Department of European Languages & Studies German Program 2014 Newsletter Photo credit: daguerroty.pe
Letter from the Department Chair GERMAN @ UCI | Open for Business! Greetings to all friends and supporters of the Program in German in the Department of European Languages and Studies (ELS) at UC Irvine! We hope this Newsletter finds you well and looking forward to a new school year. We are very excited about the many new research, programmatic, and pedagogical initiatives we have undertaken both in German and in ELS. Many of them are described here! Our new Facebook page is another great way to keep up with all our projects. From our “Europe in the Movies” courses in film during 2014-15 to the “Crisis of Universalism” conference on the legacies of World War One in December (2014) to the announcement of our many travel-grant and essay-prize awardees, speaker series, and other on- and off-campus events, including our new Community Partnership with the Newport Beach Film Festival in the spring–-it’s all there! Make sure to “like” us right away! After chairing the department for just two quarters, I am excited by the innovative ways the study of “German” is being understood by the superb and very active faculty here at UCI; our combined expertise spans the 16th to the 21st centuries, and allows the study of Critical Theory, German literature and philosophy, German history and politics, and German film in a global context. Colleagues are presenting and publishing their innovative work non-stop both in the U.S. and abroad (see the faculty profiles), even as we continue to offer a wide range of exciting new courses on German Eco-Politics, WWI in Film, German Philosophy for Critical Theory, and New German Cinemas (to name just a few!). We also work closely with faculty in Art History, Comparative Literature, Film and Media Studies, History, and Political Science; such collaborations make UCI an ideal place to begin thinking the future of the New German Studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In fact, while providing a solid and focused set of discussions about German literary and philosophical, cultural and political legacies proper, what makes the German program at UCI so innovative, it seems to me, are the links being forged between German and the other programs in ELS and across the campus. Because the literatures, histories, and cultures of European nation-states have always been closely inter-connected, it is nearly impossible to study any era – the Renaissance and Early Modern periods, the Enlightenment, the Romantic period, or the Modern period and post-modernity too – without taking into account the influence of one European nation on other European nations. Indeed, all significant European literary and artistic movements have been cross-cultural and transnational; however vexed it might be, the current configuration of Europe – the European Union – is merely the most recent
- continued on following page -
Letter from the Department Chair - continued socio-political and economic realization of the intense cross-pollination of ideas and institutions that has always defined the continent. Finally: Immigration and the displacement of populations throughout the continent are constants of European history and have long inflected literary and artistic production in ways that the Program in German is committed to exploring. The title of our recent proposal for a multi-year hiring and research initiative, “Community after Europe,” says it best. What is the community that is Europe and what is the place of German thought and culture in that configuration? Indeed, how might we think about the afterlives of European thought as they have entered multiple other conversations – from “global Kafka” (Beckett, Bolaño, and Coetzee), for example, to the place of Max Weber’s and Hannah Arendt’s thought in the work of contemporary Afro-Pessimism – in new ways? Where and by whom are “German” literature, film, and critical theory actually being produced and consumed today? - Only a deep knowledge of the German tradition allows us to consider the fascinating question of its variegated afterlives with care. One final point: The inclusion of the word “language” in the department’s name – unique among European studies programs in the United States – testifies to the interest of all of the programs in the department and of the Program in German in particular in enabling students to become fluent in one (or several!) foreign language(s) as a way of developing translingual and transcultural competence, i.e., the ability to operate between languages and cultures, so necessary in today’s world. Our faculty, undergrads, and graduate students are all committed to and exemplify a dedication to guaranteeing that such competence becomes the norm! Jane O. Newman Chair, Department of European Languages and Studies
Cash Bar Arranged by the German Graduate Program at the University of California, Irvine from 7 PM to 8:15 p.m. Saturday JANUARY 10, 2015 West 211, Vancouver Convention Center West
2013 – 2014 Event Highlights Bridge Markland – Faust in the Box The German program collaborated with the German and Russian Program at Pomona College and sponsored a visit by Berlin performance artist Bridge Markland. Markland performed her onewoman show "Faust in a Box" on February 12, 2014 in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Rosehill Theater. The Odor of Repression: Fascist Smellscapes Hans Rindisbacher, Professor of German Studies at Pomona College and author of the groundbreaking study "The Smell of Books," on the olfactory in literature spoke on February 10th on "The Odor of Repression: Fascist Smellscapes." Rindisbicher provided "a reasoned collage of olfactory snapshots of personal spaces, the public sphere and political decision-making." A lively discussion ensued with the acknowledged expert on smells in literature. Heine’s Aesthetics of Dissonance On Monday, April 21st, 2014, Willi Goetschel, Professor of German and Philosophy at the University of Toronto, held a colloquium entitled “Heine’s Aesthetics of Dissonance.” Using Adorno as a point of departure (Dissonanzen: Musik in einer verwalteten Welt), Goetschel showed how Heine developed new aesthetic categories beyond the beautiful and sublime and