June 29 – July 2, 2011 at Freie Universität Berlin
In late June 2011 the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies celebrated its Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Alumni Conference. Since the program's establishment in 1986 at the Freie Universität Berlin it has supported more than 250 scholars who now teach and research at some of the most influential universities and colleges in the US, Canada and beyond.
The theme of the conference The Good Germans? New Transatlantic Perspectives takes its somewhat self-ironic cue from Joseph Kanon’s novel The Good German in which Kanon tells the story of an American network correspondent who returns to Berlin to cover the Potsdam Conference and find his lost love. In this thriller of intrigue, corruption and betrayal, the author depicts a ruined city at a historic point in time and ultimately poses questions of complicity and guilt. The conference is an interdisciplinary attempt to question the cliché of the problematic Germans by tracing recent scholarship on central European history, politics and culture. The conference reflected the multidisciplinary nature of our program and addressed the theme in five thematic panels.
The conference provided an opportunity for Berlin Program alumni to reconnect with the Freie Universität Berlin, each other and academic institutions. We wish to thank the DAAD (supported by funds from the Federal Foreign Office) and the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft for their generous support.