MSSU Germany Semester

Lectures and Presentations

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 German Prints from the Springfield Art Museum German Prints from the Springfield Art Museum
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday Aug. 25 through Sept. 19, 2008
Spiva Art Gallery on campus
Admission: free

The exhibition is a selection of prints by German artists primarily from the 16th and early 20th centuries. The German Expressionists artists of the 20th century such as Max Beckmann were influenced by the earlier artists such as Hans Baldung-Grien. The artist most represented in the exhibit is Kathe Kollwitz, who began making prints in the 19th century and continued to work into the 20th century. The prints include a variety of processes including woodcut, etching, and lithography.

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Myth and Reality of the German Autobahn
9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Thomas Zeller

Autobahn is one of the few German words that has entered the English language. Many will know that there is no speed limit on these roads and that the Nazi dictatorship sponsored their initial construction. But why is Germany the only country without a speed limit on its freeways? What exactly was the role of the Nazis? How do these roads compare to others? These are some of the questions this presentation will answer.

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How Green Were the Nazis?
11:00 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Thomas Zeller

This presentation examines why one of the most violent regimes in human history, Germany’s Nazi dictatorship, displayed concerns for natural environments. Using specific examples, the presentation will show the ideological overlap between conservation and Nazism and assess to which extent the rhetorical attention to nature translated into action.

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Virtual Berlin: A Walk Through German History (part one)
9:00 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Carsten Strathausen

This presentation features a Web-aided “walk” through German history that focuses on the city of Berlin and its various changes over time. Using Web-based tools and PowerPoint presentations, the journey begins with the rise of Prussia in the 17th century and finishes with an in-depth look at present-day Berlin. The lecture is split into two parts, the first of which covers the time until 1989, while the second looks at the development of Berlin since German reunification. The overall goal is threefold: first, to provide a succinct overview of modern German history; second, to introduce the major cultural sights of Germany’s exciting capital; and finally, to add some reflections on the importance and use of digital media in contemporary culture and politics.

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Virtual Berlin: A Walk Through German History (part two)
11:00 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Carsten Strathausen

This presentation concludes a Web-aided “walk” through German history that focuses on the city of Berlin and its various changes over time.

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German Folklore: A Key to History
8:00 a.m., Friday, Sept. 5, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Beverly Driver Eddy

Although it is common to look at legends for their universal attributes, Dr. Beverley Eddy will examine them instead for their basis in fact, showing how most German legends about dragons and devils actually relate to specific historical events that occurred at specific sites in the Rhine river valley.

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The German Castle: From Fortress to Museum and Youth Hostel
10:00 a.m., Friday, Sept. 5, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Beverly Driver Eddy

Dr. Beverley Eddy will trace the history, architecture, and evolving romance of the German castle. While she will concentrate on the castles of the Rhine river valley, she will also discuss Germany’s two best-known castles: Burg Eltz and Neuschwanstein.

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Pop-Cultural Relations Between Germany and the U.S.:
The Simpsons, Family Guy and Music as a Learning Experience
11:00 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008
Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Alexander Ganz

This presentation will feature pop culture and pop icons that are present in both the United States and Germany. The focus will be on how certain TV series and popular music represent culture, language and society and why they are important. Mr. Ganz will discuss not only what is popular in Germany, but also the role of pop culture in the language-learning experience as it applies to Germans learning English and learners of German as a second language.

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The Fulbright Experience: An American Working in Germany
1:00 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008
Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Kelly Schlinder

This presentation draws on experiences working and living in Germany as an American. Life in former East Germany, current problems faced by Germans in the east living in unified Germany, and cultural differences between Germany and the United States will be addressed. The focus also will be on what German high school students and teachers find interesting about America, as well as what one might expect to teach while working on a Fulbright scholarship.

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From Kindergarten to Hauptschule, Realschule or Gymnasium: Which Middle School Would You Have Wanted to Attend?”
9:00 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Ann Stamp Miller

Public education in Germany is significantly different from that of the United States. This presentation will discuss the early education system in Germany and the variety of options students have. Technically, German children are guaranteed a free education from kindergarten through their university studies. However, children in Germany (and their parents) must decide by the fourth grade if the children are bound for the vocational or university track. Essentially, by the age of nine, a child’s choice will be made for them by their parents and teachers as to their future. For some, this raises important questions regarding the German education system. The early grades and the three different middle schools after fourth grade will be explained in greater detail in this presentation. The advantages and disadvantages of this system will be explored.

