Summer-Fall 2020

CGES Online invites you to a new series of virtual events. We will cover current developments of international relevance and welcome you to stay informed and critical during the world-wide crises we are facing. Sign up for our Newsletter to receive information about all events organized or sponsored by the Center for German and European Studies.

CGES Online events are held as webinars on Zoom. In order to receive a link to the webinar, we ask you to RSVP online and provide a working email address. You will find an RSVP link on each event's page, simply click on the event title you are interested in. If you have any technical issues or other questions, please don't hesitate to contact our office.

Most CGES Online events are recorded. If available, you will find a link to the recording on the event's page. Find a list of links to all recorded webinars on CGES Online's Echo360 website


Upcoming Events

books Winnetou 1-3 by Karl May

Photo Credit: Public domain

October 5, 2020

12-1:30pm Eastern Time (US)

The enduring popularity of Karl May—and the persistence of the static images of Indigenous life in the Americas he propagated—are topics that have long interested readers, scholars, journalists and activists. Panelists will discuss Karl May and his legacy through the lenses of decolonization and race, including how the Winnetou books and film adaptations center depictions of whiteness and erase narratives of Indigenous resistance, survival and sovereignty, their impact on the representation of Indigenous American cultures in museums, festivals, and hobbyist circles, and the intertwined German and American legacies of migration, colonization, and racism. 

Photo from Everything Coming Together

Photo Credit: Oliver Ressler

October 14, 2020

12-1:30 pm Eastern Time (US)

Oliver Ressler is an artist and filmmaker whose work has focused on global warming as a central theme ever since he first began to exhibit. One of his first solo exhibitions was “100 Years of Greenhouse Effect” at Salzburger Kunstverein in 1996. Oliver Ressler will talk about a cycle of films – “Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart” (2016 – 2020) – that follows the climate justice movement in its struggles to dismantle an economic system heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

Logo of the "Yes on 2" campaign

Photo Credit: Ranked Choice Voting, Massachusetts

October 19, 2020

12-1:30 pm Eastern Time (US)

This November, Massachusetts voters will vote on "Yes on 2" to support "Ranked Choice Voting." In this webinar we explain what ranked-choice voting is, but we also take a look across the Atlantic to see how voting rules impact political culture and democracy in the Federal Republic of Germany, which has had a system of (mixed) proportional representation since WWII.

Past Events

Rush hour traffic

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

September 21, 2020

Traffic and transportation make up 20% of Germany’s CO2 emissions. In the face of a climate catastrophe, the need for drastic change is clear – and yet, each year, more and more vehicles are being sold in a country that finds pride in its car industry and an Autobahn without speed limits. Merle Groneweg will give a brief introduction into current debates in Germany – and why electric cars cannot be the solution for a climate-just mobility. She presents key aspects of policy proposals that combine mobility, trade, and raw material policies.
Film still from "Auf den zweiten Blick"

Photo Credit: Anita Back

September 17, 2020

Director Sheri Hagen talks with Ariana Cohen-Halberstam about Auf den zweiten Blick, a movie that advocates for love against all odds. Exploring "blindness" in a literal as well as metaphorical sense, the film shows how loneliness, prejudice, and physical limitations can be overcome--if we are able to open up and see the other person for who they are. 
Black Lives Matter protestors in front of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver on May 30, 2020

Photo Credit: Emmett Williams

September 14, 2020

The George Floyd Uprising and Black Lives Matter Movement have brought renewed attention to the more than 1,500 Confederate statues around the US, and raised questions about how a nation should deal with its own history. Germany is often praised for its Vergangenheitsbewältigung, the way in which it has approached or dealt with its own history. What different approaches to history can we identify in Germany and the United States?
The Thief Lord, book title

Photo Credit: Scholastic

September 3, 2020

Two German authors are living their dream in California. Cornelia Funke, one of Germany's most successful children's authors worldwide, has lived in Malibu since 2005. Kerstin Zilm, an independent producer and radio reporter, moved to Los Angeles in 2003, founded her own production company and wrote a book about her arrival in California. A conversation about writing fantasy and reporting reality in the Golden State.

