Panel 1: Violence, Religion, and Theology

Sean Dunwoody is Assistant Professor of History and Medieval & Early Modern Studies at Binghamton University, where he teaches courses on the history and culture of early modern Europe. His current monograph project, based on his dissertation and tentatively titled Passionate Peace: Emotions and Religious Coexistence in Early Modern Germany, deploys insights and methodologies from the history of emotions to offer a new framework for analyzing and understanding religious peace and religious violence in premodern Europe.

‘A very funny and very serious story’: Ambivalent emotional responses to reports of religious violence in sixteenth-century Germany
In this paper, I examine the reports of religious violence throughout Europe printed and circulating in the German lands in the later sixteenth century. Though largely spared the kind of violence that plagued contemporary France and the Netherlands, Germans showed an enormous interest in reports of religious violence. Yet in their production and in their reception, these German-language prints reflect a noteworthy ambivalence about the violence. On the one hand, violence was sometimes framed in terms of the dangers and consequences of political disorder and social upheaval. On the other, the righteous satisfaction of God’s judgment against the unbelievers was irresistible. These ambivalent emotional responses to religious violence reflect distinct and often antagonistic emotional practices among sixteenth-century Germans, whether as citizens living as neighbors with Catholics and Protestants or as believers of the one true faith.

Peter Gilgen is an associate professor of German studies at Cornell University. He works on philosophy and literature in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and has also published numerous essays on aesthetics; lyric poetry from the Middle Ages to the 21st century; contemporary theory (especially systems theory); and the university. Books: Lektüren der Erinnerung: Lessing Kant Hegel (Munich: Fink, 2012); Unterlandschaft (Eggingen: Edition Isele, 1999).

Hermeneutic Violence: Lessing’s Theological Polemics
The controversy that began when Lessing published the Fragmente eines Unbekannten (authored by Hermann Samuel Reimarus) quickly escalated into a full-fledged war when Lessing’s opponent, the Hamburg Hauptpastor Goeze, resorted to accusations of heresy while defending the rigorous, orthodox Lutheran insistence on the primacy of sacred scripture. In turn, Lessing exposed Goeze’s philological recklessness and his many interpretive errors when invoking the doctors of the church and other textual authorities, and demonstrated “word for word” where Goeze went wrong. He thereby subtly invoked the principle for reading sacred scripture that Luther had laid down in his catechism and showed that Goeze missed the spirit of scripture while doing violence to its letter. Eventually, Lessing’s fight against literalism also took aim at rabbinical exegesis and led to a violent hermeneutics that disciplined the constitutive multi-directionality of reading.

Matthew Stoltz holds degrees from Cornell University and the University of Washington. He completed his Ph.D. last semester from Cornell where he wrote a dissertation titled: “In Search of Adequate Faith: Religious Skepticism in German Letters, 1750-1800.” He has two forthcoming articles on Lessing and Klopstock that will appear in the Lessing Yearbook ("Doubting Thomas and the Dramatization of Skepticism in Klopstock's Messias") and Focus on German Studies ("The Theological Import of Lessing's Laokoon").  Matthew recently accepted an Assistant Professor position at Bilkent University in the Department of Cultures, Civilizations and Ideas that will begin in September.

The Letter, the Spirit, and the Sword: Exploring Violence in the Polemical Writings of Luther and Müntzer
This paper explores how the question of violence was entangled in Müntzer and Luther's divergent political theologies and hermeneutic practices, which often turned on the distinction between the letter and the spirit of scripture. To justify their opposing views both reformers developed polemics that appealed to the authority of scripture. Whereas Luther argued that spiritualists like Müntzer abused the word of God to achieve mundane political ends, Müntzer found Luther’s doctrine of sola fide or faith alone to be an irresponsible abstraction that denies the importance of works. Thus, differences between Luther and Müntzer were at once political and hermeneutic and in this paper will argue that both figures had to compromise either their politics and/or their hermeneutics to respond to the question of violence.

