2019 Past Events
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
We are delighted to invite you to a concert of poetry with Nathaniel Savage and Mercer Greenwald, the works of Hugo Ball and Franz Mon, Ursprüngliche Gedichte, and more!
There will be poetry, philosophy, drama, music, pictures, drinks, and snacks. Everyone who is ready to free themselves from the fetters of language and reason is invited!
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Rumor has it that dictatorship and censorship were stimulating for poetry. This event will present the poetic writings by two authors, Wolfgang Hilbig (1941–2007) and Uwe Kolbe (b. 1957), whose work began under the conditions of a closed society, whose writings contributed to this society’s opening and continued to unfold and provoke after its collapse, marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall. This public reading of both writers’ imaginative work understands itself as an invitation for a discussion on literature and politics.
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 underground journal Mikado. Eventually, he was permitted to travel abroad and lived between Hamburg and East Berlin. Kolbe is the author of 13 books of poetry and the recipient of many prestigious prizes. He also was a writer in residence at the University of Texas at Austin and at Oberlin College. His collection of essays, Vineta’s Archives (2012), received the distinguished Heinrich-Mann-Award from the Academy of Arts Berlin.
Presented with generous support of the S. Fischer Foundation.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
and a conversation with
Olin, Room 201 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm EST/GMT-5
Benedetta Zavatta will be presenting Individuality and Beyond: Nietzsche Reads Emerson, her groundbreaking study of the influence of the American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson on the German Friedrich Nietzsche, recently published by Oxford University Press. Nietzsche read Emerson intensely from a young age and through to the end of his writing career. Referring to Emerson’s Essays, Nietzsche wrote that he had never “felt so at home in a book; felt so much, indeed, as if the home were my own.” In her study, Zavatta surveys all the evidence in Nietzsche’s published writing and in his archive—including correspondence, notes, and Nietzsche’s heavily annotated copies of Emerson—to develop a rich portrait of Nietzsche’s complex relationship to the American writer he once called his “twin soul.” Zavatta's book explores the profound influence that Emerson had on Nietzsche’s thinking about a wide range of topics, including individualism, perfectionism, morality, and freedom. It also provides a fresh reading of Emerson, who, seen from a Nietzschean perspective, comes to light as an incisive cultural critic and a decisive figure in the history of philosophy.
After the talk, poet Ann Lauterbach and philosopher Daniel Berthold will begin the discussion, responding to Benedetta Zavatta’s presentation and drawing on their own long-term engagements with Emerson and Nietzsche, respectively.
Benedetta Zavatta is Marie Curie Researcher at the Institut des Textes et Manuscrits Modernes (CNRS/ENS) in Paris. Daniel Berthold is Professor of Philosophy at Bard College. Ann Lauterbach is the David and Ruth Schwab Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College.
Monday, November 11, 2019
Die Mauer / The Wall & short films
Campus Center, Weis Cinema 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST/GMT-5
Discussion with German Studies students and eminent essayist Uwe Kolbe
Jürgen Böttcher’s striking documentary Die Mauer (The Wall, 1990) is praised as the unparalleled masterpiece on the fall of the Berlin Wall. The acclaimed filmmaker and painter explores the meaning of the Wall in the historical moment of its disappearance as the dividing line between East and West. The film portrays the Berlin Wall as a monument and canvas on which German histories are being projected. Böttcher’s film Die Mauer received the Golden Camera at the Berlin Film Festival and has been shown all over the world, including at MoMA, New York. The screening will also include a selection of rarely seen short films by Jürgen Böttcher.
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 underground journal Mikado. Eventually, he was permitted to travel abroad and lived between Hamburg and East Berlin. Uwe Kolbe is author of 13 books of poetry and recipient of many prestigious prizes. He also was a writer in residence at the University of Texas Austin and at Oberlin College. His collection of essays, Vineta’s Archives (2012), received the distinguished Heinrich-Mann-Award by the Academy of Arts Berlin.