ANK: Zoom Conversation: The Scholar’s Vocation, 2020/2021

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The Scholar’s Vocation, 2020/2021

The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the Ohio State University is excited to announce a two-part Zoom conversation about "The Scholar's Vocation" on December 17th and January 8th. Speakers include: Merve Emre, Peter Gordon, Cynthia Porter, and Damion Searls. We will discuss the role of humane values in the university classroom, teaching racial justice, alt-ac careers, and public scholarship.

We especially welcome the participation of current graduate students and undergraduate students considering PhD programs in the humanities.

Please read below for more information:

The Scholar’s Vocation, 2020/2021

Project funded by the DAAD/German Academic Exchange Service

Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

The Ohio State University

Given the labor conditions in the humanities, both in and beyond academia, how much sense does it make to choose the humanities as a career path? What role should humane values have in the university classroom? Do instructors have a responsibility to teach them? These are old questions. In fact, they have a central place in Max Weber’s famous “Science as a Vocation” lecture, which was first published exactly 100 years ago. But the events of 2020 have given them a new urgency and meaning, and as the year comes to an end, we invite you to reflect on them with us. 

The starting point for our first discussion will be two brief presentations and a short conversation between the speakers, Cynthia Porter and Damion Searls, and the co-hosts of the event, Matthew Birkhold and Paul Reitter. In her presentation, Cynthia Porter will focus on teaching racial justice in the humanities classroom. Damion Searls will address the material challenges of academic and alt-ac careers in the humanities. 

Our second panel discussion will have the same format but center on the purpose of public scholarship. Merve Emre and Peter Gordon, who are university professors and public intellectuals, will speak about their dual profile—the motivations that drive it, the intellectual benefits it has brought, and the challenges and surprises it has entailed. We especially welcome the participation of prospective and current graduate students.



Join us on Zoom  [full details below]



December 17, 2020 @ 4:00PM EST

Cynthia Porter, Denison University

Damion Searls, author of The Inkblots(Crown, 2018)


January 8, 2021 @ 5:00PM EST

Merve Emre, Oxford University

Peter Gordon, Harvard University


Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures


Matthew Birkhold is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Topic: The Scholar's Vocation

Time: Dec 17, 2020 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


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Redaktion: Constanze Baum – Lukas Büsse – Mark-Georg Dehrmann – Nils Gelker – Markus Malo – Alexander Nebrig – Johannes Schmidt

Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Mark-Georg Dehrmann] betreut –