Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

Leipzig Colloquium

The research colloquium is held usually on every second Thursday during the semester as part of the course offerings at Leipzig University. Each semester it features a special topic reflecting a key research focus of the Institute. The public lectures are usually delivered by scholars from outside of Leipzig.

Winter Semester 2018

Handschriftlich angefertigtet Tabelle, an deren äußeren Ränder die Buchstaben des Alphabets stehen, die mit zahlreichen querlaufenden Strichen miteinander verbunden sind

General Problems in Jewish and General History in the Modern Era

 

Lecturers: Dr. Nicolas Berg/Dr. Elisabeth Gallas

Research Colloquium

Time: Thursday, 17:15–18:45 Uhr (every other week)

Start: 18 October 2018

Venue: Leibniz-Institut für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur – Simon Dubnow, Seminarraum EG, Goldschmidtstr. 28, Leipzig 

 

Linguistic Criticism as Historical Reflection in the Early Twentieth Century

 

 

This colloquium approaches linguistic criticism in a fundamental manner: In the early twentieth century, it formed a downright epistemic-sociological discipline at the intersection of political diagnoses of the times and general philosophical essay writing. As such, it had little to do with linguistic criticism in the narrower sense; rather, the focus was the production of a skeptical conception of history through recourse to language. This colloquium focuses on whether this constitutes an independent sub-genre of philosophy of history that manifested itself in linguistic thought. It moreover relates to the fact that the classical canon of modern linguistic criticism includes a notable amount of Jewish intellectuals, such as Moritz Lazarus, Hermann Steinthal, Fritz Mauthner, Gustav Landauer, Karl Kraus, Alfred Kerr, Walter Benjamin, and Victor Klemperer.

 

The presentations explore the extent to which linguistic reflections were pertinent for Jewish scholars and intellectuals in the early twentieth century to capture in words the dangerous side of modernity and thereby simultaneously to investigate questions of belonging and self-understanding. This colloquium allows for reflection both on the individual arguments of early linguistic criticism in particular as well as generally on the retrospectively impressive faith in the ability to reform a precarious political present through thinking about the dangers of false language.

 

Program

 

Lectures:

 

18 October 2018

Carolin Kosuch (Göttingen)

Mauthner liest Mendelssohn: Zur Genese der modernen Sprachkritik

 

22 November 2018

Galili Shahar (Tel Aviv)

Franz Kafka: Jargon and the Critique of Language

 

13 December 2018

Arno Dusini (Wien)

Karl Kraus und die Sprache

 

10 January 2019

Gerald Hartung (Wuppertal)

Simmel und die Sprachkritik um 1900

 

31 January 2019

Heidrun Kämper (Mannheim)

Die Sprache lügt nicht – Victor Klemperer

 

14 February 2019

Sylvia Asmus (Frankfurt am Main)

Sprache und Sprachverlust im Exil

Review