new article on philosopher Peter Sloterdijk by Oliver Davis
Oliver Davis has published a new article on the work of philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, as part of a special issue of Angelaki on Sloterdijk, edited by Patrick Roney and Andrea Rossi. 'Anthropotechnical Practising in the Foam-World' can be accessed here. Abstract: I begin by acknowledging the profusion of Peter Sloterdijk’s published work, the suggestion by Bruno Latour that it may be on the side of design, and Sloterdijk’s pugnacious aversion to professorial critique. I focus on what I consider to be the crucial and vexed relationship between the general immunology of the Spheres trilogy [1998–2004] and the general ascetology of You Must Change Your Life . I present an analytical reconstruction of Sloterdijk’s account of originary spheric being-with in the trilogy, focused on its culmination in the foam-world; I suggest this account is too ambiguous on key matters of basic ontological structure and I question whether the foam metaphor is adequate as a description of intersubjectivity today. Against the backdrop of this discussion I consider whether the general ascetology of Sloterdijk’s second anthropotechnics involves practising in, or practising on, the shells of symbolic immunity and conclude the latter. Setting this alongside the trilogy’s insistence that cells in the foam are “co-fragile,” I argue that anthropotechnical practising in the foam-world is suffused with a violence which Sloterdijk is reluctant to theorize. Registering one significant undeclared context of his discussion of self-enhancement, in postmodern management theory, I suggest that successful anthropotechnical practising in the foam-world requires the capacity to ignore other people and their interests. I note that Sloterdijk’s one-eyed embrace of competitive self-enhancement in You Must Change Your Life has since been qualified in brief remarks in What Happened in the 20th Century?  but not substantively reconsidered. In conclusion, I pay tribute to the anthropotechnical lesson of Sloterdijk’s theoretical project, notwithstanding its design flaws and continuity errors.
Lecture by Dr Rosemarie Peña (Black German Heritage & Research Association) on Thursday 5 November 2020, 17:30-19:00
As part of the Women in German Studies conference, Warwick is honoured to be hosting an online keynote lecture by Dr Rosemarie H. Peña, which will be open to all who register via the booking form (deadline: 3rd November).
Rosemarie H. Peña holds a PhD in Childhood Studies from Rutgers University-Camden where she also earned her MA in Childhood Studies and BAs in German and Psychology. She identifies as a dual heritage Black (Senegalese) German American transnational adoptee and is the founder and president of the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA).
Rosemarie has published in several academic journals, The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies (2020), and is a contributing author in five edited volumes. Her most recent essay, “Stories Matter: Contextualizing the Black German American Adoptee Experience(s)” is included in Marion Kraft’s edited volume Children of the Liberation: Transatlantic Experiences of Black Germans of the Postwar Generation (2019).
"Scholarly Activism: The Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) and Black German Studies in the United States"
Black Germans were among the first children whose natural lives would be forever altered by postwar “child-saving” initiatives that inspired the institutionalization of transnational adoption in the United States. The adoptees are thereby among the experiential pioneers of the juristic process effectuating multicultural families by awarding guardianship of children born to mothers in one country and culture to genetically unrelated persons living in another. For nearly three decades, Black Germans born in the wake of the World War II who grew up in Germany, Denmark, and the United States have been searching for their original families and sharing their life experiences.
As this postwar cohort re-emerges as a topic of academic interest, the adoptees and their non-adopted peers who grew up in Germany without their fathers are reconnecting with their biological kin. The U.S. adoptees are, therefore, concomitantly reuniting in discourse and actuality with other Black Germans having disparate backgrounds, cultural roots, and connections to Germany. Many of the adoptees, whose ages now range from the early sixties to mid-seventies, are learning about their German ancestral roots in dialogue with journalists, academics, and filmmakers who are eager to hear their stories, write about them, and portray their adoption experiences in documentary films.
In her keynote, Rosemarie Peña will discuss the role of the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) with respect to Black German family and community reunification, and the expansion of Black German Studies in the U.S. as an interdisciplinary field of academic research.
Please register for the keynote lecture using this booking form by Tuesday 3rd November. Once registration has closed, you will be sent a link to join the virtual keynote.
Warwick is delighted to host the 32nd Annual, and 1st virtual, Women in German Studies conference on 5-7th November. The event will include a keynote lecture on “Scholarly Activism: The Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) and Black German Studies in the United States” from Dr Rosemarie Peña (Black German Heritage & Research Association), which is open to all, as well as a PG/ECR workshop on "Finding your Academic Voice" and a special workshop on online teaching. The full programme and details of how to register can be found on the conference website (https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/modernlanguages/academic/ks/womeningermanstudies).
