The Notre Dame Berlin Seminar

German Literary Institutions - Der Literaturbetrieb

An Introduction to the Key Players

July 3-14, 2016


Faculty and advanced graduate students are invited to participate in this distinctive seminar series which will bring US Germanists together with experts and leading figures of Germany’s literary scene, including writers, publishers, lectors, professors of literary and media studies, representatives and directors of literary archives, libraries and Literaturhäuser as well as feuilleton editors and contributors, theater directors and actors. 
Among the confirmed speakers are Michael Braun (literary critic, Heidelberg), Ulrich von Bülow (Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach), Sabine Doering (Universität Oldenburg), Bernhard Fischer (Goethe und Schiller-Archiv, Weimar), Barbara Honigmann (writer, Berlin), Helmuth Kiesel (Universität Heidelberg), Norbert Lange (writer, Berlin), Birte Lipinksi (Heinrich und Thomas Mann-Zentrum, Lübeck), Edo Reents (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Steffen Richter (Universiät Braunschweig) and Thedel v. Wallmoden (Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen).

The seminar will be held at the Literaturhaus Berlin (Fasanenstraße). Lodging will be in the Literaturhotel in Berlin Friedenau. Breakfast is included. 

Participants will have the opportunity to engage personally with representatives from each of the manifold locations within Germany’s vibrant “literary field” (Bourdieu). They will not simply read about it, but rather participate in its various processes: members of the seminar will work with the authors they may write about; conduct interviews; consult with publishers, editors, and literary critics; literally go behind the scenes to engage with actors and directors; and write critical, scholarly studies, as well as shorter reviews and op-ed pieces on matters of broader cultural concern.

Each morning, invited speakers will raise major questions on Germany’s literary institutions from their perspective in a short introductory lecture and a subsequent seminar discussion.

Each afternoon, after group luncheons, seminar participants and speakers will have the opportunity to get together in informal conversations focusing on ideas and questions raised by the day’s lecture and seminar.

Each week will culminate in a symposium led by a team of panelists addressing overarching questions of the Notre Dame Berlin Seminar. Afternoons and evenings free for readings, theater, museums, etc.

Lectures and discussions will be in German.

Tuition is $1,000, a below-cost figure made possible by a generous subsidy from the Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters and Notre Dame International. Participants are responsible for their own travel. Lodging, breakfast, and seminar lunches are covered, as well as some theater and concert events.

Applicants are encouraged to seek funding for tuition and travel from their home institutions. A limited number of tuition scholarships for graduate students and junior faculty are available, but only as matching grants from your institution.

Application: Send a l-2 pp. letter of interest and a c.v. to Professors Martin Kagel and to William Donahue. Advanced graduate students (who will be post preliminary exams by July 2016) require in addition a letter of support from their DGS. Send all documents as email attachments in one email please.

The application deadline is February 15, 2016. Admission decisions will be announced on March 1, 2016.

This seminar is part of an annual program sponsored by Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, Notre Dame International, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.