dissertations in german studies 2014

Bruehoefener, Friederike. Defining the West German Soldier - Military, Society and Masculinity in West Germany, 1945-1989. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Department of History. Director: Karen Hagemann. May 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation traces the development of military masculinities in West Germany in the four decades following the end of World War II by focusing on how leading military representatives, members of major political parties, various social groups, and the media negotiated the function, constitution, and self-image of the Bundeswehr. The dissertation shows, first, that military masculinities— understood as a set of mental, physical, and behavioral traits typical or significant for men serving in the armed forces—are not only the result of military necessities and political agendas. They are also defined by changing cultural beliefs, social expectations, and broader international developments. Second, it reveals that a gradual but important shift occurred in West Germany between the end of the Second World War and the collapse of the Berlin Wall. While traditional military values lost influence outside of the military, civilian norms and values became more important for the way society defined military masculinity.

Carrington, Tyler. Love in the Big City: Intimacy, Marriage, and Risk in Turn-of-the-Century Berlin.University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of History. Director: Peter Fritzsche. March 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation uses the theme of love to explore the push and pull between tradition and modernity at the beginning of the twentieth century. Focusing specifically on Berlin, it investigates the ways in which men and women looked for love in a city that offered not only new possibilities but also a uniquely modern set of risks for making connections. Gay bars, matchmakers, personal ads, and the thrill of meeting a stranger on the street beckoned (and led to many imagined encounters), but Berliners who, in this way, broke with the way “grandfather took grandmother,” tested the boundaries of established gender norms and middle-class respectability. In exploring Berliners’ narratives about their love lives and their metropolis, this dissertation argues that, even in a city whose most celebrated trait was its newness, traditional respectability proved remarkably robust. It reveals how Berlin was not primarily a space of sexual anonymity and romantic freedom but rather the site of immense friction between modern individualism and traditional virtue. It demonstrates that both modern cities and fin de siècle gender and civic identities were rooted as much in a world that was quickly fading as they were in one that was rapidly cresting the horizon.

Cattell, Allison G. Disability Drama: Semiotic Bodies and Diegetic Subjectivities in Post-WWI German Expressionist Drama. University of Waterloo, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies. Director; Michael Boehringer. April 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation examines discourses on disability and the body in three German Expressionist dramas for the discursive work they do in their historical context and for their relevance today: Ernst Toller’s Die Wandlung: Das Ringen eines Menschen (1918) and Der deutsche Hinkemann (1923), and Karl August Wittfogel’s Der Krüppel (1920). The analysis focuses on how these plays draw on ideas about disability in post-WWI Germany as they critique the violence inherent in nationalistic, militaristic, economic, and rehabilitationist discourses. Contributing to current discussions on how to identify and disempower discourses that fuel discrimination against bodies marked as disabled, I contend that the primary texts resist disabling discourses in ways that were intelligible within their historical context. These dramatic texts make use of a variety of (literary) strategies that discursively resist normative paradigms that privilege able-bodied, aesthetically pleasing, and economically productive bodies. Thus, these representations challenge the medical mode of understanding the body, critically engage the social stigma that often accompanies the presence of disability, and offer alternative ways of reading and valuing the body. These literary representations of disability are important today because they reveal and critically engage various techniques that are still used to categorize and assign value to bodies.

Copley, Clare. Post-Authoritarian Governmentality? Renegotiating the “Other” Spaces of National Socialism in Unified Berlin. University of Manchester, German Studies. Directors: Matthew Philpotts, Maja Zehfuss. November 2014. Abstract:

This thesis explores post-unification responses to National Socialist prestige buildings in Berlin which have been in continuous use since their construction in the 1930s and were therefore also incorporated into the highly politicized narratives of the Cold War: the former Aviation Ministry, the Olympic Stadium and the former Tempelhof Airport. Using these sites’ status as heterotopia, or ‘other spaces,’ it explores the strategies devised to ‘deal with’ the materiality, spatial configuration and discursive construction of the sites and resistance to those strategies. In doing so it identifies Berlin as a space within which a specifically post-authoritarian subjectivity is constructed, one that is formed within a distinctive, but continually in-flux, post-authoritarian governmentality. As well as exploring the tensions that underpin this post-authoritarian governmentality, the thesis also finds indications that this is a transitional phase and that, in some respects, Germany can be seen to be moving towards the advanced liberal governance seen elsewhere in the western world.

Cortens, Evan Philip. The Sacred Cantatas of Christoph Graupner: Music at the Intersection of Opera and Theology. Cornell University, Department of Music. Director: David Yearsley. August 2014. Abstract:

Christoph Graupner (1683-1760), Kapellmeister at the court of Hessen-Darmstadt, was one of the most prolific composers of German liturgical cantatas in the eighteenth-century–a genre that had come to constitute the principal musical event in the Lutheran devotional service. Traditionally this genre has been defined solely through the works of J. S. Bach and therefore Graupner's works, which survive almost entirely intact, present a unique opportunity to broaden our understanding. In this dissertation, which represents a step toward a more comprehensive appreciation of Graupner's oeuvre, I explore his works in connection with their compositional circumstances. I begin by situating his works and their reception historiographically, especially with respect to Bach. In my third chapter, I address their theological content, particularly with a focus on the Lutheran doctrines of salvation and eschatology. In my fifth chapter, I demonstrate Graupner's close connections with opera and the concommitant influence on the cantatas. Interspersed between these three larger chapters are two shorter 'interludes' on vocal and instrumental performance practice respectively.

DeWaal, Jeremy. Redemptive Geographies: The Turn to Local Heimat in West Germany, 1945- 1965. History Department, Vanderbilt University. Director: Helmut Walser Smith. August 2014. Abstract:

The dissertation traces a strong cultural turn to local Heimat in early West Germany as a site of life after death and alternative democratic identities. While the Third Reich promoted an expansive nation as the primary redemptive geography, by the end of the war, amidst shattered places of home, dislocation, and trauma, local Heimat came to the fore as a site of imagined civilian life, protection, orientation, and community. The turn strongly informed cultural demobilization. While citizens described Heimat as a place of “life affirmation,” they further reinvented local traditions and reformulated historical memories to argue for “tolerance,” “federalism,” “democracy,” “republicanism,” “world-openness,” and open borderlands as tenets of local and regional identities. The dissertation consists of five case studies, the first three of which look at Cologne, the German Southwest, and the Hanseatic cities. The fourth examines failed advocacy of a federalism of Heimat states, while the fifth examines the expellee Tag der Heimat and contrasting expellee notions of the concept. A coda examines how debates over Ostpolitik and generational changes informed the concept’s tabooization in the 1960s, followed by subsequent attempted progressive revivals in the 1970s and 1980s.

DiMassa, Daniel. "Wir haben keine Mythologie": Dante's Commedia and the Poetics of Early German Romanticism. University of Pennsylvania, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Director: Catriona MacLeod. April 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation retraces the outline of the German Romantics’ project of writing a new mythology by arguing that the project’s theoretical and poetic contours, as they emerge around 1800, owe to the Romantic engagement with Dante and his Commedia. Positioning the neue Mythologie vis-à-vis mythographical discourses of the Enlightenment, I begin by showing how A.W. Schlegel’s scholarship on Dante in the early to mid 1790s endorses the Commedia as the preeminent symbolic work of Romantic poetry, which in turn grounds Friedrich Schlegel’s theorization of the Commedia as a work of universal symbolic value in the mid to late 1790s. Friedrich Schlegel’s activity culminates in the Rede über die Mythologie, in which he, having defined the new mythology as a symbolic instantiation of absolute idealism, asserts that any new mythology would necessarily assume the form of the Commedia. In subsequent chapters on Novalis, Schelling, and Goethe, I show how these figures take up the challenges of the Schlegel brothers’ literary historiography by adopting both poetic strategies as well as specific scenes from the Commedia in order to poeticize the tenets of absolute idealism in a system of Dantean myth.

