2013-14 Events

Governing Immigration in Advanced Welfare States: The Scandinavian Case

April 25th, 2014


2pm in Mandel Reading Room 303, 3rd Floor

The Scandinavian countries today face different kinds of challenges in relation to multicultural immigration. Questions of social cohesion and the sustainability of societal formation have been raised in all three countries over the last 10-15 years. Grete Brochmann described and analyzed the dynamics generated when these challenges meet the traditionally equality oriented and ethnically homogeneous Scandinavian countries. She asked how the political approaches available for governance are formed by the institutional structure of the region, in which the welfare state plays an essential role. Information about the speaker can be found here.

Co-sponsored by the Center for German and European Studies, the Department of Politics, International and Global Studies, the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and the Department of Sociology.

Germany in Europe -- Campus Week, Part IV: Brandeis World Cup Soccer Tournament

April 26th, 2014

Tournament Flyer
12-3pm on the Turf Field

Brandeis students in teams of 3-4 joined in this fun successful soccer tournament with cash prizes. The winning team received $300, second place got $200 and the third place team won $100. The games was 3v3 and had small goals. There was no entrance fee and every player got a free t-shirt and various other CGES items. 

The Shoah in Israeli Culture, Memory and Politics

April 27th - 28th, 2014

Shoah poster

We invited you to attend our conference, "The Shoah in Israeli Culture, Memory and Politics," taking place over Holocaust Remembrance Day April 27-28, 2014 (Yom HaShoah). The topic of Israel and the Shah is not well understood, and this was a particularly meaningful opportunity to share how the subject may be treated.

The conference opened at 12:30 pm on Sunday with a videotaped message from Professor Elie Wiesel, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University and University Professor. The author of Night and over 60 fiction and non-fiction books, Professor Wiesel is also the 1986 Nobel Peace Laureate. 

The keynote speaker was Professor Dan Michman, Modern Jewish History Professor and Chair of the Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research at Bar-Ilan University; Head of the International Institute of Holocaust Research and John Najmann Chair in Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem.  
  • The conference is free and open to the public. Registration is recommended.
  • Refreshments will be served.

The conference was cosponsored by the Israel Institute and by the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis. 

The Future of the European Union

April 10, 2014



Rapaport Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

In light of recent international economic and social unrest in Europe we discussed where Europe is heading, and where we think it should be heading.


Michalis Psalidopoulos, holder of the Constantine Karamanlis Chair of Hellenic and European Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

Marc Bentinck, Fellow, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. 

Sabine von Mering, Director, CGES Brandeis 

Organized in cooperation with the Brandeis International Journal.

The Ghetto in Lodz: 1939-1944

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

7-9pm Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

Lecture by Professor Antony Polonsky: “Lodz: A Jewish City”

Yiddish songs composed in the Lodz Ghetto

Performed by:

Sophie Michaux (mezzo soprano)

Elias Rosemberg (tenor)

Eugenia Gerstein (piano)

Susanne Klingenstein (words)

Temple Emanuel Choir, Newton

CRIMEA and Beyond: Russia and Its Neighbors Today

Panel Discussion with Brandeis Faculty Experts about the Current Developing Situation

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

1pm in Shiffman 210


Steven Burg, Adlai Stevenson Professor of International Politics

David Engerman, Ottilie Springer Professor of History

Chandler Rosenberger, Assistant Professor of International and Global Studies Program and Sociology

Russia's recent annexation of Crimea has sent shock waves through the post-Soviet space, the European Community, and beyond. How are we to understand recent events in Ukraine? What is the historical background? What is the proper response? Are we looking at a new Cold War? Brandeis faculty members for a discussed what many are calling the most significant geopolitical event in Europe since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Co-sponsored by the the Department of Politics, the Department of History, the Center for German and European Studies, the Russian Studies Program, and the International and Global Studies Program.

