Previous Events

The German Department sponsors and co-sponsors lectures and visits by writers, artists, filmmakers and scholars, in addition to organizing weekly meetings of the German Table, the annual Study Away Programs Orientation, and activities arranged by the teaching fellow and individual faculty members.

German Table

The German Table meets weekly on Tuesdays between 5:30 and 7:15 PM in the Pinette Dining Room in Thorne Hall

"German Beyond Bowdoin"
German Beyond BowdoinA Panel discussion with recent Bowdoin alumns who have taken German 'beyond Bowdoin' into various career paths. 
Thursday, November 10th, 7:00 PM, Main Lounge, Moulton Union.
This Panel discussion is sponsored by the German Embassy's 'do Deutch' German Campus Week initiative, the German Department and German Club.
The alumni panel members include:
Kathryn Yankura '08, M.A. Candidate in English and Cultural Studies at Georgetown University
Jordan Krechmer '07, Applications Scientist for IonSense, Inc.
Sally Hudson '10, Project Manager at Morningside Translations

the event was recorded and is available for viewing on iTunesU:

Brunswick Film Premiere: Stars (1959)
10/24/2011 | 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Smith Auditorium, Sills Hall
Introduction and panel discussion by Professor of German Emerita Helen Cafferty, Professor of German Steven Cerf, and freelance German writer Otto Emersleben.

 Stars (1959)A landmark Holocaust film, this Bulgarian/East German (DEFA) co-production has been largely unknown in the United States until its recent digital restoration.  Stars evokes the dream of common humanity in a tragic love story between a German officer and an inmate of a transit camp for Greek Jews being transported through Bulgaria to Auschwitz.  Directed by East German Konrad Wolf, with English subtitles. 

Lecture by Randall HalleLecture by Randall Halle
April 14, 2011

A lecture by Randall Halle, Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German Film and Cultural Studies and Chair of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh on “Berlin-Istanbul: Complex Connectivity and Cinema Spectators”

Considerations of European culture should not end at the borders of the European Union. Halle’s talk will address how new European film productions reveal the emergence of new forms of complex cultural relationships. It describes a new “interzone” of local, national, and regional connections that reaches from Northern Europe down to the southern Mediterranean shores and beyond. Germany and Turkey offer Halle’s primary case study of these larger developments.
Beam Classroom, Visual Arts Center 7:30 p.m.

Sponsors: Departments: German, Film Studies, Romance Languages / Programs: Gay and Lesbian Studies, East European and Eurasian Studies, and Lectures and Concerts

The Edge of HeavenThe Edge of Heaven
April 9, 2011
The Bowdoin Film Society and the Department of German present a screening of Turkish-German director Fatih Akin’s 2007 film The Edge of Heaven, a film that explores the complex intersection of individual lives and of German and Turkish culture. Akin’s film has received various international prizes, including the prize for best screenplay at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

The screening will be followed by a lively panel discussion featuring Bowdoin alumnus and owner of Bart & Greg’s DVD Explosion, Bart D’Alauro (’95), Visiting Assistant Professor of Film Studies, Sarah Childress, and Assistant Professor of German, Jill Smith.

Smith Auditorium, Sills Hall.  7-10 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public

In 2009-2010, the Department sponsored a film series as part of the Freedom Without Walls project and hosted Richard Langston from the University of North Carolina.
Freedom without Walls

The fall of 2009 marked the anniversary of the peaceful revolution in East Germany and the
opening of the Berlin Wall. The Department of German, with support from the German Embassy's Freedom Without Walls project, commemorated the event with a three-film series titled "Beyond the Berlin Wall: A Restrospective 20 Years Later."

In April of 2010, Richard Langston, Associate Professor of German at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, presented a lecture titled "Avant-garde Realism in the Age of Digital Networks."  The theme looked at two questions: What is avant-garde about reality today? And, if art was once believed to be a force for political change, can the force of art be enlisted today in a battle against the derealization of reality itself?  Langston's talk explored works of art that strive to expose our present-day myths of total connectivity, digital reproducibility, and precise global positioning.


foth da da r

In November 2010, Jörg Foth visited the Department, for a screening of his avant garde film Latest from the Da-Da-R. Made in 1990 during the tumultuous era of change after the fall of the wall, the showing of Jörg Foth’s film commemorates the 20th anniversary year of change and unification in Germany. In a loose set of absurd and disturbing cabaret pieces, Steffen Mensching and Hans-Eckardt Wenzel - highly acclaimed East German poets, songwriters and clowns - satirize both East German life in its final days and the arrival of new times after the fall of the Berlin Wall. "Da-Da-R" is word play on the irreverent Dada art movement of the 1920s and the German acronym for East Germany- the DDR.  Foth also delivered a lecture on filmmaking during the cold war in Germany.  He spoke on the competition between the East and West German film industries during the cold war and described conditions of filmmaking in East Germany in the cold war context.

From 2007 - 2009, the Department hosted a number of guests working in the area of modern and contemporary holocaust memorial German culture, which included, in co-sponsorship with the Music Department, Nicholas Vazsonyi, author of Richard Wagner: Self-Promotion and the Making of Brand (Cambridge UP, 2010).  We welcomed Katrin Sieg, who led lively discussions in two German courses during her visit and gave a lecture entitled "Native Informants, Muslim Gender and Islamofascism in Europe," which examined contemporary representations of Muslim women.  Sieg's visit was co-sponsored by Gender and Women's Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies, Sociology/Anthropology and Religion.  And in 2007, Peter Eisenman, the internationally reknowned architect, spoke to the Bowdoin community about his controversial design for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, which was dedicated in May 2005 in Berlin, Germany. The German Department was pleased to host Mr. Eisenman as part of the college's year-long celebration of "Visual Arts in the 21st Century."  His visit was made possible by generous funding from the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs and was supported by faculty from the Visual Arts, Art History and History departments.


Other recent highlights include visits by performance artist Esther Dischereit (2007) and Austrian writer Lillian Faschinger (2004), a visit by the German Consul General (2006), a reading by German author Otto Emersleben during Berlin week in 2004, and visits by filmmakers Frank Beyer (2002) and Wolfgang Kohlhaase (2004).  In the fall of 2005, the German Department co-sponsored a lecture by Bettina Mathes on the European "Headscarf-Debate" [Kopftuchdebatte] and a visit by filmmaker Amie Siegel.

Lilian FaschingerFrank BeyerWolfgang Kohlhaase