by Davit Gasparyan
by Maddi Erdall
On November 13, Jennifer Allen (Professor of History, Yale University) visited IES to deliver a talk entitled “Twentieth-Century Anti-Utopianism and its West German Antidote” to 25 attendees. The main goal of Allen’s lecture was to convince her audience of the significance of the curious cultural practices that developed in the last decades of the 20th century. She began with a historical overview of the anti-utopian turn following the end of the Cold War, stating that there was a large consensus that radical left ideologies had confronted a dead end. Building off of the failed leftist ‘68 revolutions, this anti-utopian sentiment became widespread through the famous claim of ‘the end of history,’ in addition to Margaret Thatcher’s conclusion that “there is no alternative.”
Martina Kessel (Bielefeld University) with Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann (Department of History, UC Berkeley)
by Lillie Vogt
On October 9th, IES and GHI-West were pleased to host Martina Kessel (Professor of Modern German History at Bielefeld University) for a lecture on the significance of humor as an identity practice during the time of National Socialism in Germany. Addressed to an audience of 40 students, faculty and community members, the lecture was centered around Kessel’s forthcoming book titled Gewalt und Gelächter. “Deutschsein” 1914-1945 (Laughter and Violence. ‘Being German’ 1914-1945).
Andrea Westermann (Research Fellow & Head of Office, GHI-West) with Uwe Luebken (Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich)
by Sophia Kownatzki and Alison Spencer
On October 2, 2018, the Institute of European Studies and GHI-West welcomed Uwe Lübken (Professor of American History at Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich) for a presentation on his three-year project “Climates of Migration.” The project centers on the concept of environmental migration, which is defined as migration prompted by environmental change. As the term is relatively new, Lübken examined historical examples to try and gain perspective on environmental migration. His research was also inspired by the current debates about migration and displacement caused by natural disasters.
Noah B. Strote with DAAD Professor Isabel Richter
On April 17th, IES welcomed Noah Strote, Associate Professor of European History at North Carolina State University, for a lecture titled, “Post-Nazi Germany and the Myth of American Influence.” Twenty community members and students gathered to listen to this engaging lecture.
IES Associate Director Akasemi Newsome with speaker Anja Laukötter
On March 22nd, Anja Laukötter came to IES to give a talk on Nazi media and sexuality titled, “Trust as Violence: The Politics of Film and the Militarization of Male Sexuality in National Socialism.” Laukötter is a researcher at the Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and Co-Director of the international research group “The Healthy Self as Body Capital: Individuals, Market-Based Societies, and Body Politics in Visual Twentieth Century Europe.”
Astrid Eckert (Emory University) with IES Associate Director Akasemi Newsome
On March 13th, Astrid M. Eckert (Associate Professor of Modern European History and Winship Distinguished Research Professor at Emory University) presented a lecture at the Institute titled, “Transboundary Nature: The Consequences of the Iron Curtain for Landscape.” She began by remarking that the West German zonal borderlands or Zonenrandgebiete, are not just political spaces, but also environmental and economic landscapes. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, environmentalists rushed to areas such as the German Green Belt--the strip of land between the former East and West Germany--in the hopes of preserving nature.
Speaker Edith Sheffer (Stanford University)
On December 7th, Edith Sheffer, Assistant Professor of History at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at IES, gave the lecture, “How East and West Germans Made the Iron Curtain” to thirty attendees in Moses Hall. Her talk investigates the role of perception, where thought meets reality and created something ‘concrete’ in the Iron Curtain. Sheffer began by announcing that the parameters of our thought create the parameters of our actions. She asserted that the role of government, politics, and armies are all extremely important, but the everyday, routine actions of individuals cannot be understated in their self-creation of the “other” in both East and West Germany.