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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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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

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.
To download the programme, please click here. Please note that this workshop will be held in German. Continue Reading

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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lunch time colloquium, summer term 24


The lunchtime colloquium (“ltc”) of the gd:c continues in the winter term. The first session will take place on 16 April. The colloquium takes place on Tuesdays from 11.30 am to 1 pm at the library of the Research Centre.

You can download the programme of the lunchtime colloquium here

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