NPR -Journalist Bellamy Pailthorp ’89 will speak about “The Fall of the Wall — An Eyewitness Perspective.”

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 2.37.03 PM
Bellamy Pailthorp ’89 is a news reporter in Seattle with KPLU Public Radio, one of the leading NPR stations in the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from Wesleyan with High Honors in German Language and Literature in the spring of 1989. She went to Berlin on a Fulbright scholarship that September, to pursue a project on dramaturgy and Bertolt Brecht. Little did she know she would end up working as an interpreter for journalists during the fall of the wall – an unforgettable experience that led to her career as a broadcaster. She lived in Berlin from 1989-1998, eventually working as a TV producer at Deutsche Welle TV and freelancing for other outlets. She now covers the environment beat at KPLU. In this talk, she will share anecdotes about her experience in Berlin before, during and after the fall of the wall.

“25 Years: Fall of the Berlin Wall” is co-sponsored by the German Embassy in Washington D.C. All events are free of charge and open to the public. For more information call 860-685-3359.

Sarah Wiliarty will speak on The Fall of the Wall – A Political Perspective

Please join us for the  first lecture in the German Department’s fall series on commemorating the 25th Year of the Fall of the Berlin

This Wednesday, October 15 in FISK 210 at noon, Prof. Sarah Wiliarty will speak on “ The Fall of the Berlin Wall – A Political Perspective.”

Refreshments will be served.

“25 Years: Fall of the Berlin Wall” is co-sponsored by the German Studies Department and the German Embassy in Washington D.C. All events are free of charge and open to the public. For more information call 860-685-3359.

Hannah Arendt, directed bu Margarethe von Trotta


Please join us for the screening of Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta.

September 27, 8:00 p.m. at the Goldsmith Family Cinema

Introduction by Leo Lensing (Professor of German and Film Studies), followed by a Q&A with Pam Katz P ’16, the film’s co-screenwriter


A second screening will take place on September 28, at 10:00 a.m. at the Powell Family Cinema.

Exercising Judgment in Ethics, Politics, and the Law


Wesleyan University is hosting a conference on Hannah Arendt on September 26-28, 2013. The conference is made possible by the generous support of David Rhodes, COL ’68. It is hosted by the Center for the Humanities and co-sponsored by the College of Letters; Jewish and Israel Studies; German Studies; Government; Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory; and the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).

Uli Plass is moderating the session on Judging Evil on September 27, 4:00-6:00 p.m. in Bechkam Hall.

Leo Lensing is introducing the the film Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta on September 27, 8:00 p.m.

Conference Program 

More Information about the conference

Peter Handke in America

Friday, December 7th, 6:30 p.m. Deutsches Haus at New York University, 42 Washington Mews New York, NY 10003

Please join the German House in New York City for a discussion with Fatima Naqvi (Rutgers University), Christoph Bartmann (Goethe Institut NYC), Klaus Kastberger (University of Vienna), Heike Polster (University of Memphis), Krishna Winston (Wesleyan University), and Thorsten Carstensen (The Indiana University School of Liberal Arts).

Peter Handke in America is an important theme for understanding the writer’s work. Because of his life-long fascination with America, Handke was among the first German-speaking writers of his generation to present a positive image of the United States against the anti-imperialist aversions of the European 1968-movement. Particularly in his early work, scholars have traced his fascination with writers such as John Ford, Walker Percy (whom he also translated), as well as the blues, New York City, the image of the “Native American” and with the beauty of the American landscape. His 1971 novel Short Letter, Long Farewell makes his fascination with the United States the central motif. Handke also lived in New York (after lengthy travels through Alaska), where in 1979 he wrote his important novel The Long Way Round. In his film Three American LPs, he co-produced with Wim Wenders, many of these themes can also be clearly identified. More information

You can watch some of the discussion on Youtube.

The Social Individual

Several German authors, works and themes will be presented at this year’s annual conference of the Northeastern American Society for 18th Century at Wesleyan University on October 12 and 13.

Friday, 12 —  9:00 – 10:30 a.m. 

