2008-09 Events

Marloes Janson: “Male Wives and Female Husbands”

April 22, 2009

“Reconfiguring Gender within the Tablighi Jama'at in the Gambia” with Marloes Janson

Marloes Janson is the 2009 visiting lecturer from the DAAD at Brandeis University. This lecture was the eighth Annual Saler Lecture in Religious Studies. Janson talked about the role of men and women of the Tablighi Jama'at in the Gambia. Over the years, the Tablighi Jama'at has expanded into what is the largest Islamic movement of contemporary times. Despite its enormous influence, scholars have paid almost no attention to the movement in sub-Saharan Africa. The lecture was attended by numerous students and faculty. At the end of the lecture, students and faculty fielded questions and a reception was held.

Attila Bartis and Clemens Meyer

April 6, 2009

“Behind the Iron Curtain”

Brandeis was proud to host two of the most prolific young European authors, Attila Bartis and Clemens Meyer, for a reading on a Monday evening. Despite the rain, students and faculty attended the personal reading of the authors’ latest works. Clemens Meyer read a couple of pages in German and the first chapter of a new translation from his book “As We Were Dreaming” (Als Wir Traeumten). Attila Bartis was assisted by Steve Dowden in a reading of this smash hit “Tranquility,” in Hungarian and English. In all, it was a very entertaining event as all who attended could very well see how these literary mavericks are shaking up the European literature scene.

Zafer Senocak and Elizabeth Oehlkers-Wright

April 1, 2009

“Translating Europe” — Poetry reading and discussion

Born in Ankara in 1961, Zafer Senocak has been living in Germany since 1970, where he has become a leading voice in the German discussions on multiculturalism, national and cultural identity, and a mediator between Turkish and German culture. The widely published poet, essayist, journalist and editor has won several prestigious literary awards in Germany. Together with translator Elizabeth Oehlkers-Wright, they read from their new book of poetry, “Door Languages.” Following the reading, attendants had a Q & A with Zafer Senocak about his poetry, the German-Turkish relationship and translation.

“Translation as Redemption: Between Rosenzweig and Benjamin

March 26, 2009

The link between translation and redemption is not unusual in the Jewish tradition — after the catastrophe at Babel and the endless commentary this myth has generated. In a teaching of Rabbi Tzadokk Hacohen from Lublin we read: “The King Mashiach will bring the recovery [refu’ah] in the past and in the future at the same time.” And Ouaknin, a modern interpreter, suggests: “Recovering is the passage from one language to the other… To recover is to translate.” If to recover is to translate, then also the “recovery” of the past and the future is also a matter of translation: translation of times which is translation of languages, so that every history and every time can be re-narrated.

Donatella Di Cesare, professor at the University of Rome, visited with a group of people in the Heller School. The event was moderated by Stephen Dowden, chair of the Department for German, Russian, Asian Languages and Literature.

“Futures of the Left in an Age of Globalization: What's Left of the Left?”

March 21, 2009

The conference was held in honor of George Ross, the Morris Hilquit Professor. The conference was attended by some of the leading minds in Leftish social and political thought. According to Ross, “Left” political parties have been the major pole of opposition in capitalist market societies and the bearers of “progressive” change since the industrial revolution.

Ardono Marcuse

March 17, 2009

“Manhattan Transfer: Re-Evaluating the Impact of Exile on Theodor W. Adorno and Herbert Marcuse”

The Center for German and European Studies and Harvard University Press presented two new books about Theodor Adorno, one of the most important philosophers and social critics of the postwar period. The presenters were authors Thomas P. Wheatland and Detlev Claussen.

Harald Welzer

March 6, 2009

“Climate Wars” (Klima Kriege)

How are governments dealing with the increasing threat of global warming?

What are they doing to prevent a global climate crisis in the face of the financial meltdown?

What are the structural changes necessary for governments to tackle the climate issues?

Where lie the threats and opportunities?

Harald Welzer talked about these and other questions during his speech.

Bernhard Schlink

February 3, 2009

Author of “The Reader” talks about collective guilt

After a successful German Lunch at the Faculty Club, Bernhard Schlink gave a lecture followed by a Q & A session. The lecture was about the collective guilt experienced by the German generations after World War II, attributed to the Holocaust. Schlink’s main point was that the guilt subsides with the 3rd generation but it is never forgotten. The audience was highly attentive and gave creative feedback, comments and questions. The lecture lasted 100 minutes.

Jörg Himmelreich

December 8, 2008

“Putin's Authoritarianism: Implications for a New U.S. President's Russian Policy

Joerg Himmelreich is senior Transatlantic fellow of the German Marshall Fund at Berlin and a visiting associate professor at University of California, San Diego. He came to the faculty lounge at Brandeis University to talk about Putin's Russia. This event was co-sponsored by the Brandeis Global Affairs Lunch Table.

Tim Haughton

November 18, 2008

“The European Union and Party Politics in Central Eastern Europe

Tim Haughton is a visiting scholar at The Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. He came to Brandeis to talk about his studies on the politics of East-Central Europe. His main areas of focus are parties, institutions and political actors in Slovakia. In addition, Haughton shared his insights into the latest expansion of the European Union, as well as the threats and opportunities that lay ahead.

Edwin Geist

October 26, 2008

Premiere of rescued music from the Nazis and panel discussion

The culminating event of CGES fall programing included a panel discussion with Dr. Bret Werb, Rosian Zerner (Geist's niece), Reinhard Kaiser and Klaus Harer. Followed by a reception, attendees at this sold out event were treated to a musical performance of Edwin Geist’s rescued music. Performers included Verena Rein, soprano; accompanied by the Irvine Fine Society Singers; Nicholas A. Brown as conductor and a group of Boston-area musicians. It was a grand event and CGES looks forward to future collaborations of this scale and context.

Visit the Deutsches Kulturforum östliches Europa for more information.

"Kirschblüten — Hanami"

October 25, 2008

A film by Doris Dörrie 

Germany's most prolific female director, screenwriter and author, Doris Dörrie, graced the Brandeis campus with her presence for a showing of her new movie "Kirschblüten — Hanami."

The story is about Rudi who, after losing his wife, realizes that she was not the person he thought she was. His journey of discovery and coming to terms with the loss of his wife leads him to Japan, where he discovers the intricacies of buto (Japanese dance).

After the screening Dörrie answered questions from the audience.

The Krelitz Family

October 16, 2019

A personal face in Berlin's “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Joel Alpert revealed the captivating story of how his family ended up being portrayed in Berlin’s new Holocaust Memorial. Alpert shared background information on his personal genealogy research and his findings. By posting his findings about his small ancestral town in Lithuania on the internet, he caught the attention of the head researcher for Berlin’s new Holocaust memorial. Through his research he was able to bring together family members from Mexico, Germany, Lithuania and all over the United States.

Antje Ravic Strubel

October 6, 2008

Reading from “Snowed Under"”

Author Antje Strubel and her translator Zaia Alexander came to Brandeis for a reading of Strubel’s 2001 book, “Unterm Schnee” (Snowed Under).