Panel 2: Violent Trespasses

Dr. Ute Bettray is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of German at Lafayette College where she also teaches courses such as Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies and Transfeminisms in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Prior to Lafayette College, Ute worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor of German and Gender Studies at Swarthmore College. She is in the process of publishing two book manuscripts located at the intersections of transfeminism and transnational transfeminism and German Studies: When Black Feminist Thought Meets Transfeminism: The Works of Angela Y. Davis and Audre Lorde, and Toward a Transnational Transfeminism via Germanic Sexology and Psychoanalysis. Among her latest publications is a book chapter titled “Making the Case for Transfeminism: The Activist Philosophies of CeCe McDonald and Angela Davis” enclosed in an anthology on Embodied Difference (Jamie A. Thomas and Christina Jackson, eds., Lexington Books, December 2018), as well as an encyclopedia entry titled “Queer, Transgender, and Transfeminist Theories: Mapping Historical Contexts and Key Concepts.” The latter entry appears in the Companion to Sexuality Studies published by Wiley (December 2018).

Critical Crossings: Herbert Marcuse's Essay on Liberation and Its Genealogical Journey to Current Conceptions of National and Transnational Transfeminism
In my talk I will trace how Cece McDonald envisions an activist work, in which Black feminist thought and transfeminism intersect on a national and transnational level. Transfeminism—local and global in reach--has arisen, in part, from the discourse of transgender studies. It is shaped by its demand for putting the body back into feminism, for a radical opening up of the category of gender and woman while focusing on categorically destabilizing the link between sex and gender much of the second wave of feminism has relied on to fight for the equality of all genders (Jean Bobby Noble “Trans. Panic. Some Thoughts toward a Theory of Feminist Fundamentalism” 50). McDonald’s activism, however, is also shaped by intersectional oppressions she has faced in her own life: As a young Black trans woman, McDonald was wrongfully incarcerated upon a sentence of second degree manslaughter upon defending herself when being attacked physically as well as with racist and transphobic slurs by a white man, and was released upon an extensive media and organizing campaign to free her.
I will demonstrate that McDonald’s local and global transfeminism derives not only from Angela Y. Davis’s late work. Rather, I will reveal how McDonald’s transnational trans of color vision goes back to an intertextual dialogue between Davis and her mentor German-Jewish philosopher and Frankfurt School member Herbert Marcuse, namely one to be found between Davis’s Lectures on Liberation and Marcuse’s An Essay on Liberation both written around 1970. I will thus demonstrate how a part of Marcuse’s critical theory currently informs two of the newest local and global feminisms.

Axel Hildebrandt is an Associate Professor of German at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His research interests include twentieth- and early twenty-first-century German literature, film and culture. He has published on East German and post-unification German literature, particularly on Christoph Hein, and co-edited the Camden House volume Envisioning Social Justice in Contemporary German Culture with Jill E. Twark.
Most recently, his interest in East German literature, history and the Stasi resulted in a book chapter for the volume Cold War Spy Stories from Eastern Europe, that is forthcoming with University of Nebraska Press in August 2019.

The 1978 Airplane Hijacking from Gdansk to West Berlin in Film, Texts, and Stasi Files
In August 1978, two East German citizens, Hans Detlef Alexander Tiede and Ingrid Ruske, together with her young daughter, planned to escape to the West. They hijacked a Polish plane heading to East Berlin, forcing the pilot to land in West Berlin. The West German government asked the Americans to take over the trial at the Tempelhof airport.
This escape story has been enriched by various versions of the events: the personal memories Judgment in Berlin (1984) by the presiding American judge, the declassified Stasi files, Jauch’s fictional television film Westflug—Entführung aus Liebe (2010) and the novel Tupolew 134 (2004) by Antje Rávic Strubel. These accounts provide a rich, multiperspectival description of the event. Strubel’s and Jauch’s protagonists and their recollections contribute to a multilayered discussion of this incident, and both works engage with the varying interpretations of surveillance, violence and justice system during the Cold War.

Sunka Simon is Professor of German, Film and Media Studies at Swarthmore College. She is the author of Mail-Orders: The Fiction of Letters in Postmodern Culture (2002) and co-author of Globally Networked Teaching in the Humanities: Theories and Practices (2015). Sunka has published articles on German and Austrian Film, Popular Culture and Television. She is currently completing a book on Tatort, thinking about the long-running German crime drama in the context of global TV formats.

