Past Events

German Events Archive by Year



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel's Das Jahr (The Year): A Lecture-Recital

Frances Lee, piano
László Z. Bitó '60 Conservatory Building  In conjunction with her Senior Project in German Studies, Conservatory student Frances Lee will give a short talk followed by a performance of Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel's piano cycle Das Jahr (The Year).
Sponsored by: German Studies Program
Contact: Franz Kempf  845-758-7213
Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Information Session: Theater & Performance Trip to Theater der Welt Festival in Mannheim, Germany, May 29 – June 2, 2014

Come learn about the festival and the trip.
LUMA Theater Conference Room  This summer, join Bard's Theater and Performance Program on a trip to the Theater der Welt festival, one of the foremost international theater festivals, which is held in Germany every three years. This year's festival, taking place May 23 – June 8, 2014 in Mannheim, Germany, is curated by Matthias Lilienthal, the former artistic director of Berlin's HAU Theater, and will feature the work of major international artists such as Philippe Quesne (France), Gob Squad (UK/Germany), and Guillermo Calderón (Chile).

For the first time in 2014, Theater der Welt is hosting a new program called Performing Arts Campus, in which students from around the world are invited to attend seminars and workshops with artists and curators working in the festival.

Bard's Theater and Performance program will travel to Theater der Welt to participate in Performing Arts Campus's second session, May 29 – June 2, which is organized around the theme of "Performing Politics."

Participants will:
*Attend performances by some of the leading international artists working today
*Participate in seminars hosted by leading curators and critics to discuss and respond to the work
*Take part in intensive workshops with artists presenting work at the festival
*Meet other students of theater and performance from universities around the world

For more information, please join us on Tuesday, December 10, or contact Miriam Felton-Dansky at

Miriam Felton-Dansky
Visiting Assistant Professor
Theater and Performance Program

Sponsored by: Bard Theater and Performance Program
Contact: Miriam Felton-Dansky  845-758-7957
Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hans Fallada: Jeder stirbt für sich allein

Every Man Dies Alone
Campus Center, Weis Cinema  The German Studies Program is excited to invite you to an extraordinary opportunity to see the 2012 Luc Perceval production at the Thalia-Theater Hamburg, Germany, ofHans Fallada: Jeder stirbt für sich allein
Every Man Dies Alone
based on the novel "Alone in Berlin" by Hans Fallada
in an adaptation by Luk Perceval and Christina Bellingen

WEIS CINEMA – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2013 2:00-6:00

This production - 4 hours! In German – No subtitles! -  is being performed in Hamburg as we speak – receiving raving reviews. It is therefore a great honor to have received permission by the Thalia Theater, Hamburg, to allow the Bard Community to see - more or less live –a video taping of the 10/27/2012 production and thus  what is happening on a German stage today !The production has won several awards, including ‘Production of the Year’ for director Luc Perceval and ‘Best Scenography’ for Annette Kurz.

“The Führer has murdered my son!”
With these words scrawled on a postcard begins a most unusual resistance battle waged by a simple working-class married couple in Second World War Berlin. Fallada tells the tale of Anna and Otto Quangel, who after losing their son take up the fight against the Nazi state machine by the most simple means. Between the years 1940 and 1942 the couple delivers over two hundred handwritten postcards and letters, left out on the staircases and hallways of randomly selected apartment buildings. Their activities soon come to the attention of Chief Inspector Escherich, himself more career-orientated collaborateur than fervent Nazi, but who under the pressure of his superiors’ scrutiny is required to act. An initial ray of light in the darkness of his seemingly futile investigation is provided by the legal proceedings initiated by a doctor’s receptionist. She accuses the work-shy malingerer Enno Kluge of placing a highly treasonable postcard outside her employer’s surgery. This false trail leads Inspector Escherich into the twilight world of bookies and petty criminals. All too late does he come to understand the futility of his efforts. There seems to be only one way for him to obscure his failures from sadistic Obergruppenführer Prall: Enno Kluge must die.Like trapped rats, the denizens of Berlin are caught within what remains of their daily shrinking War-State. Spies and  informers, good-for-nothings, gamblers and con-men inhabit the once great city. Workers’ apartments, back yards, betting shops, dance parlours, Gestapo offices and finally the prison at Plötzensee set the scene for this chase through Berlin, of which set designer Annette Kurz has constructed a gigantic architect’s model using 4000 everyday household objects of the time.