Doney, Skye. Moving Toward the Sacred: German Pilgrimage Practices, 1832-1937. University of Wisconsin-Madison, History Department. Director: Rudy Koshar. October 2014. Abstract:

Moving Toward the Sacred examines the relationship between religion and modernity through a study of German pilgrimages to Aachen and Trier 1832 and 1937. I argue that Germanlaity relied on sacred garments, including the Holy Coat of Jesus in Trier, to anchor themselves in a rapidly changing society. Pilgrims used what are often considered aspects of modernity, such as improved medical diagnoses, to further their belief that God intervened in the world via specific terrestrial objects. Through relics, Europeans believed, God directly healed bodies, restored relationships, and improved personal finances. By drawing frompreviously unstudied correspondence in municipal, national, and cathedral archives inAachen, Cologne, and Trier this research reveals how early modern forms of religious practice, like procession and relic adoration, flourished well into the twentieth century. I also explore the strained relationship among pilgrim participants, clergy, and state officials in German-speaking Europe. In 1844, German clergy faced severe criticism from Protestant professors andfellow Catholic priests over the authenticity of their relics. In response to these attacks, Catholic laity and clergy developed two distinct approaches to modernity. The subsequent clerical push to make pilgrimage palatable to their anti-Catholic detractors ultimately weakened their sacred authority amongst the laity.

Erickson, Peter. Religious Conversion in the Late German Enlightenment: Goethe, Schiller, and Wieland. University of Chicago, Department of Germanic Studies. Director: Christopher Wild. August 2014. Abstract:

The dissertation offers an innovative approach to the eighteenth-century novel through an examination of the persistent influence of models of religious conversion in the late Enlightenment. I combine the close reading of literary examples, such as Christoph Martin Wieland's Geschichte des Agathon, Friedrich Schiller's Der Geisterseher, and Johann Wolfgang Goethe's Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, with a detailed and comprehensive analysis of contemporaneous debates surrounding religious conversion in Pietism, Enlightenment theology, and early empirical psychology (Erfahrungsseelenkunde). Novelists tested and made use of features of traditional conversion narratives in inventing the genre of the Bildungsroman. The dissertation, which draws on wide-ranging archival research, provides a new lens through which to consider the history of the novel, the process of secularization, and the late-eighteenth century's enthusiasm for practices of self-cultivation (Bildung).

Ferro Milone, Giulia. E.T.A. Hoffmanns Spätwerk: Queer Readings. University of Verona (Italy) and University of Bamberg (Germany), Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures. Directors: Isolde Schiffermüller (Verona, Italy); Friedhelm Marx (Bamberg, Germany). February 2014. Abstract:

Wie steht der romantische Schriftsteller E.T.A. Hoffmann dem Geschlechterdiskurs seiner Epoche gegenüber? Wie kann man seine zahlreichen hybriden Figuren und ambivalenten Situationen interpretieren? Wie interagieren diese Formen der Repräsentation mit den sozialen Werten und Normen der Epoche, was die Konzeption von Männlichkeit und Weiblichkeit betrifft? Die Dissertation fokussiert Hoffmanns späte Werke 1819-1822 und profiliert den Schriftsteller als gegendiskursiven Autor, der die traditionellen Bilder von Frau und Mann unterminiert und dabei in Widerstreit zu den zeitgenössischen Kohärenzregeln der Diskurse über Liebe, Begehren, Familie, Geschlecht und Sexualität steht. Theoretischer und methodologischer Hintergrund der Dissertation sind die Gender- und Queer-Studien in enger Verbindung mit einem narratologischen Ansatz, bei dem Erzählstrukturen und Erzählstrategien nicht nur als formale Elemente erscheinen, sondern viel mehr als Bedeutungsträger sozialer, ökonomischer und politischer Vorstellungen. Schüsselbegriffe sind hier Transgressionen, Grenzüberschreitungen, queer und Denkfiguren, bei denen die binären Oppositionen (Natur – Kultur, Mann – Frau, Mensch – Tier) hinterfragt werden.

Fischer, Sylvia. “Dass Hämmer und Herzen synchron erschallen“: Erkundungen zu Heimat in Literatur und Film der DDR der 50er und 60er Jahre. The Ohio State University, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Director: Helen Fehervary. August 2014. Abstract:

Diese Arbeit beleuchtet Manifestationen des Topos Heimat in Romanen, Spiel- und Dokumentarfilmen aus den ersten zwei Jahrzehnten der DDR. Heimat bzw. Heimatsuche wird als kulturanthropologisches Konzept eingeführt, welches sich als ein individuelles, menschliches Grundbedürfnis ausprägt. Die Autorin untersucht die Spannungen, die zwischen diesem individuellen Unterfangen und dem Konzept einer objektiven, sozialistischen Heimat, wie sie in der DDR definiert wurde, entstanden. Obwohl es ein Kernideal war, Individuum und Gesellschaft zu harmonisieren, konnten diese Spannungen in der DDR dennoch nie vollständig gelöst werden. In Werken von Autoren wie Hans Marchwitza, Anna Seghers, Karl-Heinz Jakobs und Werner Bräunig sowie von Filmemachern wie Kurt Maetzig, Winfried Junge und Konrad untersucht die Autorin die jeweiligen Heimatkonzepte und zeigt unterschiedliche ästhetische und thematische Heransgehensweisen auf, die Konflikte zwischen individueller und staatlich- gesellschaftlicher Heimatsuche darzustellen. Diese reichen von Bejahung und Enthusiasmus aus den Anfangsjahren der Republik, über das (An-)Erkennen von Konflikten und Missverhältnissen in der sozialistischen Gesellschaft zu Beginn der 60er Jahre, bis hin zu Trauer und zum Abschied von der Utopie, insbesondere nach dem 11. Plenum des Zentralkomitees der SED im Jahr 1965.

Fuchs, Renata. “Dann ist und bleibt eine Korrespondenz lebendig”: Romantic Dialogue in the Letters and Works of Rahel Levin Varnhagen, Bettina Brentano von Arnim, and Karoline von Günderrode. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Director: Laurie Johnson. June 2014. Abstract:

In my dissertation, I analyze interpersonal communication as it developed in letters between women authors, Rahel Levin Varnhagen, Bettina Brentano von Arnim, and Karoline von Günderrode, and their peers. I argue that due to the form and content of these letters, a new model of interpersonal communication emerges, which borrows creatively from the Romantic concepts of sociability (including salon conversation) and symphilosophy. The letter exchanges are collaborative projects that adhere to the ideals of Early Romantic philosophy and enable the authors to answer the Romantic call: “the world must become romanticized” by being potentialized. Although the authors address multiple topics, dialogue and love (agape, philia, eros) are at the center of their creative work – as Brentano von Arnim puts it: “love is only gods’ conversation” and “question and sweet answer.” One cannot separate oneself neither from dialogue nor from love as they encompass all aspects of our lives. In my work, I am positioning these authors within Romantic literary movement as they strive to live Romantic philosophy through the genre of the letter on the level of art.

Gelderloos, Carl. The Instrumental Body and the Organic Machine: Technology as Nature in Weimar Germany. Cornell University, Department of German Studies. Director: Patrizia McBride. April 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation explores cultural narratives about technology from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century with a particular focus on the Weimar-era tropes of the body-as-tool and the organic machine. At once the organic seat of the self and merely one instrument among others in the shaping of the natural world, the ambiguous figure of the instrumental body straddles the border between nature and technology while undermining any strong distinction between the two spheres. In four chapters taking up this figure as it appears in literature, philosophical anthropology, and photographic theory, I focus on figures such as Karl Marx, Ernst Kapp, Helmuth Plessner, Alfred Döblin, Ernst Jünger, and Albert Renger-Patzsch, among others. In contrast to accounts of modernity that see an encroachment of a mechanical register on the organicist discourse of the body, my dissertation shows how the tropes of the body-as-tool and the organic machine destabilize any unidirectional relationship between nature and technology. By recovering the centrality of the organic body within contemporary technological imaginaries, my project intervenes in scholarship on the culture of the Weimar Republic by contributing a more complex – and non-teleological – picture of the aesthetic, philosophical, and political stakes of the discursive entwinements of nature and technology."

Hansen, Jan. Atomraketen und Sozialdemokratie: Zur Bewältigung von Konflikt in einer politischen Massenorganisation (1977-1987). Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften. Director: Gabriele Metzler. July 2014. Abstract:

Meine Doktorarbeit untersucht den Nachrüstungsstreit in der Sozialdemokratie aus einer kulturgeschichtlichen Perspektive. Die Thesen lassen sich so zusammenfassen: Als dieSozialdemokraten zu streiten begannen, ob sie die „Nachrüstung“ unterstützen sollten oder nicht, zeigte sich, dass sie über mehr diskutierten als nur über die Sicherheitspolitik. Für sie war die Nachrüstung der Anlass, um sich ihrer selbst zu vergewissern. Das war notwendig, weil sie sich mit ihren alten Antworten in einer Welt nicht mehr zurechtfanden, die sie im Umbruch erlebten. Auf den Prüfstand gerieten ihre Bilder von der Geschichte und ihre Vorstellungen von der Zukunft. Gleichzeitig wandelte sich die Art und Weise, wie sie das Politische und den Ost-West- Konflikt imaginierten. Diejenigen, die die Atomraketen ablehnten und ihren Widerspruch verbal und performativ kommunizierten, brachten die traditionsreiche sozialdemokratische Welt ins Wanken. Entscheidend ist, dass viele Sozialdemokraten den „Westen“ als ideologisches Konstrukt zu historisieren versuchten und den Kalten Krieg für überholt erklärten, lange bevor er realpolitisch an sein Ende kam. Das hatte weitreichende Folgen.