Binge-Worthy Violence – Recasting German History and Memory on Netflix
In 2017, Dark, a German television project made it successfully past a previously impenetrable U.S. boundary to become part of an expanding globally streamed mediascape. This paper will focus on three German Netflix shows that rewind and recast German history and memory in interrelated ways. Each show disturbs linear time and offers to the viewer at turns melodramatic or horrific interpersonal and familial trespasses as causes for social crises, professional ineptitude and the abuse of power. Each show compels the viewer to rethink the connection between subject and state, between individual agency and systems of power, and in the process to recast German history and memory.

Panel 3: Violence, Critique, and the Public Sphere

Silke Felber, Studium der Theaterwissenschaft und der Romanistik an den Universitäten Wien und Bologna. Mehrjährige Tätigkeit als Dramaturgin und Produktionsleiterin am Theater, Promotion 2013. Von 2013-2016 Universitätsassistentin an der Forschungsplattform Elfriede Jelinek. Seit 2016 Hertha-Firnberg-Stelleninhaberin des österreichischen Wissenschaftsfonds FWF mit dem Habilitationsprojekt Dramaturgien des (Dis-)Kontinuitiven. Lehr- und Forschungsaufenthalte an der Universität Bern (CH), der Università degli Studi di Catania (IT) sowie an der Ghent University (BE). Forschungsschwerpunkte: (Tragödie und) Gegenwartstheater, ästhetische Dekonstruktionen von Macht und Gewalt, Geste als Travelling Concept, performative Praktiken der Ver(un)eindeutigung. Zuletzt erschienen: Das Meer im Blick. Betrachtungen der performativen Künste und der Literatur. Rom 2018 (hg. zs. mit Gabriele C. Pfeiffer)

Gewaltakte: Elfriede Jelineks Tragödienfortschreibungen
Elfriede Jelinek verschreibt sich mit ihrem mittlerweile schier unüberblickbaren Oeuvre einer vielschichtigen und schonungslosen Befragung des Spannungsfeldes von Gewalt, Macht und Sprache. Ihre Texte befassen sich auf komplexe Weise mit Krieg, Sport, sexuellem Missbrauch und Raubbau an der Natur, d.h. mit unterschiedlichen Ausprägungen humaner Gewalt im Zeitalter des Anthropozän. Auffällig ist in diesem Kontext eine markante Bezugnahme auf das Theater der griechischen Antike. Tatsächlich liegen bislang über 20 Theatertexte vor, in denen Jelinek im Verhandeln virulenter Gewalttaten unserer Zeit auf Tragödien von Aischylos, Sophokles oder Euripides rekurriert. Diesen intertextuellen Bezügen, die von der Forschung bislang kaum wahrgenommen worden sind, gilt die Aufmerksamkeit dieses Vortrags. Was passiert, wenn die Autorin strukturelle Bauelemente der Tragödie (z.B. Botenbericht, Teichoskopie, chorische Passagen) gewaltsam aus dem Zusammenhang reißt und mit anderen Intertexten montiert? (Wie) schlagen sich Modi der Dissoziation, die der posttraumatische Körper entwickelt, im postdramatischen Textkörper wieder?

Nadia Schuman is a Ph.D. candidate in the Comparative Literature department at Binghamton University, working on a dissertation titled: Re-Reading Romanticism Then and Now: Insight into the Premises and Problems of Postmodernity and the Consequential Rise in a Perilous Neo-Romanticism. Nadia has presented yearly since 2016 at the International Conference on Romanticism on authors including Kleist, Tieck, and Hoffmann, and she has also presented on Rob Zombie’s ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ at the University of Buffalo. She participated in the “Anti- Classicism, Anti-Idealism” Workshop at Cork College in Cork, Ireland. She has recently submitted revised essays on romantic reëvaluations of gender in Schlegel and Günderrode and on Tieck’s Der blonde Eckbert. Nadia will be presenting at the International Conference on Romanticism 2019, hosted by the University of Manchester. 

Welcome to “The Madhouse”: The Then and Now of August Klingemann’s Nachtwachen des Bonaventura
This exegesis of August Klingemann’s Nachtwachen des Bonaventura places emphasis on the“The Madhouse—Monologue of the Insane Creator of the World—the Reasonable Fool”, which describes humanity and its many factions and fictions, follies and frailties. A criticism of modernity’s ills and man’s responses thereto is formulated by the “Creator”, who is scrutinized by the “reasonable fool”. This paper transposes the novel’s critique of man and the modern condition to contemporary postmodern society, evaluating man’s ailments in this present-day, technologized, ever-isolating, dystopia. The transposition affords insight into the violent, maniacal, irrational condition of the present, as mankind is faced with new evolutions of the same perceived destabilizing displacements and consequential malcontents to which the text responds. Enhanced and more proliferate, the maddening effects of society and our discontents drive mankind into the “Madhouse”, “[...] labor[ing] under different idée fixes, [...] a total insanity merely with minor nuances” (Klingemann 73).

