U.Va. to Launch Center for German Studies on Oct. 24 and 25

October 22, 2008

October 10, 2008 — The University of Virginia will celebrate the creation of its Center for German Studies with a series of events on Oct. 24 and 25 that will culminate in a lecture by Josef Joffe, editor-in-chief of the influential German weekly Die Zeit.

An expert on international relations and in particular European-American relations, Joffe will give a public lecture, "Germany and the U.S.: Transatlantic Relations Past and Present," on Oct. 25, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in Harrison Institute, room 102. The lecture is co-sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences as part of the University's Family Weekend activities.

Joffe earned his Ph.D. in government at Harvard University and has written extensively on international relations. He is affiliated with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and the Olin Institute of Strategic Studies at Harvard.

His essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Foreign Policy, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Magazine, the Times Literary Supplement and the Weekly Standard, as well as numerous journals including Foreign Affairs, National Security and The National Interest.

During the two-day launch event for the Center for German Studies, Joffe will participate in two roundtable discussions with students, faculty and others. The Oct. 24 discussion, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., will focus on "Religion and Politics in the United States and Germany." Joffe will discuss the topic with a panel of U.Va. faculty members who will respond to his introductory presentation. Later the floor will be opened for questions from the audience. The following morning, graduate and undergraduate students will discuss "The Future of German Studies" with Joffe.  This event is scheduled for Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon. Both events will be in Harrison Institute, room 102.

"The creation of the center provides an opportunity for faculty and students to broaden their academic exploration beyond the focus of German language and literature," said Volker Kaiser, director of the Center for German Studies and associate professor of German. "It will promote expansion to include politics, cultural and social issues, foster interdepartmental and interdisciplinary activities and create synergies with other programs."

U.Va. scholars from religion, sociology, music, art, history, comparative literature, philosophy, politics, English, German, the Darden Graduate School of Business, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the McIntire School of Commerce are affiliated with the new center.

As a result, the center will provide enhanced faculty-student cooperation and facilitate forums for scholars and writers, artists, journalists and experts from the German speaking countries and around the world who have an interest in German studies.

The center also will support and expand German and interdepartmental programs for study abroad and academic exchange, develop and support community-centered activities related to German studies and create a forum and resource for teachers of German throughout Virginia.

Center for German Studies director Volker Kaiser can be reached at 434-924-6697 or vk7y@virginia.edu.