Hepworth, Andrea. Confronting the Past in Contemporary Spain and Germany. Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. School of Languages and Culture. Directors: Mondica Tempian, Sarah Leggott. February 2014. Abstract:

The dissertation compares and analyses the ways in which Spain and Germany have dealt with their controversial twentieth-century pasts, focusing on the timeframe from the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until the present (2013) in Spain, and from the end of the Second World War in 1945 until the present (2013) in Germany. The study examines five memory sites: Carabanchel prison and the Valley of the Fallen in Spain, as well as the former concentration camps of Buchenwald and Neuengamme and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Germany. The study analyses the functions these memory sites and the debates surrounding them have played in the collective memory of the respective countries (Spain, the FRG, the GDR and unified Germany) and argues that political memory, anchored in political institutions, influences the official perception of sites of memory which might facilitate their creation, destruction or conservation when embraced as symbols of cultural heritage. My aim is to show that the competing ways of attaching value to lieux de mémoire are, on the one hand, influenced by the political memory of the governing body in an attempt to shape national identity and, on the other hand, by non-governmental organisations and groups in an attempt to give voice to a chapter of history in danger of being forgotten.

Hess, Pamela. Geschichte als Politikum: Öffentliche und private Kontroversen um die Deutung der DDR-Vergangenheit. Goethe University Frankfurt, Department of Politics. Directors: Brigitte Geissel, Margret Rottleuthner-Lutter. June 2014. Abstract:

There is no controversy that history is a matter of political interest. Nevertheless, the political function of historical interpretations has not played a prominent role in political science so far. There are few studies dealing with this topic. My dissertation, “Geschichte als Politikum. Öffentliche und private Kontroversen um die Deutung der DDR-Vergangenheit,” attempts to fill the existing gap in political science. Using the example of the GDR, the study investigates public and private memories by comparison. An innovative approach of mixed qualitative-quantitative methods reveals a rarely shared comprehension of how to remember the GDR past. But the results show as well that the ‘Wendekinder’ – those who hardly experienced the GDR first hand – tend to believe in the public memories regarding the GDR past. In contrast to their children, the parents insist on their personal experiences and refuse the public de-legitimization of the GDR. With regard to political interests, the generational turnover seems to encourage the legitimacy function and the stability function of history.

Hoffrogge, Ralf. Werner Scholem – eine politische Biographie (1895-1940). University of Potsdam, Department of History. Directors: Mario Kessler, Michael Buckmiller. August 2014. Abstract:

Werner Scholem was chief organizer of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), member of Parliament (1924-1928) and brother of the historian of Jewish Mysticism Gershom Scholem. Protesting against rising antisemitism in imperial Germany, Werner and Gershom Scholemjoined a Zionist youth organization called “Jung Juda”in 1912, but only some months later Werner left Jung Juda for good and went on to participate in the socialist youth movement. In their letters during WWI, both brothers ardently discussed similarities between Zionism and Socialism. But the German Revolution once again ignited Werner’s idea of socialism: in December 1918 he declared the whole idea of Zionism as some form of imperialism and abandoned it for good. Some months later Werner started over his political career and became one of Germanys leading communist politicians. Gershom, however, was not moved by the revolutionary events - he chose to follow his Zionist ideal and migrated to Jerusalem in 1923. Opposing Stalin, Werner was expelled from the KPD in 1926. In 1933, he was one of the first to be arrested by the Nazi-Regime, seven years later he was murdered in the concentration camp Buchenwald.

Jacobs, Joela. Speaking the Non-Human: Plants, Animals, and Marginalized Humans in Literary Grotesques from Oskar Panizza to Franz Kafka. University of Chicago, Germanic Studies. Director: Christopher Wild. October 2014. Abstract:

My dissertation examines the persistent engagement with the ambiguity of the human and non- human in literary grotesques of German modernism. The project maps out the emergence of this micro-genre, which was instituted with deliberate provocation by Oskar Panizza in the early 1890s, popularized by Hanns Heinz Ewers and Salomo Friedlaender at the beginning of the 20th century, and transformed into its most renowned form in Franz Kafka’s oeuvre. Engaging with the interdisciplinary debates surrounding the post-human turn and working with concepts from the fields of Animal Studies and History of Science, I argue that these grotesque texts critique normative measures of biopolitical control at the sites of sexual and linguistic reproduction. The texts' fantastic figures, such as masturbating plants, narrating dogs, and marginalized humans, challenge categories of species, race, and gender by dramatizing the fragility of the anthropocentric point of view and exploring the possibilities of expression at the limits of language. Shaped by literary censorship, the genre puts forward a previously neglected political dimension in the language crisis around 1900. These linguistic limitations paradoxically generate abundant creative and multilingual expressivity, which, in the case of these four authors, intricately intertwines the concerns of (bio)politics and modernist aesthetics.

Kirkwood, Jeffrey. Cinema Non Facit Saltus: Early German Film and the Cinematic Psyche. Princeton University, German Department. Director: Thomas Y. Levin. October 2014.

[No abstract received]

Kuhn, Kristina. “Wir gewinnen im Kleinen, und verlieren im Großen”: Literarisierung von Geschichtsphilosophie um 1800. University of Erfurt, Neuere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft. Wolfgang Struck (University of Erfurt), Rainer Godel (Leopoldina Halle). January 2014. Abstract:

Die Arbeit „‚Wir gewinnen im Kleinen, und verlieren im Großen.’ Literarisierung von Geschichtsphilosophie um 1800“ revidiert die Deutung aufklärerischer Geschichtsphilosophie als systematisches Großprojekt. Was sich unter hegelianischem Vorzeichen retrospektiv als deren Gattungsbezeichnung etablierte, wird – anachronistisch gewendet – nicht (mehr) der Programmatik gerecht, welche drei maßgebliche Autoren der Aufklärung – Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottfried Herder und Christoph Martin Wieland – zu deren Überwindung entworfen haben. Setzen sich deren paradigmatisch als Beiträge greifbare Schriften mit Menschheitsgeschichte auseinander, so loten sie unter permanenter metahistoriographischer Reflexion Bedingungen, Möglichkeiten und Grenzen einer Poetologie aus, die dem‚Historischen’ adäquat werden könnte – erarbeiten sich einen Freiraum experimentellen Schreibens, das der Vielschichtigkeit seiner Gegenstände und ihrer epistemischen Zugänge gerecht zu werden versucht. Daher rücken nicht nur poetologische Diskurse wie die ut pictura poiesis-Debatte ins Zentrum einer Arbeit an historischer Repräsentation, sondern die behandelten Schriften greifen zudem medial (medientheoretisch) über ihre Textform hinaus, indem sie Zeugnisse zeitgenössischer Reisebeschreibungen und deren (unsichtbares) Bildrepertoire anzitieren. Insofern die Dissertation Schreibweisen analysiert und im Kontrast zu Systementwürfen Strategien beleuchtet, die auf mikro- und makrostrukturellen Ebenen als Literarisierung hervortreten, stellt sie ein alternatives Panorama von Philosophien der Geschichte zur Verfügung, die nicht ohne philosophische Reflexion einzig im Plural und nur als pluralistische Darstellungen auftreten.

Kuras, Peter. Early German Cinema and Dogmatic Jurisprudence. Princeton University, German Department. Director: Thomas Y. Levin. May 2014. Abstract:

[No abstract received]

Lalonde, Amanda. The Musical Uncanny in Early Nineteenth-Century German Culture. Cornell University, Department of Music. Director: Annette Richards. February 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation argues that music is conceived of as uncanny in German culture following the re-evaluation of music in aesthetics that begins in the late 1790s. It traces the musical uncanny from its origins in the sublime style of music through the paradoxically uncanny coziness of domestic music. The first chapter retraces Freud’s etymological survey of the term to gain an understanding of the meanings of unheimlich in the nineteenth century, and suggests that Idealist music aesthetics support an understanding of music as uncanny. The second and third chapters demonstrate the centrality of the uncanny in nineteenth-century music criticism and reception by examining E.T.A. Hoffmann’s use of the concept in his review of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and the reception of the ombra style in instrumental music, respectively. The fourth and fifth chapters concentrate on thematizations of music as uncanny. The fourth chapter examines works that engage the Waldhorn as a symbol of the fusion of the woods and the infinite. The fifth chapter considers the musical instrument as a living-dead thing in aesthetics, literature, and Lieder.

