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14 – 15 November, Resistant writing. Lili Körber – literature, politics and exile

Conference of the Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect (LMU Munich) in cooperation with the Literaturhaus Wien / Österreichische Exilbibliothek, organised by Burcu Dogramaci and Günther Sandner in collaboration with Veronika Zwerger

Date: 14–15 November 2024

Location: Österreichische Exilbibliothek im Literaturhaus Wien

Our conference and the edited volume we plan to publish are dedicated to the writer and political publicist Lili Körber (1897–1982). The accomplished literary scholar and writer, Muscovite by birth and later resident of Vienna, was a member of the Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei (SDAP), the Vereinigung sozialistischer Schrifsteller and the Bund der Proletarisch-Revolutionären Schrifsteller Österreichs. She also expressed her political commitment in her journalism. Körber wrote for left- wing political periodicals such as the Wiener Arbeiter-Zeitung, Bildungsarbeit, the Rote Fahne and the Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ). Together with Anna Seghers and Johannes R. Becher, she accepted an invitation from the Soviet state publishing house to travel to Moscow in 1930. She sought to learn about workers’ living and labour conditions by serving for several months as a drill operator at the Putilov tractor factory in Leningrad, a company with a “well-known history of revolutionary resistance during the Tsarist era”. (Hertling 1982)


She wrote about her experiences in the autobiographical novel Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag, which was published by Rowohlt Berlin in 1932 and whose cover was designed by artist John Hearjield. Körber created historical novels by reproducing documents such as pay slips and pages from her employment record book alongside her diary entries, which convey authentic and personal experiences.

Lili Körber’s 1934 novel Eine Jüdin erlebt das neue Deutschland is one of the first anti-fascist books to treat the transitional period between the end of the Weimar Republic and the establishment of the

Nazi state. It succinctly describes the ideological permeation of society. By October 1935, all of Körber’s writings were on the list of banned literature. Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag was one of the books burnt in 1933.

In her travelogue Begegnungen im Fernen Osten (Biblios Verlag, Budapest 1936) and Sato-San, ein japanischer Held. Ein satyrischer Zeitroman (Wiener Lesegilde, 1936), a satirical observation of Japanese fascism that can also be read as a parody of Hitler, she covered her 1934 journey to Japan and China. Not even the burning and banning of her books under National Socialism could prevent Körber from writing politically.

Shortly after the “Anschluss”, Körber fled Vienna, stopping over in Zurich before reaching Paris, where she wrote for Swiss newspapers and the Pariser Tageblatt. From April 1938, the social democratic newspaper Volksrecht in Zurich published Eine Österreicherin erlebt den Anschluß, in which Körber, under the pseudonym Agnes Muth, again processed her observations in a diary novel. She finally emigrated in June 1941 with the support of the Emergency Rescue Committee via Lisbon to New York, where she worked in a factory and as a nurse. Beyond a few newspaper articles in, for example, the Buenos Aires emigrant newspaper Das andere Deutschland, she published the novel Ein Amerikaner in Russland, in 1942/43 in the German-language New York ‘anti-Nazi newspaper’ Neue Volks-Zeitung. This text published in 1942-43 could be read as a criticism of Stalinism. In 1949, she wrote her unpublished English-language novel Farewell to Yesterday.

In Germany and Austria, Körber fell into oblivion as a result of political persecution, the confiscation and destruction of her books and her emigration. Today, her literary estate can be found in the Deutsches Exilarchiv 1933–1945 in the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek in Frankfurt/Main. Lili Körber has only occasionally been exhumed in recent decades. New editions of some of her books appeared in the 1980s, and published research on Lili Körber dates to the 1990s.

At the conference, we will discuss Lili Körber’s oeuvre for the first time from an interdisciplinary perspective and consider it as a corpus exemplifying dis:connectivities. The author will be situated in the contexts of politics, literature, art and gender at a time of political upheaval. We hope that examining Körber as a political activist and writer will also reflect back on the present, which is increasingly characterised by extremism, racism and anti-Semitism.