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Examining the German University System: Does it Make More Sense?
11:00 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Ann Stamp Miller

German students who are planning to attend university must have excellent attendance and completed all of the required course work at the Gymnasium (High School Academy) level. They must also have exceptional marks in the majority of their studies. After receiving the desired “Abitur” (or degree) they are allowed to apply to what Germans consider the classical or traditional university. It is here that they will begin to “specialize” in the studies for their career. Essentially, there is no “general studies” or “core curriculum” at the university level. This presentation will focus on the differences between the European or German university systems and that of the United States. The advantages and disadvantages of both will be explored in more depth.

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The Cold War and the Fall of the Berlin Wall (or)
Farewell Comrades, Hello Capitalism!
9:30 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Ann Stamp Miller

The years of the Cold War produced stark images and memories for many who lived during this time. The film, Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) offers a chilling account of what it was like to live in the former East Germany from the 1960s to the 1980s. The film documents the lives of artists and everyday citizens who were subjected to the scrutiny of the Staatssicherheit (Stasi or Secret Police) without their knowledge or permission. This presentation will also focus on the developments of 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Clips from the film Goodbye Lenin deliver an important statement of how quickly life changed for East Germans in a relatively short span of time. Together the two films offer an exceptionally stark contrast of life in East Germany during the Cold War and a new beginning in 1989 because many East Germans were simply not prepared to operate in a free and capitalistic society.

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Alexander von Humboldt Explores the Americas in a Digital Library
10:00 a.m., Monday, Sept. 15, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Frank Baron

Humboldt was the most significant scientific explorer before Darwin, whom he influenced greatly. Two hundred years ago, he traveled from Madrid to Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, and the United States. He published 29 volumes about botany, zoology, geography, geology, and all other disciplines of his times. Professor Frank Baron and his colleagues have created a digital library of all his writings in English. The system can perform operations that go beyond the capabilities of the available digital libraries on the Internet. One of its many innovative features is that one can navigate on Google Earth and enter the texts from any point of Humboldt’s travels.

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Albert Bloch, the Artist of the Blue Rider from Missouri
1:00 p.m., Monday, Sept. 15, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Frank Baron

Albert Bloch was born in St. Louis, where he was employed as a young man for several years to do illustrations for the St. Louis Mirror. Then he moved to Munich for about 10 years, and during that time became an active painter of German expressionism, exhibiting with the major painters of the modern era, Kandinsky, Marc, Klee, etc. After World War I he returned to the United States and became a professor of art at the University of Kansas. Because he was a writer and translator, the record of his achievements is a fascinating picture of the entire era of European modernism.

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Walden in the Bavarian Forest:
Adalbert Stifter, Henry David Thoreau, and the Transcendental Idea of Nature
12:00 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Sean Ireton

In 1842 the Austrian author Adalbert Stifter published a novella called Der Hochwald (The High Forest). Three years later, on the other side of the Atlantic, Henry David Thoreau began his experiment in living at Walden Pond. Walden remains a curious mix of personal chronicle, natural history, philosophical rumination, and cultural critique. Stifter weaves a similar host of diverse strands into his text. He reminisces on sojourns through his native Bavarian Forest, depicts its vegetation with near scientific precision, philosophizes about the divinity of nature, and critiques the destructive anthropocentric bents of modern civilization. Numerous other parallels exist between these two works, which, to reiterate, were both conceived during the same decade of the 19th century. Their key commonality, however, concerns a body of water - Walden Pond and Lake Plöcken - around which their respective structure, narrative, and greater thematic of ecological holism revolve. Both authors shed important light on the current issue of nature preservation; those who attend this program will benefit from a comparative cross-cultural lecture on the American icon Thoreau and a lesser-known foreign writer like Stifter.