Landes, James. Goethe’s Urfaust and the Enlightenment: Gottsched, Welling and the “Turn to Magic.” University of Kansas, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Directors: Frank Baron, Leonie Marx. March 2014. Abstract:

Goethe's Urfaust fragment from the 1770s is often considered merely a draft of his Faust. Yet studying this preliminary work in its original context offers insight into Goethe's attempt to transcend Enlightenment debates in a poetic, rather than discursive fashion. The inadequacy of language in explaining reality leads Goethe to approach myth construction via manipulation of images into a new narrative. In Georg von Welling's (1652-1727) Opus Mago-cabbalisticum et Theosophicum he finds a cosmogony rich with images that he borrows and transforms in creating his own new Faust mythology. Welling's influence on Goethe's work has typically been considered in attempts to situate Goethe within one or another strain of esoteric thought. However, the actual correspondences of image-laden language in Welling's and Goethe's work is striking, and suggests that Goethe's engagement with Welling was far more intense than previously imagined, and indeed a fundamental impetus to his creative approach. For key passages of Faust's turn to magic, passages which Goethe retained later in his Faust, this dissertation establishes an imaginative reshaping of Welling's mythology.

Lemza, John W. Tracing American Exceptionalism during the Cold War: American Military Communities in West Germany, 1946-1990. George Mason University, Department of History and Art History. Director: Marion Deshmukh. November 2014. Abstract:

This project investigates changes to the American exceptionalist consensus during the Cold War, 1946-1990, through the lens of overseas military communities. Focusing on Germany, it examines how those traditional traits of Americanism that included anti-socialism, anti- communism, anti-statism, class mobility, meritocracy, individualism, access to education and the importance of religion were integral to post-1945 propaganda in the ideological battle with the Soviets. Central to this work is an understanding that the consensus transformed over time reflecting inherent flaws and the influence of contemporary social, political, cultural, and economic dynamics in the United States as well as around the globe. In that context this project considers how America’s relationship with the Federal Republic evolved during that period and addresses cross-boundary interactions between members of the Milcoms and their German neighbors that at once influenced and reflected those changes and shaped the identities of both sets of communities.

Lenhard, Philipp. Volk oder Religion? Die Entstehung moderner jüdischer Ethnizität in Frankreich und Deutschland 1782-1848. Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Department of Jewish History and Culture. Directors: Michael Brenner, Martin Schulze Wessel. January 2014. Abstract:

Traditional Jewish communities had to face a major crisis when, at the end of the 18th century, nationalistic sentiments began to gain a foothold in Europe. The autonomy of the Jewish kehillot gradually disappeared and the Jews were urged to give up their separate ethnic consciousness and see themselves solely as a 'religious community.' At this juncture, a group of Jewish reformers championed the transformation of Judaism into a pure 'religion,' whereas other Jewish intellectuals - reform, orthodox, conservative, and atheistic Jews alike - self-confidently developed ethnic concepts to counter this religious diminution. The book examines the rise of these modern forms of Jewish ethnicity in France and Germany in the age of emancipation.

Mahler, Anthony. Writing Regimens: The Dietetics of Literary Authorship in the Late German Enlightenment. University of Chicago, Germanies Studies. Director: Christopher Wild. October 2014. Abstract:

“Writing Regimens” demonstrates that laying claim to literary authorship in the late German Enlightenment entailed the cultivation (Bildung) of a temperate way of life and healthy body. Recent scholarship has cast the health practices and literature of the Bildungs-paradigm as nascent instruments of modern social hygiene. I show, however, that their defining configuration of power, knowledge, and life is only intelligible through its manifold connections to the long tradition of dietetics, the Hippocratic discipline for leading a healthy life through regimens of moderation. Drawing on insights from the history of science, anthropology, and cultural and media studies, I argue that dietetic moderation was an epistemic virtue of literary authorship: authors employed differing regimens as representations of their public personae, as blueprints for productivity, and as ways of life that triggered and transformed the body and mind such that they could create poetic forms. Through close readings of literature, self-writing, and dietetic handbooks, the four case studies of the dissertation (Lichtenberg, Jean Paul, Goethe, Novalis) articulate a neglected hermeneutics of the self and literature around 1800; one that, in the face of modernity’s onset, invoked the long history of dietetic self-cultivation.

Mariss, Anne. “A World of New Things”: Practices of Natural History – the Example of Johann Reinhold Forster. University of Kassel, Department of Early Modern History. Directors: Renate Dürr, Anne-Charlott Trepp. July 2014. Abstract:

In meiner Dissertation habe ich Praktiken der Naturgeschichte im Zeitalter der Aufklärung untersucht. Die zentrale These der Arbeit lautet, dass die Naturgeschichte nicht nur als wissenschaftliches System, sondern als breit gefächertes sozio-kulturelles Phänomen zu erfassen ist. Meine Fragstellung lautet deshalb, wie Naturgeschichte in spezifischen historischen Settings ›gemacht‹ wurde und welche sozialen und kulturellen Praktiken mit der Produktion naturhistorischen Wissens verknüpft waren. Analysiert habe ich Praktiken der Naturgeschichte anhand des Naturkundlers und Universalgelehrten Johann Reinhold Forster (1729-1798). Über den historischen Akteur Forster verschaffe ich mir gleichsam eines Türöffners ›Eintritt‹ in die Wissensräume der Naturgeschichte. Die von mir gewählte verräumlichte. Untersuchungs- perspektive hat es ermöglicht, die Naturgeschichte nicht nur als eine Art Vorläuferin der späteren Biologie zu begreifen, sondern sie in ihrer Kontingenz und Eigenartigkeit als eigenständiges Wissensfeld der Aufklärung zu historisieren. Durch Forsters wissenschaftliche Aktivitäten haben sich für die Analyse drei zentrale Wissensräume ergeben: das Schiff, die Gelehrtenrepublik und die Universität. Dementsprechend gliedert sich die Arbeit in einen einführenden Teil (Einleitung, Historiographisches und Biographisches zu Forster) und einen analytischen Hauptteil, der die Dimensionen der Naturgeschichte im 18. Jahrhundert sowie die drei Wissensräume der Naturgeschichte beleuchtet. Eine Schlussbetrachtung fasst die zentralen Ergebnisse der Arbeit zusammen und gibt einen Ausblick auf sich anschließende Forschungsfragen.

Morgan, Stephen. Shepherds of a Dying Flock: The Rhenish Mission, the Herero, and German Colonial Conquest in South-West Africa. University of Notre Dame, Department of History. November 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation examines the role that German Protestant missionaries from the Rhenish Mission Society played in the conquest of the Herero and the development of colonialism in South-West Africa. It explores how colonialism influenced missionaries’ articulation of their project. As the objects of missionary evangelization and the subjects of colonial policy, the Herero were integral to debates between missionaries and colonial officials about the nature of colonialism. Missionaries and colonial officials instrumentalized each other to achieve their aims as they negotiated the place of the Herero in the colonial order, resulting in a reciprocal process in which the missionary and colonial projects influenced each other.

Noellgen, Sabine.“Veränderte Umwelt: Neue Leseweisen im Anthropozän” (“AlteredEnvironments: New Readings in the Anthropocene”). University of Washington, Department ofGermanics. Director: Sabine Wilke. March 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation explores the role imagination plays in coming to terms with what has primarily been described as a geophysical era: the Anthropocene. In this new era, as a number of scholars in both natural sciences and history argue, human forces have to be acknowledged as the most important power in nature. In five chapters that represent key aspects of the environmental debate (“Food,” “Waste,” “Pollution,” “Animals,” and “On Alert”), the dissertation provides exemplary close readings of a wide range of contemporary texts and films, from the Austrian documentary film Unser täglich Brot (2005) by Nikolaus Geyrhalter to Kathrin Röggla’s die alarmbereiten. Since the approach is interdisciplinary, readings bring German literature and culture to bear on what it means to live in the Anthropocene from a sociological, psychological, biological, historical, and aesthetic perspective. Not only do the texts and films analyzed ask usto reconsider our relationship with non-human nature: They also show that literature and film can complement or even exceed statistics and quantitative data when it comes to the mediation of environmental concerns.