Michael Swellander is a Visiting Assistant Professor of German at the University of Iowa. His research interests include politically activist literary aesthetics (patriotic and protest lyric, the politicization of prose in early nineteenth-century Germany, “committed literature,” Brecht’s eingreifendes Denken), feuilletonism, figurations of the historical present in literature, German nationalism, Young Germany, Heinrich Heine, and Georg Büchner. He is currently working on a study of various ways that the present, as a unique historical moment distinct from the past and the future, is evoked and politicized in early nineteenth-century German literature, particularly in journalism. 

Cutting Off Cats’ Tails: Ludwig Börne’s Devastating Wit
When may rational public discussion be forgone in the interest of greater democracy? In the early nineteenth century, the German publicist Ludwig Börne elaborated an ideal of public discourse that prioritized wit over rational argument. Innate wit, Börne thought, was more inclusive than argument and allowed social outsiders like himself, a German Jew, greater access to public discussion. Börne’s use of wit, however, was famously harsh, even libelous, such that Heinrich Heine compared his theater reviews to the disturbing act of cutting off cats’ tails. Börne regretted this later, but maintained that his caustic approach was essential to the aesthetic and political development of Germany. This talk discusses Börne’s reflections on wit as well as examples from his theater reviews and considers whether they offer insights into certain aspects of the current state of public discussion in the US and in Germany.

Panel 4: Political Violence and Critical Theory

Daniel Binswanger Friedman studied philosophy and mathematics at the University of Oregon before completing an M.F.A. in poetry at CUNY Brooklyn College. Through the support of the Fulbright and DAAD Foundations he then spent the next three years studying and writing in Vienna and Berlin. He is a member of the Austrian translation collective VERSATORIUM and continues to actively work on new poetry and prose projects. Currently, Daniel is a graduate student in the German Department at Cornell University. 

Violence, Vision and Redemption in Kracauer’s “Head of Medusa”
In the 1970-80’s an intense debate erupted concerning the visual representability of the Holocaust and its singularity as an event of mass violence within human history. Having passed away in 1966, Siegfried Kracauer could not personally partake in this debate, yet a short passage in the epilogue of his 1960 Philosophy of Film pointedly preempted questions at the heart of it. Here, Kracauer’s interpretation of the Gorgon myth of Medusa’s Head coincides with his single published mention of the Shoah. This paper will focus on his exegesis of the myth as a site of philosophical density opening a unique conception of how violence, vision, physical reality and redemption are intertwined in Kracauer’s thought. It will also point to discussions surrounding the book’s translation into German between Kracauer, Adorno and German publishers, to reveal sites of less “visible” linguistic violence at stake in an already emotionally and philosophically wrought debate.

Sabine I. Gölz is Assoc. Prof. of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa, where she teaches courses on literature, literary theory, translation, comparative poetics, as well as interdisciplinary courses on Urban Semiotics (“City as Text / Text as City”) or the history of Writing Systems (“The Invention of Writing: Cuneiform to Computers”). Her scholarly work centers on modern European literature and theory, specifically the fundamental role of gender and figurative language. She is the author of The Split Scene of Reading: Nietzsche / Derrida / Kafka / Bachmann (1998), the editor of a recent special issue of Konturen on Re-Thinking Gender in Reading (2019) and numerous articles. She is also the founder of CASSANDRA, a university-wide initiative on writing systems at the University of Iowa. Her signature style often includes the analysis of both texts and images, as in her articles on Moscow’s pedestrian bridges (Public Culture, 2006), or on manuscripts by Karoline v. Günderrode, Walter Benjamin, and Franz Kafka. Gölz’s photographs have been exhibited in Moscow, Paris, and various locations in the U.S. Since 2000, Gölz has been filming, producing, directing, and editing documentary films (with Oleg Timofeyev): Frautschi (2008, 49 min.), Take Off One Ear! (2010, 22 min.), Mrii pro mynule: Early Music in Ukraine (2011, 57 min.), The Cantor of Swabia (2016, 106 min.), and Sorabji in Iowa (2017, 35min. 35 sec.). She is Executive Director of IARMAC, a 501(c)3 organization she co-founded in 2004. Gölz has been a visiting scholar at the Russian State University for the Humanities (2001/2), and at Kyiv Mohyla University (2011). 

