BUGSC 2014:
What Visual Culture Does for German Studies

Workshop Leader and Keynote Speaker (The Larry Wells Memorial Lecture): Professor Randall Halle, University of Pittsburgh

Preliminary Program


Keynote and Workshop

From Baumgarten to Adorno to Kluge, Sebald, Wenders and Haneke, to Beuys, Kiefer and Pina Bausch, from the infamous images of Leni Riefenstahl to the photographs of Alpine idylls and of walls falling down, we cannot think about a conception of German Studies without thinking about visual culture. The study of visual culture has challenged and changed the way we conceive of and teach in German Studies. We work with and against images of language teaching and learning and of things “German” in particular. The visual cultures of the German-speaking countries and their reception across disciplines have allowed German Studies scholars to expand the scope of their thinking and teaching.  We now teach students to read both literary and visual texts and to develop cultural competencies that include the ability to navigate both material and visual worlds. BUGSC 2014 asks what the study of visual culture has done for German Studies.

Questions that inform BUGSC 2014 include: How has the study of visual culture impacted German Studies both in terms of content and in terms of its presuppositions? Which metaphors and paradigms, arguments and assumptions have emerged from the intersections of German Studies and the visual? What is the relation between text and image, between the literary and the cinematic in German Studies? More practically: What kinds of images are prevalent in German Studies and how do we put them to use in our teaching, research and outreach? In DaF? In our attempts at inter- and transdisciplinarity? What is the difference between reading diagonally across a broadsheet, scrolling through an essay or scanning the surface of an image on a screen? How can a transdisciplinary view of cultural production link German Studies to fields like Art History, Media Studies, Cinema Studies and other discursive groupings in generative ways?

We seek papers that explore and participants who are engaged in reflecting on what role the study of visual culture has played in the development of German Studies. We are interested in thinking about the opportunities and challenges that the study of visual culture presents for practitioners in the field.  We welcome submissions for papers and panels (in German or English) that address “What Visual Culture Does for German Studies.” Please submit an approximately one-page abstract with a one-paragraph biographical note or a panel proposal with three abstracts and three biographies (presentations should be no longer than twenty minutes with three presentations per panel) by January 31, 2014 to Neil Christian Pages at npages@binghamton.edu or Harald Zils at hzils@binghamton.edu. We welcome submissions from all those interested in thinking about the interrelation between German Studies and a broad understanding of both the visual and of culture.



Location: Binghamton University is located just outside the city of Binghamton in Vestal, New York 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 New York City takes approximately 3 ½-4 hours (as does the drive). Taxis from the bus station to the Colloquium hotel and the campus are readily available at the bus station. For those traveling to New York City on Saturday after the workshop, plan on the 4:40 p.m. Greyhound Bus or the 4:10 p.m. Shortline Bus for departure.

The 2014 Colloquium will take place in the President's Reception Room in the Anderson Center on the Binghamton University main campus, easily walkable from the Quality Inn. Participants can use the parking garage on Friday (we have a number of free parking passes); on Saturday, parking in campus lots is free, we recommend using lot D, right next to the venue (cf. map).

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 at Bunn Hill Road.
The Colloquium room rate is $79.95/night (single or double; mention the “Department of German and Russian Studies” when booking) and is available on Thursday, April 24, Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26, 2014 (call 607-729-6371 or 877-424-6423). The block of rooms for the Colloquium will be held until April 11, 2014.

Registration: The registration fee for the 2014 Colloquium is $100 and includes meals and all coffee/tea breaks during the Colloquium and a Friday evening dinner at PS restaurant (cash bar) after the keynote lecture. The Colloquium will end on Saturday afternoon with a workshop led by Randall Halle. This event is also included in the registration fee. Please send your registration fee of $100. by check made payable to “Binghamton University Foundation” and with reference to “Acct 08050/German Colloquium” 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 11, 2014. Thereafter the registration fee increases to $125.


Information on BUGSC 2013 here