Cultural Contact and the Popular

Friday, 14 June 2019, 11am–12:30pm | Anna Siemsen Lecture Hall

Modalities and performances of the popular enable social communication and encounters across political poles; they pose problems of transfer and translation; they destabilize conventional conceptions of the artistic; and they offer generations the resources to define themselves vis-à-vis their predecessors. As such, the popular creates zones of transaction, which are themselves framed by historically specific media settings. Bringing together commentators and practitioners, who in various ways engage modes of the popular, the panel aims to explore these and related issues. It examines the journalistic and political challenge of cultural mediation, the generational shifts in the context of Higher Education, the public performances of roles and identities, and not least the artifacts of colonial archives and their dissemination.

07_VormannImage: Boris Vormann
The panel is moderated by BORIS VORMANN, Associate Professor of Politics and Head of the Politics Concentration at Bard College Berlin. He has lectured widely, in Germany and abroad, and has held visiting positions at the CUNY Graduate Center, Harvard University and Sciences Po Paris. His research and teaching focus on nations and nationalism, and the effects of globalization on local and regional social relations. He is a regular commentator on public policy debates for different media outlets (including The Economist, Deutsche Welle, and Deutschlandfunk). His most recent book publications are Handbuch Politik USA (Springer 2016), co-edited with Christian Lammert and Markus Siewert, and Contours of the Illiberal State: Governing Circulation in the Smart Economy (with C. Lammert; Campus 2019). Democracy in Crisis: The Neoliberal Roots of Popular Unrest (with C. Lammert, trans. Susan H. Gillespie; Penn) is forthcoming.

The Panelists

07_Current-Events-Panel–– Katherina BehlingImage: | Katherina Behling
BETTINA GAUS is Journalist and Political Correspondent at die tageszeitung and the author of a number of books, including Die scheinheilige Republik. Das Ende der demokratischen Streitkultur (DVA 2000), Frontberichte. Die Macht der Medien in Zeiten des Krieges (Campus 2004), Auf der Suche nach Amerika. Begegnungen mit einem fremden Land (Eichborn 2008), and Der unterschätzte Kontinent. Reise zur Mittelschicht Afrikas (Eichborn 2011).
07_Current-Events-Panel__Krean-Kramer-1Image: Karen Kramer
KAREN KRAMER, Karen Kramer, a native of California, holds advanced degrees from the Freie Universität Berlin (M.A. in Philosophy, Comparative Literature, and American Studies) and from Stanford University (Ph.D. in German Studies). She has been Director of Stanford University’s Overseas Studies Program in Berlin – The H.G. Will Center – since 1980. Specializations within German Cultural Studies include literature of the German student movement and gender relations in DEFA-film. She has written numerous articles, essays and poems on U.S.-American and German socio-political culture, including (with composer L. Lehrman) a musical on Emma Goldman, E.G. Her books include The Politics of Discourse: Third Thoughts on New Subjectivity (NYU 1993) and Aktualisierung Brechts (Argument 1994). In 2002 she was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande of the Federal Republic of Germany for her contributions to German-U.S. relations and German relations East/West.
Current-Events-Panel__PansyImage: PANSY
PANSY is the stage and internet persona of Parker Tilghman, an artist based in Berlin. While he holds a BFA from the California College of the Arts, she finds that her work functions better in financially accessible night clubs, festivals, public arts institutions, and open educational settings. They view drag as a tool for social justice and focus on promoting the bodies and voices of other female, trans*, and non-binary identified artists. She mixes comedy and camp to discuss heavy topics like HIV, white supremacy, misogyny, mental health, and sexual violence. He believes creating joy is essential to survival in this world. For the last five years, she has hosted the internationally-renowned House of Presents drag show every Tuesday night at Monster Ronson’s in Berlin. Additionally, he organizes talks on sexual health in collaboration with Praxis Cordes and Berliner Aidshilfe. PANSY believes collaboration is key to the future of a sustainable art practice. We must come up together … and throw a cute party while we’re at it.
07_RadanoImage: Ronald Radano
RONALD RADANO Ronald Radano is Professor of African Cultural Studies and Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently the Berlin Prize/Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities at American Academy in Berlin, he is the author of two award-winning books: New Musical Figurations: Anthony Braxton’s Cultural Critique (Chicago 1993) and Lying up a Nation: Race and Black Music (Chicago 2003). He is co-editor of Music and the Racial Imagination (Chicago 2000) and Audible Empire: Music, Global Politics, Critique (Duke 2016). He has published widely, including articles in Musical Quarterly, Critical Inquiry, Modernism/Modernity, and boundary 2. He has received recent grants from the DAAD and Mellon Foundation, and fellowships from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. Work initially begun at Harvard will result in the publication of his forthcoming study in music aesthetics, Secret Animation of Black Music: A Theory of Value.