Reading of award-winning Israeli dramatist Savyon Librecht's play "Dear Sigmund and Carl"

Directed by Guy Ben-Aharon, Artistic Director and Founder of the Israeli Stage

Thursday, March 27th, 2014


Laurie Theater in Spingold


Will Lyman

Patrick Shea

Rebecca Schneebaum


Dear Sigmund and Carl depicts the historic meeting between Freud's and Jung's sons when they agreed to publish their fathers' exchange of letters.

After the show there was a talk back with Savyon Liebrecht. Liebrecht ist currently working on two plays about Freud; the other one being Freud's Women, exploring Freud's relationship to his wife and his sister-in-law and their relationship to Judaism. For more events with Savyon Liebrecht in the Boston area, please visit Israeli Stage.  
Savyon Librecht was born in Munich in 1948 to Holocaust Survivors. She grew up in Israel and studied literature and philosophy at Tel Aviv University. She writes about Israel today, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, conflicts between religious and non-religious Jews, and the effect of the Holocaust on subsequent generations. Her books have been translated into many languages. She is the recipient of the Alterman Literary Prize for her story collection "Apples from the Desert" (1987) and the Prime Minister's Prize for Literature (1992 and 1999) and the Playwright of the Year Award (2004 and 2006). 
The Brandeis event was made possible by Israeli Stage in collaboration with the Center for German and European Studies and the Schustermann Center for Israel Studies. We gratefully acknowledge the Brandeis University Department of Theater Arts' permission to use the Laurie Theater in Spingold Theater for this event. 

An article about Liebrecht can be found in the Boston Globe.

French Colonial Soldiers in German Captivity, 1940-1945: Race and Identity Between Vichy and Nazi Berlin

Thursday, March 27th

3:30pm at Olin Sang 207

with Raffael Scheck, Professor of History at Colby College with a PhD in Comparative History from Brandeis University. 

Germany in Europe -- Campus Week

Part III: Germany Shaping Your Future: Transatlantic Job Opportunities

March 18th, 2014
Job Fair 2014

6:00-8:30pm; Napoli Room, Gosman Sports Center

The Germany and Europe Job Fair showcased a panel of German businesses that operate in the Boston area and US businesses with a presence in Germany. Students that attended will gained a better understanding of how the US and German economies and work place are intertwined and presented themselves to German businesses  looking for American workers. 


Helene Munson (Realtor at Coldwell)
Michael Winter (Senior Vice President Operations at Bank of America)
Sarah Zahnouni (Engagement Manager at Harvard Business Publishing)
Andrew Eckhardt (Vice President KfW IPEX-Bank)
Peter-Paul C.Henze (Scientific Officer at Consulate General of Germany in Boston)

The DAAD and German Center for Research and Innovation
(NYC) were also present.

Climate Wars: What People Will Be Killed For in the 21st Century -- a Luncheon Reading and Conversation with Author Harald Welzer

Monday, March 17th, 2014


Faculty Club Lounge

Professor Harald Welzer is Co-Founder and Director of the Foundation Futurzwei and since July of 2012 honorary professor of transformation design at the University of Flensburg, Germany. He is also affiliate member of the faculty at Marial-Center Emory University (Atlanta/USA) and teaches at the University St.Gallen. Welzer studied Sociology, Political Science and Literature at the University of Hannover. He has published a number of books: Das kommunikative GedaechtnisEine Theorie der Erinnerung. (Munich: Beck, 2002), Opa war kein Nazi (Fischer Tb 2002); Der Krieg der Erinnerung. Holocaust, Kollaboration und Widerstand im europäischen Gedächtnis (ed.), S. Fischer, Frankfurt/M. 2007; and Klimakriege. Wofuer im 21. Jahrhundert getoetet wird (Fischer Tb 2008)--which was published in English in 2012.

