Category Archives: Conference

CA: Gezähnte Geschichte – Die Briefmarke als historische Quelle – Erfurt 10/17

Organizers: Silke Vetter-Schultheiß (TU Darmstadt), Pierre Smolarski (FH Bielefeld), René Smolarski (Universität Erfurt)
Date/Place/Venue: 12.10.2017, Erfurt, Universität Erfurt, Nordhäuser Str. 63, 99089 Erfurt

Description: Briefmarken sind Gegenstände der Alltagsästhetik, die planvoll eingesetzt werden können und bisweilen auch gezielt Verwendung finden um Einfluss auf die kulturelle, politische oder ökonomische (Selbst)Wahrnehmung eines Landes zu nehmen. Mag auch, wie Gottfried Gabriel betont, die Einschätzung Aby Warburgs übertrieben sein, wonach, selbst wenn alle Dokumente verloren gingen, es genüge ein vollständiges Markenalbum zu haben, um die “Total-Reconstruktion der Weltkultur im technischen Zeitalter” (Any Warburg) zu leisten, so gilt doch: Postwertzeichen sind ein Ausweis der geführten Debatten, ein Spiegel der propagierten Selbstwahrnehmungen und vor allem auch ein Teil der eigenen Geschichtsschreibung sowie Traditionswahrung und -erfindung (Hobsbawm/Ranger 1983). Trotzdem die kleine Gebührenquittung in eben diesem Sinne durchaus auf wirkmächtige Kronzeugen wie Aby Warburg oder Walter Benjamin zurückgreifen kann, steht eine umfassende Betrachtung und Kritik der Briefmarke als historische Quelle noch aus. Die Tagung “Gezähnte Geschichte. Die Briefmarke als historische Quelle” wird versuchen diese Lücke zu schließen helfen.

DONNERSTAG – 12.10.2017
ab 15:00: Registrierung
16:00-16:30: Begrüßung
16:30-17:30: Keynote: Gottfried Gabriel (Konstanz)
18:00-19:00: Keynote: Gerhard Paul (Flensburg)

FREITAG – 13.10.2017
09:00-10:30: Sektion 1 – Umweltgeschichte: Christian Rohr (Bern) / Silke
Vetter-Schultheiß (Darmstadt)
11:00-12:30: Sektion 2 – Nationalsozialismus: Franz Tröger (Bamberg) /
René Smolarski (Erfurt)
13:30-15:00: Sektion 3 – Zeit und Raum: Jasper M. Trautsch (Regensburg)
/ Friedrich von Petersdorff (Fronhausen)
16:30-18:00: Sektion 4 – Kalter Krieg: Daniel Börner (Jena) / Oliver
Benjamin Hemmerle (Grenoble)
18:15-19:30: Abendvortrag: Christoph Kuhlmann (Ilmenau)

SAMSTAG – 14.10.2017
09:00-10:30: Sektion 5 – International: Sebastian Liebold (Chemnitz) /
Florian Martin Müller (Innsbruck)
11:00-12:30: Sektion 6 – Technikgeschichte: Annemarie Müller (Jena) /
Elisabeth Schaber (Leipzig)
13:30-15:00: Sektion 7 – Politikgeschichte: Tilmann Siebeneichner
(Berlin) / Markus Pohl (Paderborn)
16:30-18:00: Sektion 8 – Deutsch-Deutsche-Geschichte: Christian Könne
(Kaiserslautern) / Björn Onken (Essen)

SONNTAG – 15.10.2017
09:00-10:30: Sektion 9 – Religions- und Medizingeschichte: Dietrich
Ecklebe (Blankenburg) / Pierre Smolarski (Wuppertal/Bielefeld)
11:00-12:30: Sektion 10 – Gesellschaft und Kultur: Sebastian Knoll-Jung
(Stuttgart) / Thomas Richter (Aachen)
ab 13:00: Abschlusssitzung

Ausstellung des Landesverbandes Thüringer Philatelisten e.V. (in

Silke Vetter-Schultheiß

Conference website:

URL to original source of the content posted above:


A librettist and his composer: Stefan Zweig and Richard Strauss as seen through their letters (guest post by Kimberly Taylor)


Stefan Zweig, ca. 1935. Photographer unknown. Stefan Zweig Collection, Reed Library Archives & Special Collections.