The Imagination and Sociability in German Literature ……………………………………………………………  Wyllys 115

Chair:  David Pugh (Queen’s University)

Andrea Speltz (University of Guelph):“Imaginative Compassion in Christoph Martin Wieland’s Die Geschichte des Agathon 

Paola Mayer (University of Guelph): “Einbildungskraft as Creator of Einbildung: E.T.A. Hoffman’s Die Räuber

Dennis Mahoney  (University of Vermont): “Joseph von Eichendorff and the Domestication of the Romantic  Imagination”

Edward Larkin (University of  New Hampshire): “Imagining the Social Individual: C.W. Frölich’s Über den Menschen und seine Verhältnisse


Friday, 12 — 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Open Panel on Enlightenment Philosophy  …………………………………………………………… Usdan 108

Chair:  Lucy Guenova    (Wesleyan University)

James J. Caudle  (Yale University): “‘Sociability and other Cruel Sports’: James Boswell Among The Soaping Club and The Criticks”

Charlotte M. Craig (Rutgers  University): “Ambivalent Traits in Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Image: Enlightener, National Author, Patriot,  Cosmopolitan, Freemason”

Michael Printy (Wesleyan University): “‘Revolutions of the Spirit’: The Protestant Enlightenment and the Rise of German Philosophy

Catherine Keohane (Montclair State University): “Seeing Oneself  in(stead of) the Poor: Charity and Imaginative Substitution”

Satuday, 13  —  10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Sense and Sociability in France and Germany ……………………………………………………………  Wyllys 110

Chair:  Edward Larkin (University of New Hampshire)

Masano Yamashita  (University of Colorado): “Enlightenment Conceptions of Commonality: French Questionings of the Public Nature of  Aesthetics”

David Pugh  (Queen’s University):  “Social Anxieties in German Asthetics”

Mark Ilsemann  (University of Virginia): “‘Everyone has  […]  Their Own Way of Seeing’: The Science of  Optics  (and its Metaphors) in Georg   Forster’s  Anthropology”


Satuday, 13  — 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Genius ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Wyllys 112

Chair:  Ulrich Plass (Wesleyan    University)

Sarah Eron  (University of Rhode Island): “Fielding’s Muse: Inspiration, Genius, and the Dialogic Novel”

Amelia Bitely  (University at Buffalo): “‘His name consenting crowds repeat’: The Exhortations and Praise of Genii Loci

Lorraine Piroux  (Rutgers University): “Imagining the Social Genius: Possession and Self-­‐Possession in Diderot’s  Paradoxe sur le comedien

Joseph Drury  (Villanova University): “The Machine in the Ghost: Ann Radcliffe’s Music”


Modernist Memories: Architecture and Identity in the Federal Republic of Germany

Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche

Professor Kathleen James-Chakraborty (University College Dublin), an expert on 20th century German architecture and author of numerous publications will lecture on architecture and identity in Germany at Wesleyan University on Tuesday,  Sept. 25, at 4:30pm, in 41 Wyllys, room 112.

Although the most prominent buildings  in Berlin since the fall of the wall in 1989, such as Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum, Norman Foster’s renovation of the Reichstag, and David Chipperfield’s reconstruction of the Neues Museum, are often understood as examples of a postmodernist strategy, their juxtaposition of historic architecture, often damaged in the Second World War, and modern forms that recall the architecture of the Weimar Republic, are in fact only relatively recent examples of an architectural strategy that can be traced back to the founding of the Federal Republic.  Now associated with coming to terms with the atrocities of the Third Reich, in its original entirely modernist context this pairing originally encompassed conservative nostalgia for a pre-democratic past even as it helped define a specifically non-Communist present.  Following reunification it served as alternative to the postmodernism with which it is too often confused in part because the degree of modernism’s rupture with the past is often exaggerated.

This talk is made possible through the Department of Art and Art History, Samuel Silipo ’85 Distinguished Visitor Fund, and the German Studies Department.

GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL – (Re)imagining Post-Industrial Urbanity: Films of the Ruhr Area, Germany



The German film festival will be held in Downey House 113 on April 13 and April 14, 2012. We will be showing three films from this large post-industrial area in western Germany. The first film, Bang Boom Bang by Peter Thorwart, will be shown on Friday at 7:00 p.m. The other two-Losers and Winners, a documentary by Ulrike Franke and Michael Loeken, and Solino by Fatih Akin-will be screened on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., followed by a discussion. The introductory session by Sina Nitzsche, Visiting Assistant Professor of German at Oglethorpe University, and Kate Thorpe, Teagle Writing Fellow at Wesleyan will place these films in the context of the transformation through art and image-making that the region is experiencing.

