Kafka, Prague, and the First World War

July 30, 2010

International symposium, St. John’s College, Oxford, 13-15 September 2010

Convenors: Carolin Duttlinger, Manfred Engel, Katrin Kohl, Ritchie Robertson

The First World War, often called the »Urkatastrophe« of the twentieth century, changed Kafka’s life, as it did everybody’s. The famous diary entry for 2 August 1914 – »Germany has declared war on Russia. Went swimming in the afternoon« – gives an impression of detachment which is entirely misleading, as this conference will aim to show.

We envisage the symposium as having three concentric circles: 1) the historical context, recreated with the help of historians of Central Europe; 2) the Prague literary circle and its contacts with Czech-language culture; 3) Kafka and his works, especially those produced in the Alchimistengässchen.



Programme of the conference: www.kafka-research.ox.ac.uk/activities/06kafka_Worldwar.php

(Papers will be given in English and German)

Conference venue: New Seminar Room, St. John’s College

Conference fee (for guests): £ 20 (reduced fee for students: £ 10)

Contact: anatole.oudaille-diethardt@sjc.ox.ac.uk

Conference: Beyond Glitter and Doom

July 30, 2010

New Perspectives of the Weimar Republic

Declaration of the Republic, 9 November 1918

A conference at the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London http://igrs.sas.ac.uk/contact/how-to-find-us.html

Co-Ordinators: Jochen Hung (IGRS, London), Katharine Tubb (University of Glasgow) and Godela Weiss-Sussex (IGRS, London)

Thursday, 30 September 2010

09.15 Registration

09.40 Welcome and Introduction

09.45 Keynote Lecture

David Midgley (Cambridge): Beyond the Clichés. On the Specificity of Weimar Culture

10.30 Keynote Lecture

Moritz Föllmer (Leeds): Which Crisis? Which Modernity? New Perspectives on Weimar Germany

11.15 Coffee

Challenging Crisis and Doom

11.45 Michael Dreyer (Jena): Hugo Preuß and Weimar as a ‘wehrhafte Demokratie’

12.15 Russell Spinney (Maryland): Re-thinking the Emotional Narratives of the Weimar Republic through Displays of Fearlessness

12.45 Jochen Hung (London): Questionning the Generational Concept in Weimar Research

13.15 Discussion

13.30 Lunch (own arrangements)

15.00 Keynote Lecture

Debbie Lewer (Glasgow): Art and the Cultural Politics of the ‘Medieval’ in the Weimar Republic

15.45 Tea


16.15 Anke Finger (Connecticut): Everyday Modernism: Sensing the Weimar Republic in Literature and other Arts

16.45 Nadine Rossol (Essex): Republican State Re-presentation and Public Performance Culture in Weimar Germany

17.15 Nicola Creighton (Belfast): Contingency: the Great Challenge of Weimar

17.45 Discussion

18.00 Break/Postgraduate Workshop

19.30 Conference dinner at the Amalfi Restaurant (three courses with choice and coffee; for further details please see registration form)

Friday, 1 October 2010

09.30 Keynote Lecture

Gustav Frank (Munich): Abseits der Republik? Nachexpressionistische Komplexität der Künste

10.15 Coffee

Parallel Session I: Gender

10.45 Aneka Meier (Pennsylvania): The Legendary New Woman of Weimar – Revisited

11.15 Jill Suzanne Smith (Maine): Prostitutes in the Weimar Republic: Moving beyond the Victim-Whore Dichotomy

11.45 Mihaela Petrescu (New York): Jazz, Gigolos, and ‘Eintänzer’: Dance and Masculinity during the Weimar Republic

12.15 Silke Helling (Hamburg) and Cornelia Baddack (Cologne): Geschlecht, Staat und Partizipation: Else Frobenius und Katharina von Kardoff-Oheimb

12.45 Discussion

II: Questioning ‘Neue Sachlichkeit’

10.45 Reinhard Zachau (Tennessee): Fallada’s Modernist Novel Characters in Wolf among Wolves, and Little Man, What Now?

11.15 Bernhard Heinrich (Schweinfurt): Falladas ‘kleine Frauen’: Lebensentwürfe in der Krise

11.45 Geoff Wilkes (Queensland): Behind the Glitter: the Critique of the Cultural Mass Market in Vicki Baum’s Menschen im Hotel