More information on the programme and the registration details will be published shortly.

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21-29 June exhibition global Munich. in perspective

Vernissage: 21 June, 18:00-22:00, Habibi Kiosk, Münchner Kammerspiele, Maximilianstr. 26, 80539 Munich  

Processes of globalisation, their effects and their constraints affect each of us every day. Still, the media, politics and academia tend to shape what globalisation means to us. Headlines and political spin reduce our perception of it to sound bites, like ‘Millionendorf’ (a village of millions) or ‘Weltstadt mit Herz’ (a global city with a heart).

The Global Munich. In Perspective exhibition starts from the assumption that globalisation means something very different for many of us. Hence, artists Hêlîn Alas, Aydin Alinejad, Jeanno Gaussi, Sofia Dona, Nikolai Gümbel, Narges Kalhor and Franziska Windolf will tell us their stories of globalisation in the city of Munich.

Hêlîn Alas charts and analyses economies and approaches of the art system, with its implicit privileges based on class, origin and gender. In diversity work LIVE (Lenbachhaus), she invites visitors to playfully retrace the intra-institutional contrast between the outward image of the art system, which emphasises diversity, and its internal homogeneity.

Where can I feel at home in a globalised world? In Gis (‘wisp of hair’ in Persian), their short film, screenwriter Aydin Alinejad and screenwriter-director Narges Kalhor tell the story of Faezeh, who is about to return to Iran from Germany.

Jeanno Gaussi’s art deals with mechanisms of remembrance, the search for identity and attendant processes of social and cultural appropriation. In her work entitled Salaam Kâkâ Bilkâ (‘Hello Uncle Bilkâ’) Jeanno Gaussi reflects on the world of global goods and the markets where they’re exchanged, identifying supermarkets as meeting places for various communities in her own experience.

Nikolai Gümbel’s work is characterised by multimedia and highly contextualised pieces. In his video piece Schichten, die wir sehen (Abschnitt I, Ausgrabung und Modell) (The Layers We See (Part I, Excavation and Model), the artist obliquely treats the emergence of Freiham-Nord, a new subdivision in Munich, to investigate the past and future realms of possibility of a seemingly ahistorical, post-global place that, according to the brochures, is supposed to be open to all.

Franziska Windolf’s art deals with the question of how sculpture and the body can take on personal-political meanings and how they move through speech, history and social relations. In her works, she recollects stories of exile in Munich, begging the question whom or what we actually remember.

Moreover, the exhibition will present a video from the site-specific installation APPLAUS by artist Sofia Dona. The work treats the Starnberger wing of the main train station in Munich as a location of arrival. Combining various stories of mobility, Sofia Dona’s work presents the station as a place that incorporates forgotten stories of various actors in the city’s globalisation narrative.

From their diverse perspectives and biographies, these artists cast a critical gaze on gaps in our knowledge about Munich as a locus of globalisation. As part of the What is the City NOW? Festival, we celebrate diverse perspectives on Munich along with the city’s inhabitants and ask: what does globalisation mean to you?

Please click here to download the programme flyer of the exhibition.

The Festival What is the City NOW? is an initiative by global dis:connect, Münchner Kammerspiele (MK), the TUM Center for Arts and Culture, Habibi Kiosk, balkaNet e.V., Cine Vélo Cité, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau München, MK:Mitmachen, Refugio Kunstwerkstatt, MK: Musik, Cozy Sound Sytsem, Mittelschule am Gerhart- Hauptmann- Ring, Hochschule München (Faculty of Architecture), EU Horizon Projekt, NEBourhoods: PEARL Creating Cultural Places for Young People in Neuperlach Curated by Martín Valdés-Stauber with Andrea Benze, Elke Bauer, Sophie Eisenried, Mona Feyrer, Julia Lena Maier, Gina Penzkofer, Marvin Scheler, Janina Sieber und Clara Valdés-Stauber, Jakob Weiß

For more information on the festival programme, please click here.   Continue Reading

26-28 June, constitutional history on trial


Date: 26-28 June 2024

Venue: Historisches Kolleg, Kaulbachstraße 15, 80539 Munich

Please register via franziska.nicolay-fischbach@historischeskolleg.de. The programme can be found here.