Summer 2020

Marc Hermann-Cohen

Photo Credit: M. Hermann-Cohen

August 24, 2020

The Holocaust is inseparable from Israeli identities. Even seven decades after World War II, Israeli daily life is shaped by the horrible crimes committed by the Nazis and yet thousands of Israelis every year decide to learn German as a Foreign Language (GFL). The webinar looks at the changing image of Germany in Israel, tabooizations found in textbooks for German as a Foreign Language, and Israeli learners’ perspectives on Germany.
Nora Krug and Katja Petrowskaja

Photo Credit: Nina Subin, Heike Steinweg

August 13, 2020

In exploring their own families’ histories, these two women writers confront the past, reflect on a fragmented and traumatized century and the responsibility we all have as inheritors of our countries’ past. A conversation about searching for the past and how it affects the present.
Monika Hübscher

Photo Credit: M. Hübscher

August 10, 2020

In her talk, Monika Hübscher gives examples of antisemitic content posted by the AfD on Facebook. She provides insight into the context of the posts and how AfD followers respond to antisemitic content on the social platform. Further, she discusses the normalization of antisemitic content on social media, and its consequences for societal discourse in Germany.
Stefanie Brand, Christine Hallaschka, Katrin Westphal, Mareike Wijers-von Mering

Photo Credit: Private

August 3, 2020

While Massachusetts schools are considering how to reopen for the fall after months of lockdown, schools in Germany already reopened in May. In this live conversation with four teachers who are working in German schools we discuss their experience: What worked well? What challenges did they face? How did the measures work for different age groups? What recommendations would they make to schools in the US?
Bodo von Borries

Photo Credit: B. v. Borries

July 27, 2020

The lecture discusses several aspects of East Germany's coming to terms with the past, including the focus on anti-fascist resistance against national socialism, and the inadequacies of Holocaust education in the GDR. It then describes what has changed since German reunification in 1990 and reflects current developments.

Klaus Linsenmeier and Rigat Keleta

Photo Credit: R. Keleta, K. Linsenmeier

July 20, 2020

Ocean Viking, Open Arms, Sea-Watch, Lifeline - privately funded rescue ships in the Mediterranean are trying to save refugees. The rescue missions are becoming more and more difficult, with captain Carola Rackete arrested last year, and a number of ships seized by authorities over the last three years. Confronted with what is called “migrant crisis” or “refugee crisis,” we must ask: what are the real crises underneath? What are the conflicts that make people risk their lives trying to reach Europe, which hopes do they have?
Esther Dischereit and Elizabeth Bradfield

Photo Credit: Bettina Straub, Cotton Coulson

July 16, 2020

Berlin-based author Esther Dischereit, regarded a leading figure of second-generation German Jewish literature, and Elizabeth Bradfield, a naturalist and writer whose work appeared in THE NEW YORKER, talk about what it means to be a poet in today’s challenging world. Which role can and should literature play while our societies are facing seemingly insurmountable challenges?
Anna Seghers

Anna Seghers

July 13, 2020

Anna Seghers is one of the most important German women writers of the 20th century. Born Netty Reiling in Mainz in 1900, she won recognition as a writer under the pen name Seghers. The author's best-known work is the antifascist novel The Seventh Cross (completed in 1939) for which she received the Büchner-Prize in 1947. 

Ronny Blaschke

Photo Credit: R. Blaschke

June 29, 2020

European football (read: soccer) was hit hard by Covid-19. Almost all leagues were forced to take several months off and the weaknesses of a commercialized industry became apparent. Can this crisis really put an end to high player salaries and transfer fees? What could a socially acceptable professional football look like that takes not only health, but also climate protection and education of its talents seriously? A debate about social policy in and through football.

Andy Gheorghiu

Photo Credit: A. Gheorghiu

June 22, 2020

Germany is considered a pioneer in the much-needed clean energy transition as it took early steps toward the so-called “Energiewende” with the goal of a decentralized climate-friendly energy system based on renewables and energy efficiency. However, the transition may have proved too successful and is now facing heavy pushback by the fossil fuel lobby that sees its old power patterns threatened.

Sasha Marianna Salzmann, Guy Ben-Aharon, Rebecca Ajnwojner, Ireon Roach

Photo Credit: I. Roach, Olivella Small, R. Ajnwojner, Esra Rothoff

June 18, 2020

In Cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Boston 

"I think all poets—and I’m a kind of poet—are caught in a situation, which is a kind of pre-revolutionary situation; they have a very difficult role to play. (…) My own effort is to try to bear witness to something that will have to be there when the storm is over, to help us get through the next storm. Storms are always coming.

