29.09.2010 – 01.10.2010 · 18.00 Uhr

Escape to Life. German Intellectuals in New York

Ort: New York University, Dept. of German, various venues (Jurow Hall and Deutsches Haus) New York, NY 10003


A Symposium at New York University in Cooperation with the Center for Literary and Cultural Studies Berlin

Planned to take place 65 years after the end of World War II, the symposium at NYU is intended to present a series of portraits to a wider audience. In New York, the US gave shelter to a large number of leading intellectuals from the German-speaking world, saved their lives in most of the cases. These public figures either stayed in New York where most of them arrived or moved on to California or other places like Princeton. Some of them, Brecht, Mann, and Horkheimer for example, returned to Europe soon after 1945.
The lectures of this symposium are meant to explore the impact the US, and New York, had on these authors/artists, and on their work. The speakers are also invited to analyze the influence these intellectuals had on American culture and the transformations which happened to their thoughts when translating them into another language, culture, and intellectual arena and addressing them to the American audience. Finally the symposium will discuss how those who returned passed on ›the American experience‹ to Europe. The speakers may feel completely free to choose the specific angle (biography, theory, politics) or aspect (a single work, a personal constellation), they do regard as elucidating.
The conference is accompanied by an exhibition of portraits by Fred Stein.

(Last Update: 06.09.2010)

Wednesday, 29.09.2010
(German House, 1st Ave., 49th Street, New York, NY 10017)

Eckart Goebel, Paul Fleming (both NYU): Welcome

Sigrid Weigel (ZfL): Hannah Arendt's Bilingual Writing

17.00 Short Break

Kevin Vennemann (NYU): Moderator

Liliane Weissberg (U Penn): From Königsberg to Little Rock. Childhood East and West (Hannah Arendt)

Paul Buchholz (NYU): Moderator

Rodolphe Gasché (Buffalo): Nature Versus History, or the Lifeworld According to Karl Löwith

18.45 Reception

Thursday, 30.09.2010
(Auditorium Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003)

James Wagner (NYU): Moderator

Birgit Erdle (Leo Baeck Institute London): "An unserer Sprache festhalten". Adorno in N.Y.C.

Jacques Lezra (NYU): Adorno's Monsters

11.00 Coffee Break

Noah Isenberg (New School): Moderator

Anton Kaes (Berkeley): Siegfried Kracauer and the Vicissitudes of National Psychology

Robert Cohen (NYU): Bertolt Brecht's Cinematic Theater and Joseph Losey's Brechtian Cinema

12.45 Lunch Break

Edward J. Sullivan (NYU): Introduction

Andreas Beyer (Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte Paris): Stranger in Paradise. Erwin Panofsky's Expulsion to the Academic Parnassus

15.45 Break

Elke Siegel (NYU): Moderator

Anne-Kathrin Reulecke (ZfL): "Voyage with Don Quixote". Thomas Mann Between European Culture and American Politics

16.45 Break

18.00 Exhibition Opening at 530 La Guardia Place
"Portraits of Exile: Photographs by Fred Stein"

Round Table: Eckart Goebel (NYU, Moderator), Michael Jennings (Princeton), Avital Ronell (NYU), Peter Stein (NYU), Liliane Weissberg (U Penn), Richard Wolin (CUNY)

19.00 Reception

Friday, 01.10.2010
(Auditorium Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003)

Ruth Zisman (NYU): Moderator

Paul North (Yale): The Invention of Seeing. Soma Morgenstern over Central Park

Falko Schmieder (ZfL): No place yet. Ernst Bloch's Utopias in Exile

11.00 Coffee Break

Jerome Bolton (NYU): Moderator

Paul Fleming (NYU): Afterlife. Ernst Kantorowicz

Martin Treml (ZfL): Reinventing the Canonical. The Radical Thinking of Jacob Taubes

12.45 Lunch Break

Chadwick Smith (NYU): Moderator

Daniel Weidner (ZfL): "Without knowing America, you cannot say anything valid on democratic politics". Hermann Broch's Political Anthropology in New York

Michael Jennings (Princeton): Suitable for Classroom Use? Johnson in New York, New York in the Jahrestage

16.30 Break

Paul North (Yale): Moderator

Emily Apter (NYU): Auerbach, Translator of the Worldly World. (Welt, Secular,Terrestrial, Planetary...)

Karlheinz Barck (ZfL): "That's money in your pocket". Erich Auerbach's American Constellations

Concluding Remarks

Sponsored by Center for Literary and Cultural Studies Berlin; The Humanities Initiative, NYU; The German Center for Research and Innovation and Deutsches Haus at NYU.Ulrich Baer (NYU): Photographing the World: Hannah Arendt's Response to Images from the Civil Rights Era


Wo ich bin, ist Deutschland!

Deutsche Intellektuelle von Adorno bis Brecht lebten im Exil in Amerika. In ihren Werken hat das nicht immer Spuren hinterlassen. Artikel von Hannes Stein, in: Die Welt vom 5.10.2010


Eckart Goebel, Sigrid Weigel (Hg.)

›Escape to Life‹
German Intellectuals in New York: A Compendium on Exile after 1933

Walter de Gruyter, Berlin/Boston 2012, 553 Seiten
ISBN 978-3-11-025868-4