Hans Fallada based his novel on the case files of the married couple Otto and Elise Hampel, who were executed by the Nazis at Plötzensee and whose postcards survive to this day. A helpless, badly organized and inconsequential attempt at resistance by a pair of isolated individuals? For Luk Perceval it is precisely the naiveté and selflessness of this unique couple which provide the utopian volatility of the piece. 60 years after his death, Fallada’s novel hits the bestseller lists, for the first time in its original form. It is the earliest resistance novel by a non-emigrating author, written with breathtaking hypergraphic energy. In between stays at mental institutions, Fallada manically writes 899 pages in four weeks, dying three weeks later of heart failure. [Premiere: 13th October 2012 at the Thalia Theater]

text: hans fallada
adaptation: luk perceval/christina bellingen
direction: luk perceval
scenography: annette kurz
costumes: ilse vandenbusche
lighting design: mark vandenesse
dramaturgy: christina bellingen
music: lothar müller Otto Quangel - Thomas Niehaus
Anna Quangel - Oda Thormeyer
Kommissar Escherich - André Szymanski
Eva Kluge / Cathérine Seifert / Enno Kluge - Daniel Lommatzsch
Trudel Baumann/ Anwalt Erwin Troll - Maja Schöne
Kammergerichtsrat Fromm/ Obergruppenfuehrer Prall - Barbara Nüsse
Emil Barkhausen/ Kommissar Laub/ Schup - Alexander Simon
Schauspieler Max Harteisen - Mirco Kreibich
Frau Rosenthal/ Hete Haeberle/ Kriminalrat Zott - Gabriela Maria Schmeide
Der Säugling/ Oberpostsekretaer Millek -  Benjamin-Lew Klon     

Sponsored by: German Studies Program
Contact: Stephanie Kufner  845-758-7443
Monday, November 11, 2013

How has ‘1989’ Changed Writing?

A Reading and Discussion (in German & English) On the Aftermath of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
Bard Hall  With Distinguished German Writer Uwe Kolbe 
and Tenor Rufus Müller (reading the English voice) His new novel “Indolence” is the most significant book of contemporary German literature reflecting on the aftermath of ‘1989’ and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Uwe Kolbe’s reading at Bard will be a world premiere. For his stirring book about a young man and emerging composer seeking to find his tone under the intricate conditions of dictatorship will come out only in spring of 2014. Kolbe will read from the German original, while distinguished tenor and Bard Music Professor Rufus Müller will read the English voice; the translation by acclaimed New York writer and translator Anne Posten was commissioned by the German publisher S. Fischer Verlag especially for this event.Uwe Kolbe is an eminent poet, essayist, writer of prose, and translator. His first volume of poetry, “Hineingeboren,” (“Born Into”) appeared in East Berlin in 1980. The increasingly critical nature of his writing led to a ban on publication in the GDR soon after. During the early 1980s, he edited the illegal journal “Mikado.” Eventually, he was permitted to travel abroad and lived between Hamburg and East Berlin. Until 2003 he was Director of the "Studio Literatur und Theater" at the University of Tübingen. He was a writer-in-residence at the University of Austin and at Oberlin College. Uwe Kolbe is author of eleven books of poetry. His latest collection of essays, “Vineta’s Archives” (2012), was awarded with the prestigious Heinrich-Mann-Award by the Academy of Arts Berlin.The English-German tenor Rufus Müller, Associate Professor of Music at Bard College, has had a distinguished career in opera, oratorio, and recital. He has performed and taught, and coached throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. He has worked under Franz Welser-Möst, Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen, Ivan Fischer, René Jacobs, and other eminent conductors. CD recordings include performances in Bach’s St. John Passion under John Eliot Gardine, and Mozart’s The Magic Flute under Roger Norrington.
Sponsored by: German Studies Program; Music Program; Written Arts Program
Contact: Thomas Wild  845-758-7363
Thursday, September 19, 2013

Racist Killings, Mourning Songs,
and a 13-Year Old Girl

Reading and Discussion (in English)
With Eminent German-Jewish Writer Esther Dischereit

Olin, Room 204  The German Studies Program is pleased to welcome 
Esther Dischereit

Esther Dischereit is one of the most exciting writers and thought-provoking public intellectuals in Germany today. Her poems, novels, essays, plays, including radio plays, her opera libretti and sound installations offer unique insights into the Jewish life of contemporary Europe. She collaborates with composers and musicians and founded the avant-garde project “WordMusicSpace/Sound-Concepts.” Coming from a survivors’ family, commemoration (of the Holocaust) has been a constant reference point in her work. Dischereit’s writings also reflect on what it means to be a woman and an intellectual. The Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia on Jewish Women calls her an “outstanding writer” among Jewish artists in the twenty-first century. For more information, including bibliography, see: 

Recently, a series of racist killings, committed by the so-called "National Socialist Underground" (NSU) organization, has shocked the German public. Dischereit can be regarded as the most important independent voice covering the legal and political investigations of this unprecedented crime in post-war Germany. While the media focused pre-dominantly on the killers, Dischereit writes on for the victims, their families and friends, and started initiatives on their behalf. She addresses society’s responsibility that is, our common task not to look away. She challenges widespread racism and xenophobia wherever it arises, including the high ranks of the police and secret service. Dischereit has commented on the topic on television, radio, and in prominent newspapers. As an artist she responded with an amazing collection of “Mourning Songs,” which eventually will evolve into an opera – songs of lament, and songs of accusation.  
Sponsored by: Center for Civic Engagement; German Studies Program; Human Rights Project; Jewish Studies Program
Contact: Thomas Wild  845-758-7363
  Friday, May 3, 2013

