grants & prizes

Call for Papers, Berlin Program Summer Workshop June 27 – 29, 2018: Strange Bedfellows/Unexpected Allies

Keynote Speaker: Mary Lindemann

German Studies Association President 2017-2018

Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Miami

From de Gaulle to Khrushchev, from the Christian Democrats to displaced refugees, from Putin to Trump, from the drag queen Olivia Jones to right-wing politician Frauke Petry, politics can make for "surprising partnerships." It was William Shakespeare who wrote in The Tempest that "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows." Both in Germany and beyond, the recent past has been experienced as a disorienting period by many. Debates about post-truth, post-liberalism, and post-humanism reflect seismic cultural shifts and pose the question whether we have entered a new political era. Thus, the phrase "politics makes strange bedfellows" captures our own Zeitgeist in most succinct fashion.

These are perplexing times to be certain. But peculiar alliances or combinations are common in a variety of historical and political contexts as well as in a diverse array of cultural and artistic engagements. The Berlin Program Summer Workshop 2018 invites contributions from scholars, artists, representatives of cultural institutions, and engaged others on the topic of "strange bedfellows" as well as "unexpected allies."

This workshop seeks to advance critical reflection on these phenomena, their usefulness and potential limits as narrative devices in a broad array of disciplines that intersect with German Studies, including Anthropology, Art History, Film Studies, Gender Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology. Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Studies of individuals, collectives or networks engaged in alliance building in contemporary or historical context
  • Unexpected coalitions in political, economic, or social contexts
  • Histories of political realignment
  • Cultural expressions of unexpected solidarity
  • Analyses of unexpected social integration of diverse groups
  • Anthropological studies of subcultural group interactions
  • Studies in linguistic transformations informed by unusual circumstances
  • Aesthetic objects bridging unanticipated terrain
  • Technical developments or emerging media forms bridging divides
  • Theoretical approaches to collaborations among political, social, and cultural "odd couples"

FORMAT: The event serves as a forum for Berlin Program fellows and alumni, but invites participation of all other scholars. During the workshop, scholars will present for ten minutes on papers that participants will have read prior to the workshop. A substantial period of time will be reserved at the end of the panels for discussion of the papers.

APPLICATION & DEADLINE: Please submit one PDF file containing a 250-word abstract and a two-page CV by February 15, 2018 to bprogram@zedat.fu-berlin.de

REQUIREMENTS: Presenters are required to submit a 25-page paper or an existing publication of similar length and a one-page bio for circulation to workshop participants by May 31, 2018. All workshop participants are asked to read these submissions prior to the workshop. A selection of two or three optional background readings may also be circulated.

SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND READINGS: Presenters will be invited to suggest one text (max. 25 pages) for the optional background reading list.

Complete Workshop Information

Website

Upcoming Berlin Program Events

Berlin Program Distinguished Guest and Alumnus Randall Halle, Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German Film and Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh will speak on "German European Studies for the 21st Century."

Join us for his presentation followed by a discussion on February 12, 2018, 5-7 p.m.

Location: Room 009, Ehrenbergstr. 26/28, 14195 Berlin

Berlin Program

The German Studies Association has representatives involved in the selection process of this important program, which is open to GSA and non-GSA members. The Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies offers up to one year of research support at the Freie Universität Berlin and is open to scholars in all social science and humanities disciplines, including historians working on the period since the mid-18th century. The program accepts applications from U.S. and Canadian nationals, permanent or long-term residents. Applicants for a dissertation fellowship must be full-time graduate students at a North American university who have achieved ABD status by the time the proposed research stay in Berlin begins. Also eligible are U.S. and Canadian Ph.D.s who have received their doctorates within the past two calendar years.

For more information, please visit the Berlin Program's website.

Eligibility and Terms

The program accepts applications from U.S. and Canadian nationals, permanent and long-term residents. Applicants for a dissertation fellowship must be full-time graduate students enrolled at a North American university who have completed all coursework required for the Ph.D. and must have achieved ABD (all but dissertation) status by the time the proposed research stay in Berlin begins. Also eligible are U.S. and Canadian Ph.D.s who have received their doctorates within the past two calendar years. The Berlin Program is a residential program and provides between ten and twelve months of research support.

Academic Profile

The program offers a stimulating academic environment that combines excellent research opportunities at one of Germany’s most distinguished research universities with intellectual and cultural interaction. Our colloquium - run by distinguished scholars each semester - serves as a central meeting point for all fellows to share, discuss and support each other’s work. Essential to the program’s mission is our close cooperation with our North American partner, the German Studies Association – the largest professional association of scholars focused on German, Austrian, and Swiss history, literature, culture studies, political science, and economics. Each year, our Summer Workshop and the GSA Distinguished Lecture at the Freie Universität Berlin as well as our Alumni Panel at the GSA Annual Conference in the U.S. provide a forum for scholarly exchange and seek to strengthen ties between fellows, alumni and the academic community in Berlin and beyond.

Institutional Structure

The Berlin Program is based at the Freie Universität Berlin, one of the nation's leading research universities and two-time winner in the national competition for excellence in higher education. The program is funded and administered in close cooperation with our North American partner, the GSA. All fellows enjoy library privileges, access to faculty, IT services and program infrastructure. Through our multidisciplinary advisory committee of professors fellows have access to a unique network of experts and institutions in one of the densest and most innovative academic regions in Europe.


For further information, visit our website at http://www.fu-berlin.de/bprogram or send an email to bprogram@zedat.fu-berlin.de