Walter’s Aura-Engineering: The Gespinst that Haunts the Benjamin-Industry
Walter Benjamin aspired to become the premier critic of literature in Germany. His text are extremely carefully wrought literary artifacts and must be read as such. In my presentation, I argue that Benjamin’s strategies in his essay “On Some Motifs in Baudelaire” are—in ways that have escaped the attention of most of his readers—very consciously designed to shape and manipulate the experience of readers so as to preserve the power of the author. This is made possible through a subliminal appeal to the gender difference. That's where the "violence" part comes in ... The precision of Benjamin’s literary engineering is breathtaking and, once exposed, belies the entire received perception of his work as liberating. The fact that the Benjamin-industry has remained blind to this aspect of his work only goes to show that the academy has been neglecting to develop literary reading skills at its own risk.

Dr. Imke Brust is an Assistant Professor of German at Haverford College and Haverford’s Visual Culture and Media fellow for 2018-2019. Her book manuscript ‘Reunification Versus Reconciliation: Challenging the Nation in Post-Wall Germany and Post-Apartheid South Africa’ is comparative study of South African and German culture, literature, and film in recent decades. It engages with the national and transnational changes unleashed by the end of apartheid in South Africa and the German reunification. Dr. Brust’s research and teaching interests focus on 20th and 21st German literature and film, nationalism, globalization, European and African Studies. Her scholarly essays also engage issues of gender and race, and investigate the images of, and the tensions between, nation and state in contemporary literature and film. Dr. Brust has presented papers and organized panels at the MLA, GSA, and other international conferences. 

Expressing Agency Through the Body: Reconciling Arendt and Fanon on Violence Through Rage Against the State
In The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon wrote on violence in the context of decolonization and the international context, while at the same time reflecting on the colonial war and mental disorders in the fifth chapter of his book. Hannah Arendt famously criticized Fanon’s writing on violence. My presentation aims to reconcile Arendt’s and Fanon’s writings on violence through the categories rage, terror, and empathy. Finally, my paper will investigate recent protest movements like the Occupy Movement, Anti-G20 protests in Hamburg etc. through a joint framework of Arendt and Fanon while at the same time exploring whether these protest movements are expressions of a new era of decolonization. I suggest that such protests express rage, force, expressing agency through the body as well as the joy for public collective action rather than violence.

Panel 5: Particles and Masses: War, Revolution, and Radiation in the 20th Century

Eckhard Kuhn-Osius studied in Germany, Great Britain, and the United States and obtained a Ph.D. in German from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1978 with a dissertation titled On Understanding Narrative Texts: Epistemological and Semiological Prolegomena for a Methodology of Literary Scholarship. He taught at the University of Colorado, Vassar College, Princeton University, Columbia University before coming to Hunter College in 1984. At Hunter he has been involved in various grant-related activities to reconfigure the German program along proficiency principles to make the study of German accessible to non-heritage students. From 1990 till 2012 he served as the Chair of the National German Examination Commission of the American Association of Teachers of German and has worked in various capacities on the German Advanced Placement Test and other standardized tests. He has published numerous articles and reviews on literary and pedagogical topics. He has written an introductory textbook series which has been used at Hunter and other universities for over fifteen years. His literary research focuses mainly on the right-wing response to the experience of World War I and questions of hermeneutics and epistemology.

Men Against Material: The Violence of World War I as Seen in Popular Literature
After briefly discussing some best-selling books about World War I, the presentation will compare Remarque’s Im Westen nichts Neues with the novel/memoir Der Glaube an Deutschland by the avowed Nazi Hans Zöberlein, which constitutes a ‘reply’ to Remarque’s book. The violence of the trenches is central to both books, but Remarque and Zöberlein experience and describe it in radically different terms. However, their conclusions about the individual and societal role of the experience are not as radically different as one might expect. Remarque’s societal and cultural pacifist message is based on the victim-protagonist’s disappearance in the horrors of the Materialschlacht. Zöberlein bases his message on the agency of his fighting protagonist’s survival. He makes his criticism political by linking inept and dishonest military leaders with the leadership of the post-war political order. We don’t know how Remarque’s hero would have reacted had he survived.