gave voice to repressed political forces by means of a practice of creative tension. The AATG (American Association of Teachers of German) Southern California Chapter The chapter has held a number of meetings on the UCI campus in recent years. Activities for this year, under the leadership of chapter president Anke Biendarra, included a meeting in April 2014, at which Julia Ibold, representative of the Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen, gave a workshop on Film im Unterricht. Our own graduate student Jamie Roots also presented her development of a module on Goethe's Faust in the language classroom. Future planned activities include a visit by AATG President Mohamed Esa in October 2014 for a teaching workshop for local high school teachers and college and university educators (topic TBA). This visit will be coordinated with the AATG San Diego. If you would like information on this workshop, please e-mail Anke Biendarra.
Department News Collaboration with the Center for Asian Studies Professor Vinayak Chaturvedi (History, UCI), director of the Center for Asian Studies, has approached the Department of European Languages and Studies to collaborate on bringing speakers to the UCI campus who are exploring relationships between Europe and Asia (East and Southeast). On the one hand, we would like to explore ways in which European intellectual history is being expanded and transformed in non-European contexts. To this end we plan on inviting Professor Aishwary Kumar (Stanford) to talk about the relevance of Walter Benjamin in South Asia and Professor Perry Anderson (UCLA), whose work, more than almost any other’s, connects European theory and a deep understanding of Asian history. The collaboration will culminate in a fall, 2015, conference on the topic “Postcolonial Europe.” Timed for the 60th anniversary of the “Bandung Conference,” which brought together recently decolonized nations of Asia and Africa and which laid the foundations for the organization of non-aligned states, we will pursue both the influence of and challenge to European thought in an age of postcolonialism. War Research Group Gail Hart and Kai Evers are among the eight humanities faculty that participate in the 2014-2015 War Research Residency at UCI. The research residencies provide an opportunity to workshop work-in-progress with fellow faculty across disciplines. This innovative pilot program serves to integrate faculty research support with undergraduate education in the Humanities Core Course through the theme “War.” The new residency program supports Kai Evers’ research of the anticipation of future warfare in Weimar culture, politics, and literature as well as Gail Hart’s project "’To Know the Horrors of War is to Want Peace’ – Blony Bubble Gum Cards.” Professors Hart and Evers will present their research at a public conference in Spring 2015. Visions of Europe The volume of papers from our 2013 Visions of Europe conference, edited by Anke Biendarra and Gail Hart, has just appeared with the series Berliner Beiträge zur Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte. Please consider ordering it for your library: http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=78189
- continued on following page -
Department news - continued GERMAN TEAMS UP WITH ENGINEERING! The undergraduate major program in German Studies is working with UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering to establish a new “International Program in Engineering with an Emphasis in German.” Modeled in part on highly successful programs at the University of Rhode Island, Northern Arizona University, and Valparaiso University, this curricular innovation encourages students to pursue a full double major in their engineering specialty and German Studies. (In the future, other languages, including Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish, will follow suit with their own emphases.) The Dean of Engineering, Gregory Washington, has stressed the tremendous “value added” that international experience brings to an engineering degree given the global marketplace. And in this case, “international” does not mean a course or two in English but, rather, a deep and broad understanding of another language and culture. In this spirit, students will be expected to take a full array of language and culture courses (including one in “German for Professions”), participate in an internship with a firm in Germany, and study at least one semester abroad. The German Studies Program intends to work with other units, including Social Sciences, Education, and Business Administration to establish additional emphases that stress such internationalization. NEW MASTER’S PROGRAM IN EUROPEAN THOUGHT AND CULTURE As part of the Department of European Languages and Studies, the German Program is participating in the formation of a new MA program in “European Thought and Culture.” The objective of this program is to train students in interpreting and writing about cultural products (literature and the arts) and philosophical texts (broadly speaking, including works in political theory, the history of science, and theology) from the European tradition. This training has three goals: (1) attentiveness to the formal structures and languages in which ideas are expressed; (2) location of ideas in larger historical contexts, be they social, economic, or political institutions, cultural developments, or in conversation with other ideas; (3) exploration of ideas and texts that are crucial for understanding the formation of modern critical theory. The program will also emphasize the legacy and transformation of this tradition, in both recent developments in the broad area of “literary and critical theory” and in colonial, postcolonial, and other non-European contexts. Part of the MA Program’s target audience consists of students who have recently graduated with a BA (in any field having to do with Europe) and wish to have a firmer foundation in the intellectual and cultural histories of Europe. It thus can serve either as a terminal degree (e.g., for potential teachers or other professionals) or as a stepping stone for students planning to continue on to seek a Ph.D. The Program hopes to issue its first call for applications in fall, 2015. Stay tuned!
