? That Poland lasted barely twenty years before being overwhelmed by its totalitarian neighbors. Could its leaders have done more to protect their state and European peace? These questions are considered in the shadow of today’s Poland and a right wing government that rejects critical approaches to the past.…

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  • Historiography and Migration: Explaining the Present through the Lens of History

    Discussions about migration have dominated the public discourse in Germany since the “refugee crisis” of 2015. There is a growing acceptance of empiric data on migration, collected by research institutions like the IMIS at Osnabrück University. On the other hand, the public discourse – including from the government – is getting more emotional and often denies proven facts and figures. After a short introduction of recent German history, Paul Voerkel will analyze several statements made by German Government´s representatives about migration and refugees. He will show to what extend those statements contain arbitrary affirmations, and he will contrasted those with…

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  • DAAD Workshop "DaF in den USA": Language Teaching Methodology for Graduate Students and Junior Faculty

    This workshop is intended to provide participants with a look at the current professional discourse regarding the teaching and learning of German, and insights into the most recent findings in the fields of Second Language Acquisition and Applied Linguistics. The special focus will be on teaching with texts for language learning, and workshops participants will gain the practical experience of developing and presenting a teaching unit as well as reflecting and discussing this. By invitation only, for application forms please contact euba@berkeley.edu

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  • Helke Sander's dffb Cinema, 1968 and West Germany's Feminist Movement

    Helke Sander was a key figure of the early dffb, where she studied between 1966 and 1969. Returning her political organizing and her films of the era revises three crucial narratives: 1. it expands narratives about 1968 to include the establishment of feminism as part of it (The Tomatenwurf), which is often read as a 1970s phenomenon; 2. it expands narratives of cinemas of the late sixties to include feminist filmmaking; and 3. it shows how the seeds for her much better known filmmaking of the seventies were already visible thematically and formally in her little known earlier work. Christina…

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  • Twentieth-Century Anti-Utopianism and its West German Antidote

    This talk picks up a melancholic thread in assessments of the end of the Cold War, when the triumph of liberal democracy and capitalism over “really existing socialism” led academics and public intellectuals to pronounce the end of utopian ambitions. Margaret Thatcher captured this idea in her claim that “there is no alternative.” Some West Germans, however, resisted this logic. Facing the ostensible dissipation of radical social and political alternatives, they refused to abandon hope for a superlative existence. But they also recognized that old paradigms of utopian thought had lost their currency. They jettisoned the conviction that society marched…

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  • Work between National Socialism and the Economic Miracle: A Forgotten Crisis in the Early Federal Republic

    Joerg Neuheiser’s current research focuses on post-war Germany and the history of work in 20th century Europe. He is working on a book on the West German work ethic after 1945 in which he analyzes the legacy of Weimar and Nazi work experiences after 1945, the migration of so-called “guest workers” from the 1960s onwards and the German experience of economic, technological and cultural change in the 1970s and 1980s. A key aspect of the book is a critical reevaluation of contemporary sociological research on values after 1970 and the role that public debates on value change and a declining…

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  • GUH Lecture: A BERLINER IN JAZZ-AGE MANHATTAN

    “Erich Mendelsohn vs. the Skyscraper Primitives: A Berliner in Jazz-Age Manhattan” Greg Castillo, Associate Professor of Architecture Tuesday, November 20, 1-2:30pm | Wurster 170 Presented by the Global Urban Humanities Initiative Upon first sight of the Manhattan skyline in 1924, Erich Mendelsohn proclaimed it an object lesson in “the tragedy of madness, deranged power, the… intoxication of limitless victory.” Amerika: Bilderbuch eines Architekten (America: An Architect’s Picture Book), his bestselling travelogue, portrayed a culturally primitive society degraded by jungle capitalism, but advanced in building technology. Maintaining that American architecture had “unexpectedly little to offer a prophetic observer,” Mendelsohn returned to…

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  • Celebrating Poland: 100 Years of Independence

    This talk will consider the meanings and consequences of the reemergence of a Polish state in 1918 in new boundaries, after 125 years of rule by foreign powers. The event is celebrated as liberation, but what did it mean for ethnic minorities like Jews and Ukrainians? What did it mean for women? That Poland lasted barely twenty years before being overwhelmed by its totalitarian neighbors. Could its leaders have done more to protect their state and European peace? These questions are considered in the shadow of today’s Poland and a right wing government that rejects critical approaches to the past.…

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