Upcoming Events for Fall 2016
Die Ganze Welt --The Whole World
35mm Screening + Q&A with Brandeis Prof. Thomas Doherty
in Wasserman Cinematheque, Sachar Building, Brandeis University
Free screening. Advance tickets required.
Join us for a rare screening in 35mm of a one-of-a-kind film: The only Hollywood film made during World War II to depict the events later know as the Holocaust.
Released in January 1944, the film projects forward to a postwar reckoning in which a United Nations Tribunal conducts a trial for a Nazi war criminal (Alexander Knox, in his screen debut), who is charged with the round up, deportation, and murder of a group of Polish Jews. His twisted path is traced in flashback from 1919 onward. Directed by Hungarian émigré Andre de Toth, shot by ace cinematographer Lee Garmes, and scripted by future member of the Blacklisted Hollywood Ten, Lester Cole, the film also stars Marsha Hunt, Henry Travers, and Richard Crane. (Columbia Pictures. 85 min. B&W) See Image attached.
The rise of right-wing extremist political parties over the past few years and this year's Brexit decision as well as the tea party and Trump phenomenon in the US have given rise to the question whether our Western democracies are in crisis. However, as significant these developments may be they fall short of a fundamental crisis-of-democracy if the question is asked systematically. In analyzing the three fundamental democratic levels of participation, representation, and governance Wolfgang Merkel (Berlin Science Center & Humboldt University) aims at providing a more comprehensive answer to the state of our democracies at the beginning of the 21st century.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Merkel is Director of the “Democracy and Democratization” research program at the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB) and Professor of Political Science at the Humboldt University Berlin. He is a member of a number of key bodies, including the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He is also a non-party member of the Basic Values Commission of the Executive Committee of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). His most recent publications include Demokratie und Krise. Zum schwierigen Verhältnis zwischen Theorie und Empirie (ed., 2015) [Democracy and Crisis. About the Difficult Relationship between Theory and Empiricism]; Handbuch Transformationsforschung (
Martyrs on Stage: The Lure of Religious Fundamentalism-Discussion
Thursday, November 3, 5:00-6:30pm
Merrick Theater, Spingold, Brandeis University
Self-radicalizing young people, extremism, colliding values of secular democracy and religious identity -- the constant and unsettling topics filling our news feed. Can art address these volatile issues? How is our society responding to the challenges? Upcoming Department of Theater Arts production of Marius von Mayenburg's provocative new play MARTYR looks at a German teenager's embrace of Christian fundamentalism. Join us for a discussion about faith, radicalism, and theater.
Clémentine Fauré-Bellaïche is a former student at the École normale supérieure (Ulm) and an agrégée de lettres modernes. She holds a Phd in French Literature from Yale University. She is Assistant Professor in French and Francophone Studies at Brandeis University, where she specializes in 20th- and 21st-century French literature. She is currently writing a book tentatively entitled “L’Air protestant”: André Gide, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roland Barthes, and The Religion of Literary Modernism.
Cynthia Cohen is Director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, and Acting Director of the Ethics Center for the 2016-17 academic year. She holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of New Hampshire and a master's degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition, Dr. Cohen has worked as a dialogue facilitator with communities in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Central America and the United States. Prior to her tenure at Brandeis, she directed a community-based, anti-racist oral history center in the Boston area. She directed the Brandeis University/Theatre Without Borders collaboration Acting Together, co-edited the Acting Together on the World Stage anthology and co-created the related documentary andtoolkit
Alexander Görlach is best known as the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of the debate magazine The European. Founded in 2009 it aims to debate current and pressing issues from all societal ankles. Prior to that Alex worked for German Television (ZDF) where he served also in the studios in New York and London. Alex also wrote for several national newspapers and served as head of the online department of the political magazine Cicero. His op-eds appeared in American, Italian, French, Danish, Greek and Austrian media outlets. Alex holds two PhDs, one in comparative religion, the other one in linguistics. In both studies he is examining the political and societal consequences of the encounter of Western and Muslim cultures. His studies brought him to Al Azhar University in Cairo, the Faculty of Theology in Ankara and the Pontifical University Gregoriana in Rome. Alexander Goerlach is currently serving as Visiting Scholar at the Center for European Studies at Harvard, prior he was in the same affiliation at Divinity School of Harvard University to go on this academic path. He is working on how religious identities are the core for understanding many contemporary global conflicts. He also served as a J.F.Kennedy Fellow at at Harvard, giving a series of lectures on debates in Germany and their influence on Europe. Alex had serval teaching assignments, including at Freie Universität Berlin.
David Siddhartha Patel is Senior Research Fellow in the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. Prior to joining the Center, Patel was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University. He received his B.A. from Duke University in economics and political science and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in political science. Patel’s research focuses on social order, religious authority, and identity in the contemporary Middle East. He conducted independent field research in post-Saddam Iraq on the role of mosques and clerical networks in generating order after state collapse. He has also conducted comparative research on the transnational spread of protests during the so-called Arab Spring and on changes in the support base of Islamist movements. He studied Arabic in Lebanon, Yemen, Morocco, and Jordan. Patel’s book titled, “Islam, Information and Social Order: The Strategic Role of Religion in Muslim Societies” is being prepared for publication by Cornell University Press.
Please join our cosponsors, the Brandeis Theater Company, for its production of German dramatist Marius von Mayenburg's play Martyr -- Nov
Policing of Minorities and the Refugee Situation in the European Union
with Joachim Kersten
The presentation looks at the difficult issue of minority policing in the European Union. Recent EU research findings indicate the necessity of independent police oversight. The ongoing refugee crisis has substantially complicated the issues. In particular, the New Year's Eve attacks by cliques of young Maghreb 'refugees' in Cologne and elsewhere has affected the political climate, and furthered voters' move to right-wing populist 'protest' parties.
Joachim Kersten is Senior Research Professor at the Hochschule der Polizei [Police Academy] in Muenster, Germany. He completed his doctorate in Sociology at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, and his Habilitation at the University of Konstanz. His most recent publications include the co-edited volume Strengthening democratic processes - Police oversight through Restorative Justice in Austria, Hungary and Germany (2015).
with Bruce Leimsidor
For the past few years Europe, and more specifically Germany, has been struggling with a migration crisis that has shaken the foundations of the European Union, endangering a union that has brought an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity to the region for which it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012. The current crisis has put to serious question principles of tolerance and human rights that, since World War II, have been thought to constitute essential European values. Even elements of international, European, and national law have, in response to the crisis, received new and highly controversial interpretations. While many of the problems occasioned by this migration have been caused by the size and nature of the migration itself, an equal responsibility must be placed on how European institutions have responded to its challenges. While xenophobic parties have exploited the crisis, the ability even of institutions and governments relatively positive toward the migration to represent and manage the influx has been limited, turning the noblest of intentions at times into perplexing conundrums. This presentation will explore both the complexities and possible resolutions to the crisis.