Faculty news Professor Anke Biendarra Her current research focuses on contemporary German-language prose texts of both ethnic German and transnational language writers and their configurations of European cultural identity and citizenship, within the theoretical framework of transnationalism and cosmopolitanism. She has presented preliminary research findings at the GSA and PAMLA conferences in 2013-14. In May 2014, she followed an invitation to York University in Toronto to give a paper on “The Changing Place of Europe in Global Memory Cultures.” Her new publications are on Jenny Erpenbeck’s novels as European “Erinnerungsorte” in the first edited volume on this author’s work (Göttingen: Wallstein), and on “The Headscarf in Germany: A Critical Reading of the Feminist Debate” in the Visions of Europe volume she co-edited with Gail Hart (Frankfurt: Peter Lang). Further publications on cultural dichotomies in Russian-German narratives and European memories of the Balkan Wars are forthcoming. Apart from her research activities, Anke continues to serve as Undergraduate Director for German and has been developing a number of new courses for both German and European Studies, from Berlin Tales to Frenemies, a course on Franco-German relations in the long 20th century, as well as a course on The New German Cinemas 1970-2015. She also serves as the 2014-15 President for the AATG SoCal Chapter and in this capacity, has been programming meetings and activities throughout the academic year.
Professor Kai Evers He is the director of the German graduate program and the director of the European Studies program. His research develops a new account of Weimar culture and politics by analyzing how artists, scientists, politicians, militaries, and civilians envisioned the next war. The risk of a war decided by perception defying weapons, aero-chemical attacks against cities, demanded a reconceptualization of state and society, war and peace, time and space. This research will be supported by the 2014-2015 War Research Residency at UCI and aspects of his current research— from the emergent civil defense movement to Kafka’s experiments with spatiality, temporality, and imperceptible warfare—will be presented at the conferences of the GSA, the PAMLA, the Humanities Symposium at Belmont University, as well as at the WWI conference at UCI in December 2014.
- continued on following page -
Faculty news - continued -
Professor Gail hart She co-edited the Visions of Europe conference volume with Anke Biendarra (please share the link with your librarians: http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=78189 ); and has an article appearing in European Romantic Review: Existential Muck: Romantic Borderlessness and Dissolving Dualisms in Schiller's Die Räuber; an essay forthcoming in Konturen on Heinrich Hoffmann's Struwwelpeter and E.T.A. Hoffmann's Der Sandmann: "A Tale of Two Hoffmanns;" and a contribution to an MLA roundtable on monolingual internationalism in the ADFL Bulletin (also forthcoming). She is currently working on a project on the Rape of Nanking and pacifist iconography that emerged from an interdisciplinary humanities course, and continues to work on a larger project on "freedom" and the German tradition. Privately, she adopted a dog for the first time ever and finds that very rewarding.
Professor Glenn Levine He published several new works this academic year, including “From Performance to Multilingual Being in Foreign Language Pedagogy: Lessons from L2 Students Abroad” in the journal Critical Multilingualism Studies, “The Case For a Multilingual Approach to Language Classroom Communication” in the journal Language and Linguistics Compass, “Digital Participatory Culture and German Language Pedagogy” in the volume, Traditions and Transition: Curricula for German Studies, edited by John Plews and Barbara Schmenk (Wilfrid Laurier UP), and “Division as Unity: Plurilingualism and Language Education in Europe” Visions of Europe: Interdisciplinary Contributions to Contemporary Cultural Debates, edited by Gail Hart and Anke Biendarra (Peter Lang). Apart from teaching, Professor Levine has served as acting director of Academic English/ESL in our School of Humanities. In teaching, this year Professor Levine offered a new foreign-language teaching methods seminar for the School of Humanities, which included participants from Spanish, French and German.
