Berlin Calling: Reading and Discussion with author Paul Hockenos 

co-sponsored by the Goethe Institut Boston

Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 12-2pm

in Levine-Ross, Hassenfeld [Upstairs Sherman]


Author Paul Hockenos' new book Berlin Calling: A Story of Anarchy, Music, the Wall, and the Birth of the New Berlin (The New Press, May 2017) is a never-before-told account of the Berlin Wall’s momentous crash, narrated through the divided city's street artists and punk rockers, impresarios and underground agitators. Hockenos, who lived in Berlin during these exciting times, offers us an original chronicle of 1989’s “peaceful revolution,” which upended communism in East Germany, and the wild, permissive post-Wall years of artistic ferment and pirate utopias, when protest and idealism, subaltern techno clubs and sprawling squats were the order of the day.

“Three Elections and a Brexit: The Unraveling of Europe?”

with diplomat Thomas Matussek

Monday, October 2, 2017, 3:30-4:30pm

Mandel Reading Room 303

RSVP required here

The historical promises of European integration, peace, prosperity and a powerful voice in a globalized world, seem to have lost their appeal. War in the east, economic and social meltdown in the south, millions of refugees, xenophobia and nationalism have a led to Brexit, Le Pen and the AfD, but have the elections in The Netherlands, France and Germany turned the tide? Is Europe finding its way back to the idealistic visions of its founding fathers?

The German Family in/and the World Today

with Eva-Sabine Zehelein

Wednesday, October 4, 4:30-6pm

Mandel Humanities Center Reading Room 303, RSVP required here.

 This talk aims to provide an overview of the variety of family formations and the socio-cultural as well as political and legal contexts that characterize German family life today. It will also offer some selected case analyses. Topics are e.g.: marriage, divorce law and rates, single parenthood, abortion, "Ehe fuer alle" (marriage for all), Assisted Reproductive Technologies and new families (ICSI and in vitro, surrogacy and sperm / oocyte donation). Globalization, international exchange of people and human tissue as well as international medical tourism challenge German national law and also socio-cultural practices of the (nuclear) family and trigger re(framed) family narratives.

Campusweeks “Making Choices”: "Is the German Electoral System More Democratic Than the American One?"

with Ralf Horlemann, German Consul General for New England

and Lucy Goodhart (Brandeis Department of Politics)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 12-2pm

in Lurias, Hassenfeld


Which electoral system is more democratic? Why? How well do you really know your own democratic system? What makes a democracy work? Two days after the German Federal Election we will present a fun interactive way to learn about Germany's electoral system and how it differs from the one we have here in the United States. 

“Statues or Stumbling Stones? Fascism, Racism, and Historical Memorials” 

with Carina Ray (AAAS), Anne Thomas “Stolpersteine”, Nancy Scott (FA), and Grace Hale (History, UVA), co-sponsored by AAAS and FA

Moderator: Sabine von Mering, Director, CGES

Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 12-2pm

in Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library


Last month’s Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, sent shockwaves through the entire country, and reignited debate about statues commemorating the confederacy. Drawing on a range of compelling current case studies, both national and transnational in scope, the speakers on this panel will explore the questions at the heart of this debate. Professor Grace Hale from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville will address the removal of confederate and other white supremacist memorials in the US from the historian's perspective. Professor Carina Ray (AAAS) will discuss the Rhodes Must Fall campaign in South Africa and the UK, and the contested question of memorializing the slave trade in Ghana. Professor Nancy Scott (FA) will speak about four recent controversies surrounding art and history of monuments - both North and South. During her visit to Brandeis on Tuesday, August 30, Claudia Rankine referenced a new art project memorializing enslaved Africans and marking their sites of enslavement that is modelled after German artist Gunter Demnig's project of Stumbling Stones ['Stolpersteine']. Anne Thomas, long-time colleague of Gunter Demnig's will describe his unique form of historical memorialization.

Co-sponsored by the Departments of African and Afro-American Studies (AAAS) and Fine Arts (FA).

“Will Angela Merkel Become German Chancellor for a 4thTerm Sept 24?”

with Karl Kaiser (Harvard), Regine Paul (Uni Bielefeld), and Joseph Wippl (BU)

Monday, September 18, 2017, 12-2pm

in International Lounge, Usdan


Moderator: Sabine von Mering, Director, CGES
What issues will move German voters in the upcoming federal elections of September 24? Will Angela Merkel become German Chancellor for a fourth term? CGES invited experts to discuss the general context of foreign and security policy (Karl Kaiser), migration and economic issues (Regine Paul), and the question about the possibility of Russian interference (Joseph Wippl).

“Bringing Democracy Down: What is to be learned from Weimar Germany?”

with German historian Norbert Frei, co-sponsored with by the Warburg Chapter of the American Council on Germany (ACG)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 12-2pm

in Lurias, Hassenfeld [Upstairs Sherman]


This lecture focuses on the crisis and final destruction of Germany’s first democracy in the early 1930s. It gives special attention to the conservative elites which meant to “engage” Hitler in their fight against the political left and far-left – and at the end themselves were overthrown by the Nazis. Looking at present-day America, there is ample room for discussion about some strikingly parallel political risks. 

Prof. Norbert Frei is Director of the Center for 20th Century History at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, Germany. He completed his doctoral degree at the University of Munich. He has been a Kennedy Fellow at Harvard, and a member of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton.  He has also been a guest professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  A major focus of his work has been Vergangenheitsbewältigung, or the ways in which Germans deal with the past.  He has written extensively on the rise of National Socialism, and the politics of amnesty and integration following WWII.