January 30, 2020 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Congratulations to Dr. Claudia Clausius, Associate Professor in the English, French, and Writing Department, and Dr. Katharina Clausius, Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature at the Université de Montréal, recipients of an Individual Connection Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The Grant, totaling $9,729, will support the Weimar 20/20 Symposium, which will be held at King’s in May 2020.

The “Weimar 20/20” conference will reflect on the turbulent period known as the Weimar Republic (1918-1933), which saw the beginning of democracy in Germany after World War I.

“The event itself is inspired by King’s commitment to cross-disciplinary research in the liberal arts, and we look forward to welcoming scholars from literature, film studies, history, political science, philosophy, gender studies, religious studies, music, fashion, and culture studies,” says Dr. Claudia Clausius.

Weimar 20/20 will help bring together over 20 scholars from around the world, including two internationally-renowned experts on Weimar: Dr. Peter Carl Caldwell of Rice University and Mr. Ian Wekwerth. Dr. Caldwell’s Keynote Lecture will address the Weimar exhibit mounted by the German Historical Museum and how this exhibition examines threats to social and political freedoms. Mr. Wekwerth, a founding member of the renowned Palast Orchester, will give a Keynote Lecture-Recital on the popularity of 1920s music and the role of Jewish composers and lyricists in Berlin’s Golden Age.

“Our fascination with ‘The Roaring 20s’ is inspired by Weimar’s frenzy of cultural, social, and political fervour, and in particular by the marginalized voices that contributed to its forward-thinking democracy: the voices of women, Jews, the LGBTQ community, and people advocating for rights for the disabled. The appeal of Weimar is tempered by a recognition that its promise of democracy went terribly wrong: the various political parties could not agree on policy or process; coalitions became unworkable. In the midst of assassinations, street violence, and political squabbling, fascism walked in and took over,” Dr. Katharina Clausius explains.

Weimar 20/20 asks: “What happened then, and are we in similar danger now?” while inviting those in attendance to see in hindsight Weimar’s experiment in democracy more clearly and to figure out how to protect our own democratic “centres” from the rise of the extreme Right and the inability of democratic governments to forge useful coalitions.

Both organizers would like to acknowledge the generous support of their colleagues in the Academic Dean’s Office, Enrollment Services, the Centre for Advanced Research in European Philosophy, the Centre for Advanced Research in Catholic Thought, the Departments of English/French/Writing, History, Philosophy, and Political Science, Aramark, and the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western.

Event Details:

  • Weimar 20/20 Conference – May 26-29, 2020 in the King’s Student Life Centre
  • Peter Carl Caldwell’s Keynote Lecture – May 27, 2020 – 1:30 p.m.
  • Film showing of Weimar-era cinema – May 27, 2020 – 8 p.m. (Kenny Theatre)
  • Ian Wekwerth’s Keynote Lecture-Recital– May 28, 2020 – 8 p.m. (von Kuster Hall at Western)

For more information, visit https://weimar2020.wordpress.com