Conference Registration and Program (#thegsa2019)

Online conference registration, meal reservations, and hotel reservations for the 43rd annual conference of the GSA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are now open at

When you pay your registration fee, you will be able to purchase meals at the same time. After September 1st, all registrants will pay an additional $20 fee. Please be aware of the refund policy on conference registrations.

You must first register for the conference to be eligible for our special group rate of US $159.00 per night at the Hilton Portland Downtown. Please note that you can only reserve a hotel room at the conference rate by using the link you receive after registering.

Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation e-mail from Johns Hopkins University Press with the link to the special hotel reservation page. Do not discard or lose this email. It will serve as your receipt and provide access to hotel reservations at the conference rate.

Conference Registration Rates (before 1 September)

  • Regular, joint, and emeritus members: $110.00
  • Non-members: $180.00
  • Independent scholars (members): $50.00
  • Independent scholars (non-members): $100.00
  • Students (members): $40.00
  • Students (non-members): $90.00
  • Exhibitors: $250.00 / table

After 1 September, prices for all registration categories will increase by $20. Exhibitor registration will close on 1 September.

If you have any technical issues with payments or the website, please email Ursula Sykes at Elizabeth Fulton at the GSA Help Desk ( will be happy to answer all other questions about the conference, but cannot assist with payments or website problems.

Hotel Reservations

Our hotel this year will be:

Hilton Portland Downtown / The Duniway
921 SW Sixth Ave
Portland, Oregon
97204, USA

TEL: +1-503-226-1611
FAX: +1-503-220-2565

All group rate rooms are sold out.

Meal Prices

  • Friday luncheon, October 4: US $34.00
  • Friday banquet, October 4: US $48.00
  • Saturday luncheon, October 5: US $33.00

Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available. For assistance with other dietary requirements, please contact Elizabeth Fulton at Information about our luncheon and banquet speakers can be found below; please note that you must purchase a meal ticket to attend the talk.


There are two versions of the GSA conference program available:

  • Online -- this version is the most up-to-date, incorporating all changes as they are made;
  • PDF -- this is the same as the printed program, and includes all changes made before 10 June 2019.

Mobile App 

Once again, we are offering a mobile conference app. With a full list of sessions, participants, exhibitors, and events, guaranteed up-to-date, the app is the best way to navigate the conference!  

You can download the app by clicking this link on your phone:  



Thursday, October 3: Arts Night

Please book your travel so that you can join us for the GSA Arts Night on Thursday evening, October 3! Inspired by “First Night” celebrations on December 31st in many cities, this will be our fourth annual Arts Night, celebrating the creative and performing arts as an important part of German studies.

7.00 p.m. -8.00 p.m.

“History begins when there are no more people to ask, only sources”

Reading and Discussion with KATJA PETROWSKAJA

 Katja Petrowskaja is a Ukrainian-German author, literary scholar, and journalist. She studied Slavic studies and Literary Criticism at the University of Tartu in Estonia, spent the academic year 1994-1995 as research fellow at Stanford University and Columbia University, and received her doctorate in Moscow with a dissertation on the Russian writer Vladislav Khodasevich in 1998. She moved to Berlin in 1999, where she has been regularly contributing to Russian language media outlets as well as German language newspapers such as Neue Züricher Zeitung and the taz. She is well-known for her column “Die west-östliche Diva” which has appeared regularly in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung since 2011.

 She garnered wide international acclaim with her book Vielleicht Esther (Maybe Esther) which was published in 2014 with Suhrkamp Verlag and has been translated into more than twenty languages. “An unfinished family history” in which Petrowskaja “writes about her journeys ... reflecting on a fragmented and traumatised century, and placing her focus on figures whose faces are no longer visible” (Suhrkamp). For an excerpt from its fifth chapter, titled “Vielleicht Esther,” she was awarded the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize in 2013. For Vielleicht Esther she also received the Ernst-Toller-Preis and the Aspekte-Literaturpreis in 2014, and the Premio Strega Europeo (for its Italian translation) in 2015. In 2014 Vielleicht Esther was also nominated for the prestigious Leipziger Buchpreis.

8.00 p.m. -9.00 p.m.

Lutz Dammbeck: ART AND POWER

The DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst hosts (East) German film director and media artist Lutz Dammbeck, with the support of the Deutschlandjahr program. Arts Night will feature three short films, introduced by Seth Howes, author of Moving Images on the Margins: Experimental Film between Media in Late Socialist East Germany (forthcoming with Camden House) and followed by a Q&A with the artist.

Metamorphoses I

(Metamorphosen I, GDR, 1978, 7 min., color, experimental, no dialog)

In 1976-1977 Dammbeck and painter Frieder Heinze planned Tangenten I, a mixed-media exhibition, for which they would collaborate on a film combining non-camera animation with 35mm footage of a train ride in Dresden. When the exhibit was banned in 1978, Dammbeck continued working on the film alone. Metamorphes I was one of the first experimental films to be shown publicly in the GDR.


