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From the Nibelungenlied to Poems by Ingeborg Bachmann

Continuation of Joint Lecture Series on German Literature by Freie Universität Berlin and Hebrew University of Jerusalem

№ 378/2014 from Oct 28, 2014

The two-semester lecture series on German literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem that is being held in Jerusalem in cooperation with Freie Universität Berlin is being continued during the 2014/15 fall/winter semester. The topics of the lectures will cover literature during the period from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The lectures will be given by prominent experts on each author and period. With this series, the two universities aim to give a new impetus to German studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The lecture series is being funded by the Axel Springer Foundation.

This fall/winter semester, the series will feature lectures on canonical authors such as Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Friedrich Schiller and works such as the Nibelungenlied. It will also depict authors such as Sophie von La Roche or Rahel Varnhagen whose texts are important for a better understanding of German literary history and German intellectual history. The lecture on the German-Jewish author Rahel Varnhagen will be given by the editor of the first complete edition of Varnhagen’s letters and notes, Barbara Hahn, a professor of German studies at Vanderbilt University. Scholars from Freie Universität Berlin will also be involved during this semester, for example, the dance studies scholar Professor Gabriele Brandstetter will give a talk on Arthur Schnitzler. Following each lecture, Hebrew University students will participate in compact seminars led by the person who gave the lecture. They will have an opportunity to discuss in more detail the works presented in the lecture. This should give them a better understanding of the authors and their works and help the students gain a personal relationship to the canonical works of German literature.

The lecture series was designed and is being coordinated by Professor Susanne Zepp along with Professor Anne Fleig (German literature) and Professor Joachim Küpper (comparative literature) at Freie Universität Berlin, in close cooperation with their colleagues in Jerusalem, Professor Yoav Rinon, head of the School of Literatures, and Dr. Karin Neuburger, who coordinates the project at the Hebrew University’s Division of German Language and Literature. The interdisciplinary DAAD Center for German Studies, the Center for Austrian Studies, and the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem were also involved in getting the series started. The two-semester lecture series was launched with a special ceremony in February of this year.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Freie Universität Berlin are cooperating within the framework of a strategic partnership, which includes exchange programs and joint research projects in the humanities and natural sciences.

In sponsoring this lecture series, the Axel Springer Foundation, 60 years after its founding, aims to contribute further to German-Israeli understanding. Beginning in the 1960s the publisher Axel Springer used his foundation to contribute to social, cultural, and academic projects in Israel. This commitment is continued by the foundation to this day.

Times and Locations

  • The first lecture will be on October 29, 2014. After that there will be weekly lectures followed a day later by workshops. Lectures on Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00 p.m.; Workshops on Thursdays, 2:30-4:00 p.m.
  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus; Lectures: Humanities Building, Room 2401; Workshops: Humanities Building, Room 2504

Further Information

  • Prof. Dr. Susanne Zepp, Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Romance Languages and Literatures, Tel.: +49 30 838-52038, Email:
  • Dov Smith, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel.: +972-2-5882844, Email:

Link to Further Information