GSA Arts Night

Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1 October 2015

Many of us are busy making plans to see friends and deciding which panels to attend. Please include in your schedule our new Arts Night Initiative.

Just in case you've missed the new development: we have put together a slate of four events featuring artists or the work of artists for Thursday evening, 1 October. Along the model of First Night celebrations in many cities, the events will run simultaneously and most will be repeated. Held in the main conference hotel, the sessions will run 7-7:50pm and 8-8:50pm.

Where would we be without the arts? Unlike our federal government, the GSA has decided to put more resources into the arts, not less. Please show your support by attending one or both sessions.

SESSION ONE 7:00-7:50 pm

Session One 7:00-7:50pm, Room: JEFFERSON ROOM

DEFA Film Library DVD release: “ARTS IN EXILE”

Erich Fried: The Whole World Should Endure (Die ganze Welt soll bleiben: Erich Fried, ein Portrait)
GDR, 1988, Dir. Roland Steiner, 30 min., color

Born to Jewish parents, author Erich Fried (1921-1988) left Vienna in 1938 and settled in London. In this film Fried, one of the most important poets of the 20th century, reflects on his personal experiences and political engagement, discussing philosophical questions of concern to humankind and reciting his own works.

Do You Know Where Herr Kisch Is? (Wissen Sie nicht, wo Herr Kisch ist?)
GDR/CSSR, 1985, Dir. Eduard Schreiber, 19 min., color

The “Raging Reporter” Egon Erwin Kisch (1885-1948) was one of the most significant German journalists of the 1920s and ‘30s. He wrote from a communist point of view, in language that sparkled with humor. Historic photographs and footage describe Kisch’s eventful journalistic and political life, which brought him to cities including Berlin, Moscow, Sydney, and New York.

Session One 7:00-7:50pm, Room: JACKSON ROOM
Ask Me More about Brecht: Hanns Eisler in Conversation
A dramatic performance by Sabine Berendse and Paul Clements
Introduced by Joy Haslam Calico

Sabine Berendse and Paul Clements have created a dramatic reading and multimedia performance of Hans Eisler's conversations with Hans Bunge about his friend Bertholdt Brecht. Eisler was an enormously intelligent and entertaining conversationalist: witty, incisive, and lively, with a stimulating breadth of knowledge and a profound understanding of historical processes.

What would a show about a composer be without his music? The performance includes recordings of Eisler’s music, including of Eisler himself singing and playing the piano. Rare photographs of Eisler and others illustrate the show.

(based on: Brecht, Music and Culture. Hanns Eisler in Conversation with Hans Bunge. Trans. by Sabine Berendse and Paul Clements. London, New York, Bloomsbury 2014)

Session One 7:00-7:50pm, Room: LEE ROOM
Rita Kuczynski

Introduced by Anthony Steinhoff

Author and publicist Rita Kuczynski will read from her novel Aber der Himmel war höher (2014)

Rita Kuczynski is the author of numerous novels and nonfiction works. She studied piano at the West and East Berlin conservatories and then philosophy at the Universities of Leipzig and East Berlin, completing a doctoral dissertation on Hegel. Kuczynski has been a visiting professor at SUNY Buffalo and the Universidad de Concepción, a visiting fellow at Johns Hopkins, and a free-lance journalist for Der Tagesspiegel, Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and other publications.

Session One 7:00-7:50pm, Room: MADISON ROOM
Remembering Günter Grass (1927-2015)
Moderated by Daniel Reynolds, Grinnell College

GSA members will read some of their favorite passages from the oeuvre of Günter Grass. Readers will be:

Monika Shafi, University of Delaware
Stephen Brockmann, Carnegie-Mellon University
Sabine Gross, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Frank Finlay, University of Leeds
Deniz Göktürk, U Cal, Berkeley

Session Two 8:00-8:45 pm

Session Two 8-8:45pm, Room: JEFFERSON ROOM
DEFA Film Library DVD release: “ARTS IN EXILE”

Even Today He’d Speak His Mind (Er könnte ja heute nicht schweigen)
GDR, 1975, Dir. Volker Koepp, 34 min., b&w

In this film about German political poet, agitator, and satirist Erich Weinert (1890-1953), his wife and friends share stories about his life: his commitment to the struggle of the international proletariat; his exile in Switzerland, France, and the Soviet Union; and his fight in the International Brigades in Spain. The interviews, historic film footage, and photos are accompanied by Ernst Busch’s musical interpretation of “Der heimliche Aufmarsch” (“The Secret Deployment”) with lyrics by Weinert and music by Hanns Eisler.