Panzer, Sarah. The Prussians of the East: Samurai, Bushido, and Japanese Honor in the German Imagination, 1905-1945. University of Chicago, History Department. Director: Michael Geyer. November 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation examines the ways in which Japanese martial culture was imagined and appropriated in Germany during the first half of the twentieth century. The relationship between Germany and Japan was, in many ways, exceptional in the modern era; unlike most other relationships between Western and non-Western nations, the German-Japanese relationship was not predicated on colonial or imperial dynamics of hegemony, but rather on the basis of mutual interest. This unique relationship created a logic of transcultural engagement that was atypical for the time, in that it reflected a blurring of the lines between foreignness and semblance. This was accomplished by deploying a set of martial images and associations from the Japanese cultural imaginary: the samurai, bushido, Zen, and seppuku. This heroic imagery encouraged Germans to recognize themselves in the Japanese and in Japanese culture. Ultimately, I argue that Japanese culture was ideally suited for this form of transcultural appropriation because it seemed to offer a model of a sustainable synthesis between modernity and tradition, an alternative national modernity built on, and protected by, aristocratic ideals of martial virtue.

Pentzlin, Nadja. The Cult of Corpus Christi in Early Modern Bavaria: Pilgrimages, Processions, and Confraternities between 1550 and 1750. University of St Andrews, School of History, Reformation Studies Institute. Director: Bridget Heal. October 2014. Abstract:

Transubstantiation and the cult of Corpus Christi became crucial Counter-Reformation symbols which were assigned an even more significant role during the process of Catholic renewal from the mid-sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth century. Practices outside Mass, such as pilgrimages, processions, and prayers in front of the consecrated host flourished, in particular, in the Duchy of Bavaria, the archetypal ‘confessional’ state. This study therefore investigates how the Eucharist was popularised in the Catholic duchy between 1550 and 1750, focusing on three major themes: pilgrimages, confraternities, and the Corpus Christi procession. Rather than arguing in favour of a state-sponsored piety imposed from above, this work explores the formation of Catholic confessional identity as a two-way-process of binding together elite and popular piety, and emphasizes the active role of the populace in constituting this identity. This is why this investigation draws primarily on research from local archives, using a rich body of both textual and visual evidence. Focusing especially on the visual aspects of Catholic piety, this project works towards an interdisciplinary approach in order to understand the ways in which Eucharistic devotion outside Mass was presented to and received by local communities within particular visual environments.

Perten, Elizabeth. Liszt as Critic: Virtuosity, Aesthetics, and the Art in Liszt’s Weimar Prose (1848-1861). Brandeis University, School of Music. Director: Allan Keller. August 2014. Abstract:

In this dissertation, I explore Liszt’s significance as author and music critic through an analysis of four of his series of character portraits from his Weimar period (1848-1861). In these writings, Liszt not only contributes to the mid-century debate over musical aesthetics on the side of the musical progressives (the New Germans), but he also effectively continues to promote his own musical values and aesthetics to his audience, many ideas of which he had introduced in earlier prose works. Through examination of Liszt’s essays on John Field, Clara Schumann, Robert Franz, and Pauline Viardot-Garcia, I illustrate how Liszt strives to achieve the overarching goal of his prose works: to educate the musical public (both contemporary and in the future) to recognize, support, and promote “true” musical artists and artistry. Liszt is seldom viewed in music history as an influential writer, nor is the content of his literary works frequently examined in scholarship. Through my analysis of Liszt’s character portraits I will demonstrate his importance as a music critic, thus acknowledging Liszt’s significance in each facet of his life, of which his role as author is of integral importance.

Präger, Ulrike. Longing to Belong: Musical Practices in the Expulsion of the Germans from the Bohemian Lands. Boston University, Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology. Directors: Steven Cornelius, Marié Abe, Joshua Rifkin. April 2014. Abstract:

In 1945/6, after the surrender of Germany in World War II, approximately twelve million German civilians living in Central and Eastern Europe were expelled mostly to neighboring Germany in what is considered one of the largest forced population transfers in history. For this phenomenological-historical ethnography, I collected more than eighty life histories specifically from Germans expelled from Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia (also labelled as Sudeten Germans). Focusing on recollections of musical practices and musical repertoire in these life histories, I investigate how the Sudeten Germans used and still continue to use music as a tool for remembrance, adaptation, and socio-political integration in their new environments. My dissertation highlights, how the reframing and even silencing of musical practices in former East Germany affected processes of social identity reconstruction until the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. I propose a new analytical perspective of home, called “sounded Heimat”: the notion of belonging to a place and social setting based on sonic parameters. Broadly speaking, my research shows how music is able (and also unable) to mitigate transcultural interaction between host and migrant communities, act as a political mediator, and reconstruct cultural memories after forced migration.

Purvis, Zachary. Theology and University: Friedrich Schleiermacher, Karl Hagenbach, and the Project of Theological Encyclopaedia in Nineteenth-Century Germany. University of Oxford, Faculty of Theology and Religion. Director: Johannes Zachhuber. September 2014. Abstract:

This study examines the rise, development, and crisis of theological encyclopaedia in nineteenth- century Germany. As introductory textbooks for theological study in the university, works of theological encyclopaedia addressed the pressing questions facing theology as a “science” (Wissenschaft), a rigorous, critical discipline deserving of a seat in the modern university. The project of theological encyclopaedia, I argue, functioned as the place where theological reflection and the requirements of the institutional setting in which that reflection occurred—here the German university—converged. I explore its roots as an idealist model for organizing knowledge in the university system, focusing especially on Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834), the father of modern Protestantism and principal intellectual architect of the University of Berlin (1810). Schleiermacher’s program transformed the shape of theology as science and laid the groundwork for theology’s later historicization, which I investigate among predominant mid- century Hegelian speculative thinkers and mediating theologians (Vermittlungstheologen). Finally, I analyze the project’s downfall in the context of Wilhelmine Germany and the Weimar Republic, beset by radical disciplinary specialization, a crisis of historicism, and the attacks of dialectical theology. The project resulted in a powerful synthesis that fundamentally shaped the reigning theological paradigms in nineteenth-century Germany and beyond.

Rasmus-Vorrath, Jack K. The Honesty of Thinking: Reflections on Critical Thinking in Nietzsche's Middle Period and the Later Heidegger. The University of Oxford, Department of Medieval and Modern Languages. Director: Ben Morgan. December 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation engages contemporary interpretations of Nietzsche and Heidegger on the issue of self-knowing. Accounting for developments in their respective conceptions of honesty and authenticity allows a response to interpreters for whom such conduct remains a primarily personal problem. Chapters 1-2, on honesty, consult Nietzsche's groundwork on prejudice in Morgenröthe, which probes the moral-historical forces involved in actuating the 'will-to-truth'. Chapters 3-4, on authenticity, consult Heidegger's lecture series Was heißt Denken? on what motivates one's thinking, where he reconsiders the question of who/what calls forth one's 'will- to-have-a-conscience' in dialogue with Parmenides on the issue of thought's linguistic determination, further discussed in the context of Unterwegs zur Sprache. Chapter 5 shows how Heidegger's confrontation with Nietzsche informed revisions to his understanding of authenticity, and to the attending conceptions of critique and its authority. Attention is given to the distinct Nietzschean foils constructed along the way, in Heidegger's lectures on the second Unzeitgemässe Betrachtung and the contemporaneous monograph Besinnung, and in his later readings of Also sprach Zarathustra. Chapter 6 recapitulates the developments traced from the viewpoint of the Zollikoner Seminare and the fifth Book of Die fröhliche Wissenschaft. Closing remarks relate to recent empirical research on the socio-environmental structuring of self-identity.

Rau, Christian. Kommunalpolitik und Stadtentwicklung in der DDR: Der Rat der Stadt Leipzig 1957-1989. University of Leipzig, Department of History, Modern and Contemporary History. Director Ulrich von Hehl. December 2014. Abstract:

The study investigates the role of local politics for the stability of the GDR using the example of Leipzig. While most of the GDR-histories refer to the traditional “top-down” perspective and argue that East German local administrations just received orders from the central party and state apparatus, this dissertation aims to explore the practices of power in the urban space. It combines approaches of urban history and the socio-political history of the GDR. In the first part, the study analyses the discussions on the role of local politics between state officials of any level, party functionaries and legal scholars. Since the late 1950s, these discussions became a general debate on the stability of the GDR from below. However, they were characterized by divergent interests and compromises. In the second and third part, the study explores the practices of local politics using the example of housing policy. It demonstrates that local officials had to mediate between public and private interests which also included deviations from norms defined centrally.