Sophia Léonard studied Germanistik and Romanistik in Bamberg, Aix-en-Provence and Tübingen (B.A., 2014) and received her M.A. in Comparative Literature from the niversity of Vienna in 2017. Sophia is a member of the Vienna-based translation collective VERSATORIUM: Verein für Gedichte und Übersetzung and has worked as a dramaturgical and directorial assistant for productions at the Grillo-Theater Essen and Zimmertheater Tübingen. As of 2017, she is a graduate student in the German Department at Cornell University. 

Envisioning Resistance in Ernst Toller’s Masse Mensch
In his drama Masse Mensch (1919), Toller probes the impossibility of calculating the unpredictable behavior of the masses and their violent potential, drawing on his own experience as a political speaker in the context of the Münchner Räterepublik. How are masses formed, and what is the relationship between individuality, morality, and the mass? My paper will show that the dream sequences interspersed in the play, more than plot or discourse, are the formal feature allowing for most insight into the functioning of masses: they help to understand how society is transformed into a de-individualized mass in this moment of political crisis, thus depriving its members of their ability to make decisions. I pursue the potential of these dream sequences as key instances that extend and modify our understanding of masses and their dynamics as a prerequisite for thinking the relation between individuality and collective and the possibilities for resistance.

Stefan Soldovieri is Associate Professor of German at the University of Toronto. He has worked on film regulation in the GDR cinema of the 1960s, inter-German film relations and popular cinema, and film remaking in German contexts. His current research and teaching focuses on Environmental Humanities in German Studies contexts. He is co-founder of iPRAKTIKUM, an internationalization and experiential learning initiative at the University of Toronto.

Radioactive Memories: Volker Koepp’s Die Wismut (1993) and the Slow Violence of the Atom
In the final scenes of Volker Koepp’s post-unification documentary about uranium production in East Germany, a worker wielding a Geiger counter detects the presence of radioactivity on a desolate road. Taking these measurements at a location over a 100 kilometers from the site of the Wismut mine in the Erzgebirge, which eventually supplied the Soviet Union with 220,000 tons of uranium, the worker explains that the source of the radioactivity is the dust carried by the tires of trucks that hauled ore over this route 50 years ago. The talk examines Koepp’s visualization of the environmental violence and human toll of uranium extraction, which could not be addressed during the existence of the East German dictatorship. Mobilizing the stories of former workers, managers, functionaries, and local custodians of the Wismut legacy, Koepp creates a space for the articulation of disparate recollections and experiences that make visible the violence of atom.

Panel 6: Violence in Contemporary Literature

Johannes Dreyer studierte Literaturwissenschaft in Bielefeld. Seit 2016 promoviert er zum Thema „Horror der Anpassung – Postmoderne Narrative der Persönlichkeitsentwicklung und ihre intermedialen Darstellungsverfahren“. Zudem ist er als wissenschaftlicher Volontär und Museumspädagoge am Museum für Westfälische Literatur in Oelde tätig. Themen- und Forschungsschwerpunkte sind u.a. die literarische Postmoderne, Wissenssysteme, Filmnarratologie und Gender Studies. Zuletzt erschienen: „Zeit als Raum. Die Gegenwart des Vergangenen in Paul Schallücks Engelbert Reinecke.“ In: Walter Gödden/Arnold Maxwill (Hg.): Literatur in Westfalen. Beiträge zur Forschung 16. Bielefeld 2018, S. 31-49.