12.15 Discussion

III: Public Environment

10.45 Hansjakob Ziemer (Berlin): Listening to Society: Concert Hall Experiences as Social Practices in the 1920s

11.15 Michael Schwalb (Cologne): Begrenzt haltbar: die Kroll-Oper als republikanisches Laboratorium

11.45 Kerstin Barndt (Michigan): Present Futures. ‘Werkbund’ and Building Exhibitions in Weimar Germany

12.15 Mark Hobbs (Glasgow): Exploring Weimar Berlin’s History through its Geography

12.45 Discussion

13.05 Lunch (own arrangements)

IV: Visual Arts

14.30 James van Dyke (Missouri): Felixmüller’s Failure: Painting and Poverty

15.00 Elinor Beaven (Cambridge): The Art of Domesticity? Exploring Alternative Models of Artistic Practice through the Weimar ‘Künstlerpaar’

15.30 Katharine Tubb (Glasgow): The Garçonne, the Girl, and the Biedermeier Babe? Weimar Dress and the Ghosts of Fashions Past

16.00 Discussion

V: Politics and the Novel

14.30 Florian Krobb (Maynooth): Catholicism, ‘Conservative Revolution’ and the Fairy Tale: the Case of Wilhelm Matthiessen

15.00 Marion Löffler (Vienna): Was sagt das Publikum? Theoretische und literarische Beiträge zur politischen Kultur der Weimarer Republik

15.30 Nicholas Martin (Birmingham): Stranger than Fiction: Literary Transformations of War Experience in the Weimar Republic

16.00 Discussion

VI: Film

14.30 Brigitte Braun (Trier): Spiegelungen der eigenen Gegenwart im historischen Film der Weimarer Republik

15.00 Joel Westerdale (Massachusetts): The Canon of Early Weimar Cinema Reloaded

15.30 Matthias Uecker (Nottingham): ‘Das Leben […] So ist es und nicht anders’: Constructions of Normality in Menschen am Sonntag

16.00 Discussion

16.15 Break

16.20 Keynote Lecture

Anthony McElligott (Limerick): Rethinking the Weimar Republic as Paradigm: Authority/less and Authoritarianism

17.05 Closing Discussion

17.30 Wine

18.00 End of Conference

Further details and registration

Further information and registration forms are available at http://w01.igrscms.wf.ulcc.ac.uk/index.php?id=494. Please note the closing date for receipt of registrations is Friday, 17 September 2010.

Conference Fees

2 Days: £55.00 Standard Rate; £45.00 Reduced Rate; £30.00 Student Rate

1 Day: £30.00 Standard Rate; £25.00 Reduced Rate; £20.00 Student Rate

Dinner on Thursday, 30 September: £30.00

Reduced Rate: Fully paid-up Friends of Germanic Studies or paying members of the IGRS only; Student Rate: Students with proof of status only

A limited number of student bursaries of £100 each are available to be allocated on a first come, first served basis. If you wish to apply, please register as usual and tick the appropriate box on the registration form. Please ensure proof of student status is enclosed with payment.

Registration form http://igrs.sas.ac.uk/fileadmin/documents/events/conference/WeimarConfRegistrationForm.pdf How to find us http://igrs.sas.ac.uk/contact/how-to-find-us.html – Where to stay http://igrs.sas.ac.uk/contact/accommodation.html – Conference website http://weimarperspectives.wordpress.com/

This conference is organised under the auspices of the University of Glasgow and the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London and sponsored by the Royal Historical Society and the German History Society

CFP – 48th National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies

July 29, 2010

48th National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies

Saturday, 30 October 2010

at Swansea University


The National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies is a biannual event organised in association with the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies at the University of London. Launched in 1987, it provides an informal and friendly forum for graduate students in all areas of German Studies to present and discuss their current research.

Offers of papers from graduate students working on any aspect of German Studies, including all periods of literature, the arts, social sciences, history, and linguistics are now invited for the 48th meeting, which will take place at Swansea University on Saturday, 30 October 2010. A general knowledge of German culture and language can be assumed, though not a specialized knowledge of individual topics.

Presentations, no longer than thirty minutes in length, should be targeted to the occasion and make use of appropriate media. Each paper is followed by a ten-minute period for questions and discussion.

