Arts Night 2017

Please book your conference travel so that you can join us for the GSA Arts Night on Thursday evening, October 5, at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia! Inspired by “First Night” celebrations on December 31st in many cities, this will be our third annual Arts Night, celebrating the creative and performing arts as an important part of German studies.

The Trey Clegg Singers
Atlanta’s Premiere Multicultural Chorus
(Sponsored by The Halle Foundation)

Hymns and German Chorales from the Lutheran Tradition
Spirituals and Freedom Songs from the Civil Rights Era
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM Capitol North

The Trey Clegg Singers is a non-profit organization with a mission of spreading peace, hope, and love locally, nationally, and internationally through the expression of multicultural choral music, sacred and secular, from a global perspective.

The talented singers represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds in membership hailing from various church and college choirs, other community choruses, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and the Atlanta Opera Chorus.

The DEFA Film Library Presents:
Isabel on the Stairs (Isabel auf der Treppe)

GDR, 1984, dir. Hannelore Unterberg, 69’, color
9:00 PM – 9:50 PM Augusta

Twelve-year-old Isabel and her mother live in East Berlin. They escaped from Chile, where her father is fighting against the Pinochet dictatorship. At first the neighbors make an effort to welcome them, then they become more distant. Though Isabel’s mother has a job and spends time with other Chilean exiles, she feels lonely and unwelcome in Germany. But Isabel and Philipp, the neighbors’ son, are close friends. Every day, Isabel sits on the stairs waiting; she has not seen or heard from her father for six years. Based on a radio drama by Waltraud Lewin.

Eric Jarosinski
Bitter Schön: The Failed Intellectual's
Guide to German Studies

9:00 PM – 9:50 PM Macon

A wry take on the challenges, future, and prospects of the field. From someone who should know better. Once an assistant professor of German, in recent years Eric Jarosinski has gone on to find his true calling as a former professor of German. He is currently the realexistierender editor of @NeinQuarterly, the world's leading fictitious journal of utopian negation. In addition, Jarosinski is a program curator at the Goethe-Institut in New York and a columnist for the German weekly Die Zeit. His first book, Nein. A Manifesto, has been published in six languages. And is best read, he has been heard to remark, in one you do not speak.

Yankl on the Moon
A One-Man Play by Jake Krakovsky

9:00 PM – 9:50 PM Valdosta

Described as a "tragic-comic Holocaust folk tale," Jake Krakovsky’s original solo play follows Yankl, the sole survivor of his village, as he brings the people of Chelm to life by telling their stories. In this worldpremiere production, Krakovsky incorporates clowning, dance, live Klezmer music, broad physical comedy, and mournful poetry to address one of the most tragic periods of human history.


From Wittenberg to Atlanta: The Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection at 30 Years

The GSA is pleased to offer free shuttles to the Pitts Theology Library at Emory University for their exhibition of Reformation imprints and manuscripts. The schedule is as follows:


  Pickup at Sheraton Atlanta Pickup at Pitts Theology Library
  10:00 AM 12:00 PM
  1:00 PM 3:00 PM
  3:00 PM 5:00 PM

In 1987 Richard and Martha Kessler donated their private collection of Reformation imprints and manuscripts to Emory University. These materials were combined with Reformation holdings at the Pitts Theology Library, and an effort was launched to enlarge and sustain a collection that documents the German Reformation with 16th century publications by Martin Luther, his friends and associates as well as his opponents. 30 years later the Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection holds over 3,800 works--a mark approximated by only two other libraries in North America--including over 1,000 publications by Martin Luther himself, more than any other library in the United States. This exhibit presents some of the most significant pieces of the collection.

We hope you'll take advantage of this special offer!

Silent Auditor Applications for Seminars

This year’s GSA Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, will again feature a number of three-day seminars. The full list of seminar topics, conveners, and participants can be found in the GSA Conference Program. This year’s conference will allow for a limited number of silent auditors to attend selected seminar streams. Unlike regular seminar participants, silent auditors will be allowed to present papers in other sections of the conference. They will not be listed in the program as auditors. Please note that the specific roles and rules for silent auditors will be defined by the respective seminar conveners.

If you are interested in auditing one of the seminars, please contact and apply to the seminar’s conveners directly. Below you will find a list of seminars available for silent auditors (not all seminars are accepting auditors). Due to space restrictions and other considerations, we must ask seminar conveners not to admit more auditors to their seminars than the number specified.