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German Philosophy Goes Green: The Ecological Imperative of Hans Jonas
2:00 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Sean Ireton

The German-Jewish philosopher Hans Jonas (1903-1993) is often credited with galvanizing the environmental movement in Germany and inspiring many of the founding principles of the Green Party. In his classic work from 1979, Das Prinzip Hoffnung (translated as The Imperative of Responsibility), he formulates a basic ethical principle that would later become known as his “ecological imperative”: “Act in such a manner that the effects of your actions are compatible with the permanence of human life on earth.” Jonas was the first German philosopher to develop a system of ethics that is not restricted to human interactions but that also considers the well-being of the planet on which we live and ultimately depend. Jonas’ book contains a long critique of our traditional Western attitudes toward nature and provides moral directives for a future sustainable mode of life. It is strange that his theories largely go ignored in North American environmental discourse, especially since he settled in New York after the Nazi takeover and even started publishing in English. But his influence back in Germany, a country he vowed never to revisit due to the Holocaust, is significant. Professor Ireton’s talk will expose students to Jonas’ major ideas and then trace his impact on contemporary German environmentalism, particularly on the politics of the Greens.

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So Unlike Ours: German Elections, German Parties
10:00 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Professor Jutta Birmele

With the vivid memory of the Weimar Republic’s disastrous failure, the framers of the German Constitution of 1949 crafted a unique election system that by all accounts withstood the test of time. Its characteristics, issues of voter participation, a survey of the diverse political party landscape, and how all of these compare with the political system in the United States are the topics of the presentation.

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Your Dignity, Not Your Happiness: The Principle Values of the German Constitution
1:00 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Professor Jutta Birmele

The constitution is the central text through which a nation expresses its vision of its hierarchy of values, aspirations, and goals. The presentation addresses the foremost values that inform the constitution and constitutional jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany and contrasts these with the foremost values lined out in the U.S. constitution.

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Germany’s Business IT after the Big Bang
1:00 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008
Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Bodo Cramer

This talk provides an overview of contemporary business-IT in Germany. What are the main topics and problems that the IT industry deals with today? How has Germany’s market developed since the big IT crisis at the beginning of this century? What is the mainstream in software development on the professional level and how does Germany differ from other countries in performing business-intelligence projects?

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Night and Day: Science in Berlin
8:00 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008
Webster Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Bodo Cramer

This talk gives an insight into Berlin’s science landscape (with a focus on big institutes with big machines) and how they are embedded in German science organizations. There are some specialties in Berlin such as the “Long Night of Sciences” where hundreds of institutes are open to the public for one night in June. In history, Berlin played an important role in physics. Nuclear fission was discovered here, and Einstein worked here before he went to the United States. In many places, the science history is still living in Berlin.

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Jazz in Germany: A View from the Capital
9:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008
Webster Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Bodo Cramer

 This talk is about the German music scene, especially the jazz scene. It ranges from beginners to professionals. Musical governmental sponsorships are discussed as well as the support and encouragement a city like Berlin is providing to young musicians. Berlin is Germany’s capital of jazz music. An overview of bands and styles and how they are influenced will be included. In order to understand the opportunities musicians have in Berlin, a glance at the classical scene will be helpful: Berlin just had its first international amateur piano competition, an event the USA and France have been familiar with for a long time.

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German Literature: The 21st Century
11:00 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008
Webster Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Bodo Cramer

The focus of this talk ranges from beginning writers to professionals. It includes sponsorship of young writers, describes how they are supported by the German government and different organizations, and what beginners and advanced writers do in order to get a name in the literary scene. It provides an insight into stages for writers, writing contests, and courses in public organizations that are open to everyone (the point of view is Berlin). Additionally, it gives a glance at interesting contemporary authors, whose names bear potential for international fame.

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The Social Market Economy in Germany and the Challenges of Globalization
11:00 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008
Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Jim Morrison

West Germany’s economic rebirth after World War II was achieved in a new social market economy. Not only did the Germans experience a “Wirtschaftswunder” (economic miracle), but they also were able to institute a high level of social support for all Germans. This economic system and the “cradle-to-grave” social system are now facing the double challenge of globalization and an expanding European Union.

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The German Business Environment
1:00 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008
Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Jim Morrison

At first glance, the German business environment does not appear much different than that of the U.S. The idea of who the stakeholders in the success of a company are, though, is quite different. A certain sort of social solidarity leads to a framework whereby capital and labor work together more closely, defining common interests. The historical background of the German business environment and future challenges are topics for this presentation.

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Beer is Life: The Relationship of Beer to German History, Culture, and Everyday Life
12:00 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Bryce Eddings

This presentation explains how three particular styles reflect the Germans’ relationship with beer. Kolsch demonstrates the traditional and regional nature of beer in Germany, the history of Bock is wrapped up with economics and politics, and the story of wheat beer cannot be separated from German history.