In February 1935, Austrian Stefan Zweig (1881-1942), commonly regarded as the most translated German language author of his time, wrote to German composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949), “One day, your letters, your decisions, will belong to all mankind.” (Richard Strauss and Stefan Zweig, A confidential matter: the letters of Richard Strauss and Stefan Zweig, 1935-1935, trans. Max Knight. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977, 67.) Having recently completed the libretto for Strauss’s opera Die schweigsame Frau, this solemn admonition was a response to Strauss’s suggestion that, due to political developments, the two might do well to continue their artistic collaborations in secret. Aware of the impending jeopardy in which his association with Zweig – a Jewish writer with a now-dangerously high profile – was sure to place him, Strauss, then head of Hitler’s Reichsmusikkammer, had entreated, “Should I have the good fortune to receive one or several new libretti from you, let us agree that nobody will ever know about it.” (Ibid., 67.) It was a policy to which Zweig could never adhere as artist or citizen, whether to the end of his own safety or in deference to a musical genius he considered to be the apotheosis of his generation. Beyond its case-specific context, Zweig’s caution to Strauss demonstrates the former’s belief in the potency of epistolary correspondence in fleshing out the historical record. Zweig himself composed thousands of letters in his lifetime, many of which have indeed survived to the great benefit of posterity, academic and otherwise. In another communication with Strauss, seen below, Zweig wrote, “… nur jetzt keine Uraufführung in Deutschland!”, concerned that Strauss’s insistence on the premiere of the opera in Germany would further enable both the work itself and its creator to be used as political pawns.


1st page of letter from Stefan Zweig to Richard Strauss, 13 December 1934. The Stefan Zweig Collection, Reed Library Archives & Special Collections.

The above exchange comprises only a snippet of the revealing missives sent between Strauss and Zweig in the early 1930s which will be the focus of an exhibition planned as part of an upcoming celebration of Stefan Zweig and his lifelong proclivity for music, Zweig at Fredonia 2016, a 3-day event offering lively discussion, a musical performance – including selections from the now infamous libretto which heralded Strauss’s resignation of his post on the Reichsmusikkammer, and the 4th Biennial Stefan Zweig Lecture, all to be held on the campus of The State University of New York at Fredonia in New York State.

The exhibition, Zweig and Strauss: Artistic Collaboration in a Time of War (3-27 October 2016), will emphasize selected correspondence alongside other manuscripts held by Fredonia’s Archives & Special Collections. Fredonia’s renowned Stefan Zweig Collection, the most significant and extensive archive of Zweig manuscripts in North America, was initiated in 1967 with a purchase of documents from Zweig’s first wife, Friderike, then living in the northeastern United States. Her selection of Fredonia as the permanent repository for the manuscript correspondence between herself and Zweig was encouraged in no small part by a longtime acquaintance of both hers and her first husband, Dr. Robert Rie, then a Professor of German Studies at Fredonia. Among the most precious items included in Friderike’s Nachlass was Zweig’s last letter to her, composed (in English, to avoid war-time censorship) in 1942 the day before he and his second wife, Lotte, were found dead – a double suicide – in their adopted home of Petrópolis, Brazil.



“Dear Friderike when you get this letter I shall feel much better than before …” Final letter from Stefan Zweig to Friderike Zweig, 22 February 1942. The Stefan Zweig Collection, Reed Library Archives & Special Collections.

Further accruals to the Zweig Collection at Fredonia would include the voluminous correspondence containing over 6,000 letters, postcards and other epistolary devices written to Zweig from some of the most pivotal writers, artists, musicians, composers and intellectuals of his age. Among the hundreds of correspondents – including the likes of Felix Braun, Max Brod, Georges Duhamel, Sergei Eisenstein, Benno Geiger, Pierre Jean Jouve, James Joyce, Frans Masereel, Joseph Roth, Albert Schweitzer, Fritz von Unruh and Virginia Woolf – Strauss himself was no mean contributor. His correspondence alone comprises over 75 items sent to Zweig between 1931 and 1935, for the latter a period of time fraught with, at best, uncertainty about the future and, at worst, the unambiguous realization that his livelihood, life, and limb lay within the ever-increasing reach of oblivion. Zweig himself, though perpetually and avowedly apolitical insofar as he could manage, endured constant pressure from many sides to use his authorial notoriety as a spokesperson against the rising Nazi influence. However, he consistently refused to play such a role, as seen in a letter he wrote to Strauss from Zurich, dated 19 May 1935: “As an individual one cannot resist the will or insanity of a whole world; enough strength is needed to remain firm and self-respecting and to reject all feelings of bitterness and hatred. This alone has become a sort of accomplishment these days, and is almost harder than writing books.” (Ibid., 93. This letter from Stefan Zweig to Richard Strauss is held by the Richard-Strauss-Institut in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.) Zweig seemed unwilling to allow the insanity of the world interfere with either his art or his humanity.