(Post)Migrant Theater: Now and Then
Conveners: Ela Gezen (; Olivia Landry ( Damani Partridge (
Number of Auditors: 5

Affect and Cognition in Holocaust Culture
Conveners: Erin McGlothlin (; Katja Garloff (; Agnes Mueller (
Number of Auditors: 5

Asian-German Studies New Approaches
Conveners: Doug McGetchin (; Sebastian Gehrig (; Caroline Rupprecht (
Number of Auditors: 5

Benjamin’s Pedagogy
Conveners: Dominik Zechner (; Dennis Johannssen (; Avital Ronell (
Number of Auditors: 5

Critical 19th-Century Visual Cultural Studies
Conveners: Kit Belgum (; Vance Byrd (
Number of Auditors: 5

Digital Humanities: Concept, Collaboration, and Process
Conveners: Anke Finger (; Kurt Fendt (; Shelley E. Rose (
Number of Auditors: 5

Documentary Fiction and the Terms of Engagement
Conveners: Kirkland Fulk (; Andreas Stuhlmann (
Number of Auditors: 5

German Life Writing
Conveners: Elisabeth Krimmer (; Katja Herges (
Number of Auditors: 5

Jews and Politics in the Post-War Germanies
Conveners: Juliette Brungs (; Dani Kranz (
Number of Auditors: 5

Not Enough Notes: Exploring the Intersections of Music, History, and Cultural Studies
Conveners: Anthony Steinhoff (; Caroline Kita (; Kevin Karnes (
Number of Auditors: 5

Phenomenology to the Letter: Husserl and Literature
Conveners: Kristina Mendicino (; Philippe Haensler (; Rochelle Tobias (
Number of Auditors: 5

Philosophy in Literature, Literature as Philosophy
Conveners: Mark Freed (; Tim Mehigan (; Azade Seyhan (
Number of Auditors: 5

Photographs in German Cinema
Conveners: Martin Sheehan (; Carrie Collenberg-Gonzalez (
Number of Auditors: 5

Reading the Human Soul: A History of Technologies
Conveners: Kelly Whitmer (; Simon Grote (
Number of Auditors: 5

Religious Revivals in 19th and 20th Century Germany
Conveners: Mark Ruff (; Thomas Großbölting (
Number of Auditors: 5

Rethinking Jewishness in Weimar Cinema
Conveners: Valerie Weinstein (; Barbara Hales (
Number of Auditors: 5

Sights and Sounds: Audio-Visual Studies and the History of the Senses in German-Speaking Europe
Conveners: David Imhoof (; Daniel H. Magilow (; Heather E. Mathews (
Number of Auditors: 5

Stranger Things - Constructing Difference in German Culture
Conveners: Regine Criser (; Susanne Rinner (
Number of Auditors: 5

Strategies for Strengthening Small Undergraduate German Programs
Conveners: Jennifer Redmann (; Timothy Malchow (
Number of Auditors: 5

The Tragic Today
Conveners: Anette Schwarz (; Silke-Maria Weineck (
Number of Auditors: 5

Transnational Aesthetic Trends in Cultural Criticism of the German Democratic Republic
Conveners: Nicole Burgoyne (; Carol Anne Costabile-Heming (
Number of Auditors: 5

Women on Men: Female Filmmakers Look Back
Conveners: Muriel Cormican (; Mary Elizabeth O'Brien (
Number of Auditors: 5

2017 Conference Registration Now Open

Online conference registration, meal reservations, and hotel reservations for the 41st annual conference of the GSA in Atlanta, Georgia, are now open at

When you pay your registration fee, you will be able to purchase meals and pay for A/V expenses at the same time. After September 1st, all registrants will pay an additional $10 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 at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. Please note that you can only reserve a hotel room at the conference rate by using the online reservation link.

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
  • Audiovisual expenses: $20.00 / person
  • Exhibitors: $200.00 / table

After 1 September, prices for all registration categories will increase by $10. Exhibitor registration will close on 1 September.

For technical issues with payments or the website, please email Ursula Gray at Elizabeth Fulton at the GSA Helpdesk ( 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:

Sheraton Atlanta Hotel
165 Courtland Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: 1-619-291-7131

You must first register for the conference to be eligible for our special group rate. You will receive a room reservation link in your registration confirmation email. You will not be able to reserve a room at the conference rate by calling the hotel or by booking with an online agency.

Hotel reservations at the GSA conference rate will be available until 1 September or until rooms at the hotel sell out. Our primary hotels sell out well before the deadline every year. We may be able to arrange additional capacity at an overflow hotel, but we cannot guarantee that this will be the case. Please reserve your room(s) as soon as possible.