Constitutional history on trial – status quo, combined methods and new sources

Historisches Kolleg Munich, 26–28 June 2024



The symposium discusses new approaches to constitutional history, drawing inspiration from other fields, especially from legal sociology and legal anthropology, new cultural and political history, gender studies, the law and literature movement, global history and the study of transnational phenomena. Numerous questions for an interdisciplinary constitutional history arise, including:


• How can we grant non-state actors proper consideration?

• What methods help to analyse unwritten or uncodified constitutions?

• How do constitutional norms relate to interpretation and practice?

• What patterns of meaning and interpretations of the world do constitutions represent?

• How does normativity relate to narration in constitutional texts?

• What social and religious norms compete with constitutions?

• How do underprivileged groups become subjects of constitutions, and what role do social movements play?

• How can we detach constitutional history from its national framework and develop it into a history of entanglement?

• What neglected sources should we analyse, and what familiar sources require re-reading?


The symposium brings together scholars from various disciplines and explores methods of constitutional history of modern and pre-modern times. The point of departure is a broad understanding of constitutions as the basic orders underlying communities.



If you are not able to travel to Munich, you can still join us online:


Zoom Meeting https://us06web.zoom.us/j/5629820818?pwd=OHl3SWFSaUdnckhueTFuS0kwZnV1QT09

Meeting-ID: 562 982 0818 Code: 834985
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20-21 June, Mountains dis:connect

Workshop at the Paris Lodron University Salzburg, organised by Martin Knoll (Salzburg), Eva-Maria Troelenberg (Düsseldorf) and Roland Wenzlhuemer (Munich)  
From the perspective of art and cultural history, mountains have not only been an important subject of visual practices, from landscape painting to (travel) photography, they have also been understood as sites that can be highly charged with national, cultural and religious symbolism. Inspired by these neighbouring fields, global history is currently discovering mountains as sites where global entanglements manifest themselves and emphasise how deeply embedded local and regional processes are in global webs of connections and (potentially conflicting) interests.   For long, high altitudes have not played a particularly prominent role in the study of global history. The field’s focus rested firmly on sites and structures whose role in global connectivity was instantly recognisable. Mountains and mountainous regions were often considered obstacles that had to be negotiated, crossed or circumvented, as natural borders, as impassable territory, as hide-outs and retreats, as watersheds and rain shadows. In short, mountains and high altitudes were long regarded as disruptive elements in an otherwise globalising world.
  This workshop seeks to integrate the connective and the disruptive perspectives on the role of mountains in globalisation. With its innovative focus on dis:connection, it identifies mountains as sites where connecting and disconnecting processes intersect, and where they create a powerful tension with regards to regional changes.
The workshop will take place at Paris London University Salzburg, Erzabt–Klotz–Str. 1 5020 Salzburg, First floor, room 1.005

Please register here by 12 June .

To download the programme, please click here.

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24-25 April, Disconnections in wartime 1750-1945

Perhaps nothing demonstrates the complexities of globalisation more clearly than war. The international reverberations of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have painfully exposed the interconnected nature of modern economies and our vulnerability to forces beyond our control, prompting anxious speculations about deglobalisation. Yet, experts agree that the more likely outcome is not isolation, but instead, changing geographies of connection. Similarly, recent historical scholarship has complicated conventional understandings of war as a dividing force, instead emphasizing both the connections and disconnections that it brings in its wake. In wartime, enemies are dehumanised in government propaganda, travel is disrupted, and trade blockades are enforced. Wartime is associated with absences, interruptions, and detours, as lives are lost, scientific exchanges are cut off, and mobilized populations find themselves transported far from home. Yet, war can also create new spaces of interaction and encounter, sometimes across enemy lines. Some of these exchanges are illicit, such as smugglers who evade military blockades, or spies who penetrate enemy territory. Others are more overt, between prisoners of war and their captors, or surgeons who treat enemy combatants. War can provide the impetus for new connections and the widening of geographical horizons in the pursuit of resources, sometimes with lasting consequences. War, in other words, is the optimal lens through which to trace global connections and disconnections.  