Tragedy and the Tragic in German Literature, Art, and Thought

A Three-Day Symposium- Keynote by Bücher Prize winning Author Felicitas Hoppe



Thursday - Saturday, March 13th - 15th, 2014

Thursday 6:30pm - 11:00pm, Friday 10 am - 10 pm, Saturday 10am-1:30pm
Goethe-Institut Boston, 170 Beacon Street, Boston
info: +1 (617) 262-6050

Do we live in tragic times? “America has everything –”, wrote Max Frisch, “except only one thing: a relationship to the tragic.” Is the tragic something to be pursued, like life, liberty – and happiness? Is tragedy the pursuit of unhappiness? Should we worry, should we be happy – when people pursue the tragic? Did Frisch hit the nail on the head – and miss the point? Does German culture have everything – except a healthy relationship to happiness? Is the pursuit of happiness an American way of relating to the tragic? Does tragedy express resignation in the face of things unchangeable, or a sorrow-driven rebellion against the way things are, against the way we are? Are we talking about metaphysics and art when we should be talking about ethics and politics? 
The symposium was a search to define for today a phenomenon that shed light in and on ancient Greece. Does tragic art continue to shed light — does it remain a force of enlightenment — or has it only cast its shadow on times since, more as a sign of resignation and renunciation than illumination? What sense can we make of tragedy? What sense can tragedy make of us? 
The conversation on tragedy — with many invited participants but open to the public participation — began on Thursday evening with a keynote address by Büchner Prize winning novelist Felicitas Hoppe. 

Steve Dowden (Brandeis University) 
Thomas Quinn (Independent Scholar)
Sabine von Mering (Brandeis University) 
Meike Werner (Vanderbilt University)

Isabel Ballan (Brandeis University) 
Jeffrey Bernstein (College of the Holy Cross) 
Joshua Billings (Yale University) 
John Burt (Brandeis University) 
Wolfram Ette (University of Basel) 
Anke Finger (University of Connecticut) 
Rachel Freudenburg (Boston College) 
Gesa Frömming (Wellesley College) 
Abigail Gillman (Boston University) 
Jessica Gokhberg (Brandeis University) 
Eugene Goodheart (Brandeis University) 
Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei (Fordham University) 
Barbara Hahn (Vanderbilt University) 
John T. Hamilton (Harvard University) 
Karsten Harries (Yale University) 
Lauren Hobler (Brandeis University) 
Felicitas Hoppe (Novelist, Essayist) 
Susanne Klingenstein (MIT) 
Joseph Lawrence (College of the Holy Cross) 
Vanessa Lubiner (Brandeis University) 
James McFarland (Vanderbilt University) 
Tara Metal (Bookseller) 
Klaus Mladek (Dartmouth University) 
Karen Painter (University of Minnesota) 
Evan Parks (Independent scholar) 
Robert Pirro (Georgia Southern University) 
Laura Quinney (Brandeis University) 
Gerhard Richter (Brown University) 
Mark Roche (University of Notre Dame) 
Syliva Schmitz-Burgard (College of the Holy Cross) 
Kathrin Seidl (Brandeis University) 
Howard Senzel (UMass Dartmouth) 
David Sherman (Brandeis University) 
Gregor Thuswaldner (Gordon College) 
Helmut Walser Smith (Vanderbilt University) 
Pu Wang (Brandeis University) 
Alexander Weick (Brandeis University) 

More Information: Steve Dowden: dowden@brandeis.edu
Co-presented by Brandeis's Center of German and European Studies and the Goethe Institut Boston with generous support from the DAAD and the Max Kade Foundation.

Pros and Cons of Transnational Trade Partnerships

with Professor Peter Petri

Tuesday March 11th, 2014


Faculty Club Lounge

An egnaging discussion led by Professor Peter Petri focusing on the benefits and disadvantages of trade agreements and partnerships. The discussion will focus on labor, environmental and intellectual property rights, specifically focusing on current negotiations surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). 

Germany in Europe in 2014: Shaping the Present – Germany as a Team Player?

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

6:30-8:30pm; Pearlman Lounge
Germany is a leading economic power and young people from around the world are interested in German culture, history, and politics. This student-led panel discussion highlighted chances and challenges young generations are facing in Germany and Europe today. How do German and other European students identify? What role does Germany have in Europe and in the minds of Europeans right now? How do nationality and European identity conflict or interact? How much does history impact views of Germany? What are students’ employment prospects in Germany and Europe?