Ernst Barlach: Mystic of Modernity
(Ernst Barlach – Mystiker der Moderne)
Germany, 2006, Dir. Bernd Boehm, 26 min., color/b&w

This arte documentary on the life of German Expressionist artist Ernst Barlach (1870-1938) weaves together excerpts of his writings and extensive images of his drawings, paintings and sculptures. Narrated in English, it appears as a special feature on the new DVD release of The Lost Angel (Der verlorene Engel, GDR, 1966|71, Dir. Ralf Kirsten, 58 min. b&w)

Session Two 8-8:45pm, Room: JACKSON ROOM
Ask Me More about Brecht: Hanns Eisler in Conversation

A dramatic performance by Sabine Berendse and Paul Clements
Introduced by Joy Haslam Calico

Session Two 8-8:45pm, Room: LEE ROOM
Rita Kuczynski

Introduced by Anthony Steinhoff


Session Two 8-8:45pm, Room: MADISON

Kickoff Event for Freipass, a New Yearbook

The Günter and Ute Grass Foundation presented its new yearbook, Freipass, at the Leipzig Book Fair in 2015. Freipass focuses on leading figures and central issues of 20th- and 21st-century Central European culture, with a special emphasis on archival materials and scholarly contributions dealing with the life and work of Günter Grass. Grass himself welcomed this development enthusiastically, as it fulfilled one of his longtime wishes. His sudden death earlier this year has made it an important part of his legacy.

During this session and at a reception on Saturday, 3 October, Professor Volker Neuhaus, the yearbook’s co-developer and co-editor, will introduce the new periodical to a scholarly North American readership. Among other topics, Volume I treats Anglo-American scholarly responses to Grass’s works and demonstrates that the English-speaking world can boast of an outstanding, closely connected community of Grass scholars that is totally absent in the German-speaking countries.

With this special presentation of Freipass in the USA, the editors hope to call American scholarly attention to the journal and to attract potential contributors to it. Future volumes will contain a useful bibliography of current Grass research worldwide.

The yearbook is peer reviewed by an editorial board of leading Grass scholars: Professors Volker Neuhaus, Per Ohrgaard, and Dieter Stolz, and Grass House director J.P. Thomsa.

Bibliographical details for the first issue: Dieter Stolz, ed. Freipass. Schriften der Günter und Ute Grass Stiftung, vol. 1. Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag, 2015. ISBN 978-3-86153-827-1 For additional details please contact Professor Volker Neuhaus ( or Acting Editor Professor Dieter Stolz (

Conference Program Now Online

The program for the 2015 GSA conference in Washington, DC has been finalized and is now available here.

Conference Registration and Hotel Reservation Information

Online conference registration, meal reservations, and hotel reservations for the 39th annual conference of the GSA in Washington, DC, are now open. Please go to to register.

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 can only reserve a hotel room at the conference rate of $175.00 by registering for the conference. You will not be able to reserve a room at the conference rate by calling the hotel or by booking with an online agency. You must first register for the conference to be eligible for the rate.

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.

Once you have registered for the conference, 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.


  • Friday luncheon, October 2: $41.00
  • Friday banquet, October 2: $45.00
  • Saturday luncheon, October 3: $35.00


Tentative Conference Program Now Online

The tentative program of the 2015 GSA Conference has now been posted at This first draft will remain online until 1 June, at which point it will be taken down as we edit the final program for printing and distribution to the membership. In reviewing it, please note the following points:

  1. The program is TENTATIVE. We reserve the right to make changes in the final program.

  2. We have tried to make every effort to accommodate reasonable special requests. However, please bear in mind that organizing an event of this nature is extremely complex, and we occasionally encounter difficulties. Please contact should you have questions or concerns.

  3. Should you encounter any matters that need to be changed, please inform us at BY 31 MAY. We CANNOT make any changes after that date.

  4. Your name and your institutional affiliation are shown exactly as they appear in your membership profile. If you wish to change them, please do so by going to your profile and changing them there. Then please inform us of these changes by writing to, so that we can ensure they have been incorporated into the final program.

  5. Should you encounter technical problems, please write to Ms. Elizabeth Fulton at the GSA Help Desk ( Please do not write to the Executive Director.

  6. The printed program will be distributed to all dues-paying members between July and August. Please be sure that your address in JHUP's database is accurate, or you won't receive your program.

The GSA program is the result of the tireless efforts of many people. They include our extraordinary webmaster, Terry Pochert, our outstanding 2015 Program Director, Margaret Menninger, our superb operations director, Elizabeth Fulton, and all the members of the 2015 Program Committee: Sara Poor, Anthony J. Steinhoff, Scott Moranda, Heather Perry, Christina Gerhardt, Christian Rogowski, Robert Mark Spaulding, Deborah Ascher Barnstone, and David Imhoof. Thanks are also due to our seminar committee: Elisabeth Herrmann, Katja Garloff, and Heikki Lempa.