James Baldwin 

Joachim Kersten

Photo Credit: J. Kersten

June 15, 2020

“Defund Police!” is one of the demands of the Black Lives Matter Movement in the wake of the brutal murder of George Floyd and the many other victims of police brutality in the US. This webinar takes a look at how police are trained, equipped, and funded in Germany where the number of victims of police shootings is small. 

Theresia Enzensberger and Elizabeth Otto

Photo Credit: Rosanna Graf, E. Otto

June 11, 2020

In Cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Boston

A novel about one female Bauhaus student by Theresia Enzensberger, and a non-fiction account of 45 Bauhaus women unjustifiably forgotten by Elizabeth Otto: this conversation combines an author’s and a researcher’s take on the famous art school in Weimar, Germany that celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

Torben Lütjen

Photo Credit: T. Lütjen

June 8, 2020

For much of the 20th century, the United States, with its moderate political culture, was the antithesis to ideologically fractured Europe. Today, however, it is America that has become the epicenter of a new global wave of political polarization. From a uniquely European perspective, Torben Lütjen wonders what has happened to the promised land of pragmatism. 

Antonie Eickelberg

Photo Credit: A. Eickelberg

June 4, 2020

In Cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Boston

After a skiing vacation in Austria, Antonie Eickelberg had to spend 14 days in quarantine. The journalist then returned to a heavily modified newsroom where special work shift models, spatial changes and strict hygiene measures have so far successfully prevented Covid-19 infections. She now experiences the changes caused by the pandemic in her private and professional life. The return to normality in Germany is still a long way off.

Joyce Mushaben

Photo Credit: J. Mushaben

June 2, 2020

Having served in all four Merkel cabinets, Ursula von der Leyen often faced major opposition within her own party (CDU/CSU). Though she refuses to label herself a feminist, von der Leyen became the driving force behind many policies that have fundamentally transformed the German gender regime since 2005. Presuming that  past  performance is the best predictor of future actions, this talk reviews von der Leyen’s extensive record on equality policies in Germany, then addresses the conundrum posed by the great expectations her appointment has raised at the EU level.

Wolfgang Merkel

Photo Credit: W. Merkel

May 18, 2020

Around the world, drastic emergency measures are in place to control and limit the spread of Covid-19. Democratic societies have accepted the new ’normal’ of restricted freedom and mutilated human rights. How does Covid-19 challenge democracy? Why is there so little resistance? When does the end justify the means? And does political opposition still have a role to play during a global health crisis?

Justus Haucap

Photo Credit: J. Haucap

May 11, 2020

Germany is Europe's largest and the fifth largest economy in the world. To weather the storm of Covid19, the German government has made financial resources available to small and large companies as well as the self-employed. What exactly is being done, and how? Is Germany's economy more resilient than other economies? If so, why? And will the German economy be able to find a "climate-friendly" way out of the Coronavirus, as Chancellor Angela Merkel urged in the Petersberg Dialogue?

Headshot of Stefan Rahmstorf

Photo Credit: Astrid Eckert

May 4, 2020

The webinar will discuss some of the current ‘hot topics’ in climate research. How and to what extent are recent extreme events like wild fires, flash floods and tropical cyclones affected by human-caused climate change? Is the Jet Stream going ‘weird’? Has the Gulf Stream System slowed down? Have critical tipping points already been passed in the climate system?

Daniel Sturm talking to Nancy Pelosi

Photo Credit: D. Sturm

April 20, 2020

How does a German correspondent look at the USA - and how does he present this huge country to his readers? What does his daily work look like? How does this work differ from the previous years of reporting on Germany from Berlin? And above all: how do you succeed in transporting topics beyond Donald Trump?


Headshot of Sophia Schlette

Photo Credit: S. Schlette

April 13, 2020

Health expert Sophia Schlette will provide an overview about the policy responses, containment and mitigation measures taken in Germany to stop the Coronavirus from spreading since the first patient was diagnosed with Covid-19 in late January. The webinar takes a look at state level responses versus central level responses in a situation where still many unknowns exist.