The 42nd Wisconsin Workshop

5-7 November 2009
University of Wisconsin, Madison
The Pyle Center
702 Langdon St.

The Wall Came Down


Organized by Venkat Mani and Marc Silberman

The Berlin Wall has attained paradigmatic status for its geopolitical position within globalized contexts of border crises. As the twentieth century's leading symbol of difference and division it had an enormous cultural and historical impact on the two former Germanies and serves as a lingering specter haunting the new walls, barriers, and fences dividing populations in the twenty-first century. Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall (November 9, 1989), this conference, the 42nd Wisconsin Workshop, aims not only to assess retrospectively how German culture - East, West, and post-unification - came to terms with national and political division but also to elaborate the dynamics of contemporary scenarios of peoples divided against themselves. A group of interdisciplinary scholars from the fields of German studies, history, anthropology, communication studies, and geography will address cultural and social dimensions of borders, boundaries, and exclusions as well as bridges and crossings.

For information, contact:
Department of German
818 Van Hise Hall
608 / 262-2192

Sponsored by:
Anonymous Fund (Letters and Sciences)
Center for German and European Studies (CGES)
Center for European Studies (CES)
Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia (CREECA)
Center for the Humanities
Department of German
Department of History
Global Studies
Institute for Research in the Humanities (IRH)
German Consulate Chicago

Workshop Program

Thursday, 5 November 2009

3:30 - 4:45 pm: Grad Student Session I
Moderator: Sabine Gross, German, Madison

'Schreiben ist mir Suche, Entdeckung, Erkenntnis' - On the Role of the Past in Selected Texts by Angela Krauß (Katja Majewski, German, Madison)
Cultural Discourses of Loss and Memory in Reunified Germany (Molly Markin, Germanic Languages & Literatures, Urbana)
Soundproof Walls? The Klezmer Revivals in and East and West Germany (Raysh Weiss, Cultural Studies, Minneapolis)

5:00 - 6:15 pm: Grad Student Session II
Moderator: Sabine Mödersheim, German, Madison

'[D]ie Partei habe immer recht …': Landolf Scherzer's Literary Reportage and the Loss of East German Volkstümlichkeit (William J. Waltz, German, Madison)
Memory and Photography in the post-unification Germany (Regine Kroh, Germanic Languages & Literatures, Urbana)
Terrains of Belonging in the Other Berlin: Marginality and Legacies of the East in Marzahn
(Tatiana Matejskova, Geography, Minneapolis)

6:30 - 7:30 pm: Reception
(Vandenburg Auditorium Lobby)

7:30 - 9:00 pm: Keynote (Vandeburg Auditorium)

Greetings and introduction
Marc Silberman, German, Madison

"Germany 1989: A New Type of Revolution?"
KONRAD JARAUSCH, History, Chapel Hill

Friday, 6 November 2009

9:00 - 12:30 pm: Beyond Walls
Moderator: Sabine Engel, CGES, Minneapolis

Breaking Down the Walls: The European Library Project (Venkat Mani, German, Madison)
On Narration and Rituals of Separation in post-Wall Berlin (Barbara Wolbert, Anthropology, Minneapolis)
On Bridges: Navigating Rocks and Hard Places in Berlusconi's Italy (Lina Insana, Italian, Pittsburgh)

2:00 - 5:30 pm: Designing Borders
Moderator: Rudy Koshar, History, Madison

'Auferstanden aus Ruinen': The Different Aesthetics of the Berlin Wall (Olaf Briese, Cultural Studies, Berlin)
Wall and Post-Wall in Films of Berlin (Andrew Webber, German, Cambridge, UK)
Open and Shut: Media Depictions of the Rise and Fall of the Wall (Henning Wrage, German, Madison)

7:30 - 9:00 pm: Film evening
UW Cinematheque (Vilas Hall 4070)

Die Mitte (The Center, 2004, documentary comedy, 85 min.)
Stanislaw Mucha

Saturday, 7 November 2009

9:00 - 12:30 pm: Berlin's New Boundaries
Moderator: Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, History, Madison

Neither Eastern nor Welcome: The Confused Lives of Berlin's Balkan Migrants, 1950-2000 (Isa Blumi, History, Atlanta)
Class of '89: Immigrant History and Reunification (Katrin Sieg, German, Washington DC)
Berlin Stories: Migrants, Natives, and the Spectacles of (Post)Unification (Levant Soysal, Communication Studies, Istanbul)

2:00 - 5:30 pm: Re-Designing Post-Wall Berlin
Moderator: Kris Olds, Geography, Madison

Interim Space at Skulpturenpark Berlin: Art, Politics, and Urban Renewal at a Former Death Strip (Karen Till, Geography, Virginia Tech)
Berlin Borders, New World-City Orders (Janet Ward, History, Las Vegas)
Between Frontier Fortification and Cultural Hybridity: Governing the Multicultural Metropolis Berlin (Stephan Lanz, Urban Studies, Frankfurt/Oder)