Past Events

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Spring Commencement

University Graduation Celebration in Matthew Knight Arena - 9:30-11:00am

German and Scandinavian Department Ceremony in EMU Ballroom-3:00pm

Lodging Info

Note: Hotels are selling out quickly due to track and field events so book your rooms as early as possible!


Department of German and Scandinavian Spring Celebration.

3:00-5:00pm, Knight Library Browsing Room

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Nicholas Reynolds Presents: "Sense and Creative Labor in Rilke's Prose."
This colloquium will present the introduction of Nicholas' dissertation, which is a run-through of the philosophers and theorists that he has used in formulating his reading of Rilke's prose works.

3:30-5:30pm, Friendly 109


Come listen to Peter Fogtdal's talk, titled "How to be Spiritual Without Being a Nuisance."

5:30-6:30pm, Willamette 110

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Join the department in celebrating Interim Department Head Dorothee Ostmeier's new book “Gender, Sex, Liebe in poetischen Dialogen des frühen zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts."

3:30-5:00pm, Grad Lounge, Susan Campbell Hall

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Eva Hoffman presents:
Animality in Hofmannsthal's "Reitergeschichte." This colloquium focuses on the question of animality in Hofmannsthal's "Reitergeschichte" in the context of Merleau-Ponty and Derrida.


3:30-5:30pm, Friendly 109


"What is a Thing? -- Key Responses in Modern German Literature and Thought"
Presented by the Department of German and Scandinavian

“We look everywhere for the Absolute (das Unbedingte), and find only things (Dinge).”
-Novalis, Blütenstaub (1798)

Guest Lectures by:

Jonathan Monroe, Cornell University
David Appelbaum, State University of New York at New Paltz
Rochelle Tobias, John Hopkins University
Tove Holmes, McGill University
Timothy Gilmore, University of California at Santa Barbara
Erica Weitzmann, University of California at Berkeley

Click here for more information.
Click here to view the pamphlet.

12:00-6:00pm, Knight Browsing Room, Knight Library


Judith Lechner presents "Putting Recognition to the Test: Maxim Biller's Manipulation of Perception in Wie Cramer anständig wurde"

“Well…we could just simply pretend we are not Jewish anymore,” suggests Max to Ali, while the two young friends are on their way to Poland to find their deported parents and relatives. Max is certain that they can simply change their own cultural identity, however, when the two encounter a SS soldier on a mission, this option is only available for one of the boys.
As I will show, Biller’s short story provides an insight in the process of identity ascription and its dialogical process. In the story “agency” and “recognition” are presented as arbitrary and limited. It shows how the power of identity ascription often lies outside of our range of influence, leaving us helplessly at the mercy of someone else’s judgment that under extreme circumstances could decide between life and death.
Biller’s story showcases such an extreme situation and confronts us with the question of how our decision making process is tied to our superficial perception and how a seductive narrator can even manipulate the most experienced reader.

Click here to read Biller's Land der Väter und Verräter

3:30pm, FR 109


Jacob Barto presents "Hearing History: The Real Role of Music in Hesse's Glasperlenspiel"

more info

7:00pm, Lawrence Hall 177, Free Admission


Robert Mottram presents "The Fractured Seascape: Dionysian Mimesis in Novalis and J.M.W. Turner"

more info

3:30-5:30pm, Friendly 109


Sabine Gölz from the University of Iowa visits to present:
"Stars, Bear, and the Apocalypse: Poetics of (De)Gendering Language"

2:00pm, Coquille, Metolius, River Rooms in the Erb Memorial Union (EMU)


Dorothee Ostmeier presents: "The Grimms' Concept of Nature as Healing Fiction"

12:00pm, PLC 159


"Rosenzweig's Hölderlin"

This presentation will feature work from Josiah Simon's dissertation, "Franz Rosenzweig's Hegel and the State: Biography, History and Tragedy."  The talk will address the role that Friedrich Hölderlin plays in Rosenzweig's account of Hegel's intellectual development and look more closely at Hölderlin's poem "An die Deutschen" (To the Germans) and two selections from that poem that Rosenzweig uses as the epigraphs for his book. If interested, please make use of the preparatory materials below:

Hegel und der Staat
An die Duetschen

3:30pm-5:30pm, Friendly 109

OCTOBER 24-26, 2013

52nd Annual Conference of The Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP)
Co-sponsored by the Department of German and Scandinavian
Eugene Hilton Hotel
details | website

OCTOBER 24, 2013

The Golem: How He Came Into the World (1920) re-tells the Jewish legend of a magical clay man. A 16th century Jewish rabbi is driven to extreme measures by an emperor’s edict to evict all Jews from their ghetto. The rabbi turns to black magic and builds a huge clay man to protect his people from the emperor’s oppression, which comes to life through the device of a secret word given to the rabbi by the demon Astaroth. The barrel-chested clay man, portrayed by the film’s director Paul Wegener, follows the orders of the rabbi to eventually intimidate and ultimately save the emperor who revokes his edict. But before the magic that animates the clay man can be sent back to the dark forces from which it came, the golem is misused and runs rampant, terrorizing the people he was intended to protect.

4:00pm, Collier House Rm 103
Accompanied by live music from composer/pianist Beth Ariel Karp.