Professor emeritus Herbert lehnert He continues writing his work-biography "Thomas Manns Eintritt in die Literatur des Modernismus." He has published "Der junge Thomas Mann und die Welteinheit" in: Heinrich Detering, Maren Ermisch and Pornsan Watanangura, eds. Der Buddha in der deutschen Dichtung. Zur Rezeption des Buddhismus in der frühen Moderne. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2014, pp. 94-101.
- continued on following page -
Faculty news - continued -
Professor Jane O. Newman Whenever I am asked to identify my “field,” I always hesitate. While I am “professionally” an Early Modernist (1500-1700), much of my recent research and teaching has been focused on the reception of the European Renaissance and early modern periods by the early 20th century (particularly in Germany and France) by, among others, Erich Auerbach, Walter Benjamin, and Martin Heidegger. I have taught a series of graduate courses on Auerbach’s readings of pre- and early modern literature in their context: “Creatureliness: Erich Auerbach between Theology and History” (Fall, 2013) and “Existential Phenomenality” (Fall, 2014). I am also convening a UC-Humanities Research Institute-sponsored Faculty Research Seminar in Winter, 2015, on “Phenomenality, Poeisis, and the Creature” (for a schedule, see: http://www.humanities.uci.edu/earlycultures/) But it’s not all seriousness; last year I developed an undergraduate lecture course on “Renaissance Europe Goes to the Movies,” with films from 1929 to 2003 showing how later historical periods use earlier times to meet their own needs; it was such fun that I am teaching it again this year! – In 2013-14, I published articles on Auerbach’s Dante and Auerbach’s concept of World Literature and on Benjamin’s “hypothetical” French Trauerspiel. And my new translation of twenty of Auerbach’s essays, Time, History, and Literature: Selected Essays of Erich Auerbach, James I. Porter, Ed., appeared in January, 2014, with Princeton University Press. Last year, I lectured at Cornell’s Institute for German Cultural Studies and at the MLA and the RSA (Renaissance Society of America); I also participated, via Skype (!) in the workshop, “Textual Ambassadors” (Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University (UK), speaking on “Treaty Time: Rhetorics of Resolution and Deferral in the Treaty of Westphalia and the German Trauerspiel.” This year will take me to Berlin twice and to Vancouver and New York to give talks on Auerbach’s Montaigne and Auerbach’s Racine as well as on Aby Warburg’s Baroque. Although most of my attention is on Auerbach and the concept of “existential realism” he developed both before and while he was writing Mimesis in Istanbul, I am also moving ahead on my project on the afterlives of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and have given a series of talks on the relation of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, published in Westphalia’s jubilee year, to the alleged beginnings of the international system of states 300 years before. Finally: I am pleased to have (finally!) moved into the brave new world of Digital Humanities; see my interactive “Guided Pathway” – co-authored with UCI graduate student, Laura Hatch – to Panel 70 of Warburg’s Mnemosyne-Atlas at: http://warburg.library.cornell.edu/
Professor David Pan In the past year David Pan’s article “Poetry and the Public Sphere: World Literature and European Languages” appeared in the volume Visions of Europe, ed. Anke Biendarra and Gail Hart (Peter Lang, 2014). In addition his “Tragedy as Exception in Carl
- continued on following page -
Faculty news - continued Schmitt’s Hamlet or Hecuba” is appearing in the Oxford Handbook to Carl Schmitt and his “Sacrifice in Goethe's Faust” is forthcoming in the 2014 Goethe Yearbook. He presented "Walter Benjamin and Carl Schmitt on the Relationship between Freedom and Violence” at the German Studies Association Annual Conference in Denver in October, "The Violent Origins of the Public Sphere: Defining the Enemy in Carl Schmitt’s Theory of the Partisan" at the University of Pennsylvania in December, "The World According to Goethe: Cosmopolitanism and Parochialism in West-östlicher Divan" at the MLA Convention in Chicago, "Representing the People in a Republic: Perspectives on the First Plebeian Secession" at the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute conference in New York in February, "The Struggle to Define the Public Sphere in Kleist's Hermannsschlacht" at the Ohio State University in April, and "Terrence Deacon and Hermeneutics" at the Telos Institute conference on Speculative Naturalism in Melbourne in April. He is Director of the German section of the Dept. of European Languages and Studies and continues as Executive Director of the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute (telosinstitute.net). He taught a graduate seminar entitled “Capital and Culture: Marxism and the 19th Century Bildungsroman” in spring 2014. In 2014-15 he will teach another graduate seminar on “Sovereignty in Early Modern Europe” and undergraduate courses on the Origin of Language, Terrorism and Totalitarianism, and Love Gone Badly.