(GDR, DEFA, 1981, 15 min., color, animation, EN ST)

Mutants live on a hermetically sealed, devastated planet. The Dominator, a huge black birdman, celebrates free-falling. Other creatures, including Einmart, try to imitate him, but their flight is restricted. With a rich visual world supported by musique concrète and masterly references to Buñuel and Tarkowski, Einmart set a new bar for East German animation. 

Homage to La Sarraz

(Hommage à La Sarraz, GDR, 1981, 12 min., b&w, experimental, EN ST)

The Leipzig-based Herbstsalon artists’ group is relocated to La Sarraz Palace in Switzerland, where leading European avant-garde filmmakers met to discuss the philosophical and political potential of independent cinema in 1929. Alongside this avant-garde film history, Dammbeck’s images and sounds from both the Nazi past and the socialist present suggest certain analogies. 


9.00 p.m. -11.00 p.m.

Chervona Concert

CHERVONA, Portland’s best Central and Eastern European party band, is a unique multicultural ensemble with Russian, Armenian, Jewish, Italian, Brazilian, German, Argentinean, and Kazakh roots. Three band members hail from the former USSR, and the rest were born in the United States. In old Slavonic, “chervona” means red and beautiful, something obvious in their play and sartorial choices. Mixing the best Gypsy, Russian, Ukrainian, klezmer and Balkan musical traditions, Chervona brings the fire of Eastern European carnivals to the land of America.

The band started in November of 2006. Public appearances in and around Portland gained them popularity in their hometown and beyond. They have since played thousands of shows at street fairs, clubs, and on big stages throughout the US and Canadian Northwest

Chervona’s repertoire includes traditional 19th-century hits with a Gypsy, Russian and Eastern European flavor. They easily adapt pieces from a diverse number of cultures and are constantly composing original material as well. Their songs have been described as “funny, sarcastic, educational, socially conscious and beautiful.” They sing in English, Russian, Spanish, Polish and German.

In Deli Magazine Pat Moran writes, “Chervona is what happens when you blend Soviet Bloc drinking songs with American punk and throw in an accordion” and “what stands out the most about the band is Chervona’s lack of reliance on flimsy kitsch. They are adamant about being seen not as another band that uses its Eastern European heritage as a gimmick. Rather, they set out to make the best possible music they know how, regardless of their background.”

With cash bar and snacks.

All Arts Night events are free of charge and are made possible with generous contributions by the German Studies Association and the German Academy in New York.



This year we’re planning some new formats for our luncheons and our Friday-evening banquet. We hope you’ll join us!

FRIDAY, 4 OCTOBER, 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

“Food for Thought”: A New Showcase Event

Interested in finding out where German Studies scholarship is headed these days? Curious about new topics that you haven’t had time to explore in panel and seminar sessions? Eager to try out different presentation formats? Then join us for lunch on Friday, when the GSA will pilot a new kind of plenary session that we’re calling “Food for Thought.” In an effort to switch up the lecture formats and reinvigorate the luncheon conversation, we have asked eight colleagues to offer a “lightning round” of rapid, condensed, broadly accessible and informative presentations of their work. In soliciting speaker nominations from board members and network coordinators, we asked them to focus on emerging and early career scholars, from the post-doctoral level through recently promoted associate professors, whose work covers the range of disciplines represented in the Association. We're delighted by these colleagues’ positive responses to the invitation and hope you will support them by signing up for the Friday luncheon. Please join us for what will surely be a set of provocative prandial presentations!

FRIDAY, 4 OCTOBER, 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Annual Banquet of the Association: “The Honest Autobiography: Nora Krug and Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home

This year we are delighted to welcome prize-winning writer and illustrator Nora Krug (New School) as our banquet speaker. Author of the much-acclaimed book Belonging, she will engage in a conversation with others on “The Honest Autobiography: Nora Krug and Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home.” This event is sponsored by the DAAD, the GSA Memory Studies Network, and the Memory Studies Association.


SATURDAY, 5 OCTOBER, 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m

Luncheon Discussion:   “Begegnung der Kulturen in Deutschland und anderswo:  Michael Kleebergs ost-westlicher Divan”

In a discussion moderated by Stephen Brockmann (Carnegie Mellon University), noted author Michael Kleeberg will engage in conversation with David Kim (UCLA).  Michael Kleeberg is the author of sixteen books and has prepared many translations. This event is sponsored by the DAAD.

We hope that you’ll be able to attend all these important events.  Again, you’ll be able to register online for the luncheons and the banquet when you register for the conference.

Roundtable discussions of the works and careers of Nora Krug and Michael Kleeberg are also scheduled to take place during the conference.