If you would like to contribute, please send an abstract of not more than 500 words to the organisers, c/o Jane.Lewin jane.lewin@sas.ac.uk; . The abstract must be accompanied by the following information:

* Your name, postal address, telephone number, and email address

* The name of the institution at which you are registered

* The media required for your presentation (e.g. OHP, cd/cassette player; slide projector, data projector/laptop [PowerPoint], VHS player)

Offers of papers can also be made by downloading the form http://igrs.sas.ac.uk/fileadmin/documents/postgraduate/48thPGColloquiumCFPForm.pdf. The completed form should be sent to Jane Lewin, IGRS, University of London, Room ST 272 Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. The form may also be emailed to jane.lewin@sas.ac.uk.

Offers of papers must be received by Friday, 10 September 2010.

For general queries, please contact the organisers: Jochen Hung jochen.hung@sas.ac.uk (IGRS, University of London), Annja Neumann a.neumann@qmul.ac.uk (Queen Mary, University of London), Isabel Wagner i.wagner@qmul.ac.uk (Queen Mary, University of London), Marya Vrba maryavrba@hotmail.com (Swansea University) and Bianca Zaininger bianca.zaininger@sas.ac.uk (IGRS, University of London)


June 19, 2010


The fourth Colloquium in the Leeds-Swansea Series in Contemporary German Culture will take place in Leeds from 8-9 July 2010 on the theme of Empire. Programme details are to be found below. The Colloquium gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Austrian Cultural Forum for this event.

Please contact h.c.finch@leeds.ac<mailto:h.c.finch@leeds.ac&gt;.uk to register, by 2 July. The fee for attendance will be £25, excluding conference dinner.

Invited speakers

Professor Dirk Göttsche (Nottingham)
Professor Michael Hoffmann (Paderborn)
Dr. Alexandra Strohmaier (Graz)

8 July

15:00 onwards: Arrival and registration at the Leeds Humanities Research Institute (www.leeds.ac.uk/lhri/<http://www.leeds.ac.uk/lhri/> )

16:00 – 16:30 : Introduction (Frank Finlay/ Julian Preece)

16:30 – 17.15: Keynote: Alexandra Strohmeier (Graz): Raumaneignungen. Zu Daniel Kehlmanns Die Vermessung der Welt.

17:15 – 18:00: Monika Albrecht (Limerick): Postcolonial Germany?

19.00: Conference Dinner

9 July

9:30: Professor Michael Hoffmann (Paderborn): Empathie und Herrschaft. Die Grenzen des Verstehens in den Indien- und Mekka-Passagen von Trojanows Weltensammler

10.15 Julian Preece (Swansea): Writing home? Ilija Trojanow in India and Africa

11:00 Coffee

11:30: Dirk Göttsche (Nottingham): Hans Christoph Buch’s Sansibar Blues and the Fascination of Cross-Cultural Experience in Contemporary German Historical Novels about Colonialism

12:15: Nina Berman (Ohio):  The German Colonizer in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Novel Paradise

13:00: Buffet Lunch

14:00: Karoline von Oppen (University of Bath): Sarajevo: City of Europe, City of the Orient

14:45: Plenary/ Publication Discussion

15:30: Close

Remembering and rethinking the GDR: Multiple perspectvies and plural authenticities?

June 17, 2010



Keynote speakers:
Dr Patricia Hogwood
Professor Bill Niven

This international conference will be the final event of the two-year AHRC-funded ‘After the Wall’ Network. In line with the interdisciplinary nature of the Network, papers will be given on a wide range of themes relating to memories and remembrance of the GDR, with speakers from literary studies, film studies, anthropology, political science, history, museum studies and the visual arts.

Programme, registration form and further details available at:

Registration deadline: 31 July 2010.

Polemical Austria

May 6, 2010



Polemical Austria The Rhetorics of National Identity Friday, 21 May 2010

Co-Ordinators: Anthony Bushell (Bangor) and Martin Liebscher (IGRS, London)

Venue: Room ST 274/275 Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU (Access via 32 Russell Square)


10.00 Anthony Bushell (Bangor): Welcome and Introduction

10.05 R.J.W. Evans (Oxford): Polemics about Austria: the 18th and 19th Centuries

10.40 Coffee

11.10 Rudolf de Cillia (Vienna): Die diskursive Konstruktion österreichischer Identität/en in den Gedenkjahren 1995 und 2005

