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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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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

From 11-12 September 2024, global dis:connect will welcome thinkers, curators and practitioners from art, design and architecture (history), craft (studies), environmental humanities and related disciplines to discuss the many ways in which aesthetic creations surrounding water-based tourism visually reflect, mediate and influence global dis:connections – past, present and future.  
The workshop will concentrate on commercial and non-commercial visual artworks that, since the advent of modern tourism in the late 19th century, reflect on one of the most important resources of tourism: water, whether fresh or salty, in natural or artificial basins. When dealing with water, the sea and rain — referents of the Latin aqua — these works point to more than cultural exchange and preservation, the development of remote areas and economic growth spurred by water-based tourism. The pieces also relate to interruptions, invisibilities and absences, such as ecological devastation due to the over-exploitation of water for cleaning, irrigating golf courses and cooling tourism facilities; the glocal character of maritime hotel architecture; the rising sea level and the disappearance of many destinations, environments and cultures; beaches as sites of social inclusion and exclusion; labour migration; and the conflicts between local communities and national and global power structures.  
Historical and contemporary visual works that treat water as a motif, material, image, idea, resource, a means, a route, a site, a scenery and an environment can illuminate the ubiquitous but overshadowed or undocumented interdependencies of global entanglements and disentanglements in tourism.The works reinterrogate the sensorial aspects of pleasure-based aesthetics and the connections it generates between consumers and their destinations with regard to dis:connectivities. Learning about aquatic complexities visually means fostering alternative, non-hegemonic approaches to globalisation research from the perspectives of the humanities and the arts.  
Concept and organisation: Hanni Geiger, Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, Munich.    
Please register here by 6 September.
More detailed information on the programme will be provided shortly. Continue Reading

2-3 September, Historically free African Americans in visual and spatial representation

Workshop at the Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, LMU Munich, organised by Andrea Frohne (Fellow Alumna, Käte Hamburger Research Centre and Professor, Ohio University)  

This workshop focuses on free African American people through art, visual culture and studies of space. It investigates circumstances of freedom and the disconnection from slavery prior to the Civil War, representations of free people of colour and descendants in visual culture and studies of space into the 21st century, and 17th and 18th-century White European immigration into Black America.

Presentations may focus on artworks made by free people of colour, such as sculptor Edmonia Lewis, portrait photographer J.P. Ball, landscape artist Robert S. Duncanson, and painters Henry Ossawa Turner and Edward Mitchell Bannister. How did their status as free play a role in their artistic careers or impact the content of their artworks? Papers may also focus on mobility and migration into free Black settlements across the United States and Canada. Topics include visual and spatial analyses of Black churches and schools, ownership of property shown in land surveys, rural roads named after free families of colour, or cemeteries.

With our location in Germany for the workshop, we seek to explore European migration into enslaving territories. What are the through lines of White families who become Black in the new world? They may have become enslavers who bore liberated children of colour. Or they may be indentured servants who bore free children of colour. Some free people of colour in the United States descended from German, British, Irish and Scottish forebears. What are the global ramifications of such disrupted, disconnected genealogies?

Overall, the workshop seeks to contribute new scholarship to the underrecognised subject of free African Americans and descendant populations in visual and spatial representation.


The deadline for presentation proposals is 20 April, 2024.

Please click here for the call for papers.

More detailed information on the programme will be provided shortly.

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23-26 July, gdc summer school

global dis:connect summer school 2024  
From 22-26 July 2024, global dis:connect will welcome MA and doctoral students from the humanities as well as creative professionals at any stage of their careers to meet and discuss in Munich for a summer school that will concentrate on Cultural infrastructure(s)from ‘dis:connective perspectives’. We will pay particular attention to disruptions, disturbances and absences in processes of globalisation, which we have hitherto tended to see in terms of ever-increasing connectivity. Seen from a global perspective, cultural infrastructure is characterised above all by major disparities.
The summer school will allow the participants to present their own projects on the topic and will feature several master classes with renowned scholars as well as art and film presentations. All sessions will be held in English.
global dis:connect promotes dialogue between scholarship and art as coequal means to approach dis:connective phenomena of globalisation. Such phenomena often leave few traces in archives and defy direct observation in many cases, but artistic practice can often reveal and provide access to them. It is through art, film, theatre, design and architecture that cultural infrastructures and the absences, interruptions and detours they reveal and produce have recently been thematised.
Organisers: Christopher Balme, Nikolai Brandes, Hanni Geiger, Nic Leonhardt and Tom Menger, Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, Munich.
Please note: the summer school is a closed event. Parallel to the summer school, global dis:connect however invites you to its annual lecture on the same topic by performance scholar Shannon Jackson on 22 July 2024.
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19 July, Wissenschaftliche Utopien und Bildsprachen –  Neue Perspektiven auf (und mit) Otto Neurath

Workshop at the Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, LMU Munich, organised by Günther Sandner and Alexander Reutlinger

19 July 2024


Scientific Utopias and Visual Languages – New Perspectives on Otto Neurath


Idea and Motivation:
The workshop is intended to connect multidisciplinary perspectives on Otto Neurath’s work regarding scientific utopias and visual languages (including Isotype).
The event is a cooperation of the Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect (LMU Munich) and the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (LMU Munich).  

Please register here by 8 July.
More detailed information on the programme will be provided shortly. Please note that this workshop will be held in German. Continue Reading

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

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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14 June-17 November, Sewing for Survival. Jewish Refugees in Shanghai 1938-1949

In this exhibition with international participation, the tim sheds light on a poignant piece of German history. It is about Jewish women, men and children who fled from Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe to Shanghai from 1938 onwards to escape persecution by the National Socialists and secured their livelihood there, not least through textile work. The exhibition was created as a cooperation with the renowned Käte Hamburger Research Centre »global dis:connect« at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. It displays original objects made by Jewish refugees during their time in Shanghai, including artwork created by a refugee girl. At the center of the exhibition is a historical sewing machine that ensured the survival of one of the families. Originally a gift from a grandmother to her grand daughter, the sewing machine has journeyed from Frickhofen in Germany to Shanghai to San Francisco to Cleveland … and now to Augsburg.    

Place & date: tim Augsburg, 14 June - 17 November 2024

Organisers: Kevin Ostoyich (LMU Munich) and tim Augsburg

Venue: tim - State Textil and Industry Museum Augsburg, Provinostraße 46, 86153 Augsburg

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 9am to 6pm Free entry  

Please click here to download the programme and here for further information.

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