Rittenhouse, Rose. Verbal Periphrasis in Two Early Germanic Languages: A Comparative Study of the Passive and Perfect in the Old High German Evangelienbuch and the Old Saxon Hēliand. University of Wisconsin–Madison; Department of German. Robert Howell. March 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation introduces a corpus-based statistical analysis of Old High German and Old Saxon [BECOME + past participle], [BE + past participle], and [HAVE + past participle], constructions in which the historically nominal past participle eventually became reanalyzed as a purely verbal element. Over time, the reanalysis of the participle and auxiliarization of the finite verbs resulted in the emergence of the Germanic periphrastic passive and perfect, although the exact sequence of events has yet to be definitively explained. Using data extracted from the Old High German Evangelienbuch and the Old Saxon Hēliand, this study compared patterns of past participial inflectional morphology and aspectual properties across constructions and texts and ultimately posits a relative timeline for the evolution of the periphrastic passive and perfect in West Germanic. The quantitative approach utilized for this investigation thus allows for a more nuanced assessment of the morphosyntactic and aspectual properties of [BECOME/BE/HAVE + past participle] than has been possible under previous methodologies.

Rubin, Abraham. Kafka's German-Jewish Reception as Mirror of Modernity. CUNY Graduate Center, Comparative Literature. Director: John Brenkman. April 2014. Abstract:

This study explores the diverse and contradictory ways German-Jewish intellectuals writing in the 1920s and 30s identified Kafka’s fiction as “Jewish.” Focusing on the commentaries of Margarete Susman, Hans-Joachim Schoeps, Gershom Scholem, and Max Brod, I claim that their interpretations reflect the transformations that occurred in Jewish self-understanding during the first decades of the twentieth-century. Situating the early phases of Kafka’s literary afterlife within the broader context of interwar German-Jewish culture, I show how these critics conceptualize their respective notions of “Jewishness” through an encounter with Kafka’s writing and use it as a foil for the self-fashioning of their own Jewish identity. By reconstructing the political and ideological convictions that shaped their readings of Kafka, I draw out the competing visions of German-Jewish identity underlying the author’s interwar reception. On a broader level, this project seeks to understand the ways secular Jewish identity is reconceived in the field of cultural production, and how it is translated into modern categories of nation, culture, and ethnicity.

Sakova-Merivee, Aija. Ausgraben und Erinnern: Denkbilder des Erinnerns und der moralischen Zeugenschaft im Werk von Ene Mihkelson und Christa Wolf. University of Tartu (Estonia), Institute for Cultural Research and Fine Arts. Directors: Tiina Ann Kirss, Eve Pormeister. December 2014. Abstract:

My doctoral thesis is on “Excavation and Memory. Thought-images of memory work and moral witnessing in Ene Mihkelson’s and Christa Wolf’s prose” can be understood as an inquiry into the philosophical potential of Mihkelson’s and Wolf’s novels. Estonian literary theorist Jaak Tomberg has drawn attention to the reconciliatory purpose of literature, to the ability of literary texts to remember the failed possibilities of acting in the past. Remembering through writing holds a messianic moment, because it can act as a kind of redemption to the past failures. Literature thus has a capability to illuminate and to model relationships between the present and the past on a philosophical level in a way that it helps to grasp the past violence and injustice, pain and loss that has not yet been fully known. With the help of Walter Benjamin, Avishai Margalit, Giorgio Agamben and other thinkers the dissertation examines the poetics of remembrance and moral witnessing in Mihkelson’s novels The Sleep of Ahasvuerus (2001), Plague Grave (2007), and Wolf’s novels Kindheitsmuster (1976) and Stadt der Engel oder The Overcoat of Dr. Freud (2010).

Schenderlein, Anna Clara. “Germany on Their Minds? German Jewish Refugees in the United States and Relationships to Germany, 1938-1988. University of California-San Diego, History. Directors: Frank Biess, Deborah Hertz. August 2014. Abstract:

My dissertation examines the relationships between German Jewish refugees in the United States and Germany from 1938 to 1988. Using publications and records of refugee organizations in the United States and West German federal and municipal governments, in combination with oral histories, letters, and memoirs, the dissertation analyzes refugee discourses concerning Germany and interactions between refugees and Germans. It shows how Germany—as a nation state, with its political systems, institutions, and people, and as an imaginary—affected the ways in which ordinary German Jewish refugees in the United States constructed their personal and communal lives and identities. It further shows, how, in turn, German Jewish refugees in the U.S. influenced West German identity formation. This dissertation thus argues that neither the history of the refugees nor that of postwar Germany can be fully understood without consideration of the interrelations and interactions between the two. German Jewish refugees in the United States played a role in channeling Germany’s democratic ambitions and German outreach activities, such as through the Foreign Office and municipal visitor programs. Such programs contributed, conversely, to a strengthening of German Jewish refugee identity many years after the end of the war.

Scholz, Juliane. Geschichte des Drehbuchautors in den USA und in Deutschland. Universität Leipzig, Fakultät für Sozialwissenschaften und Philosophie; Institut für Kulturwissenschaften. Directors: Hannes Siegrist, Rüdiger Steinmetz. July 2014. Abstract:

Die Dissertation untersucht historisch vergleichend die Berufsgeschichte des Drehbuchautors in den USA und in Deutschland im Laufe des 20. Jahrhunderts. Der Drehbuchautor gilt als moderner Kreativberuf, der sich seit den 1910er Jahren im Zuge der Ausdifferenzierung einer großbetrieblichen, arbeitsteiligen Filmindustrie herausbildete und in beiden Ländern verschiedene Modi der Professionalisierung zeitigte. Anhand der sozial- und kulturhistorischen Rekonstruktion seiner wechselvollen Berufsgeschichte können zudem Aussagen über den gesellschaftlichen Stellenwert von medialen Berufen in der Medienkulturindustrie der Moderne überhaupt getroffen werden. Methodisch werden die vielfältigen sozialen, kulturellen, wirtschaftlichen, institutionellen, professionellen und politischen Kontexte der Berufsgeschichte mithilfe der historischen Professionsforschung erläutert. Vor dem Hintergrund einer Sozialgeschichte der Angestellten, der betrieblichen Mittelklasse(n) und dem Wandel der Arbeitsorganisation in der (post-)industriellen Gesellschaft lässt sich der Beruf des Drehbuchautors außerdem im Kontext der fortschreitenden Industrialisierung und großbetrieblichen, arbeitsteiligen Herstellung medialer Produkte einordnen und erörtert damit Problemkomplexe der Arbeiter-, Angerstellten- und Bürgertumsforschung.

Schwaiger, Silke. Über die Schwelle: Zugewanderte Autorinnen und Texte um das Kulturzentrum exil in Wien. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Modern Languages. Directors: Andrea Reiter, Ulrike Hanna Meinhof. September 2014. Abstract:

The study focuses on selected texts and authors associated with the cultural centre exil in Vienna which promotes the culture of migrants and minorities in Austria. Since 1997 exil has awarded the annual prize “writing between cultures.” The literary prize addresses authors with a ʻmigrant background’ whose mother tongue is not German but who write in German. The thesis investigates the negotiation of cultural identities of migrants at the intersection of the cultural centre exil, individual life histories and literary creations. Tensions and contradictions between institutional and individual discourses are identified and are related to the literary works of selected authors. The analysis is informed by a theoretical framework which incorporates concepts of cultural identity and canonisation, and combines a cultural sociological approach with a textual one: the analysis focuses on qualitative interviews with selected authors as well as literary texts. I hope to demonstrate the tensions between cultural integration and exclusion and to investigate the “place” authors around exil negotiate for themselves. The aim of the project is to highlight exil’s as well as the authors’ contribution to the Austrian literary field and to provide a better understanding of their early literary works and their self-conception as writers.

Sederberg, Kathryn. Germany's Rubble Texts: Writing History in the Present, 1943-1951. University of Michigan, Germanic Languages and Literatures. Director: Julia Hell. August 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation examines how writers, filmmakers, and photographers engaged with “rubble” at metaphoric and structural levels during the period of radical societal and political upheaval at the end of the Second World War. The project traces the rise of “rubble texts” during the late stages of the war, including diaries and literature in which Germans grappled with the physical destruction of their cities and the defeat of Germany. The claim is that such texts also provide insight into how Germans reconfigured their connection to time and national history. Highlighting the diary as a crucial yet often overlooked form, this project calls attention to rubble as a form and an enabling condition. Primary materials include literary works by Arno Schmidt and Wolfgang Koeppen, the unpublished diaries of German civilians, the wartime diaries of Victor Klemperer, political essays by Karl Jaspers and Hannah Arendt, and visual material such as rubble film and photography. Incorporating archival research, this dissertation engages with larger questions of temporality and the writing of history, the pragmatics of writing in times of crisis, and explores the politics of rubble texts in the context of postwar projects of Umerziehung (reeducation) and Entnazifizierung (denazification).

