Alexander Kluge: New Perspectives on Creative Arts and Critical Practice

The German Studies Department will co-host a three-day international conference Oct. 11-13 discussing the works and theoretical contributions of German multimedia artist and storyteller Alexander Kluge. All conference events will focus on Kluge’s diverse contributions to new perspectives on creative arts and critical practice for the 21st century.

Kluge is hailed as one of the leading intellectual voices in Germany, first gaining acclaim in the 1960s as a film director and writer. He has received numerous awards for his cinematic, television and literary work, including major German literary prizes such as the Heinrich von Kleist Prize (1985), the Heinrich Böll Preis (1993), the Schiller Memorial Prize (2001), the Georg Büchner Prize (2003), the Heine Prize (2012), as well as the city of Frankfurt’s prestigious Adorno Prize (2009).

The conference, organized by Leslie Adelson, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of German Studies, will feature a keynote address by Princeton professor Michael W. Jennings, “Untimely Interventions: Alexander Kluge & the German Media Landscape.” The weekend will also include a Thursday showing of “Experimental Minute Films by Alexander Kluge” at Cornell Cinema and a Friday evening literary reading by MacArthur Fellow Ben Lerner, who has recently co-authored "The Snows of Venice" with Kluge, in addition to receptions, networking opportunities and formal presentations by guest scholars from around the world. “I am especially excited to bring so many diverse perspectives together to explore what Kluge, a uniquely imaginative and rigorously hopeful artist, offers to a world riddled with catastrophe,” Adelson said.

Speakers from Cornell’s faculty will be joined by visitors from the Poetry Foundation, the Ohio State University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the College of Wooster, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Oxford University, Colgate University, and the Humboldt University of Berlin. Based in Munich, Alexander Kluge himself will appear via remote technology for special presentations on Friday. Thursday evening’s film screening includes material that Kluge has created specifically with his Ithaca audience in mind.

The event is co-sponsored by Cornell University’s Institute for German Cultural Studies, the Society for the Humanities, Cornell Institute for European Studies, Cornell University Library, and the departments of German Studies, Comparative Literature and English, as well as the journal New German Critique

All daytime events will take place at the A.D. White House, with two evening events scheduled to take place in Klarman Hall and Cornell Cinema’s Willard Straight Theatre. All events are free and open to the public. For questions, email Olga Petrova of the Institute for German Cultural Studies, visit the German studies website or see the Cornell events calendar entry.


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