11.45 Geoff Howes (Bowling Green): ‘In this land where such ailments are rampant’: Madness and Austrian Identities

12.20 Lunch (own arrangements)

14.00 Jürgen Weber (Venice): Austrian Communism and the Concept of ‘Austria’

14.35 Anthony Bushell (Bangor): Austrian Identity and the Art of Retrospective Justification

15.10 Tea

15.40 Heide Kunzelmann (London): Polemik als ästhetisches Wertungsinstrument in der österreichischen Nachkriegszeit

16.15 Allyson Fiddler (Lancaster): Performing and Protesting Austria in the Wake of the 1999 Elections

16.50 Concluding Discussion

Further Information and Registration Details To attend, please register by Friday, 7 May: Email: jane.lewin@sas.ac.ukTel: 020 7862 8966

For further information on the Ingeborg Bachmann Centre, please contact: Email: martin.liebscher@sas.ac.uk Tel: 020 7862 8959 or visit the Ingeborg Bachmann Centre website

This event is sponsored by Bangor University and the Austrian Cultural Forum, London

Blurring the Lines: Ilija Trojanow as Traveller, Essayist, Novelist

April 22, 2010

A conference on the work of Ilija Trojanow will take place at Swansea University, 6-7 May 2010

Ilija Trojanow

Ilija Trojanow, who lives in Vienna, has established himself in recent years as a major new voice in the German-speaking literary world. His best-selling Der Weltensammler uses humour and irony to interrogate Orientalist narratives of the West’s engagement with the cultures of Africa, India, and Arabia. He is also an accomplished travel writer and polemical essayist. The conference is organised by Professor Julian Preece


Thursday, 6 May 19.30: Reading in Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea (tickets from DTC: £4 or £2.80 concessions)

Friday, 7 May

Symposium Blurring the Lines: Ilija Trojanow as Traveller, Essayist, and Novelist

The Council Chamber, Singleton Abbey, Swansea University

11.00: Ilija Trojanow im Gespräch (in German)

12.00: Olaf Berwald (University of North Dakota), Philosophical Topoi and Narrative Technique in Trojanow’s first novel, Die Welt ist groß und Rettung lauert überall

1-2.00: Lunch

2.00: Cornelius Partsch (University of Western Washington), Dead End: Ilija Trojanow’s Autopol as Critical Dystopia

2.45: Caitríona Ní Dhúill (Durham), Der Weltensammler as Fictional Biography

3.30: Tea 3.45: Ben Morgan (Worcestor College, Oxford), Religion

4.30: Ernest Schonfield (King’s College, London), Der Weltensammler: On the road to Mecca with Trojanow and Burton

5.15: Julian Preece (Swansea), From Kisch to Kapuscinksi: Trojanow and the European Tradition of Reportage

Supported by The Austrian Cultural Forum

Yr Academi Gymreig

Dylan Thomas Centre

Swansea Swansea University Centre for Contemporary German Culture

Swansea Research Institute for the Arts and Humanities

Defeat or Liberation? Forum for East German Studies

April 7, 2010

Defeat or Liberation – 1945 in Film

7 May 2010: Forum for East German Studies

On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of 1945, the Centre for East German Studies, University of Reading, cordially invites everyone interested to a one-day research forum on the depiction of the end of World War II and its immediate aftermath in European feature film. The forum will take East German war films as its point of departure for a broad discussion on influences and points of contact between approaches to the topic on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The morning session of the forum will therefore present papers on important East German war films while the afternoon session will introduce films from other national cinemas such as Poland, Italy, America, and Great Britain and discuss their view on the events.

The forum will take place on

Friday 7 May 2010

10.30 am in URS 2s12, Whiteknights Campus



Patrick Major (Reading) ‘Die Abenteuer des Werner Holt’ (1965)


Sean Allan (Warwick) War and its Others. Germans as Victims in Konrad Wolf’s ‘Ich war 19’ (1968)


Beatrice Heuser/ Cyril Buffet (Reading) Political Lessons derived from History: How the Cinema of the GDR represented Wars.


Richard McKenzie (Reading) European Images of Defeat in the immediate post war Period


Jennifer Smyth (Warwick) Fred Zinnemann: War and Resistance


Richard Bosworth (Reading) ‘Rome: Open City’ (1945)

3.00 pm

Chris Wagstaff (Reading) ‘Ashes and Diamonds’ (1958)

For further information please contact Dr Ute Wölfel

Forthcoming conference: The Good German

June 16, 2009

‘The “Good German” in Literature and Culture’, An International Conference at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London, Senate House, WC1; 1-2 October 2009; conference organisers: Prof. Pól Ó Dochartaigh (University of Ulster) and Dr. Christiane Schönfeld (MIC, University of Limerick)