Cornell University

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Hope & Possibility: German Studies and the Critical Imagination

Saturday, April 13, 2024 at 11:00am to 6:00pm

A. D. White House, Guerlac Room
29 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

A Conference in Honor of Leslie A. Adelson, 
Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of German Studies (Cornell University)

The conference is generously co-sponsored by Cornell University Departments of Comparative Literature, History of Art, Literatures in English, Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, and the Africana Studies and Research Center; the Jewish Studies Program; the Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program; the Institute for German Cultural Studies; the Institute for Comparative Modernities; the Institute for European Studies; the Society for the Humanities; the Max Kade Foundation, Heinrich & Alice Schneider Fund, and the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).

This event is free and open to the public.


Friday, April 12

2:00 Welcome and Introduction

2:30-3:30 Session 1 
Anna Maree Parkinson (Northwestern University)
Hubris and Hope: Minor Details

Yasemin Yildiz (University of California, Los Angeles)
The German Widow Next Door: A Recurrent Figure of Transmission in Turkish-German Literature

MODERATOR: Patrizia McBride (Cornell University)

3:30-4:00 Coffee Break

4:00-5:30 Keynote Lecture:  Fatima El-Tayeb (Yale University/Intersectional Black European Studies Project/Race, Migration, and Coloniality in Europe working group)
Transformative Archives and the Intersectional Black European Studies Project

MODERATOR: Paul Fleming (Cornell University)

Event website:

5:30-6:30 Reception

Saturday, April 13

11:00-12:00 Session 2 
Bettina Brandt (Pennsylvania State University)
From Vienna to Boston: Psychoanalytic Rescue Networks (1938)

Ela Gezen (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Aras Ören, the Archive of Migration and Traditions of Tomorrow

MODERATOR: Anette Schwarz (Cornell University)

1:30-2:30 Session 3 
John Namjun Kim (University of California, Riverside)
Adelson's Riddle of Referentiality: Figures of “Nothingness” in Yôko Tawada

Dennis Wegner (Cornell University)
To Burst on Stage: Trans-Formations in Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s Dramatic Works

MODERATOR: Mari Jarris (Cornell University)

2:30-3:30 Session 4 
Esther Kondo Heller (Harvard University)
In Black Music – The Poetry of Raja Lubinetzki

B. Venkat Mani (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
The Radiant Reader and an Illuminated Alphabet

MODERATOR: Erik Born (Cornell University)

3:30-4:00 Coffee Break

4:00-5:30 Round Table Conversation: Interdisciplinary German Studies at Cornell
Gerard Aching (Africana Studies and Research Center, Romance Studies)
Esra Akcan (Department of Architecture, Institute for Comparative Modernities)
Brett de Bary (Asian Studies, Comparative Literature)
Natalie Melas (Comparative Literature, Literatures in English, Institute for Comparative Modernities)
Annette Richards (Music, Graduate Field of German Studies)
David Yearsley (Music, Advisory Board, Cornell University Kluge Archive)

MODERATOR: Peter Gilgen (Institute for German Cultural Studies, German Studies, Comparative Literature)

5:30 Concluding Remarks

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