Gewalt ohne Zentrum – Postmoderne Lebensverhältnisse und ihre literarische Darstellung am Beispiel von Roman Ehrlichs Die fürchterlichen Tage des schrecklichen Grauens
Spätmoderne Lebensumstände sind von einer immer permissiveren Politik geprägt. Diese scheint dem Individuum das Maximum an Entfaltungsmöglichkeiten zu garantieren und steht damit im harschen Kontrast zur alten Disziplinargesellschaft, deren Machtmittel Michel Foucault als „Biopolitik“ umschrieben hat. Aktuelle soziologische und kulturphilosophische Ansätze sehen in der omnipräsenten Individualisierung moderner Lebens- und Arbeitswelten mitunter jedoch den viel perfideren, weil internalisierten Zwang – eine Form von „Psychopolitik“, die nicht zuletzt als gegen das Selbst gewandte Gewalt verstanden werden kann. Der Vortrag spürt diesem Untergrundrauschen moderner Existenzen auf Grundlage von Roman Ehrlichs Roman Die fürchterlichen Tage des schrecklichen Grauens nach und spannt dabei einen Bogen zu aktuellen Gesellschaftstheorien. Der Horrorfilm, den die Figuren im Handlungsverlauf drehen wollen, baut auf ihren persönlichen Ängsten auf und verspricht somit eine kathartische Wirkung. Tatsächlich versuchen die einzelnen Teilnehmer*innen aber zunehmend, über den Beweis der größeren Leidensfähigkeit den „Marktwert“ ihrer Individualität zu behaupten.

Mona Eikel-Pohen studied English and German at Ruhr Universität Bochum and Performing Arts at the Braunschweig University of Arts. She taught at school level in England, Germany, and the USA before completing her doctoral degree about the English translation of Uwe Johnson's Jahrestage in Bochum. She works as Assistant Teaching Professor of German at Syracuse University. Her research comprises creative writing and identity in the German language classroom, translation and creativity, and evil in German fiction since 1945.

Gewaltnarrative und narrative Gewalt in ausgewählten Romanen Juli Zehs
Juli Zehs Romane sind für ihre Auseinandersetzung mit juristischen Themenkomplexen bekannt, doch bislang befasste sich die Forschung kaum mit der Rolle von Gewalt und Macht und ihren diversen Spielarten. Dieser Beitrag zeigt, welche sich verändernde Rolle Gewalt und Macht inhaltlich und strukturell in drei Romanen Zehs spielen: Anhand der Romane Spieltrieb (2004), Schilf (2009) und Leere Herzen (2018) lassen sich Zehs differenzierter werdende Auseinandersetzung mit (Erzähl-)Macht und Gewalt erkennen, welche sich u.a. an Hannah Arendts Essay "Macht und Gewalt" (1970) orientiert: Sind in Spieltrieb Macht und Gewalt noch explizit auf den Bereich der Romaninhalte konzentriert, verschieben sie sich in Schilf auf den Erzähler. Leere Herzen trennt Macht und Gewalt strikt voneinander: Zwar besitzt der Erzähler immense Macht, überlässt Gewaltausübungen jedoch dem Romanpersonal. Damit übernimmt Zeh Ansätze von Arendts Philosophie, um sich selbst als eine Autorin zu positionieren, die Macht zwar akzeptiert, Gewalt jedoch ablehnt und dem Romanpersonal überlässt.

Kim Misfeldt is Professor of German and Vice Dean of the Augustana Faculty. She served as Department Chair since 2006 (and 1994-2004 as part of Augustana University College). She has been recognized with numerous awards including a McCalla Professorship, COPLAC Charles S Dunn Award, the Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and is a 3M National Teaching Fellow. Kim was the Director of the national immersion program Canadian Summer School in Germany 2003-2016. Kim teaches courses in language, literature, translation and Gender Studies. Her research has centered on questions relating to study abroad, second language pedagogy, drama pedagogy, Heinrich von Kleist and Mariella Mehr. Her most recent publication is Plews, J. L. & Misfeldt, K. Eds. Second Language Study Abroad Programming, Pedagogy, and Participant Engagement. Palgrave Macmillan. 2018.

Violent females created by female authors in contemporary German literature
In this paper, I examine the female victim/perpetrator dichotomy in Magdalena Sünderin by Lilian Faschinger, Weinschröter, du must hängen by Doris Gercke, Ein Mann im Haus by Ulla Hahn, Angeklagt, Brandzauber and Das Kind by Mariella Mehr. In each of these novels, the female protagonist perpetrates violence ranging from sexual and physical violence to kidnapping and torture to murder. The unflinching portrayal of violence by these authors compels readers to go beyond the Hollywood treatment of violence in which the mystery is solved, the violence explained with all loose ends neatly tied, to instead “bear witness” and be “caught in the conflict between victim and perpetrator” (Judith Herman). These female perpetrators demand our attention because not only do they challenge the typical passive female victim role, but their authors also examine place, as defined by geography, culture and history, as a key factor in the violence committed.