Discussion and Performance of the Reading "Threesome without Simone"

Threesome Without Simone

Germany in Europe -- Campus Week, Part I: Germany in Europe 1913: The Portrayal of the Great War

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013


International Lounge, Usdan

With historians Thomas Weber, Philipp Stelzel, and Chad Williams, organized by Ian Hopper, Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Modern Britain and the World from 1750 in the History department at Brandeis University.

The way in which people understand war derives principally from the portrayal of war in their society.  Portrayals can be found in personal narratives, historical writing, political rhetoric, and art.  Over the last century, the cinema has become the primary transmitter of the imagery of war and it is from film that most derive their essential understanding of the nature of warfare and military history.  This panel brought together historical and artistic perspectives to discuss important questions surrounding the portrayal of war. These included: What are the challenges to portraying war historically or artistically?   In what ways do the concerns of historians and directors of films overlap or diverge?  What political or cultural influences shape how war is portrayed?  How can portrayals of war confront or confirm the biases of their audience?

Event Series EXILE & PERSECUTION: German Exiles in the Americas

FLyer Summary Exile

Wednesday, November 13th - Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

The speakers and workshop participants explored the fate of intellectuals, writers, and thespians in exile in the US and in South America during the Second World War, and the ways in which they came to terms with National Socialism, the Shah, and the challenges of building a new life through both their artistic and intellectual work and their career choices. Light refreshments were provided for all events. You can find the program with details here.

Do We need a Motherhood-Quota? Women and Mothers in the German Parliament

Featuring Hilke Brockmann, Ph.D.

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Olin Sang 207

Are women and men, mothers and fathers represented equally in the German Bundestag? Or does politics remain a male-dominated affair because the life script of most women includes children who do not fit the demanding time schedule of a politician? This question is highly relevant, given the current debate about a women's quota for leadership positions in the German economy and in the European Union. We discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of a mother quota.

Dr. Hilke Brockmann is a sociologist and demographer by training and a professor of sociology at Jacobs University, Germany. Her research deals with the causes and consequences of population aging and of subjective well-being (SWB), often equated with happiness. During her stay at Minda De Gunzburg Center for European Studies CES at Harvard she is workign on four quantitative projects which all deal with issues of subjective well-being.

Commemorating Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 1938)

Monday, November 11th, 2013

6:30pm – 8:00 pm
Mandel Center for the Humanities 303

CGES held a Jewish-German dialogue meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 'Kristallnacht' pogrom of November 1938 on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 6:30pm in Mandel Humanities Center 303. Ruth Gutmann is the author of A Final Reckoning: A Hannover Family's Life and Death in the Shah (originally pulished in German; forthcoming with Univeiversity of Alabama Press.) Gutmann's family was there to present excerpts of her new book. 

New Findings from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos

Featuring Dr. Martin Dean

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Martin Dean
6:00 - 8:30pm
Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room, 3rd Floor

Dr. Martin Dean of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies discussed recent findings of the Museum's massive "Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos" Project. Volume 2, covering Ghettos in German-Occupied Eastern Europe, published in 2012, documented more than 300 ghetto sites not previously described in English. Dr. Dean outlined some of the research methods and sources used and gave a survey of the wide variety of forced labor camps and police-run camps to be covered in the forthcoming Volumes 5 and 6, devoted mainly to more than 30,000 forced labor sites across Europe.

Dr. Martin Dean, born 1962 in London, is an Applied Research Scholar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies in Washington, DC. He received his PhD in History from Queens’ College, Cambridge in 1989, for his thesis entitled “Austrian Policy during the French Revolutionary Wars, 1796-1799.” Subsequently he worked as a Historical Researcher for the British Home Office War Crimes Inquiry (1988-1989), for the Cambridge University History Faculty’s Project on Berlin during the First World War (1989-1991), and for the Australian Special Investigations Unit (War Crimes) (1989-1992). From 1992 to 1997, Dr. Dean worked as the Senior Historian for the Metropolitan Police War Crimes Unit in London. His publications include: Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941-44Robbing the Jews: the Confiscation of Jewish Property in the Holocaust, 1933-1945, and The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos 1933-1945, vol. 2 Ghettos in German-Occupied Eastern Europe. He has also written many book chapters and articles on the Holocaust focused mainly on the issues of Ghettos, Collaboration, War Crimes, and the Confiscation of Jewish Property.