Conference Information

The Thirty-Ninth Annual Conference of the German Studies Association will take place from October 1 to October 4, 2015, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway. Arlington, Virginia 22202. Many of our members will be familiar with the hotel, as this will be our fourth meeting there since 2001. For those members from outside North America who may be visiting the area for the first time, Arlington is directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The hotel is located on a Metro line that is very convenient both to the Ronald Reagan National Airport and to downtown Washington.

This conference again promises to be one of the larger gatherings in our history. Following two years of successful experiments with a series of intensive, three-day seminars, this year we are offering twenty-five 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. Once again we are scheduling three Sunday time slots in order to accommodate the large number of excellent sessions reviewed by the Program Committee; the entire conference will end by 1:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Many sessions and roundtables will highlight events that we will be commemorating this year, including the twenty-fifth anniversary of German unification in 1990, the bicentennial of the Congress of Vienna, the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, the sixtieth anniversary of the Austrian Staatsvertrag, and the five hundredth anniversary of the battle of Marignano. We will also offer special sessions in honor of Peter Hoffmann and Hartmut Lehmann, and in memory of Günter Grass and Jonathan Osborne.

As in previous years, many sessions and roundtables in 2015 will be sponsored by the GSA Interdisciplinary Networks. The GSA’s Interdisciplinary Committee, ably chaired by Professors Jennifer Evans and Pamela Potter, coordinates the work of all our Networks, each of which in turn is organized by several hard-working coordinators. Networks sponsoring sessions this year are the Alltag Network, the Emotion Studies Network, the Environmental Studies Network, the Family and Kinship Network, the German Socialisms Network, the Law and Legal Cultures Network, the Memory Studies Network, the Music and Sound Studies Network, the Religious Studies Network, and the War and Violence Network.

Conference Speakers

Once again we have an exceptional group of luncheon and banquet speakers. We hope that as many of you as possible will attend these important events!



Inspired by “First Night” celebrations on December 31st in many cities, we are experimenting with an “Arts Night,” celebrating the creative and performing arts as an important part of German studies. This year, we will hold four events in two time slots (7-7:45pm and 8-8:45pm) on Thursday, October 1: film offerings by DEFA, a reading by novelist Rita Kuczynski, a mixed media performance about the relationship between Hans Eisler and Bertolt Brecht, or a series of readings by our members of favorite passages from the works of Günter Grass. Please plan to arrive early enough and to schedule your dinner so that you can attend one or both of the time slots for performances. If this is an overwhelming success, we plan to repeat and expand Arts Night in future years.



As we observe the twenty-fifth anniversary of Germany‘s reunification on October3, 1990, the German Studies Association is honored to welcome His Excellency Peter Wittig, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, as our luncheon speaker. Ambassador Wittig will speak on “The Transatlantic Partnership 25 Years After German Reunification.”

 Before entering the German Foreign Service in 1982, he studied history, political science, and law at Bonn, Freiburg, Canterbury, and Oxford universities and taught as Assistant Professor at the University of Freiburg. He has served in Madrid, New York (Permanent Mission to the United Nations), as private secretary to the Foreign Minister at the Foreign Office headquarters in Berlin, as Ambassador to Lebanon and to Cyprus, where he also was the Special Envoy of the German Government for the Cyprus Question. In 2006, Ambassador Wittig was appointed Director-General for the United Nations and Global Issues at the Foreign Office in Berlin. As Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, he represented his country in the Security Council during its membership in 2011-12.



 Continuing our observation of a quarter century of unified Germany, we are pleased to welcome one of the world’s leading experts on German politics, Professor Joyce M. Mushaben. Curators’ Professor, Fellow of the Center for International Politics, and former Director of the Institute for Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, where she teaches comparative politics, Professor Mushaben is a long-time member of the German Studies Association. Drawing on her most recent research and writing, her banquet address will focus on “The Strange Tale of a Pastor’s Daughter in a Difficult Fatherland: Angela Merkel and the Reconciliation of East-West German Identities.”

Professor Mushaben received her PhD from Indiana University and studied at the University of Hamburg and the Free University of Berlin She is the author and editor of many books and monographs. Her articles have appeared in World Politics, Polity, West European Politics, German Politics, German Politics & Society, the Journal of Peace Research, Democratization, Citizenship Studies, and Femina Politica, Professor Mushaben has also received a number of awards and fellowships, including three from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.



