Please note! This event unfortunately has to be postponed!
06 May 2020 · 6.30 pm

Liliane Weissberg (University of Pennsylvania/American Academy Berlin): Schreiben von unterwegs. Postkarten von Walter Benjamin

Venue: ZfL, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, Aufgang B, 3. Etage, Trajekte-Tagungsraum

Please note! This event unfortunately has to be postponed!

Wednesday lecture
The postcard, which was invented in the middle of the 19th century and soon became an inexpensive medium of communication, represented the new era. Allowing only short texts, it required a reduced language. There seemed to be no real privacy here; without the protective envelope of a letter, every postcard was public. Postcards with lithographs were printed early on but after 1907 they carried photographs, which could be circulated in mass reproduction. Walter Benjamin was fascinated by this medium. He collected postcards and even planned to write a philosophy of the postcard. Preserved postcards from his collection and the cards he himself sent tell their own story of modernity.

As Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor in Arts and Sciences, Liliane Weissberg has taught German and comparative literature at the University of Pennsylvania since 1989. She is currently an Anna Maria Kellen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. Weissberg has held a number of visiting professorships including in Princeton, Hamburg, Bochum, Potsdam, Berlin, Graz, Heidelberg, Vienna and Zurich. She has curated several exhibitions in the USA and Germany, including 2012 for The German Literature Archive in Marbach (Deutsches Literaturarchiv – DLA) and 2013 for the Jewish Museum Frankfurt. She has received numerous awards for her work, including an award from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1991), the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania (2003) and the Humboldt Research Award (2012). Her research interests include German literature since the 18th century, the history of psychoanalysis, and German-Jewish Studies.


Publications (Selected)

  • Münzen, Hände, Noten, Finger. Berliner Hofjuden und die Erfindung einer deutschen Musikkultur (Graz 2018)
  • On Writing with Photography (ed. with Karen Beckman, Minneapolis 2013)
  • Geld. Eine Vorstellung (ed. mit Raphael Gross und Fritz Backhaus, Frankfurt am Main 2013)
  • Über Haschisch und Kabbala. Gershom Scholem, Siegfried Unseld und das Werk von Walter Benjamin (with Dietmar Jaegle, Marbach am Neckar 2012)
  • Affinität wider Willen? Hannah Arendt, Theodor W. Adorno und die Frankfurter Schule (ed., Frankfurt 2011)
  • Hannah Arendt, Charlie Chaplin und die verborgene jüdische Tradition (Graz 2009)

In German.

Admission is free of charge, there is no need to register in advance.