Although the focus of events for Zweig at Fredonia 2016 will concentrate on the author’s relationship with Strauss and music, the collection as a whole encompasses an interdisciplinary scope of immeasurable value to scholars everywhere, elucidating not only Zweig’s own aesthetic acumen but his unwavering support of and collaboration with the greatest thinkers and creators of his era. He was, in fact, a true man of letters.

Zweig at Fredonia 2016 details:

Dates: 3-5 October 2016
Location:  The State University of New York at Fredonia, Fredonia, NY
Organizers: Birger Vanwesenbeeck (;
Kim Taylor (

3 October 2016
15:30, Zweig and Strauss: A Continuing Conversation
Faculty panel led by musicologist Dr. Matthew Werley (Oxford).
17:00, Zweig and Strauss: Artistic Collaboration in a Time of War
Opening of manuscript exhibit featuring correspondence written by Strauss to Zweig from Fredonia’s Stefan Zweig Collection.

4 October 2016
20:00, Selected Songs and Arias of Richard Strauss
Fredonia School of Music faculty and students perform songs and arias of Richard Strauss, including excerpts from Die schweigsame Frau.

5 October 2016
18:00, 4th Biennial Stefan Zweig Lecture
Keynote lecture by George Prochnik, author of The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World (2014).

Twitter: @FREDarchives

Note on the author: Kimberly Taylor is Coordinator of Archives & Special Collections, Daniel A. Reed Library, The State University of New York at Fredonia



Reblogged: Announcement: MLA 2017 Special Session on Godwin, Shelley, and Hazlitt — Pamela Clemit

A Special Session will be held at the 2017 MLA Annual Convention (Philadelphia, 5-8 January) on Thursday 5 January, 1:45-3:00 p.m., 104B, Pennsylvania Convention Center. Reloading the Romantic Canon: New Texts and Contexts from Godwin, Shelley, and Hazlitt Until the last two decades of the twentieth century, the canon of British Romantic authors installed by the […]

via Announcement: MLA 2017 Special Session on Godwin, Shelley, and Hazlitt — Pamela Clemit

Conference: Speaking in Absence: Letters in the Digital Age (Tuesday 21 June 2016 – Weston Library and Wolfson College, Oxford)

Description: The conference is a one-day, interdisciplinary, student-led conversation on how we engage with handwritten letters in the digital age. We aim to explore the potential for collaboration between academics, librarians, technicians, editors, and publishers for the creation of mutual frameworks within which to use the digital as a means to supplement the analogue. We have chosen correspondence as a vehicle for this exploration because in the age of social media, its nature raises immediate and intriguing questions about the progression from material object to digital resource.

Daytime activities at the Weston Library will include an opening lecture on editing letters by Christopher Ricks (Co-director, Boston University Editorial Institute), a panel discussion with the leaders of pioneering digital editing projects (Electronic Enlightenment, Darwin Correspondence Project, and Cultures of Knowledge), a demonstration of the process of digitizing letters by Miranda Lewis (Digital Editor, Early Modern Letters Online), a visual tour of correspondence in the Bodleian collections led by Special Collections curators, and a panel on publishing with representatives from Oxford University Press and Blackwell’s.

It will also include the launch (with discussion) of Bodleian Student Editions, a digital scholarly editing course organised as a collaboration between the Bodleian’s Department of Special Collections, Centre for Digital Scholarship, and Early Modern Letters Online, and we warmly invite students to join the discussion. There is a limited number of subsidised undergraduate bursaries available so please register quickly!

From the Weston Library, delegates will then proceed to Wolfson College for a further panel discussion with writers and directors, and drinks reception with research posters by postgraduate students.

The conference is organised by students as part of the TORCH-OCLW annual postgraduate conference competition, and is additionally sponsored by the Bodleian Libraries and Balliol Interdisciplinary Institute.

The conference fee (£45 / limited number of subsidised undergraduate places at £20) includes refreshments throughout the day (breakfast, lunch, two coffee breaks, drinks reception). The conference dinner (£30) must be booked separately. For the full programme and instructions on registration options, please click here.

Registration is now open.

