DAAD Faculty Summer Seminar 2014
“The Epic Side of Truth: Narration and Knowledge in the German Literary Tradition”

This six-week seminar for North American faculty in the interdisciplinary field of German Studies investigates the unique modes of knowledge produced in various forms of ‘literary’ narration—from myth, epic, and the novel to the anecdote, autobiography, and case history. The seminar explores the ways in which storytelling and its intensive theorization in the German tradition provide a form of knowledge sui generis about experience, temporality, consciousness, subjectivity, sociality, and history. This “epic side of truth” (Benjamin) or “non-conceptual thinking” (Blumenberg) circumscribes epistemic insights that cannot be obtained by strictly conceptual thought nor by the natural sciences’ model of verification and repeatability.

Readings and other materials will be exemplary rather than comprehensive, and selections will be based in part on participants’ research interests and disciplinary expertise. While the seminar takes its cue from canonical work on the novel, autobiography, and storytelling in the German tradition, scholars concentrating on any historical period or cultural medium (e.g. film, oral history, montage arts, serialized TV dramas) are very welcome to apply, as the seminar aims to promote productive dialogue among various specializations within German Studies. Current debates about literature and evolutionary theory, literature and cognitive science as well as literature and biopolitics will provide an additional frame of reference for seminar discussion.

At a time when the Humanities are pressed to justify their relevance, this seminar stakes a claim for the ineluctable function of storytelling and narration with respect to consciousness, politics, history, and knowledge formation in general. Possible points of inquiry include (but are in no way limited to) the novel and forms-of-life for modern subjectivity (Blanckenburg, Lukács, Agamben); narrative nexus and the hermeneutics of the subject (Dilthey, Simmel, Foucault); the talking cure and case histories (K. Ph. Moritz, Freud); storytelling and the wisdom of lived experience (Benjamin); the cartography of storytelling (Cohen, Moretti); the novel of consciousness and lifeworlds (Cohn, Husserl); evolutionary theory and the literary animal (Boyd, Gottschall); temporality, historicity, and contingency (Jameson, Ricouer); anecdotes and New Historicism (Greenblatt, Fineman); as well as the most recent critical work in German Studies on narration and knowledge (Vogl’s Wissenspoetologie, Koschorke’s project of a universal theory of narration).

In short, this seminar on narration and knowledge invites a multi-perspectival, interdisciplinary examination of narrative trajectories in their epistemological insights, temporal dimensions, and social-political ramifications. Participants will be encouraged to contribute from their own fields of interest as well as present their work-in-progress.

The seminar will take place June 16-July 25, 2014 (TBC), at Cornell University.

Seminar Director: Paul Fleming, Professor of German Studies and Director of the Institute for German Cultural Studies, Cornell University

Program: Under the auspices of Cornell University’s Institute for German Cultural Studies, the program will combine regular seminar meetings and discussions with presentation of participants’ research and occasional guest lectures. Seminar meetings will be conducted in English; advanced reading knowledge of German required.

Tuition: There is a $50 fee; participants are eligible for a stipend.

Eligibility: Participation is open to faculty members in the Humanities and Social Sciences at colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. Applicants who have received their Ph.D.s within the past two years but do not yet hold faculty appointments are encouraged to apply. Graduate students and Ph.D. candidates are not eligible. Participants are expected to have an active interest in German intellectual and cultural history and must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or Canada.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2014. All application materials to be addressed to
Prof. Paul Fleming
Institute for German Cultural Studies
Cornell University
726 University Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Tel.: (607) 255-8408
Fax: (607) 255-1454
E-mail: paul.fleming@cornell.edu

For further information about seminar content, please contact:
Prof. Paul Fleming
Institute for German Cultural Studies
Cornell University
726 University Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Tel.: (607) 255-8408
Fax: (607) 255-1454
E-mail: paul.fleming@cornell.edu

For other seminar-related questions, please contact Olga Petrova at Cornell University’s Institute for German Cultural Studies.

Olga Petrova, Assistant to the Director
Institute for German Cultural Studies
Cornell University
726 University Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Tel.: (607) 255-8408
Fax: (607) 255-1454
E-mail: ogp2@cornell.edu

Eligibility Requirements
Tuition
Terms of Award
Seminar Requirements
Application Guidelines

Download Applications
Eligibility Requirements
  • Postdocs who have received their degrees within the past two years at accredited US and Canadian institutions of higher education are invited to apply.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have not previously attended one of the summer seminars or received a DAAD grant within the past three years.
  • Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or Canada. Permanent residents must have been affiliated with a United States or Canadian institution in full-time employment for at least five consecutive years, German nationals for at least six years.
  • Participants are expected to have an active interest in German intellectual and cultural history.
  • A reading knowledge of German is advisable.
Tuition
There is a $50 course fee.
Terms of Award
DAAD awards a small number of grants to cover tuition, travel and room and board during the seminar. The duration of the seminar is typically four to six weeks.
Seminar Requirements
Participants are required to attend all seminar sessions and to participate actively in the work of the seminar. Work-in-progress of participants and guests will be discussed. A written report is expected within four weeks of the end of the seminar.
Application Guidelines
All parts of the application must be typewritten or computer-generated and submitted in duplicate (original and one copy).

Please do not staple any of the application materials.

A complete application consists of the following parts:
  • DAAD application form entitled "Interdisciplinary Summer Seminar in German Studies.” Please answer all questions on the form, even if you refer to additional material
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Complete list of publications
  • A detailed statement explaining why the applicant wants to attend the seminar
  • One letter of recommendation

All application materials to be sent to Professor Paul Fleming at Cornell University.
Deadline  
The deadline is March 1, 2014.
Questions?  
All application materials to be addressed to Prof. Paul Fleming at the
Institute for German Cultural Studies
Cornell University
726 University Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Tel.: (607) 255-8408
Fax: (607) 255-1454
E-mail: Paul Fleming [paul.fleming@cornell.edu]

For further information about seminar content, please contact:
Prof. Paul Fleming
Institute for German Cultural Studies
Cornell University
726 University Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Tel.: (607) 255-8408
Fax: (607) 255-1454
E-mail: Paul Fleming [paul.fleming@cornell.edu]

For other seminar-related questions, please contact Olga Petrova at Cornell University’s Institute for German Cultural Studies.

Olga Petrova, Assistant to the Director
Institute for German Cultural Studies
Cornell University
726 University Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Tel.: (607) 255-8408
Fax: (607) 255-1454
E-mail: Olga Petrova [ogp2@cornell.edu]