The 2011 Upstate New York German Studies Colloquium theme is “Masterpieces/Meisterwerke”:

What does it mean when we in German Studies speak of a masterpiece, ein Meisterwerk? Which cultural productions – from novels, plays and poems to cities, landscapes and buildings to musical compositions, speeches by the “masters,” philosophical discourses and works of visual culture – belong to the masterworks of German Studies? How have conceptions of masterworks changed over time and across national contexts? How do these works and their “mastery” inform our teaching, research and service to the profession? How have changes in what we consider the “canon” impacted undergraduate and graduate curricula? How does translation determine both what counts as a German masterpiece and the material we choose to teach? How do film, television and the Internet configure our contemporary understanding of Meisterwerke? Are there masterworks from other cultures that have somehow become “German”? Are there “master-methods” for understanding masterworks? What do students need to know in order to consider themselves as having attained “mastery” in the field? What do we ask them to do in order to master the German language? These are some of the questions we seek to explore in the 2011 Upstate New York German Studies Colloquium.

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The Upstate New York German Studies Colloquium provides a forum for conversation and exchange among scholars, teachers, students and others interested in German Studies. It seeks to foster collaboration among and across programs, departments, disciplines and institutions. The conference promotes connections among those working in German Studies in upstate New York, but welcomes and encourages submissions from all regions. The Colloquium will take place on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30, 2011 on the Binghamton University campus. Panels will begin on Friday, followed by a keynote lecture on Friday evening. The conference will continue on Saturday morning and close with a lunch and a workshop.

Conference program

Speakers and presentation abstracts



Location: Binghamton University is located just outside the city of Binghamton in Vestal, NY along NY route 434 (the Vestal Parkway). The Greater Binghamton Airport is a short drive or taxi ride to/from campus. Both Greyhound and Shortline offer frequent bus service to downtown Binghamton from New York City and other points. The bus trip from NYC takes approximately 4 hours. Taxis from the bus station to campus are readily available at the station. If we can offer any assistance with your travel plans, please contact us. Note that on-campus parking is available for a fee in the covered parking garage near the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts or in the “paid lot” across from the Bartle Library. An information booth on the main campus drive (entrance from the Vestal Parkway) offers information on parking. The Colloquium will take place in the Reception Room in the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts. For further information and directions click here.


Accommodations: We have reserved a limited number of rooms for Colloquium participants at the Quality Inn and Suites, located on the Vestal Parkway directly across from the Binghamton University campus. From the hotel the walk to the Colloquium location (the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts Reception Room) takes five or ten minutes. The Colloquium room rate is $79.95/night (single or double; the rate is tax exempt if you mention “German and Russian Studies” as the group name for booking) and is available on Thursday, April 28, Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30, 2011 (call 607-729-6371 or 877-424-6423). The block of rooms for the Colloquium will be held until April 21, 2010. There are also a number of other hotels (Howard Johnson, Hampton Inn) on the Vestal Parkway, but the walk to campus is less pleasant. Sites like might also offer better deals.


Registration Fee: The registration fee for the 2011 Colloquium is $90 and includes meals and all coffee/tea breaks during the Colloquium and a Friday evening dinner at PS restaurant (cash bar). The dinner will follow the keynote lecture by Katherine Arens from the University of Texas at Austin, who will speak on “German Studies' Lehrjahre: Masterpieces as Cognitive Apprenticeships in Cultural Studies.” The Colloquium will end on Saturday afternoon with a workshop led by Professor Arens. This event is also included in the registration fee.


Please send your registration fee of $90. by check made payable to “IFR 900142” to:

Neil Christian Pages
German Studies Colloquium
Department of German and Russian Studies
P.O. Box 6000
Binghamton University SUNY
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000


The deadline for registration is April 8, 2011. Thereafter the registration fee increases to $120.


For questions, please contact Neil Christian Pages or Harald Zils.