If you have any questions please contact

Upcoming conference on the history of childhood (including papers on children and letters)

Horrible Histories? Children’s Lives in Historical Contexts

16-18 June 2016, King’s College London

Theme and Focus

It is now over forty years since the bold declaration of psychohistorian Lloyd deMause that ‘The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken’. Stirred by such claims, scholars have subsequently tested the ‘nightmare thesis’ for both the pre-modern and modern eras, locating children’s agency in unexpected places and stressing the contingencies of context, gender, ethnicity, age, class, caste and sexuality. Narratives of historic and contemporary institutional abuse, however, together with insights concerning the legacies of forced child migration, children’s labours and other challenging aspects of childhood experience, suggest that sorrow rather than joy characterises much scholarship on children and childhood. Should this be so?

In another context, since 1993 the phenomenally successful Horrible Historiesbooks, stage plays and television series have helped introduce countless thousands of children around the world to the past. As their titles indicate, Horrible Histories also examine difficult and sometimes grisly historical episodes. Progressive narratives are at work here too, reinforced by children’s museum exhibits emphasising an emergence from the ‘dark ages’ of childhood in the twentieth century.

‘Horrible Histories? Children’s Lives in Historical Contexts’ is the launch conference marking the inauguration of the new UK-based Children’s History Society. Offering a forum for historical reflections from established and upcoming historians of children, childhood and youth, we also anticipate that this will be a platform for school-age scholars to reflect on the ways they respond to the history. This three-day conference will host papers on the following themes:

  • Dealing with difficult history and heritage
  • Children’s histories and the longue durée
  • The ‘West and the rest’ in children’s history
  • Definitions of subjecthood and status
  • Pain and resilience
  • Archival approaches for retrieving children’s agency
  • The things of childhood
  • Play as protest, recreation and the ‘work’ of childhood
  • Children’s histories in museums, online and in the media
  • The histories of children’s places and places for children
  • Future trajectories for researching children’s histories

Note that our definition of children is flexible, reflecting the multiple constructions through time of childhood as a social category.

A complete programme can be found here.

Source: (additional information available there)


COST Action: Reassembling the Republic of Letters; Second Annual Conference (Warsaw)

12th – 15th June 2016, University of Warsaw Conference Room, Level -1.
Faculty of “Artes Liberales”
Dobra Street 72

From the conference programme:

The COST Action IS 1310 “Reassembling the Republic of Letters” is in its third year of work towards assembling the blueprint of trans-national digital infrastructure to support collaborative work on early modern intellectual history. Having previously explored scholarly work from the perspective of shared technical standards, this conference will pursue the opposite path: digital functionality will be discussed from the perspective of current scholarly strands about the Republic of Letters. Following the structural logic of the Action’s working groups, the topics addressed will include (amongst others) intellectual geography; the social history of knowledge and network analysis; topic modelling and conceptual history; descriptive techniques and the material turn; visualization and the visual turn.

The full conference programme is available here.

URL of project website:

„nur Frauen können Briefe schreiben“ – Facetten weiblicher Briefkultur nach 1750

Wissenschaftliche Tagung des Instituts für Germanische Philologie der Jagiellonen-Universität Krakau und des Instituts für Germanische Philologie der Schlesischen Universität Katowice

in Partnerschaft mit dem Institut für Germanistik der Universität Leipzig und unter Mitwirkung der Interdisziplinären Forschungsgruppe zur Kultur des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit bei der Universität Warschau

Ort: Krakau, Polen
Datum: 3.–5. März 2017

In einer Reaktion auf die Worte Rahel Levins, späterer Varnhagen, schreibt David Veit am 20. November 1795: „diesen Brief […] hat nur eine vollkommene Frau schreiben können. Jeder Lumpenhund sagt: nur Weiber können Briefe schreiben; denn Briefe erfordern eine Leichtigkeit, ein ungezwungenes Uebergehen von einer Materie zur andern, und Männer bleiben immer bei der Schnur“. Veit richtet diese Sätze an eine der prominentesten Briefeschreiberinnen des späten 18. und des frühen 19. Jahrhunderts in Deutschland, die sich u.a. durch ihre intensiv geführten und zahlreichen Korrespondenzen einen festen Platz in der europäischen Kulturgeschichte und in der literaturwissenschaftlichen Forschung gesichert hat. Der größte Teil ihres Briefwechsels wird dabei in Folge der Kriegswirren neben unzähligen anderen Korrespondenzen aus diversen Nachlässen der berühmten Frauen der europäischen Kulturgeschichte in der Krakauer Jagiellonen-Bibliothek aufbewahrt.
Diesen Umstand und die Worte Veits wollen wir daher als Ansporn zu einer intensiveren Auseinandersetzung mit dem Phänomen des weiblichen Briefeschreibens nehmen. Mit Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmern der für 3.–5. März 2017 geplanten Tagung wollen wir dabei auf die damit verbundenen Fragen zu antworten suchen: Kann man von einer weiblichen Briefkultur als solcher sprechen? Wenn ja, was kennzeichnet sie und was sind ihre distinktiven Merkmale? Wie verlief ihre historische Entwicklung und was waren deren Bestimmungsfaktoren? Wie gestaltete sich die Ästhetik des weiblichen Briefs? Welche Rolle spielten dabei politische, gesellschaftliche und kulturelle Umwälzungen? Wer waren die Hauptakteurinnen, Hauptakteure und Korrespondenten? Welchen theoretischen Konzepten folgte die epistolare Praxis der Frauen, ob überhaupt? Wie sahen und sehen institutionelle, soziale und materielle Rahmen der weiblichen Korrespondenzen aus? …