Scholz, Juliane. Geschichte des Drehbuchautors in den USA und in Deutschland. Fakultät für Sozialwissenschaften und Philosophie; Institut für Kulturwissenschaften; Universität Leipzig. Directors: Hannes Siegrist, Rüdiger Steinmetz. July 2014. Abstract:

Die Dissertation untersucht historisch vergleichend die Berufsgeschichte des Drehbuchautors in den USA und in Deutschland im Laufe des 20. Jahrhunderts. Der Drehbuchautor gilt als moderner Kreativberuf, der sich seit den 1910er Jahren im Zuge der Ausdifferenzierung einer großbetrieblichen, arbeitsteiligen Filmindustrie herausbildete und in beiden Ländern verschiedene Modi der Professionalisierung zeitigte. Anhand der sozial- und kulturhistorischen Rekonstruktion seiner wechselvollen Berufsgeschichte können zudem Aussagen über den gesellschaftlichen Stellenwert von medialen Berufen in der Medienkulturindustrie der Moderne überhaupt getroffen werden. Methodisch werden die vielfältigen sozialen, kulturellen, wirtschaftlichen, institutionellen, professionellen und politischen Kontexte der Berufsgeschichte mithilfe der historischen Professionsforschung erläutert. Vor dem Hintergrund einer Sozialgeschichte der Angestellten, der betrieblichen Mittelklasse(n) und dem Wandel der Arbeitsorganisation in der (post-)industriellen Gesellschaft lässt sich der Beruf des Drehbuchautors außerdem im Kontext der fortschreitenden Industrialisierung und großbetrieblichen, arbeitsteiligen Herstellung medialer Produkte einordnen und erörtert damit Problemkomplexe der Arbeiter-, Angerstellten- und Bürgertumsforschung.

Sharvit, Gilad. Pre-Figuration of Freud's Concept of Freedom in the Philosophy of Schelling. Hebrew University, Philosophy Department. Director: Christoph Schmidt. December 2014. Abstract:

The dissertation offers a new contribution to the ongoing debate over the question of freedom in Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. Building on Zizek’s fundamental rereading of Schelling middle- period philosophy as a meta-psychological project, I argue that by subverting the rationalistic paradigm of absolute idealism, the Freiheitsschrift manifested itself as a pre-figuration to Freud’s theory of Freedom. Elaborating on the basic “figura” the Freiheitsschrift proposes, in which freedom is based on a notion of agreement between one’s life and one’s essence, psychoanalytic freedom should be redefined as the concordance between man’s conscious actions and his personality. This rereading of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory also provides a solution to the operational function of history in German Idealism - Freud’s theory reconfigures Schelling’s essentialism and his inherent a-temporal formulation of reality, both true reminders to his idealist Weltanschauung. With psychoanalytic reflection, one can reenter the depths of the unconscious and redesign a new principle of life. At the point, the latent intertextual connection between the theological project of Schelling and Freud’s secular therapy becomes evident. While Schelling is depend on divine salvation in order to change the unchangeable essence of man, Freud transfers the power of healing to man, replacing salvation with therapeutics.

Sikarskie, Matthew. Bored with Boredom: Engaging Modernity in Wilhelmine Wandervogel and West German Punk Subcultures. Michigan State University, Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages: Director: Elizabeth Mittman. August 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation looks at two superficially dissimilar German youth cultures framing opposite ends of the twentieth century—the Wandervogel and West German punks—and proposes that they shared an important but unexplored commonality in their response to the subjective malaise of modern life, which has often been read through the discourse of boredom. Rather than define themselves through dominant societal and historical narratives, these groups of youth often instead oriented themselves to the future and attempted, through direct action and the recasting of their lives as unbound and autonomous, to move beyond the root causes of alienation that have led to the proliferation of modern boredom since the Enlightenment. For the Wandervogel, this direct action was expressed as Selbsterziehung—the belief that in order to discover and explore both their world and themselves, youth needed to teach themselves on their own terms. For punks in West Germany, the DIY (do-it-yourself) project at the core of punk led these youth to a participatory engagement in the same vein.

Simon, Josiah. Franz Rosenzweig's Hegel and the State: Biography, History and Tragedy. University of Oregon, Department of German and Scandinavian. Director: Jeffrey Librett. March 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation provides a full-length analysis of Franz Rosenzweig's intellectual biography Hegel and the State (1920). Offering the first English language translation of many passages from the book, it makes a unique contribution to a largely ignored aspect of contemporary Rosenzweig scholarship. The analysis draws on the formal characteristics of Rosenzweig's work—such as the epigraph, the narrative and biographical structure, as well as the historical presuppositions of the foreword and the conclusion—to show how his interpretation of Hegel's key political texts, culminating in the Elements of the Philosophy of Right, is informed by an explicit philosophical biography and a latent theory of tragedy. By recasting Rosenzweig's critique of Hegel’s political thought into biographical, literary and historical terms, this dissertation aims to configure Rosenzweig's narrative in Hegel and the State as a tragic foil for his own personal and intellectual development.

Spiers, Emily. “Alpha-Mädchen sind wir alle”: Subjectivity and Agency in Contemporary Pop- Feminist Writing in Britain, the US and Germany. University of Oxford, Medieval and Modern Languages. Director: Georgina Paul. December 2014. Abstract:

This thesis investigates models of subjectivity and agency in early twenty-first-century pop- feminist fiction and non-fiction. Non-fiction accounts of subjectivity draw on poststructuralist notions of incoherent, performative identity, yet retain the assumption that there remains a sovereign subject capable of claiming full autonomy. The pop-feminist non-fictions reflect a neoliberal model of entrepreneurial individualism where self-optimisation replaces an ethics of intersubjective relations. In exploring the theoretical blind-spots of pop-feminist claims to female autonomy and agency, this thesis sets out to demonstrate that pop-feminist non-fiction lacks an actual feminist politics. My methodology is comparative and primarily involves the close reading of a corpus of pop-feminist texts from the Anglo-American and German contexts. I utilize my corpus of current essayistic pop-feminist texts as a fixed point of reference, deeming them to be representative of a pervasive kind of contemporary postfeminist thinking. In the fiction I examine, however, subjectivity becomes a generative capacity characterised by expansive and self-reflexive negotiations between self and other. Through my close readings of the novels I develop a model of intersubjective dependency, drawing on Judith Butler’s later work, and reveal hitherto un-discussed lines of literary and critical influence on the contemporary British and German novelists emanating from authors Kathy Acker and Mary Gaitskill.

Stauff, Derek. Lutheran Music and Politics in Saxony during the Thirty Years’ War. Indiana University, School of Music, Musicology. Director: Daniel R. Melamed. December 2014. Abstract:

Composers in Saxony during the Thirty Years’ War gave voice to the political and confessional divisions plaguing the Holy Roman Empire by setting biblical texts full of political and confessional significance. They performed this music at politically-meaningful events and set texts long used by Protestants for polemical reasons. Just as Lutherans quoted the Bible for political purposes in sermons, official prayers, pamphlets, and broadsheets, so too Lutheran composers like Schein, Schütz, Hammerschmidt, and the Leipzig brothers Tobias and Samuel Michael wrote biblical motets and concertos to help interpret contemporary events, justify state policies, attack political or confessional opponents, and honor heads of state. Focusing primarily on music in Leipzig during the late 1620s and early 1630s, two major themes emerge: first, music designed to highlight strife between Protestants and Catholics, especially fears of persecution after the Edict of Restitution; and second, music celebrating the Swedish-Saxon victory at Breitenfeld in 1631.

Suter, Mischa. Rechtstrieb: Schulden und Vollstreckung im liberalen Kapitalismus, 1800– 1900. Department of History, University of Zurich. Director: Jakob Tanner. April 2014. Abstract:

This thesis studies the quotidian routines of debt collection (called "Rechtstrieb" by contemporaries) in nineteenth-century Swiss liberalism. I argue that the legal enforcement of unmet debts reveals fundamental contradictions inherent to everyday economic life in liberal capitalism. By conceiving debt as a profoundly relational social fact, I combine perspectives from historical anthropology, historical epistemology and political economy in order to understand precarious economies as cultural repertoires of conflict. In six thematically ordered chapters, I examine the social-imaginary figure of the male bankrupt who had his civil rights forfeited; the debtor's household as a force field of gendered duties and expectations; the attempts of legislators at synchronizing different temporalities and modalities of economic life by instituting new paperwork and other media practices; the changing social classification as well as conflicting moral repertoires of legitimation in debt relationships; and the constant difficulty to separate the categories of the person and things in seizure and pawning. Publication is in preparation.

