Speaker Series Archive

Walter Benjamin: The Novel, A Lecture by Kevin McLaughlin (Brown)

February 7, 2024, 5:30pm

Kevin McLaughlin’s new book, The Philology of Life:  Walter Benjamin’s Critical Program (Fordham University Press, 2023), traces the development of a theory of literature and a method of criticism in Benjamin’s early interpretations of a nexus formed by the poetry of Hölderlin, the criticism of the German romantics, and Goethe’s novel, Elective Affinities.  McLaughlin’s lecture will focus on one strand in Benjamin’s approach to Goethe in order to show how this early “philology of life

Dr. Silke Roesler, “Smart Fashion and Subveillance”

December 5, 2023, 12:00pm

Check back soon for further details…

Director Hubert Sauper, "Darwin’s Nightmare and Epicentro"

October 25, 2023, 6:00pm

Check back soon for further details…

What is Critical Theory? Professor Rahel Jaeggi, Humboldt University

October 23, 2023 to October 25, 2023, 9:00am

Professor Rahel Jaeggi, Humboldt University, will be giving a series of morning seminars and an afternoon lecture: October 23 - October 25.

Seminars: “Introduction to Critical Theory”

A Case for Hope in Hopeless Times: German Grassroots Activism as New Utopianism, A Book Talk with Professor Jennifer Allen

October 11, 2023, 5:30pm

By most accounts, the twentieth century was not kind to utopian thought. The violence of two world wars, Cold War anxieties, and a widespread sense of crisis after the 1973 global oil shock appeared to doom dreams of a better world. The eventual victory of capitalism and, seemingly, liberal democracy relieved some fears but exchanged them for complacency and cynicism.

Hannah Arendt and Heinrich Blücher A Conversation with Barbara von Bechtolsheim and Paul North

October 9, 2023, 5:30pm

Hannah Arendt and Heinrich Blücher

A conversation about the philosophical couple

Barbara von Bechtolsheim and Paul North

Director Julian Radlmaier, "Bloodsuckers"

September 27, 2023, 6:00pm

Als Ob: Vaihingers Fiktionalismus in Literatur und Literaturtheorie

September 11, 2023, 5:30pm

NOTE: This lecture will be given entirely in German

Young Scholars in German Speaker Series - Fumi Okiji

March 1, 2023, 5:30pm

More details coming soon…

Young Scholars in German Speaker Series - Zakir Paul

February 27, 2023, 5:30pm

This talk considers the practice and poetics of gleaning from Baudelaire to Agnès Varda. Varda’s idiosyncratic film, The Gleaners and I (2000) is often considered as a turning point both in her work and in digital filmmaking. It explores figures of gleaning from the visual arts to politics and law, as well as contemporary practices of repurposing, recuperation, and recycling.

Young Scholars in German Speaker Series - Annie Pfeifer

February 22, 2023, 5:30pm

Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s Narcopoetics

Between 1933 and 1939, the lesbian, anti-fascist Swiss-German writer and photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach sought refuge in Iran to escape both a serious mental depression and her wealthy, Nazi-sympathizing family.

This talk exploresSchwarzenbach’s narcopoetics as a trip in a double sense: an escalating morphine addiction and an Orientalist expedition on the brink of World War II that unwittingly mirrors the drug trade routes between Central Asia and Europe. 

Lecture. Jane O. Newman (Professor of Comparative Literature, UC Irvine). Auerbach’s Counter-Enlightenment: Vico versus Descartes

September 19, 2019, 6:00pm

Auerbach’s Counter-Enlightenment: Vico versus Descartes

Please note the time change: This lecture will be presented at 6pm.

Graduate Student Conference 2018. Sharing Subjects: Reading – Talking – Observing

April 19, 2018 to April 20, 2018, 1:30pm

Graduate Student Conference 2018

Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Yale University

Keynote Speaker: Kristina Mendicino, Brown University

“Allein zu essen ist für einen philosophierenden Gelehrten ungesund
[…] erschöpfende Arbeit, nicht belebendes Spiel der Gedanken.”
— Immanuel Kant, Anthropologie in pragmatischer Hinsicht

Lecture Series: Julia Ng

November 3, 2016, 5:30pm

Julia Ng specialises in the links between modern mathematics, political thought, and theories of history and language in the 20th century, particularly in the work of Walter Benjamin. She has published archival documents of Benjamin’s and Scholem’s meta-mathematical engagement with neo-Kantianism in a special issue she co-edited (with Rochelle Tobias) on Walter Benjamin, Gershom Scholem and the Marburg School, which appeared with Modern Language Notes in 2012.

Lecture Series: Alexander García Düttmann. Can a Philosopher Have Dirty Hands? – Sartre, Adorno, Badiou.

September 14, 2016, 5:30pm

After growing up in Barcelona, Alexander García Düttmann studied in Frankfurt am Main with Alfred Schmidt and in Paris with Jacques Derrida. Since 1992, he has lived in San Francisco, New York, Melbourne, and London, and he has taught at Stanford University, The University of Essex, Monash University, New York University, Middlesex University, Goldsmiths College, and the Royal College of Art. What are García Düttmann’s most recent publications, and what are they about?

Lecture Series: Mark Gelber. A Place for Kafka after the Trial and Judgement in Tel Aviv

April 21, 2016, 5:30pm

Lecture Series: Mark Gelber. A Place for Kafka after the Trial and Judgement in Tel Aviv

Thursday April 21, 5:30, WLH 309

Lecture Series: Jocelyn Holland. Kant, Quantified. The Mechanics of Kant’s Humanism

April 7, 2016, 5:30pm

Jocelyn Holland, Lecture Series: Kant, Quantified. The Mechanics of Kant’s Humanism

Thursday April 7, 5:30 PM, WLH 309

Lecture Series: Bruce Clarke, The Problem with Intelligence: The Disunity of the Sciences in Stanislaw Lem's Fiasko

March 29, 2016, 5:30pm

Lecture Series: Bruce Clarke, The Problem with Intelligence: The Disunity of the Sciences in Stanislaw Lem’s Fiasko


German Department Speaker Series: David Ferris, “Gerhard Richter and Francis Bacon: Painting, Photography and the Fact of Appearance.”

November 20, 2013, 5:30pm

David Ferris, (Ph.D., SUNY-Buffalo) is Professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Previously he held concurrent positions in Comparative Literature, English, and German at the Graduate School and in Comparative Literature at Queens College of the City University of New York, in Comparative Literature and English at Yale University, and in English at Haverford College.  His research and teaching emphasizes modern literature and critical theory.  His recent work in