Place & date: Munich, 24-25 April 2024

Organisers: Callie Wilkinson and Tom Menger (LMU Munich)

Venue: Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, Maria-Theresia-Straße 21, 81675 Munich

  Please click here to download the programme.
Please register here by 17 March.
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19-20 September, Property and kinship in global social history

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the emergence of the New History of Capitalism, historians have rediscovered economic themes and sought to interrogate them with the conceptual and methodological tools developed by social and cultural historians. This new interest springs from global history — a broad church of scholarly endeavours that have sought to break the hold of national histories and area studies to emphasize broad contextualisation, connectivity and interdependence in historical developments across regions, ecosystems and geo-polities. While global histories are rooted in multiple scholarly traditions — the most influential of which remain environmental history, the new imperial history, postcolonialism and world-systems theories — most practitioners assume that scale matters and that transregional, transnational and global scales open new and important insights about questions previously regarded in local, national or even multinational frames. The New History of Capitalism contributes much to our understanding of global history but reinforces its neglect of some fundamental categories of social history — like the family and property — in favour of other key categories, mainly labour, work, production and a focus on the social context of specifically economic spheres of activity, like trade diasporas.

Many of the key debates in global history have concerned macro-themes related to economy and society, such as the Great Divergence between China and Europe, and the relationship between Atlantic slavery and industrial capitalism. Notwithstanding the important insights and path-breaking arguments that have arisen from macro-level comparisons and connections, the role of micro-historical approaches to global history in these debates has remained less clear, despite the recent emergence of a self-described ‘global social history’.

In focusing on property and kinship in global history, our workshop will integrate microscopic approaches that challenge how we think about scale. We are therefore bringing together historians researching the intimate relationship between family and property understood both in a broad, relational sense as well as  micro-historical and anthropological perspectives, yet with more attention to global social and economic history.

Date: 19-20 September Venue: Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, Maria-Theresia-Str. 21, 81675 Munich Organiser: Roii Ball and Michael Goebel

Please resister here by 12 September.

  Preliminary programme:


8:30: Registration and coffee 9:00–9:30: Welcome and introduction


Presentations: Alessandro Stanziani, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales What’s wrong with the scales? Agency, structures and historical dynamics through judicial archives in France, Britain and the colonial worlds

Anatol Dutta, LMU, Munich The intergenerational organisation of family wealth: legal platforms and mechanisms

11:00–11:30: Coffee break

11:30–13:00 Papers: Coşkun Tunçer, University College London Gürer Karagedikli, Middle East Technical University Urban wealth inequality in the Ottoman Empire, 1620–1870

Jelena Radovanović, University of Münster TBA

13:00–14:00: Lunch

14:00–15:30 Presentations:

Eva-Maria Gajek, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne Between fast spaces and settlement: (im)mobilities of super-rich families in the second half of the 20th century

Netta Green, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Napoleon's daughters: capital, surveillance and marriage strategies

15:30-16:00: Coffee break


Roundtable I: Basma Fahoum, Hebrew University of Jerusalem David Sabean, University of California, Los Angeles Simon Teuscher, University of Zurich



Papers: Laura Mitchell, University of California, Irvine Property as kinship: tangles of slavery, land tenure and endogamous settler families in colonial South Africa Gadi Algazi, Tel Aviv University Property and kinship after expropriation: case studies from the colonisation frontier in Israel/Palestine, 1949–2000

