KONF: Graduate Student Online Conference in German Studies, Johns Hopkins University (Feb. 12 and 13, 2021)

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Graduate Student Online Conference in German Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Feb. 12 and 13, 2021, 9am – 6.15pm EST

Please register by Feb. 8th with dustdistraction@gmail.com


Friday, Feb. 12, 2021


10.00-11.45 KEYNOTE: CALEB SMITH (Yale University), Other Attention Economies, Moderator: Almut Slizyk


12-13.15 PRESENTATION PANEL: COSMIC DUST, Moderator: Antonia Grousdanidou

  • Rachel Hill (Goldsmiths, U London), “With Terrifying, Surreal Speed”: The Distractions of Martian Dust in Science and Fiction
  • Phill Cabeen (U Illinois Chicago), Defying Pop Expectations: Distraction and the Neue Deutsche Welle
  • David Shipko (JHU), Cybernetic Distractions, Capitalist Realism, and Glitched Reality in Cyberpunk 2077
  • Sumantra Baral and Aryama Bej (Amity U Kolkata), “… there the dance is”: Revisiting War and Crisis in Akram Khan’s Dust

13.30-14.45 PRESENTATION PANEL: TIMELY DISTRACTIONS, Moderator: Bidyum Medhi

  • Tim Schmidt (SUNY Binghamton) From Dust till Dawn: On the Possible Role of Photography in Literature by the Example of W.G. Sebald’s Emigrants
  • Tina Tahir (U Michigan), The Distracted Image in W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz
  • Joseph Kebe-Nguema (Sorbonne U), East-German Youth Literature Becoming Dust
  • Elisabeth Fertig (U Michigan), Notes on Dust: Art, Vision and Memory in W.G. Sebald’s “Max Aurach”

15-16.15 WORKSHOP 1, Moderator: Josh Todarello

  • Daniel Glanzner (Otto-Friedrich U Bamberg), Dreams and Thanatos. Distraction in Life and Prose of Klaus Mann After 1933
  • Anatol Heller (HU Berlin) „Staubwerden“: Boredom, Distraction, and Dissolution in Karl Philipp Moritz
  • Tianyi Shou (Cornell U) Phantasmagoria on Exhibition: Cosmopolitan Imag(ing) in Walter Benjamin’s Expo and Jia Zhangke’s The World
  • Sara Walker (U Vienna), Time and Distraction in Günther Anders' Postwar Diaries

16.30-18.15 KEYNOTE: NATALIE PHILLIPS (Michigan State University) Distraction as Noise: Modes of Creative Cognition, Moderator: Almut Slizyk


Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021


10.00-11.45 KEYNOTE: MICHAEL MARDER (University of the Basque Country), Dust Words & Worlds, Moderator: Josh Todarello



  • Jan Sinning (U Kassel), Ludwig Loos, the Protagonist of Siegfried Kracauer’s Novella Die Gnade (1913), Between Depression and Distraction
  • Vanessa Barrera (Yale U), Metaphors on Distraction: Brakhage with Benjamin
  • Luca Arens (Columbia U), Granular History: Kluge, Richter, Dezember
  • Fanti Baum (Goethe U Frankfurt), Aesthetics of Dust and Distraction in Bertolt Brecht's Messingkauf

13.30-14.45 PRESENTATION PANEL: DUST OF THE PRESENT, Moderator: Luke Beller

  • Monica Preuss (TU Dortmund), Dust, Distraction and Discourse. (De)constructing Point of Views in Der Mann, der das Glück bringt by Catalin Dorian Florescu (2016)
  • Aida Alagić (U Zagreb), Postmodern Trauma in the Form of Distraction in B. Schlink‘s Der Vorleser
  • David  Brehm (Philipps U Marburg), Poetics and Politics of Distraction in Marius Goldhorn's Park
  • Manuela Ruckdeschel (NYU), Jumping out of the Fighting Line: Zerstreuung and the Gap of Thinking in Hannah Arendt's Reading of Kafka

15-16.15 WORKSHOP 2, Moderator: Bradley  Harmon

  • Jente Azou (Ghent U), Photography as a Medium of Distraction in Esther Kinsky’s Novel Hain
  • Kathleen Ibe (U Minnesota CLA), Ash as an Agent of Distraction and Stillness in Gertrud Leutenegger’s Panischer Frühling
  • Samragngi Roy (Jadavpur U Kolkata), Purposeful Distraction: Analyzing the Significance of Staub and Zerstreuung in The Alchemist and Brida
  • Monica Yadav (JNU Delhi), From Deception to Object: Dust and Theatricality

15-16.15 WORKSHOP 3, Moderator: Josh Todarello

  • Xavier Oliver (JHU), Sighting a Kosmos in the Grass: Seeing Overlooked Likenesses Through Whitman's 'I's
  • Aritra Basu (U Delhi), The Distracted Ego: The Infant, the Image and Identification
  • Umar Nizarudeen (JNU Delhi) HOW ATOMS USE MUSIC: Nuclear Distractions, Dissonant Music and Documentary Making in Kerala
  • Mahmoud Farhadimahalli (IRIB Iran), Reproducing Distraction in the Media: Marxist and Frankfurt School Approaches for Studying Iranian Audiences on Social Media and Television



Sponsored by Alexander Grass Humanities Institute, Philological Society, and Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Please register with the organizers Antonia Grousdanidou, Almut Slizyk, and Josh Todarello at dustdistraction@gmail.com by Feb. 8th



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 – editorial-germanistik@mail.h-net.msu.edu