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Imported Brewers: How German-Americans Changed the History of Beer
1:00 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Bryce Eddings

This presentation explores the story of German immigrants with now-famous names such as Pabst, Busch, Schlitz, Miller, etc. The beer they brought with them and the brewing techniques that they developed here in the U.S. changed beer worldwide.

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The Impossible and the Necessary: Jewish Life in Germany from the Middle Ages to the Present
8:00 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Jennifer Hoyer

Jewish life in Germany has existed at both extremes: times of unspeakable suffering, but also times of singular prosperity and intellectual blossom, though this is often overlooked. How and why has the perception of Jewish German life been formed over the years? How is that perception changing today?

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The Jews of Germany after the Holocaust
9:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. William Z. Tannenbaum

At the end of the Holocaust, Germany’s once thriving Jewish community consisted of a few thousand devastated survivors of the whirlwind of death. What challenges did they face in rebuilding their lives in the land of their tormentors? How did a once-thriving Jewish community rebuild itself in a Germany that itself faced the devastation of military defeat and Cold War division? Could Jews ever again become part of a society whose government had sought their destruction?

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Flowerless Gardeners: Barbaric Poetry after Auschwitz
11:00 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008
Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Jennifer Hoyer

“To write a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric” counts among the most provocative statements of the 20th century. It aroused a firestorm of rebuttal and has remained a catalytic force in the study of 20th century literature. Why? And why poetry, of all genres? What prompted Adorno to single out poetry after Auschwitz, when Auschwitz destroyed so much else? And what did happen to poetry after Auschwitz? We will look at poetry before and after Auschwitz and see exactly what all the fuss is about, and why exactly poetry is vital in preserving individual freedom.

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Germany’s Coming to Terms with the Holocaust
1:00 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008
Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. William Z. Tannenbaum

With Germany in ruins at the end of the Second World War, Germans had to confront the question of how the land that produced Beethoven, Kant, and Einstein could also have produced Hitler and the greatest systematic mass murder in history. What was the response of Germans to the crimes that had been committed in their name? What role did the Nazi past and the Holocaust play in the self-image of the two Germanys and in the relationship of Germans with the rest of the world?

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Not a Bunch of Bologna: Reforms in German Higher Education
10:00 a.m., Monday, Oct. 20, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Gerhard Mammen

Today, institutions of higher education in Germany are faced with implementing the most significant reforms in more than 50 years in the development of a common “European space for higher education.” The so-called “Bologna-Process” was launched in 1999 to accelerate scientific progress at European universities, which should provide a strong impetus for the expected technological and economic changes in society. German universities are having to restructure their entire study programs and introduce a system of undergraduate and postgraduate levels (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees that many European countries did not have before) with curricula that are future-oriented and follow common international standards.

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The World is Our Oyster: Love and Friendship After the Wall
10:00 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Jana Hensel

Jana Hensel will read excerpts from her book After the Wall and discuss how the division and reunification of East and West Germany influenced her past and future relationships with friends and family.

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That Warm, Fuzzy Feeling of Togetherness:
On Growing Up in the GDR
6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Jana Hensel

Jana Hensel will read excerpts from her book After the Wall addressing experiences unique to her East German childhood, including her perceptions of the West and of West Germans, her participation in school and social activities, and her transition into West German culture after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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The Most Important Thing Is to Win: Competition in East Germany
9:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Jana Hensel

Jana Hensel will read excerpts from her book After the Wall highlighting how the role of physical education and competitive sports was representative of East German culture in the years prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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The Importance of the Transatlantic Relationship in a Globalized World
9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008
Taylor Performing Arts Center
Admission: Free
Speaker: Wolfgang Drautz

In the globalized world, the transatlantic relationship between the United States and Europe in general and the United States and Germany in particular assumes a role of even greater importance, but also greater complexity, than any time since 1949. What is the nature of the ties between Germany and the United States and how has that relationship developed in the years since the end of the Second World War, through the Cold War, Germany’s unification in 1990, and with the rise of the European Union? What are the political challenges to the very special German-American relationship that have arisen in light of the changing character of NATO, the European Union, and the Germany’s special relationship with its neighbors to the east? What are the economic implications of Germany’s position as the third-largest economy in the world and the European Union’s growing economic clout, especially in light of the historic rise of the euro against the U.S. dollar and in a world ever more hungry for scarce energy and food?

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Gulliver's Travail: Crafting a Transatlantic Foreign Policy After the Cold War
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: Free
Speaker: Dr. James Sperling

This address considers the paradox of German power in the post-Cold War period. Despite the increase in territory and population attending unification, Germany has suffered a decline in its salience to American foreign policy calculations even though Europe’s importance to the United States remains relatively unchanged as does Germany’s importance to Europe. Professor Sperling argues that changes in external and internal environments have made Germany a relatively less critical partner for the United States - not even “Number Two” as Wolfram Hanrieder and Peter Katzenstein once argued. Those environmental changes are specific to the evolution of transatlantic security and economic relations which have disadvantaged or disempowered Germany; and there is a significant change in the strategic and economic orientation of the United States toward the Pacific (particularly China).

The argument proceeds in a stepwise fashion. First, Dr. Sperling charts the sources of Germany’s importance to the United States during the post-war period, 1945-1989. Germany’s role in the U.S. foreign policy calculus and value for the United States is assessed with respect to five criteria: the strategic, diplomatic, military, economic, and political. The importance of Germany is then categorized according to two variables: a) whether the importance is tangible (economic and military) or intangible (strategic, diplomatic, or domestic political coalitions); and b) whether the importance was positive (something Germany could do for the United States) or negative (something that Germany could do to the United States). Finally, the analysis is divided into five critical periods of German-American relations to discover elements of continuity and change: the immediate post war period (1947-1955), the onset of the economic miracle to the Nixon Doctrine (1959-1969), the Barre Report on monetary integration to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1969-1979), the second “Cold War” and the unification of Germany (1978-1990), and the post-Cold War period (1990-present).

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Germany and the EU: Past, Present, and Future
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: Free
Speaker: Wolfgang Drautz

A look at the path taken by Germany and its European partners from the destruction of the Second World War to today’s prosperity. How was Europe transformed from the world’s most violent continent to a place of peace and prosperity? Mr. Drautz will outline the role of Germany in the forging of the new European identity and in Europe’s path from war to peace and prosperity, the significance for Europe and the United States of the new, enlarged European Union, and how the EU can serve as a model for economic and political cooperation for other, often troubled, regions of the world.

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NATO’s Future: Regeneration, Stable Condition, or Terminal Decline?
11:00 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. James Sperling

The status of NATO was placed into question after the unification of Germany, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and the demise of the Soviet Union. NATO was transformed, virtually overnight, from a compulsory alliance driven by the exigencies of the bipolar distribution of power sharpened by ideological enmity into a voluntary alliance lacking a specific or immediate military opponent. Many claimed that NATO, as an artifact of the Cold War, would enter into a stage of terminal decline. The deep and acrimonious split in the Atlantic Alliance over the correct course to meet the putative threat posed by Iraq seemed to support those anticipating NATO’s inevitable decline. Those advancing the terminal decline hypothesis adhere primarily to the neorealist school of international relations, while those suggesting that NATO is, at a minimum, in stable condition or undergoing a process of institutional and substantive regeneration are drawn from the neoliberal institutionalist and social constructivist schools. The supply and demand for NATO enlargement provide a fertile testing ground for the central hypotheses produced by each theory. Somewhat surprisingly, neorealism and social constructivism support the contention that NATO is either in stable condition or a process of terminal decline, respectively, while neoliberal institutionalism as expected views NATO as undergoing a process of regeneration.

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Germans in the Making of Our Nation
10:00 a.m., Monday, Nov. 3, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Robert Frizzell

By the early years of the 20th century, some five million German speakers had come to the United States from central Europe. As the new nation grew, Germans not only brought much of the agricultural land of the central United States into production but also became a major segment of the skilled craftsmen and professionals in many American cities. A new flow of intellectual refugees fleeing Hitler in the 1930s noticeably enriched and modified American cultural and intellectual life. Today, more than one American in five claims to be partly or entirely of German descent.

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Germans in the Making of Missouri
12:00 p.m., Monday, Nov. 3, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Robert Frizzell

Missouri Germans sent more of their young men into the Union Army than did the Germans of any other state. The Germans of St. Louis are often credited with saving Missouri for the Union. The German brewers of St. Louis, most notably Anheuser-Busch, supplied much of the South and the lower Midwest with beer. Like Germans across America, Missouri Germans were intimidated and assaulted during World War I. Late in the 20th century, the stigma against all things German that had resulted from the two world wars faded. Once again elderly people across the state tried to speak the language they had spoken at home in Missouri as children. They began to celebrate their European heritage once more.

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Grimm for Grownups
1:00 p.m., Monday, Nov. 10, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Priscilla Howe

Warning: these fairy tales are not for the faint of heart! These wonderful stories collected from around Germany by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are full of danger, intrigue, magic, and mystery. Storyteller Priscilla Howe takes you into the darker world of the Brothers Grimm, in an exploration of tales you probably won’t hear from Disney. Barnes also will tell briefly about the Grimms and their role in folklore studies and German culture.

Cheerfully Grimm
6:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 10, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Priscilla Howe

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collected stories from all over Germany in the 19th century, writing some down for the first time. Join storyteller Priscilla Howe for some of the Brothers Grimm’s gentler stories, just right for families. You’ll hear some old favorites, like Rapunzel, and some unknown stories, such as The Cat and the Mouse and the Butter.

“I Go to Fight Mit Sigel!”: The Contribution of German Immigrant and German-American Soldiers in the American Civil War
7:00 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008
Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. William Keel

The focus will be on the Union cause in Missouri in the spring and summer of 1861 when some 90% of the Union soldiers mustered into service in Missouri were of German origin. Professor William Keel will follow the path of one such immigrant who was wounded at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek and later became a patriotic figure at the state capitol in Jefferson City at the end of the 19th century, firing a ceremonial cannon with a squad of German Civil War veterans. He will also consider the impact the Battle of Chancellorsville had on the negative perception of German soldiers and how that may have impacted later assimilation into American society for German immigrants.

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Little Germanies in Kansas and Missouri: Kannst du Deitsch plaudern?
9:00 a.m., Friday, Nov. 14, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. William Keel

Beginning with Missouri in the 1830s and later in Kansas in the 1850s, immigrants from German-speaking lands flocked to this part of the U.S. — both Kansas and Missouri have over one-third of their population of German ancestry. Numerous German settlements emerged from Hermann and Concordia in Missouri to Hanover and Liebenthal in Kansas where German dialects and culture flourished until well into the mid-20th century. Now at the beginning of the 21st century, most of these communities have vanished into the American mainstream. A few cling to their German heritage via tourism and heritage societies. Professor William Keel will explore the history of these communities, their contributions to society, and the gradual loss of both literary German and the spoken German dialects.

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Ei, du schöne Schnitzelbank!:
A Never-Ending Story in American Popular Culture
11:00 a.m., Friday, Nov. 14, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. William Keel

Considered by most to be an American creation, the Schnitzelbank song found great popularity in the U.S. after being introduced in Vaudeville in the 1890s. From Groucho Marx to Billy Wilder to Stephen Spielberg, the song in a variety of forms continues to this day in American popular culture. But it does have German roots and is directly connected to the Fasnacht customs in Basel, Switzerland, leading back into medieval German songs. Professor William Keel will trace the history of this song in both Germany and the U.S. and show the development from folksong in Germany to a ubiquitous popular ditty in the U.S.

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The Origins and Development of the German National Character: From Caesar to Nietzsche
9:00 a.m., Monday, Nov. 24, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Gary Rader

It is the purpose of this presentation to follow the development of the German national character through the historical record. Dr. Rader will explore how historical events have conditioned the Germans in modern times to react as they have toward the rest of the world. The presentation will seek to understand Nietzsche’s quote that “the question ‘What is a German?’ never dies out among them…The German himself does not exist: he is becoming, he is developing himself! ‘Development’ is therefore the essentially German discovery…a ruling idea, which, together with German beer and German music, is laboring to Germanize all Europe.” Dr. Rader will seek to identify enduring German “character traits” and explain how those traits have predictably contributed to the “German problem” in our time.

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My Experiences in the ‘Unbelievable Society’: The German Democratic Republic
12:00 p.m., Monday, Nov. 24, 2008
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Gary Rader

Dr. Franz Loeser, an East German dissident and intellectual, was the author of the 1984 book, The Unbelievable Society: Where is the GDR Going?. Having committed the crime of “Fleeing the Republic” the year before, Loeser wrote a critical expose of the dictatorship of the Communist Party in East Germany. Loeser in his book predicted the overthrow of the Communist Party dictatorship. During this critical time period (1983-1984), Dr. Rader conducted part of his dissertation research at the University of Greifswald in the German Democratic Republic where he met and shared in the experiences of an East German family.

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