10:30–10:45: Coffee break


Presentations: Zephyr Frank, Stanford University TBA Michael Goebel, Freie Universität Berlin An Atlantic micro-history of inequality: immigration, race and real estate in 19th-century Buenos Aires

Eva-Maria Gajek, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne

Between Fast Spaces and Settlement: (Im)Mobilities of Super-Rich Families in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century

13:00-14:00: Lunch

14:00-15:30 Roundtable II: Girija Joshi, Leiden University Christof Dejung, University of Bern Roii Ball, University of Münster

15:30:-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:00 Final discussion

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11-12 September, Aquatic complexities. Tourism, aesthetics and dis:connections


Workshop at the Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, LMU Munich, organised by Hanni Geiger

11-12 September 2024

Commercial tourism brochures and posters paint a connective picture of holiday destinations. Images adorned with sun, beaches and the turquoise sea attract millions of travellers annually and fuel cultural exchange, the connection of remote places and job creation. This workshop will concentrate on commercial and non-commercial aesthetic works that reflect the tensions between water, the sea, rain — referents of the Latin aqua — and tourism. When dealing with water as the most important resource of tourism, whether fresh or salty, in natural or artificial basins, these works relate to complexities such as interruptions, pauses, frictions and absences that always go along with the connections that water-based tourism promotes.    This workshop welcomes thinkers and practitioners from art, design and architecture (history), cultural and literary studies to discuss the many ways in which aesthetic creations and designed environments surrounding water-based tourism visually comment, mediate and influence global dis:connections – past, present and future. Historical and contemporary visual works that treat water as an image, a material, medium, means, environment and eco-system can illuminate the ubiquitous but overshadowed interdependencies of global entanglements and disentanglements in tourism. The works reinterrogate the sensorial aspects of leisure design and the connections it generates between the mediated destinations and the consumers with regard to water-related dis:connections.    The workshop covers a wide range of aquatic complexities: we consider the rising sea level and the disappearance of many destinations, environments and cultures; infrastructures and tourist gazes that both connect and disconnect destinations and visitors; the glocal design of maritime architectures and bodies; ecological devastations due to the over-exploitation of water in tourism; islands, beaches, hotels and pools as sites of (im)mobility, social inclusion and exclusion, and of conflicts between local communities and global power structures.   By theorising on aquatic complexities as visualised in manifold aesthetic practices, genres and methods, this event fosters alternative ways to approach globalisation from the perspectives of the humanities and the arts while contributing to non-hegemonic art history. Concept and organisation: Hanni Geiger, Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, Munich.  
Concept and organisation: Hanni Geiger, Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, Munich.    
Please register here by 6 September.
The programme can be downloaded here. Continue Reading

11-12 April, Stages of Performing in Pahlavi Iran 1925-1979

Workshop by Nic Leonhardt (global dis:connect) and Anna Heller (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

With the introduction of European drama in the mid-19th century, a new model of theatre emerged in Iran, which in the 20th century developed from a previously amateur activity into an established cultural institution of modern society. In contrast to the processes of social change in Pahlavi Iran (1925–1979), the cultural-historical relevance of the performing arts has not yet been fully explored.

For a holistic approach, this workshop will look at different forms of stage art, including dance, theatre, musical theatre and festivals. The neglect or separate consideration of the musicological aspects of the performing arts reinforces the importance of these forms.

In the context of global theatre histories, understood as the historiography of connections, interweaving, exchanges and dis:connections, the workshop covers a wide range of subtopics. Contributions range from the development of dramatic art and literature in the early Pahlavi era,  social criticism and state ideology in the dramatic arts, to opera and stage dance in the late Pahlavi era. The aesthetics of unconventional stages, the theatre of the absurd and the Shiraz Arts Festival are addressed along with biographical approaches to the history of women in theatre.

During the two days of the workshop, we will engage in intensive dialogue on these topics. We will also discuss the increasing methodological obstacles to fieldwork and archival work in the region.

Please register here by 8 April 2024.
Please click here to download the programme
Venue: Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, Munich.
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