Meal Prices

  • Friday luncheon, October 6: $ 30.00
  • Friday banquet, October 6: $40.00
  • Saturday luncheon, October 7: $30.00

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.



Thursday, October 5th
Arts Night

Please book your travel so that you can join us for the GSA Arts Night on Thursday evening, October 5! Inspired by “First Night” celebrations on December 31st in many cities, this will be our third annual Arts Night, celebrating the creative and performing arts as an important part of German studies.

This year's Arts Night will feature a very special pair of performances reflecting the diversity and artistic richness of Atlanta. The Trey Clegg Singers, Atlanta's premiere Multicultural Chorus, will perform Spirituals and Freedom Songs from the Civil Rights Era at 6:30 PM, followed by the Trey Clegg Chamber Singers performing hymns and German chorales from the Lutheran tradition at 7:30 PM. Both performances are sponsored by the Halle Foundation.

At 8:30 PM, we have three events to choose from: a conversation with Eric Jarosinski, founding editor of Nein. Quarterly, “the Internet’s leading compendium of utopian negation,” sponsored by DAAD and Austrian Cultural Forum New York; Yankl on the Moon, a one-man play about the Holocaust in the Jewish Chelm storytelling tradition, by Atlanta performance artist Jake Krakovsky; and a screening of Hannelore Unterberg's 1984 film Isabel on the Stairs (Isabel auf der Treppe) sponsored by the DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Don’t miss Arts Night 2017!


Friday, October 6

Randall Halle, Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German Film and Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, will speak on “German European Studies for the 21st Century.” His most recent books include Queer Social Philosophy: Critical Readings from Kant to Adorno (Champaign, 2010) and The Europeanization of Cinema: Interzones and Imaginative Communities. (Champaign, 2014). He is currently pursuing two different projects tentatively entitled Interzone Europe: Social Philosophy and the Transnational Imagination as well as Visual Alterity: Seeing Difference.


Friday, October 6
Annual Banquet of the Association

Highlighting the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Hartmut Lehmann, Director Emeritus, Max-Planck-Institut für Geschichte, Göttingen, will speak on “Luther Decade and Reformation Quincentenary: A First Assessment.” Professor Lehmann taught for many years at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel before becoming the founding director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC, in 1987. Among his most recent books are Das Christentum im 20. Jahrhundert. Fragen, Probleme, Perspektiven (Leipzig, 2012), and Luthergedächtnis 1817 bis 2017 (Göttingen. 2012).


Saturday, October 7

Kathleen Canning, Sonya O. Rose Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, will speak on “States of Exception and Sensibilities of Democracy in 20th-Century Germany.” She is the former director of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Michigan, and the founding director of the University of Michigan Center for European Studies. In 2011 she became editor of the University of Michigan Press series on Social History, Popular Culture and Politics in Germany. Among her recent publications is Weimar Publics/Weimar Subjects: Rethinking the Political Culture of Germany in the 1920s, co-edited with Kerstin Barndt and Kristin McGuire (New York, 2010)



This year we are offering twenty-six seminars on a wide range of issues in German Studies. As was the case last year, the seminars will run concurrently on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the 8:00 a.m. time block.


Interdisciplinary Networks

Many sessions and roundtables in 2017 will be sponsored by the GSA Interdisciplinary Networks, and the GSA would like to thank our hard-working Network Coordinators for their contributions to the conference. Networks sponsoring sessions this year are the Black Diaspora Studies Network, the Emotion Studies Network, the Environmental Studies Network, the Family and Kinship Network, the Law and Legal Cultures Network, the Memory Studies Network, and the War and Violence Network.

We look forward to welcoming you to Atlanta!


Conference Registration Refund Policy Explained

You may cancel your 2017 conference registration before July 1, 2017 for a full refund. Cancellations between July 1 and October 1 will be refunded, but will incur a 50% cancellation fee. No refunds are available for cancellations after October 1, 2017. For more information, contact


Statement by the German Studies Association on the Executive Order Concerning Immigration

The German Studies Association expresses its deep concern about and opposition to the Executive Order on the admission and vetting of non-citizens to the United States, signed by President Donald J. Trump on 27 January 2017.

As it is currently being implemented, this Executive Order presents serious challenges to the freedom of academic movement, academic freedom, and intellectual exchange. The impediments for students are significant. The Executive Order as it stands will seriously impact applications to graduate and undergraduate study at American universities and deny universities the benefit of the scholarly skills and contributions of researchers and visiting faculty members, thereby impoverishing our intellectual and academic institutions. The consequences of the Executive Order for American intellectual, economic, financial, educational, and scientific leadership could be catastrophic.

