News and Events

May 29, 2014
Thursday, 4:00 pm
306 Royce Hall


Anna Parkinson, Northwestern University 

A Ressentimental Reeducation? Democratic Sentiment and Communities of Resentment in Postwar West German Culture 

In the immediate postwar period the defeated German population stood before a strong ethical imperative to evince appropriate emotions of guilt and remorse in response to the Nazi atrocities and the destruction of World War II. Alongside official emotional norms propagated through Allied directives and actual practices of denazification and reeducation, pockets of emotional resistance festered in the population. Analyzing the aesthetic conceits and popular reception of the now largely neglected 1950s bestseller, Ernst von Salomon’s Der Fragebogen (The Answers), my paper explores the collision between the fledgling democratic imaginary and anti‐democratic subcultures in West Germany. Which structural and historical
dynamics are manifested through this text's provocative display of counter‐hegemonic emotions? What can this reactionary affective stance teach us about processes of subject constitution in transitional political configurations? What does the battle between competing emotional regimes at work in the reception of von Salomon’s book teach us about the politics of emotion in the public sphere?

Anna Parkinson is Assistant Professor in the Dept. of German at Northwestern University and an affiliate of the Critical Theory Cluster and Gender & Sexuality Studies Program; her research interests include 20th and 21st century German literature and film, literary theory, memory studies, and media of the Cold War era.


May 27, 2014
Tuesday, 12:00 pm
306 Royce Hall


Andreas Kilcher, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich

Before the Law: Literature and Law According to Kafka

In Kafka's writing, law is an omnipresent, yet uncanny, topic. The writer challenges general expectations associated with the nature of law: his literary accounts call into question the modern legal system as well as its moral and political fundaments. Against these aspects Kafka reinstalls fundamental pre-civilizatory and archaic forces of being, such as power and Eros. The present lecture posits that Kafka's literature – closer to the Greek drama than to the modern novel - challenges the moral and social institution of law with the mythical forces of life.

About the Speaker: Andreas Kilcher is professor of Literature and Cultural Studies at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich and director of the Center for the History of Knowledge. Kilcher is a prominent scholar of German-Jewish literature and culture, Kabbalah, esotericism and the literary studies of knowledge. He has written and edited a wide range of publications in these fields, among them several texts on Kafka. Forthcoming is an essay on the poetics and politics of Heinrich Heine's wit.

Sponsored by the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies
Cosponsored by the UCLA Department of Germanic Languages
Contact : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (310 )267-5327

May 29, 2014
Thursday, 4:00 pm
Faculty Center



Paul Jaskot, DePaul University

Mapping the Vernacular Architecture at Auschwitz: The Intersection of Culture and Genocide in the SS Ambitions for the East

Paul Jaskot

The "1939" Club Lecture in Holocaust Studies

This talk addresses the significant role architects and forced-laborers played in the construction history of the SS concentration camp at Auschwitz. Working (in conjunction with his collaborator, Anne Kelly Knowles) from the massive archive remaining from the SS building office as well as extensive digital visualizations of the space, Jaskot focuses on how the cultural goals of the SS related spatially and functionally to the destructive development of forced labor practices and the genocide. How do digital tools help us deal with the massive human and geographic scale of the site? What might a focus on the vernacular architecture and the SS architects tell us that challenges or expands the history we already know of the camp? In sum, this presentation seeks to argue for the need for a more comprehensive approach to space to understand this important site of the Holocaust.

Co-sponsored with the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. 

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