Taylor, Nicholas E. The Published Church Cantatas of Georg Philip Telemann. Indiana University, School of Music, Musicology. Advisor: Daniel R. Melamed. December 2014. Abstract:

At a time when few German composers were publishing church music, Georg Philipp Telemann released five complete annual cycles of church cantatas: the Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst (Hamburg, 1725–26), the Auszug derjenigen musicalischen . . . Arien (Hamburg, 1727), the Fortsetzung des harmonischen Gottesdienstes (Hamburg 1731–32), the Musicalisches Lob Gottes (Nuremberg, 1742–44), and the so-called Engel-Jahrgang (Hermsdorf, 1748). These collections were disseminated widely in their original printed versions and in manuscript copies throughout northern Europe and made the modern, Neumeister-type cantata—with operatic da capo arias and recitatives—available to a large and diverse audience. This dissertation considers the commercial context, marketing, dissemination, and performance history of these five published cantata collections. Surviving prints and manuscript copies of Telemann’s cantatas reveal the individuals who are known to have performed Telemann’s church music and show the various changes musicians made to these works according to the availability of certain voice types, instruments, and other practical concerns. These sources also demonstrate the vast and long-lasting appeal of Telemann’s music in German-speaking lands and Scandinavia throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Wagner, Martin. Narrate, Describe, or Observe: Scientific Observation and Narrations of the Visual from Alain-René Lesage to Arthur Conan Doyle. Yale University, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Director: Rüdiger Campe. May 2014. Abstract:

In my dissertation, I theorize observation, a practice that originates in the modern natural sciences, as a literary technique central to the formation of European realism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In literature, observation is traditionally viewed only as a technique of description that serves to construct the real as a world of atemporal visuality. Through close readings of Alain-René Lesage, Rétif de la Bretonne, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Georg Büchner, Edgar Allan Poe, and Arthur Conan Doyle alongside a study of the philosophy and history of science, I theorize observation as a narrative technique that extends the visuality of atemporal description into the dynamic process of narration. The focused and temporally extended gaze of this ‘narrative’ observer captures a world that appears real in both its visual presence and its dynamic development.

Walker, Katherine. “Er hat Geschmack”: Shifting Connotations of Taste in the Discourse Surrounding W. A. Mozart 3. Cornell University, Music. Director: James Webster. March 2014. Abstract:

On 14 February 1785 Leopold Mozart wrote to his daughter in Vienna: “On Saturday evening Herr Joseph Haydn and the two Barons Tindi came to see us and the new quartets were performed. … Haydn said to me: ‘Before God and as an honest man, I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name. He has taste and, beyond that, the most profound knowledge of composition’.” There were three primary agents involved in the transmission of this remark: Leopold Mozart, the addressee; Wolfgang Mozart, the subject; and Haydn, the speaker. These three composers, owing to both their generational differences and their divergent aesthetic orientations and career paths, adhered to different sets of associations with the concept of taste. This dissertation contextualizes Haydn's ostensibly straightforward remark, by interpreting it three times, from the perspectives of its three central agents. In doing so, it seeks to demonstrate that taste was the site of negotiation between emerging (and sometimes competing) aesthetic ideologies and pressing cultural, political, and religious values. As such, taste was inherently variable, depending on the user, his motivations, and the contexts for its use. In Leopold, taste negotiated reason with faith; in Wolfgang, sensibility with emerging modernity; in Haydn, the inspiration of genius with the general public that must be guided to it.

Waltz, William J. The Movement of Writing Workers in the German Democratic Republic: The Vision of Cultural Revolution and the Reality of Popular Participation. University of Wisconsin- Madison, Department of German. Director: Marc Silberman. August 2014. Abstract:

This study examines the “Movement of Writing Workers,” a major cultural initiative in the German Democratic Republic to support amateur writers and integrate cultural activities into the workplace. Contextualizing the movement historically reveals its unique German pedigree, dispels the widely held belief that it was introduced under Soviet pressure, and shows how it functioned as a field for the reception of competing cultural traditions of SPD and KPD heritage. Although a new socialist culture was envisioned as unfolding according to a central plan with the “circles of writing workers” as its “brain” or “Herzstück,” central agencies never succeeded in gaining control of the movement, with district and local functionaries largely responsible for circle activities and the plethora of publications. The movement demonstrates the difficulties state planning encountered in implementing its policies and to what extent success in the cultural domain had to rely on individuals’ efforts. Thus it serves as a paradigmatic view of the fraught interaction between “top-down” party directives and “bottom-up” individual initiatives which characterized popular culture more generally in the GDR.

Weber, Peter C. The Praxis of Civil Society: Associational Life, the Politics of Civility, and Public Affairs in the Weimar Republic. Indiana University, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Director: Gregory Witkowski. January 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation analyzes the efforts to develop a pluralistic political culture and democratic practices of governance through the training of democratic leaders in Germany's first school of public affairs, the German School of Politics. The investigation of the thought-leaders that formed this school illustrates two main points. First, through the prism of the School, I detail the efforts to develop a conception of civil society that, by being grounded in civility, could retie social bonds and counter the brutalization of politics characteristic of the post-World War One years. By providing practical knowledge, courses in public affairs could not only free Germans from the blinders of ideologies, but also instill in them an ethos that would help viewing the political enemy as an opponent with an equal right to participate in the political process. Secondly, I point to the limits of trans-national philanthropy in supporting young democracies. By analyzing the relationship between U.S. foundations and the School, I focus on the asymmetry that existed between American ideals of democracy and the realities of the German political system. This study thus focuses on the dynamics between the actions of institutions and organizations, and the broader social behaviors that constitute public life.

Weist, Caroline. Performance Prosthetic: Figuring Heimat in Twentieth-Century German Theater. University of Pennsylvania, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Director: Simon Richter. July 2014. Abstract:

This dissertation revises current understandings of Heimat by exploring its onstage figuration in the form of prosthetically-enhanced bodies. Like Heimat, the idea of prosthesis has been used to conjure a mythical, stable body of origin, both individual and collective. And, while a prosthetic limb may seem significant only for a particular body, prosthesis – that is, the shifting relational complex existing between wearer, artificial limb, and environment – took on a much broader, yet often overlooked significance in twentieth-century artistic and medical discourses, where the links between inhabitants’ bodies, their artificial limbs, and their homeland became vital to conceiving of and critiquing the Heimat. In order to weave a comprehensive picture of these two terms, the dissertation proposes that both Heimat and prosthesis function as conceptual and material props and examines instances where they come together in medical writings, state functions, and on stage – specifically, in Kaiser’s Von morgens bis mitternachts, Toller’s Hinkemann, and Dürrenmatt’s Der Besuch der alten Dame. Ultimately, the plays’ explorations of the Heimat-prosthesis thematic not only reveal Heimat’s material aspect as intrinsic to its discursive function, but also compel a rethinking of the implicit assumptions that are made about bodies in order to speak of a homeland.

Wood, Michael. Making the Audience Work: Textual Politics and Performance Strategies for a “Democratic”Theatre in the Works of Heiner Müller. University of Edinburgh, School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Directors: Laura Bradley, Peter Davies. November 2014. Abstract:

This thesis explores the notion of a ‘democratic’ theatre in three key works by the East German playwright Heiner Müller (1929-95) and his production Der Lohndrücker in East Berlin in 1988. It argues that the politics of these three texts and the production in question is anchored in their structure as means to engaging audience activity. These works provide heavily dialectical material for audiences about their own material reality, whilst forbidding synthesis; Müller therefore engages audience members in dialogue about their role in the politics of their own society. I further study the theatrical premières of each text. In combining close textual analysis and archival performance research, historical contextualisation, and an examination of the productions’ audiences, I shed new light on the politics of Müller’s works, arguing that his theatre is created with the audience in mind from the start; moreover, Müller’s theatre seeks to be ‘democratic’ in its interaction with its audience. Given the focus my thesis places on theatre audiences, I develop a dynamic methodology for audience research. As I conclude, this method provides scholars with a promising model for future research into the politics of theatre and performance.