The German Studies Association feels a particular ethical, moral, and intellectual responsibility to speak out on behalf of refugees. Millions of Americans are directly descended from Germans who had to flee their native land for political or religious reasons, beginning in the eighteenth century and continuing until 1945 and thereafter. The contributions of German refugees to this country have been legion, from Carl Schurz to Albert Einstein. Moreover, since its creation in 1949 the Federal Republic of Germany has provided a welcoming home to millions of refugees from political persecution in Europe and elsewhere. At the same time, we are keenly aware of the failure of US authorities to provide a haven to many Jewish refugees during the years of the Nazi dictatorship. That, too, leads us to call for this Executive Order to be rescinded immediately.

The GSA is a member of the American Council of Learned Societies, and wholeheartedly supports the statements of many fellow ACLS societies, which together represent tens of thousands of educators calling for the immediate reversal of this unwarranted decision.

2016 Prizes Announced

2016 DAAD Book Prize

The DAAD and the GSA are proud to announce that Professor Matt Erlin, Washington University of St. Louis, is the winner of this year's DAAD Book Prize for the best book in literature or cultural studies published during the years 2014 and 2015. His book Necessary Luxuries: Books, Literature, and the Culture of Consumption in Germany, 1770-1815 was published by Signale/Cornell University Press in 2014.

Here is the text of the committee's laudatio:

Matt Erlin's Necessary Luxuries: Books, Literature, and the Culture of Consumption in Germany, 1770-1815 (Signale/Cornell University Press, 2014) is an engrossing, elegantly written, and carefully argued work. Erlin approaches 'luxury' as a Foucauldian field of discourse, and combines readings from the period's economists, social theorists, and critics to flesh out the contours of the debate surrounding the term. Close readings of important novels show the ways in which they positioned themselves within this discourse as positive, even necessary, luxuries. The book elucidates an important moment in German culture — the end of the Enlightenment and the rise of consumer culture — with implications for other national cultures, as well as for our understanding of subsequent developments in Germany. As the Digital Age calls the significance of literature into question, Erlin's approach prompts a useful rethinking of long-held assumptions.

2016 DAAD Article Prize

The DAAD and the GSA are proud to announce that Professor George S. Williamson (Florida State University) is the winner of this year's DAAD Article Prize for the best article in Germanistik or cultural studies published in the German Studies Review during the years 2014 and 2015. His article, "'Thought Is in Itself a Dangerous Operation': The Campaign Against 'Revolutionary Machinations' in Germany, 1819-1828," appeared in the GSR, volume 28, no. 2 (May 2015).

Here is the text of the committee's laudatio:

Professor Williamson's article, "'Thought Is in Itself a Dangerous Operation': The Campaign Against 'Revolutionary Machinations' in Germany, 1819-1828," examines the ways the state apparatus was deployed to locate and disrupt revolutionary groups in Vormärz Germany. It focuses on the means and ends of the logic of surveillance and thus provides important historical context for our own confrontations with political violence. Professor Williamson's essay was included in a special issue of the the GSR dedicated to the problem of "surveillance and German studies."

2016 Graduate Student Paper Prize

The GSA is proud to announce that this year's Graduate Student Paper Prize for the best paper in German Studies written in 2014-15 is awarded to Ariana Orozco, University of Michigan (now at Kalamazoo College): "The Objects of Remembrance: Jenny Erpenbeck's Short Stories Alongside Contemporary Exhibitions of East German Material Culture." The essay will be published in a future issue of the German Studies Review. The GSA congratulates her for her excellent achievement and thanks the selection committee for its outstanding work.

Here is the text of the committee's laudatio:

Ariana Orozco's well-argued and well-formulated essay, "The Objects of Remembrance: Jenny Erpenbeck's Short Stories Alongside Contemporary Exhibitions of East German Material Culture" compares memory practices and objects of everyday life in museum exhibits and literature. Contrasting the 2012 exhibit "Fokus DDR" at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin and the 2011 exhibit "aufgehobene Dinge" at the Dokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDR in Eisenhüttenstadt, the essay also demonstrates how Jenny Erpenbeck's two short story collections Tand (2001) and Dinge, die verschwinden (2009) narrate everyday life in East Germany through material culture and the intrusion of personal memory.

Anniversary Podcast Series

The Johns Hopkins University Press has developed a special podcast series to celebrate the German Studies Association's 40th anniversary. The links below will take you to the six episodes in this series, which examines the GSA’s founding, the success of the annual meeting and the organization’s future plans.

Listen or download now at the podcast page.