Professor John Smith I have found myself inextricably drawn back to that figure who dominated much of my early work, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. (Can one ever escape him? Is he not, as Foucault once pondered, waiting for us at the end of history with open arms?) I have just completed an extensive entry for the new six-volume Encyclopedia of Theory (SAGE publications, James Mattingly, general editor) dealing with “Dialectics.” In addition, I have been asked to contribute a chapter on Hegel to the Cambridge UP volume on Rhetoric and Political Theory. That chapter will explore the central role of rhetorical Bildung in Hegel’s view of freedom from the Philosophie des Rechts. I will be attending a number of conferences: the Schlegel-Tage sponsored by the Dahlem Research Institute at the Freie Universität, the Atkins conference of the German Society of North America, and the MLA. In terms of teaching, I have expanded out to offer undergraduate survey courses in European Studies (“The European Foundations of Modernity: 1500-1800”) and will again be offering my year-long graduate reading course, “German Philosophy for Critical Theory: Kant to Habermas.”
- continued on following page -
Faculty news - continued -
Professor emeritus Ruth kluger On July 31, 2014 The liberale Austrian newspaper, Der Standard, profiled UCI Professor emerita Ruth Kluger as one of its "Grosse Töchter" or great daughters [of Austria]. The series name stems from the Austrian national anthem (written in 1946 by a woman, Paula von Preradović) with its mentions of the "great sons" of Austria. Last year, the lyrics were made gender neutral and now the line reads, that the country is 'home to great daughters and sons.' The article addresses the recent film about Kluger, Landscapes of Memory ( Das Weiterleben der Ruth Kluger, 2011) by Renata Schmidtkunz, and summarizes Kluger's life story. Born in 1931 to Jewish parents in Vienna, Kluger was deported to Theresienstadt when she was 11. Her father and brother were murdered by the Nazis but she and her mother survived a series of concentration camps: Theresienstadt, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Grosss-Rosen, and Christianstadt. During a march from Christianstadt to Bergen-Belsen as the Red Army approached, Kluger and her mother ran off and hid in Straubing in Bavaria until the US Army arrived three months later. Kluger began her studies in Regensburg, and later did graduate work at UC Berkeley [here the writer confuses UC with UCB and indicates that Kluger was later a professor at UCB]. Kluger is praised for her scholarly work, especially on Heinrich von Kleist and for her work as a public intellectual and feminist. The profile can be viewed in German at http://diestandard.at/2000003775130/Ruth-Klueger-Geschichte-Erzaehlerin. She has just been awarded the Brüder Grimm Preis of the Universität Marburg. The prize, consisting of a medallion and a monetary award from the Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst will be presented at the university in late Fall and it honors her extraordinary accomplishments in the field of literary study.
UCI German was well represented at the 2014 Commencement with invited speaker President Barack Obama
Undergraduate student Mirasol award Once again we salute UCI alumna Kendra Leindecker Mirasol (BA, German 1988 and MBA, University of Chicago, 1993) who supported another travel award—the 2013-14 Leindecker Travel Award to Germany—with her generous gift and by making a 100% matching gift available from IBM, her husband’s employer. (See above for information on the current recipients.) With Kendra’s support, thirty-eight students have enriched their education since the inception of her award in 2001-02. What a legacy she’s leaving the department!