Dr James Hodkinson and Dr Silke Horstkotte publish a special edition of 'Poetics Today' on 'Postsecularisms.'
"In extending the discussion about postsecularities to hitherto neglected media, the increasingly self-reflexive nature of what we are calling postsecular art becomes apparent—and this is of particular interest to us in this volume. Working in the early twenty-first century, the writers, jazz musicians, TV directors, producers, and performance artists whose work we discuss appear to be thinking quite explicitly about not only how religion has returned to inflect and complicate their artistic visions but also how their art can comment upon and shape renewed perceptions of religion and religious experience. They show how aesthetic practice itself can constitute a postsecular stance, thus inviting a corresponding stance on the part of researchers."
The edition also carries an article by Reader in French at Warwick, Dr Douglas Morrey.
Dr James Hodkinson publishes a major volume surveying the position of German language culture in academia and beyond.
Over several years, working with Dr Benedict Schofield (KCL) James Hodkinson has curated an important volume of essays that asses the state of German Studies in education, but also in the worlds beyond it. Published by Camden House (Boydell & Brewer), James has written a blog reflecting on the book and its relevance. Read the entry here!
Listen to Warwick Undergraduate student podcasts ahead of the visit to Warwick by our writer in residence 2018 Olga Grjasnowa!
A !FREE! poetry reading featuring winners from the Two Chairs Creative Writing Competition, and judges Ian McMillan, Hanan Issa, Momtaza Mehri.
The Annual PG Symposium of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Warwick, will take place on 23rd May 2018
James Hodkinson has won a further £38 K towards his collaborative arts project, which connects his research into Islam in Germany with the lives and experiences of local Muslim communities in the Midlands.
Congratulations to Helmut Schmitz and Peter Davies on their special edition of the EDINBURGH GERMAN YEARBOOK 11
Love, Eros, & Desire in Contemporary German-Language Literature & Culture
Edited by HELMUT SCHMITZ & PETER DAVIES
The University of Warwick’s Institute for Advanced Study has today opened its call for applications under the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions COFUND scheme (deadline: 30th November 2017). The fellowships offer successful applicants two years at Warwick, starting in September 2018. These fellowships are intended to be strongly linked to Warwick’s Global Research Priorities. As such, Warwick's School of Modern Languages and Cultures (SMLC) strongly encourages applications tied especially to the ‘Connecting Cultures’ priority.
Warwick's School of Modern Languages and Cultures welcomes expressions of interest for a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. Please click on the headline to find out how to apply by the internal deadline of 15 January 2018.
German Studies at the University of Warwick, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, invites applications to the University’s annual funding competition for doctoral students, for entry in autumn 2018. We will happily consider applications from well-qualified native speakers of German with strong English skills whose projects have a strong literary or cultural focus. The deadline for expressions of interest to the department is Tuesday 7 November 2017.
Dr James Hodkinson and Professor Karen Leeder (Oxford) launch a creative writing competition on Monday 25 Sept.
The Department of German Studies and the School of Modern Languages and Cultures played host to British and Irish-based Germanists of all backgrounds last week, from 5-7 September. A brief preview follows.
Touring exhibition opens: 'Following Islam through German History, 1770-1918.'
Dr James Hodkinson's touring exhibtion has now opened in schools in Surrey. It will be touring educational institutions in the UK over the next 12-18 months.
The exhibition takes visitors on a journey through representations of Islam in German-speaking culture from the late Enlightenment to the Great War of 1914-1918. Looking at texts and images, it tracks the shifting values and functions attributed to Islam in German and Austrian society, culture, thought and politics, highlighting both the Islamophobia and Islamophilia of the age and asking visitors to reflect on how these patterns are still with us today.
SMLC Research Seminar
On Wednesday, 25th January, we will have this year’s first event in the SMLC Lunch-Time Seminars.
Nick Hewlett and Oliver Davis (French) have agreed to give two papers on the topic: 'Policing Mai 68: theories, techniques, legacy’.
Please join us for this very interesting event.
Details: 1:00-2:00, H5.45, Wed. Week 3 (25th January). All welcome. Bring your own lunch.
Trailer released for Dr James Hodkinson's Film
Together with Dr Ian Roberts, Dr James Hodkinson is making a series of films charting his impact project on Islam in Germany. Watch the trailer here.