Zur Auseinandersetzung mit diesen und weiteren Fragen laden wir Kolleginnen und Kollegen ein, die mit der Briefforschung nachweisbar beschäftigt sind und die ihre Arbeitsergebnisse in Krakau präsentieren und zur Diskussion stellen möchten. Als historisches Eckdatum setzen wir dabei 1750 an und gehen davon aus, dass im Mittelpunkt der Tagung in erster Linie Briefe von Frauen des späten 18. und des 19. Jahrhunderts stehen werden, willkommen sind aber auch Beiträge, in denen die einschlägigen Aspekte in den späteren Dezennien bzw. Jahrhunderten erforscht und weiter verfolgt werden. Als die in Frage kommenden Themenblöcke schlagen wir u.a. vor:

  • Frauenbriefe im europäischen Kulturraum,
  • Konzepte, Normen und Praktiken weiblichen Briefeschreibens (Briefsteller, Ratgeber, Briefthematisierung in Briefen, historische Entwicklungslinien, Bestimmungsfaktoren, Schreibstrategien, Monologizität vs. Dialogizität, Selbstinszenierung, Brief als Schreibwerkstatt usw.),
  • Briefautorinnen und ihre Korrespondenten nach 1750 (Briefnetzwerke, Tendenzen, Themen, Inhalte, Interpretationen, Herangehensweisen),
  • Ästhetik des Frauenbriefs,
  • Imaginierte Weiblichkeit in Briefen, fiktionale Frauenbriefe, weibliche Briefromane
  • Materialität (Handschriften (vorzugsweise in den Beständen der Jagiellonen-Bibliothek Krakau), Kuverts, Layouts, Brief im digitalen Zeitalter usw.),
  • Ende der weiblichen Briefkultur?
  • Briefarchive, Briefnachlässe, Editionen,
  • Briefrezeption und Briefforschung heute.

Die Tagung selbst wird zusätzlich von einer Ausstellung der Handschriften und Artefakte aus den Beständen der Jagiellonen-Bibliothek Krakau, die auch unser Partner bei dieser Veranstaltung sein wird, begleitet werden.

Anmeldungen mit einem stichwortartigen Exposé und einer kurzen Vita: bis 20.07.2016. Benutzen Sie bitte hierzu das Formular:

Vortragsdauer: 20 Minuten + 10 Min. Diskussion
Tagungssprache: Deutsch

Die Tagungsgebühr in Höhe von 350 Zl / 85 Euro umfasst Zuschuss zu Publikationskosten, Kaffeepausen und Imbiss-Büffet vor Ort. Die Organisatoren bemühen sich auch um zusätzliche Förderung der Tagung. Zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt können jedoch keine verbindlichen Informationen und Zusagen gemacht werden. Die Kontonummer wird nach der angenommenen Anmeldung mittgeteilt.


Organisatoren: Dr. Paweł Zarychta (Institut für Germanische Philologie, Jagiellonen-Universität Krakau), Dr. habil. Renata Dampc-Jarosz (Institut für Germanische Philologie, Schlesische Universität Katowice)

Wissenschaftlicher Beirat: Prof. Dr. habil. Maria Kłańska, Pof. Dr. habil. Grażyna Szewczyk, Dieter Burdorf,

Organisationskomitee: Dr. Agnieszka Sowa, Dr. Magdalena Popławska, Dr. Michael Sobczak, Dr. Paweł Moskała

Ausschreibung auf H-Germanistik.