The event is sponsored by the German Studies Department, Writing at Wesleyan, and the Goethe Institute Boston.


Newer and Newest German Cinema





Film Studies & German Studies will kick off their annual film series with Christian Petzold’s enigmatic thriller, Yella (2007). It  “offers a surreal X-ray vision of cutthroat capitalism in 21st-century Germany.”  – Stephen Holden, The New York Times

Powell Family Cinema, CFS, Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 7 p.m., with an introduction by Leo Lensing

We will continue our series in March with Maren Ade’s comedy drama, Everyone Else (2009).   “…watching the film is to watch the emergence of a very particular and potentially galvanic cinematic talent.” – Glenn Kenney, The Los Angeles Times

Powell Family Cinema, CFS, Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 7 p.m., with an introduction by Katja Straub


Jenseits der Stille (Beyond Silence)

American Sign Language and German Movie Night with an introduction by Sheila Mullen and Iris Bork-Goldfield

April 6, at 4:30 p.m. – Fisk 302

Beyond SilenceBeyond Silence (1998) directed by Caroline Link. Starring Sylvie Testud, Tatjana Trieb, Howie Seago is a German movie with English subtitles. Acclaimed by critics and audiences everywhere, BEYOND SILENCE is the powerful Academy Award-nominated story of a young woman’s battle for independence and her deaf parents’ struggle to understand her gift for music. Given a clarinet by her free-spirited aunt, Lara is immediately consumed by a new passion her parents cannot share. Determined to follow her dreams, Lara’s ongoing pursuit of music creates an ever-widening rift that eventually threatens to tear apart her once close-knit family.

Law and Literature: Who Owns It? – A Lecture by Eva Geulen (Bonn University, Germany)

Friday, April 1, 4:30, Russell House

Organized by the Program in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory. Co-sponsored by German Studies, History, COL, Sociology, English, the Dean of the Social Sciences, and the Center for the Humanities

Eva Geulen’s talk will examine the historically and conceptually fraught relationship between law and literature from four points of view: 1. The common history and shared heritage of law and literature; 2. law as literature; 3. literature vs. law; 4. literature in law.

Eva Geulen received her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University and has taught at the University of Rochester and at New York University. Currently, she is professor of modern German literature at Bonn University. She has published widely in the areas of modern narrative prose, discourses of education, gender studies, and aesthetics. Her books include The End of Art: Readings in a Rumor after Hegel (Stanford UP 2006) and Giorgio Agamben zur Einführung [Introducing Giorgio Agamben] (Junius 2005; second, revised edition 2009).

Prize-winning Austrian novelist Andrea Grill to read at Wesleyan

The German Studies Department and the Shapiro Creative Writing Center invite you to meet Andrea Grill on Monday, February 21, 2011, at 4:30 p.m. in Downey House Lounge. Come listen to her stories and participate in the discussion to follow.

Andrea Grill will read from her latest novel Das Schöne und das Notwendige (Beauty and Necessity), and other stories in German and English.

In her latest novel, published in 2010, Andrea Grill discovers a new aesthetic for transnational capitalism. In her story two poor but clever friends have an idea how to turn “straw into gold.” Their scheme has only one problem, they need an Asian civet cat. But where can they find one, and will it survive in a small apartment on the fifth floor?

Andrea Grill was born in Bad Ischl in 1975 and studied in Salzburg before earning her doctorate in Biology at the University of Amsterdam with a dissertation on “The Evolution of Butterflies Endemic to Sardinia.” She writes prose, poems and essays and translates from Albanian. In 2010, she was a Max Kade Scholar at Rutgers University, New Jersey.

Kurzfilme im Deutschunterricht

AATG-CT President Christine Dombrowki

Iris Bork-Goldfield conducted a workshop on “The Use of Short Films in the German Language Classroom”  for German teachers at Wesleyan University on January 29, 2011. The workshop was sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG).

Renare Ringstadt, Christi Kochefko
Julia Assaiante, Anna Huber, Vera Grant, Krishna Winston