We are pleased to welcome Kathrin Röggla as our luncheon speaker on Saturday. She will speak on “Eine Liste der ungeschriebenen Texte - zu Literatur und ihren Möglichkeitsräumen.” A native of Salzburg, where she studied Germanistik and Publizistik, Röggla has lived in Berlin since 1992. A prominent author of prose, Hörspiele, and theater texts, she is also actively engaged with theatrical productions, and has an extraordinarily diverse literary oeuvre. Since 1988 she has worked actively with such groups as the Salzburger Autorengruppe, the Salzburger Literaturwerkstatt, and the literary journal erostepost. Her published texts make use of a wide and often experimental range of media techniques. Since 2012 she has been a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, and since 2014 Poet in Residence at the University of Duisburg-Essen. She is the recipient of many prizes and awards, among them the Bruno Kreisky Prize, the Johann Nestroy Theater Prize, and the Arthur Schnitzler Prize. Among her most recent writings are the plays Kinderkriegen and Der Lärmkrieg.

Audiovisual Resources at the 2015 Conference

 We are pleased to confirm that, as was the case at our Kansas City conference last year, ALL conference breakout rooms will be equipped with audiovisual equipment. This means that any participant in any session, roundtable, or seminar may use an LCD projector ("Beamer," for our members in Europe!) located in the room. Accordingly, we are asking all our members who will be using AV to pay the $20 fee that we have been asking of AV users for some time. The fee can be paid on the website when making online conference registration payments and hotel reservations. We will rely on the honor system for these payments, which will only cover a portion of our total costs.


Conference Registration Refund Policy Explained

You may cancel your 2015 conference registration before 1 July 2015 for a full refund. Cancellations between 1 July and 24 September will be refunded, but will incur a $25 cancellation fee. No refunds are available for cancellations after 24 September 2015. For more information, contact


Austrian Cultural Forum New York: Young Scholars Travel Grants

The Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY) and the German Studies Association (GSA) are happy to announce that there will be limited funds available to support selected young Austrian Studies scholars at this year’s conference of the German Studies Association in Washington, DC from 2 to 4 October 2015.

Only applications from scholars working in Contemporary Austrian Studies (since 1945) will be considered. Applicants must not be older than 35 years and must not have received any travel grant from the ACFNY in the past. Applicants who receive financial support from other institutions to cover travel and accommodation costs will not be considered.

The funds are intended for Austrian Studies scholars who are either completing an appropriate advanced degree or who have completed that degree within the past three years. Austrian Studies scholars from North America (Canada, Mexico, and the United States) as well as from outside North America are eligible to apply for these funds. Austrian citizenship or residency in Austria is not necessary.

Depending on the number of accepted applications and budgetary circumstances, the travel grant comprises $500 (for scholars from North America) and $1,000 (for scholars from outside North America) to offset travel costs.

Travel grants are for one person only and cannot be split among several applicants.

Applications must be submitted to the Austrian Cultural Forum New York/ACFNY (, no later than 1 June 2015. Applications should send an abstract of the paper they submitted to the GSA and a curriculum vitae. Successful applicants will be informed by 1 July 2015.

Certificates will be awarded in person at the German Studies Association Annual Conference in Washington DC. Stipends will be paid in check or transferred to an Austrian bank account (holder of bank accounts in Austria only).


2015 Executive Board Elections

Three positions on the GSA Board are up for election this year. Each board member will serve a two-year term. You will receive a ballot at the email address associated with your member account. Candidate biographies are available at


GSA Announces Fundraising Effort

The German Studies Association is embarking on a fundraising effort and seeks contributions from members and non-members alike to help grow its Endowment Fund. This will help ensure a healthy future for the 2,100 member organization and its numerous activities and benefits, including a robust annual conference, its scholarly journal, travel grant program, enhanced technology, expanded collaboration and communication opportunities, a sound administrative structure, and more.

The GSA also welcomes contributions to ongoing activities and programs, such as those listed below. Visit our secure Contribution page to make your donation.

You will find a number of contribution categories available:

  • GSA Endowment Fund: To build an Endowment of $5 million by 2020 and thereby provide adequate funding for the Association’s continuing vitality in its next 40 years (the GSA celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2016).
  • General Fund/GSA Operations: To help cover some of the increasing costs of operating the GSA throughout the year without having to raise significantly member dues.
  • Sybil Halpern Milton Prize Endowment: To provide funds permanently for the prize, named after a long-time GSA member and important scholar, in the field of Holocaust Studies.
  • Annual Conference Fund: To help defray the costs of the Annual GSA conference, including traditional (speaker) and new programs (seminars, networks, exchanges, new technology)
  • GSA Travel Fund: To assist members without institutional or other travel funding to participate in the GSA conference in greater numbers.
  • Publications Fund: To support the GSA journal, German Studies Review, as well as its book publication program, Spektrum.
  • Sustaining Membership: A set amount ($50) to help support the Association in all of its activities, both current and new.

All contributions to the GSA, which is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization according to U.S Federal Law, are tax deductible to US tax payers.

The GSA can also make arrangements for recurring contributions or estate planning. For information on these programs or to discuss the priorities for this fundraising effort, contact GSA Secretary-Treasurer Gerald Fetz.