Left: Professor Glenn Levine with UCI Alumna Kendra Leindecker Mirasol Right: Winner Olivia Schuetz with German Faculty
How inclusive is the German school system? How does it respond to the specific needs of immigrants and non-native speakers? Under the supervision of Professor Evers, Olivia Schuetz has begun to investigate these and other questions in her honor thesis Inequalities faced by Second Generation Immigrant Students in the German Education System for her European Studies major. A fourth-year European Studies major, Olivia Schuetz received the 2014 Mirasol travel award to travel to Berlin for Fall-semester study at the FU. In Berlin, she will continue working on her project on immigrant children in the German school system and their difficult path to university study.
Graduate Student Announcements
Patrick Carlson - It's been an eventful year for Patrick. In addition to his work teaching German in the department, Patrick finished his graduate coursework and language requirements before completing his qualifying exams in July. He'll also be presenting a paper on East German film, catastrophic technology, and representations of America at the upcoming German Studies Association conference in Kansas City in September.
Matt Cooper - I presented a paper at the Auerbach symposium in the fall. I also received the School of Humanities Summer Language Study Award and will be attending Universität Leipzig over summer.
Joseph Hammett - Finished his MA in the spring quarter. His thesis titled “Nerven and the Urban Metropolis: Nerves, Anxiety and Madness in Modern Germany,” examined a relatively unknown early German silent film, Nerven, from Robert Reinert and considered how this representation of madness illustrated the novel existence in the urban metropolis of the late 19th/ early 20th century. Specifically, he asked the question of how this film fits into the overarching discourse of nerves as the markers of the dark side of civilization, industrialization, and urbanization in modern Germany. He also finished his first year teaching German at UCI and enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the students on a daily basis.
- continued on following page -
Graduate Student Announcements - continued David Lamme - I received my BA in Anthropology and German from Southeast Missouri State University. During my studies, I participated in a year-long exchange program at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena studying Deutsch als Fremdsprache, German literature, and applied linguistics. I completed my MA at New York University in the Humanities and Social Thought in 2011. Much of my graduate work thus far seeks to put 19th and 20th century continental philosophy in conversation with contemporary life and modern discourses on money and technology. My Master's Thesis, “The Graven Image: Truth, Self, and Identity in Max Frisch's I'm Not Stiller”examined Frisch's protagonist as a model of (non)identity in the modern, electronic age. My current research continues to delve into these issues and how they relate to the anthropology of money and the metaphysics of exchange. Mohammad Rafi - I gave a paper with the title "Culture and Ideology: Germany's Impact on the Formation of Iranian Nationalism and its Significance for the West" at the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) in New York City at NYU in March 2014. The second paper I presented was at the International Institute at UCLA in May with the title "Germany and the Formation of Iranian Exceptionalism: Defying the Dominant Geo-Political World Order". Lastly, I am an invited speaker to a conference in June on the Intercultural Discourse of the German Speaking Region and Persia (18-20th Century). This international conference will be held at the University of Strasbourg/Centre national de la Recherche scientifique Maison interuniversitaire des Sciences de l’Homme-Alsace (MIHSA). The title of my paper will be "Germany and Iran: An Ideological Alliance Based on Cultural Affinity”. Currently, I am also working on transforming my first chapter into an article on Ernst Jünger and Jalal Al-e-Ahmad for TELOS, while writing my second chapter over the summer of 2014. Jaime Roots - Over the past year I completed my qualifying exam and have begun working on my dissertation with the working title “Storytelling, Literacy, and the Influence of Media.” I examine the interdependence of orality and literacy on the storytelling process while tracking the changes and influences of different media—specifically the Internet—on the ability of people in modern society to tell stories. I attended the RMMLA to present my paper “A Grimm Tale: Who Cares about Snow White?” which delves into why we continue to tell fairy tales as well as the relevance they hold in our society. I was also on the editorial board of UCI’s graduate-run journal Trans-Scripts.
Graduate Student Placement The UCI German graduate program has a long and strong placement record. Our graduates have been recruited by Stanford, Princeton, Middlebury, Georgetown, UCLA, the University of New Mexico, the University of Tennessee at Martin, and Chapman University. There is no denying, however, that the German academic job market has become much more difficult in recent years. This makes us all the prouder that our recent graduates also have had professional success, including Erin Kelly, currently at the University of Pittsburgh, and Simona Moti who was recruited for a tenure-track position at Kalamazoo College. Rebecca Schuman has become an education columnist for Slate.com. And recent graduate Kurt Buhanan has contributed to the School of Humanities here at home, teaching at all levels of our German program as well as in Humanities Core and Academic English/ESL.