Senior Project Midway Colloquium

302  Current senior project I students in German Studies present and discuss their projects with an audience of faculty and peers. Topics include: F. Mendelssohn's Italian Journey, "Hair" - Paul Celan, Orientalism - Weltliteratur - Goethe's West-Eastern Divan, Ethno-Linguistics - Minor Literature - Emine Sevgi Özdamar. Moderated by Prof. Thomas Wild. Open to the public.
Contact: Franz Kempf  845-758-7213
  Monday, April 29, 2013

Hudson Valley Premiere of the Film Hannah Arendt

Barbara Sukowa reteams with director Margarethe von Trotta (Rosa Luxemburg) for her brilliant new biopic of influential German–Jewish philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt.

Olin Hall  7:00 pm EDT/GMT-4
Arendt’s controversial reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in the New Yorker introduced her now-famous concept of the “Banality of Evil.” Using footage from the actual Eichmann trial and weaving a narrative that spans three countries, von Trotta turns the often invisible passion for thought into immersive, dramatic cinema.

An official selection at the Toronto International and New York Jewish Film Festivals, Hannah Arendt also co-stars Klaus Pohl as philosopher Martin Heidegger, Nicolas Woodeson as New Yorker editor William Shawn, and two-time Oscar Nominee Janet McTeer as novelist Mary McCarthy.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with the film's writer Pam Katz, the film's star, Barbara Sukowa, who plays Hannah Arendt in the film, and Roger Berkowitz, the Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center.

Admission to this event is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are necessary.
Sponsored by: Hannah Arendt Center
Contact: 845-758-7878
Friday, April 12, 2013

Thinking the City: Literature, Theory, Visual Arts

A Cross-Disciplinary Workshop for Students and Faculty
Olin, Room 102  This day-long workshop brings together Bard faculty and students to explore a range of questions on teaching and learning about cities in an academic context.

We will ask: How do the reading of texts, the building of cultural monuments, and the creation of artistic works transform our understandings of the city? Is it possible to read the city as a text or view it as a cultural monument? Are there cities better preserved in cultural memory than physical space? How are identities and ideas of cities formed through literature, film, and other media? In what ways can these different strategies of representation transform the urban experience and the city itself?

Students will present their work on cities at a panel, to be followed by a roundtable for faculty on teaching methodologies, theoretical frameworks, and principles of canon formation to consider when discussing cities and urban space in the classroom.

Sponsored by: Division of Languages and Literature; Experimental Humanities Program
Contact: Olga Voronina
Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tankred Dorst

"This Beautiful Place," A Reading by Anne Posten

Campus Center, Weis Cinema  Anne Posten’s award-winning translation of Tankred Dorst’s novella, This Beautiful Place, appeared last year from Hanging Loose Press. She lives in New York City, where she also writes fiction and teaches writing at Queens College. Tankred Dorst and his co-author Ursula Ehler are two of the most significant contemporary German playwrights. Their work has been translated into more than 20 languages. This Beautiful Place explores the mysterious forces that drive people into catastrophic adventures against their better judgment.Open to the Public and Free of Charge

Sponsored by: The John Ashbery Poetry Series & the German Studies Program
Contact: Thomas Wild  845-758-7363
Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Precious Cargo

The Poet and Translator, Thomas Brasch
Olin, Room 204  A presentation and reading with Anne Posten (New York) and Thomas Wild (Bard College)

Thomas Brasch (1945-2001) is one of the most fascinating figures in German literature after 1945. His poems, inspired by Brecht, Heine and the European avant-garde, inspire people up to date, his plays intriguingly think through the political turmoils of the 20th century, his films were celebrated at festivals in Cannes and Nice, and his translations of Shakespeare are the best to be found in German language.

Anne Posten‘s essay on translating Thomas Brasch was recently published in an issue of Text + Kritik dedicated to that author’s work and legacy.  Her award-winning translation of Tankred Dorst’s novella, This Beautiful Place, appeared last year from Hanging Loose Press. Anne Posten lives in New York City, where she also writes fiction and teaches writing at Queens College.Thomas Wild is Assistant Professor of German at Bard College. His publications include books on Hannah Arendt, as well as 20th century German literature and political history. He recently edited a collection of essays on Thomas Brasch's work and legacy with Text+Kritik.
Sponsored by: German Studies Program
Contact: Thomas Wild  845-758-7363

Ongoing Events

  Oct 02, 2013 – Dec 31, 1969
Every Wednesday

German Language Table

Every Wednesday
Kline, back corner (by President's Room)  Join us for weekly language practice.

All levels welcome!
Come for as little or as long as you would like.

Sponsored by: German Studies Program