Dec
5
6:30 pm18:30

"Berlin for Jews:" An Evening with Leonard Barkan and Ben Kafka

  • Deutsches Haus at NYU

Deutsches Haus at NYU and the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU present a reading by Leonard Barkan of his new book Berlin for Jews: A Twenty-First-Century Companion, and a conversation between the author andBen Kafka, professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU.

What is it like to travel to Berlin today, particularly as a Jew, and bring with you the baggage of history? And what happens when an American Jew, raised by a secular family, falls in love with Berlin not in spite of his being a Jew but because of it? The answer is Berlin for Jews: A Twenty-First-Century Companion. Part history and part travel companion, Leonard Barkan's personal love letter to the city shows how its long Jewish heritage, despite the atrocities of the Nazi era, has left an inspiring imprint on the vibrant metropolis of today.

Leonard Barkan is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton, where he teaches in the Department of Comparative Literature and holds appointments in art and archaeology, English, and classics.  His books include The Gods Made Flesh: Metamorphosis and the Pursuit of Paganism and Unearthing the Past: Archaeology and Aesthetics in the Making of Renaissance Culture.

Ben Kafka is a professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU and a psychoanalyst in private practice. His first book, The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork, was published by Zone Books in 2012; he is now working on a second book, The Grand Unified Theory of Unhappiness

Leonard Barkan's Berlin for Jews will be published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2016.

Events at Deutsches Haus are free of charge. If you would like to attend this event, please send us an email to deutscheshaus.rsvp@nyu.edu. Space at Deutsches Haus is limited; please arrive ten minutes prior to the event. Thank you!

"Berlin for Jews:" An Evening with Leonard Barkan and Ben Kafka is a DAAD-sponsored event.


"Bright Magic: Stories." An Evening with Damion Searls and Eric Banks.
Nov
4
6:30 pm18:30

"Bright Magic: Stories." An Evening with Damion Searls and Eric Banks.

  • Deutsches Haus at NYU

Deutsches Haus at NYU and the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU present a reading by Damion Searls of his new translation of Alfred Döblin’s Bright Magic: Stories, and a conversation between the translator and Eric Banks, Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities.


Alfred Döblin was a titan of modern German literature. This collection of stories — astonishingly, the first collection of his stories ever published in English — shows him to have been equally adept in shorter forms. Included in its entirety is Döblin’s first book, The Murder of a Buttercup, a work of savage brilliance and a landmark of literary expressionism. Mortality roams the streets of nineteenth-century Manhattan, with a white borzoi and a quiet smile. A ballerina duels to the death with the body she is bound to. We experience, in the celebrated title story, a dizzying descent into a shattered mind. The collection is then rounded off with two longer stories written when Döblin was in exile from Nazi Germany in Southern California, including the delightful Materialism: A Fable, in which news of humanity’s soulless doctrines spreads to the animals, elements, and molecules of nature.

"Without the futurist elements of Döblin’s work from Wang Lun to Berlin Alexanderplatz, my prose is inconceivable...He’ll discomfort you, give you bad dreams. If you’re satisfied with yourself, beware of Döblin."
—Günter Grass

Damion Searls has translated some twenty-five books, by writers including Proust, Rilke, Jelinek, Walser, Christa Wolf, Hermann Hesse, Modiano, and Jon Fosse. He is also the author of a book of short stories and The Inkblots, a forthcoming history of the Rorschach test and biography of its creator, Hermann Rorschach.

Eric Banks is the director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU. Formerly a senior editor of Artforum and editor in chief of Bookforum, Banks has contributed to a range of publications, including the New York Times Book Review, the Financial TimesSlate, the Wall Street Journal, Aperture, and theChronicle of Higher Education. He has also served as an editorial consultant on numerous visual arts catalogues and collections of artists writings, including the catalogue raisonne of Ellsworth Kelly.

Alfred Döblin’s Bright Magic: Stories will be published by New York Review of Books in October 2016. Copies of Bright Magic: Stories will be sold at the event by Greenlight Bookstore.

Events at Deutsches Haus are free of charge. If you would like to attend this event, please send us an email to deutscheshaus.rsvp@nyu.edu. Space at Deutsches Haus is limited; please arrive ten minutes prior to the event. Thank you!

"Bright Magic: Stories." An Evening with Damion Searls and Eric Banks is a DAAD-sponsored event. 

Love and its Pathologies: Florence Noiville in conversation with Norman Manea
Nov
3
7:00 pm19:00

Love and its Pathologies: Florence Noiville in conversation with Norman Manea

  • La Maison Française at NYU


How different is the love/hate relationship between a mother and daughter and the delusional obsession of erotomania? What are the contours of healthy and unhealthy attachment in love and romance? Florence Noiville and Norman Manea explore the pathologies of love from the most routine and banal to those that border on sickness. Noiville suggests that in literature, as in neuroscience, to be "madly in love” means just that—no more, no less.


Florence Noiville is staff literary critic for Le Monde and foreign fiction editor of Le Monde des Livres. She is the author of, among others, Isaac Bashevis Singer: A Life (FSG, 2006) and the novels The Gift (Northwestern University Press, 2012) and A Cage in Search of a Bird (Seagull Books, 2016).

Born in 1936 in Romania, Norman Manea is one of the most celebrated international authors of the past half century. His novels, short fiction, and literary essays have been translated into more than 20 languages. Since 1988, he has been writer in residence at Bard College.

The event will be held in English, and is co-sponsored by La Maison Française and The New York Institute for the Humanities. 

Oct
19
6:30 pm18:30

From the Telephone to the Stereopticon: The Selling of the President in the Gilded Age

  • The New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU

Contrary to our received notions on the newness of new media, the presidential campaigns of the late nineteenth century witnessed an explosion of media forms as advisers and technicians exploited a variety of forms promote their candidates and platforms, including the stereopticon (a modernized magic lantern), the phonograph, and the telephone. In the process, they set in motion not only a new way of imagining how to market national campaigns and candidates; they also helped to usher in novel forms of mass spectatorship. Historian Charles Musser will present and discuss his new book, Politicking and Emergent Media: US Presidential Elections of the 1890s (University of California Press), with critic and writer Thomas Beard.

Charles Musser is professor of American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of numerous books, including the now-classic The Emergence of Cinema: The American Screen to 1907, the first in a trilogy concerning American early cinema.

Thomas Beard is a cofounder and director of Light Industry, a venue for film and electronic art, as well as a Programmer at Large for the Film Society of Lincoln Center. 

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP here.