Graduate Student Alumni News Erin Kelly - has signed on for a second year as Visiting Lecturer of German at the University of Pittsburgh. She has an article under review at the interdisciplinary journal Religion and Literature and is currently working on a project investigating ontology and the event in the work of Ingeborg Bachmann. In June, she will participate in the Fulbright/DAAD sponsored Sommerakademie f체r US-amerikanische Germanistikprofessoren at the interDaF e.v. at the Herder Institute of the Universit채t Leipzig.
Upcoming events Europe and the World: World War I as Crisis of Universalism Our department will be holding an international conference from December 4-7, 2014, focusing on World War I as a watershed event in the history of a European universalist project. Speakers will address the conflicts between nationalism and cosmopolitanism that framed inner-European relations throughout the war and its aftermath. At the same time, the conference will discuss how 1914 marked the beginning of a fundamental shift in the relationship of Europe to the rest of the world, providing an impetus toward decolonization, new structures of global relations and alternative understandings of cultural identity. Featured speakers include Etienne Balibar, Annette Becker, Russell Berman, Susan Grayzel, Elizabeth Krimmer, Jörn Leonhard, Nicolas Mariot, Anthony Pagden, and Ning Wang. For more complete information, check the European Languages and Studies website: www.humanities.uci.edu/els/ “Community after Europe” A Lecture Series in European Thought and Culture The German Program, together with its fellow programs in the Department of European Languages and Studies, is sponsoring a lecture series on European Thought and Culture in 2014. In the spirit of the department’s new MA, we have turned to colleagues who, though in specific disciplines and national literature departments, will address wider issues that connect their work to European concerns. Varying the editorial which launched the journal Modern Intellectual History in 2004, we see our project serving “as a meeting ground and a mediator for hermeneutically minded scholars with an historical orientation, whether their interest is in the history of literature, science, philosophy, law, religion, political thought, economic thought, social theory, psychology, anthropology, art, or music.”1 The focus of the lecture series is to explore both the history and contemporary critical theories of the idea of “community.” This idea is meant to be capacious so that it can include such issues as political formations around national identities and the “people,” transnational and cosmopolitical communities, the status of individual agency within communal formations, issues of biopolitics and the relation of (human) communities to their natural environment and thus the question of “public goods,” _______________________________________ 1 Modern Intellectual History 1, 1 (2004), pp. 1-2.
- continued on following page -
Upcoming events - continued the role of language(s) in community formation, and the positive and negative impacts of networked structures on community. It is with a view toward re-connecting with and complicating traditional notions of European theory in the present context that we have included the formulation “After Europe” in our title. Our project is designed to capture a productive ambiguity: On the one hand, we will examine concepts of community influenced by ideas and structures that emerged in Europe from the Middle Ages to the European Union in order to explore both their continued power and their limitations. European ideas, after all, have provided international inspiration and been responsible for global catastrophes and genocides. Given UCI’s historical association with the study of the foundations of European Critical Theory, it makes sense to bring colleagues on and off campus together to the rethink this tradition. On the other hand, the proposal takes into account the crises that have shaken the very foundations of Europe (from the two World Wars to the present instability of the EU) and inquires into sources of new conceptions of community. It is urgent to think of what community might mean after the end of “old Europe” as a presumed model. Many European theorists are, in fact, in the process of thinking beyond Europe in a truly new way in order to account for its own failures in the past and enter into productive dialogue with alternative models of community. On the day after the lecture we will have a luncheon with the speaker and faculty to discuss teaching and researching Europe through and beyond national cultures. Prof. Karen Feldman (German, UC Berkeley) and Prof. Elisabeth Weber (German and Comparative Literature, UC Santa Barbara) will be our first two speakers. Professor Feldman’s talk “Big Stories: Heidegger, Arendt and the Plot of Modernity" is scheduled for 4:30p, October 20, 2014; Professor Weber’s talk, “Facing Europe: Veils, Secrets, Living Together” is tentatively scheduled for 4:30p, November 17, 2014.
- continued on following page -
Contact Department of European Languages & Studies German Program 243 Humanities Instructional Building Irvine, CA 92697 Phone: 949.824.6406 Fax: 949.824.6416 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.humanities.uci.edu/els/german_index.php