Theater Play Mameloschn

October 29th, 2013


Three women, three generations, three ways of life. What did it mean to live as a Jew in East Germany and what does it mean in modern-day Germany? Questions of identity and belonging are set against questions of personal freedoms and responsibility to the family in a staged reading of this hilarious new play, honored as best play of 2013 at Muelheimer Theatertage. Featuring Boston actors Bobby Steinbach, Maureen Keiller and Rebecca Schneebaum. Directed by Guy Ben Aharon. Sponsored by Goethe Institut Boston, the Center for German and European Studies CGES and the Brandeis Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry.

Luncheon and Reading with German-Jewish poet Esther Dischereit

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Esther Dischereit

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Faculty Club Lounge

Esther Dischereit was born in Germany. The survival of her Jewish mother while hiding during the Holocaust has marked and influenced Dischereit’s life as well as her work. Today she stands out among the small number of Jewish writers in 21st century Germany with her work ranging from poetry to plays.

Germany Voted - Now What?

presentation by Carina Schmitt

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

12:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Faculty Club Lounge

Political scientist Carina Schmitt (CES Harvard) gave a presentation and held a discussion about the outcomes of the recent elections in Germany and their implications for the future.

Successful Reconciliation of a Divided Society: 25 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Friday, September 28th - Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Various times and locations

Contemporary Germany is one of the rare examples of successful reconciliation. Despite the fact that in parts of East Germany unification continues to be a struggle, the generation of Germans born after 1990 fully embrace their (united) German identity. There are only a few other examples of such unification; the united nation of Vietnam is one. Just like war-torn Vietnam, the reunified Germany faced hitherto unknown challenges of economic, political, and social proportions. Young Germans all over the country have moved beyond the mindset of the cold war and are helping to shape a self-confident national image that first surprised their elders in its demonstration of patriotism during the 2006 soccer world cup. What is this new German identity about? How do young Germans today connect to their country’s past, and how do they view their future? How did/do educators, journalists, politicians and cultural institutions promote a new, forward moving set of values? How will Germany deal with its new role as a major guarantor of peace, prosperity, and security in Europe? Will the German economy be strong enough to pull its Southern European neighbors along? What happens if it won’t? How has Germany’s image abroad evolved as a consequence, and how do Germans see themselves? By bringing together German, American, and Israeli students, this project plans to explore what lessons can be shared from German successes in reconciliation and how the German experience can be compared to other countries or situations. Students and faculty from all three countries will participate in the workshop. Following the workshop, conversations will continue via the web over the course of the year in preparation for a 2-week intensive seminar held in Germany in May 2014.  

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report- Rethinking the Nuclear Renaissance Worldwide

featuring Mycle Schneider

Mycle Schneider

Tuesday, October 16th, 2013
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Heller G03

The plummeting natural gas prices, sovereign debt crisis, proliferation concerns and improved economic conditions for renewable energy sources have created a challenging global environment for nuclear power. Contrary to what the nuclear industry would have us believe that we are seeing a global renaissance in nuclear power, nuclear power the world over is on the decline. This is especially true in the US, where operating reactors are being closed as uneconomic for the first time in 15 years. The World Nuclear Industry Status Report provides a vital reality check to the current situation of the global nuclear industry as well as identifying important nuclear trends.

Mycle Schneider is an independent international consultant on energy and nuclear policy based in Paris. Mycle is a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) at Princeton University, USA. His consulting clients included the French and German Environmental Ministries, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the International Atomic Energy Agency, Greenpeace, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the Worldwide Fund for Nature, the European Commission, the French Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety. Mycle has given evidence and held briefings at Parliaments in thirteen countries and given lectures at fourteen universities around the globe. He founded the Energy Information Agency WISE-Paris in 1983 and directed it until 2003. In 1997, along with Jinzabuto Takagi, he received the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize.