Claudia Liebrand (University of Cologne)
Date: Friday, April 19th, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Deutsches Haus
42 Washington Mews
Talk: "'Das Böse im Wertsystem der Kunst'. Hermann Brochs Essays über den Kitsch"
Though kitsch seems to have lost its horror in the wake of post-modernism, the discourse that high modernism launched against it in the first third of the 20th century was a kind of proselytism. Hermann Broch pursues what he identifies as kitschy with a particular furor, calling kitsch the "evil in art's value system." He does this in essays that themselves enact what they demonize, taking recourse to the "melodramatic," Manichaean forms of expression that kitsch itself employs. The lecture reconstructs Broch's effort to apprehend kitsch as the legacy of German Romanticism.
Date: Friday, April 26th, 2013
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: 19 University Place, Great Room (1st Floor)
Talk: “Brünnhilde’s lament.
The mourning play of the Gods. Reading Wagner’s musical dramas with Benjamin’s
theory on music”
Departing from Linda Watson’s interpretation of
Brünnhilde in the last part of Götterdämmerung the lecture
discusses correspondences between Wagner’s musical dramas and the mourning play
- in contrast to a most common view that sees Wagner’s operas in the line of
Greek tragedies. However, the argument is not just a question of the
dramaturgical structure of the plays. It rather concerns a deeper affinity of
mourning play and music as Benjamin has outlined in the paragraph on opera of
his On the Origin of German Mourning Plays, and furthermore it
concerns the origin of music from lament as Benjamin has outlined in his
earlier theory of music. In it the dissolving (Auflösung) of the abyss
between language and affects in music takes the place of redemption (Erlösung)
in the baroque theatre. The lecture discusses theses connections in
concentrating on some scenes from the Ring andParsifal (including
examples from productions form Chéreau, Freyer, and Herheim)
Dr. Dr. h.c., director of Zentrum
für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (Berlin). Before
she held positions as a professor at Hamburg- and Zürich University, as a member
of the board of the Kulturwissenschaftliche
Institut (Essen), as director of Einstein
Forum (Potsdam). She is a regular visiting professor at Princeton
University and an honorary
member of the MLA.
She published on Heine, Warburg,
Freud, Benjamin, Scholem, Arendt, Bachmann, Susan Taubes, on cultural history, image
theory, memory, secularization, genealogy, and the cultural history of sciences
and edited the works of Aby Warburg