You are cordially invited to our 2018 Goethe Society Christmas Function. We will celebrate the end of the year with German Christmas specialties and a very special musical item reflecting our theme. Join us for a chat, delicious finger food and great entertainment. Plenty of free parking is available right outside the venue.
During this meeting we will be reporting on the current year and will elect old and new members to the committee. For the coming year, two positions in the committee will be vacant:
Committee member (website portfolio): If you have a little bit of experience with finding your way around a website and could help us with updating our website with new events, photos and other information, we would be keen to hear from you.
Committee member (no fixed portfolio): If you are able to help out from time to time with the organisation and/or setup of events, we would love to hear from you.
Albert Einstein’s approximately 400 poems reveal a fascinating facet of his creative work that has so far received little academic attention. Reminiscent of Heinrich Heine, Christian Morgenstern and Wilhelm Busch, a lot of Einstein’s verse is funny and self-deprecating. Einstein enjoyed employing the old poetic form of the Knittelreim, a kind of rhymed doggerel that serves a comic purpose. There are some notable exceptions, however: In some poems Einstein addressed profound epistemological, political and religious topics, e.g. in his poems about Spinoza and Newton, his historical role models.
Einstein often wrote drafts of his poems in the margins of his physics writings thus raising a question about the connection between his scientific and artistic creativity. Often overlooked by exile research as well as by Einstein biographers, Einstein’s verse provides unusual insight into the cultural and scientific contexts of his work. The question what thoughts and sentiments Einstein conveys in his poetic texts gives rise to the additional question of that about which he remains silent because, along with the early Vienna Circle, he felt that he could or should not render them in a medium that lacked precision.
Dr Norman P. Franke is Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and published the first scholarly study of Einstein's poetry in the Jahrbuch der Deutschen Schillergesellschaft / Yearbook of the German Schiller Society (2007). Franke expanded his scholarship on Einstein as a poet by an essay (2010) on Albert Einstein's son Eduard, who also wrote poetry and died in 1965 in a mental institution in Switzerland.
Attention movie buffs: From August 28 until 30 September 2018, the Goethe-Institut New Zealand presents the German Film Festival. Admission is free and the festival includes some amazing new film releases. The event takes place in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson and New Plymouth. Click here for the film programme and more information.
A lecture by Professor Mark H. Gelber
While Stefan Zweig was widely celebrated during his lifetime as one of the great writers of the 20th century, his popularity and reputation declined dramatically following his suicide in 1942. However, in the last few years, a global Stefan Zweig Renaissance has begun. New translations of his writings, critical studies, a series of international conferences about him and his as well as films about him or based on his fiction or inspired by it are the proof.
Our upcoming lecture attempts to explain the possible reasons for a Zweig Renaissance and to discuss the possibility of whether new images of Zweig and new readings of his work and different topics of concern may displace those already in place. In the past, Zweig was lauded or criticized for his humanism, cosmopolitanism, pacifism, his psychological insight and enthusiasm for Sigmund Freud, his apolitical posture, his work as a mediator between cultures, his status as a grand European, but also in the end as an exile who left Nazi Europe and an isolated England to finish his life as a self-described wanderer in the Americas.
Prof. Mark H. Gelber (picture) is Senior Professor and Director of the Center for Austrian and German Studies at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. He has written, edited and co-edited 17 books and published some 80 academic essays, book chapters and scientific articles. He has been a visiting professor and guest researcher in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Slovenia, New Zealand, China, and the United States. One of his most recent books is Stefan Zweig -Jüdische Relationen. Studien zu Werk und Biographie (co-edited with Elisabeth Erdem and Klemens Renoldner, Würzburg: 2017).
The show is run by a student theater group operating out of the University of Auckland. Every year the group presents a play in the German language, bringing together members of the German speaking community for one week-long theater season in mid-August.
This year's show is a hilarious and inventive mash-up of the Best of Grimms fairytales. In short, the play centers on the Grimms themselves as they decide to bring their beloved works to the stage. But authors don’t always make excellent directors and mishaps are bound to happen! The Grimms enlist a range of demanding princesses as they search for a happy ending, obstructed by the Witch and the Evil Stepmother. Who will come out on top? Will Grimms be able to keep their crazy cast happy, or will the show take on a life of its own? Fun for the whole family awaits in this exciting spectacle.
The Goethe Society has the perfect antidote to a cold winter's night: a cosy evening playing board games - in German. You'll no doubt be familiar with classic games such as Monopoly and The Game of Life - but have you ever played the German versions before? We'll even throw in some Haribo on the side, to sweeten the deal.
Players of all language abilities are welcome - the aim of the game is to have a bit of fun, with some German thrown in. Your only challenge will be choosing which game to play...
Latecomers are also welcome. The evening should wrap 9pm-ish, but with flexibility (of course!) to allow games to finish.
oin us for a fun trivia evening and show us how much you know about the German speaking world.
How does it work?
Structured like a pub quiz, questions will come from such diverse fields as history, geography, society, popular culture, literature, music and sports and will be presented through a variety of media.
Who can enter?
Anyone with an interest in things German/Swiss/Austrian and some knowledge of the language can participate in the quiz. However, for reasons of fairness, German teachers and native speakers will play in a separate category.
Does it cost anything to enter?
No, participation is free and there will be some fun prizes as well as light refreshments after the event.
The Goethe Society has the unique pleasure of hosting brilliant young German writer Katharina Rehart for an evening reading of her recent work, with the following theme
Hitchhiking from Tübingen to Tiflis. A train journey through Russia. And somehow getting across Mongolia. Those are Katharina's plans. Her parents are sceptical. Her friends are divided. But Katharina needs to get away. She cuts loose, escapes - and writes about it.
Katharina's reading will take place in German, giving an excellent opportunity to immerse ourselves in German language. Katharina will also take us through her creative writing process and insights. We'd love you to join us on a literary journey with this talented young writer.
Katie Sutton will talk about 'Scientific Respectability and Popular Disseminations of Sex Research in Interwar German Film'. In the socially progressive and politically tumultuous interwar period, researchers in the German-speaking lands were world leaders in the study of sex. She will focus on two films, one documentary and one fictional, that deal with questions of deviant sexualities and personalities in ways that aligned with the important Weimar-era genre of the social hygiene film. The Steinach-Film (The Steinach Film, 1923), a documentary detailing Viennese physiologist Eugen Steinach’s pioneering sex organ transplant experiments, and G W Pabst’s 'Geheimnisse einer Seele' (1926), a thriller narrative as a means of popularizing the still-new methods and theories of psychoanalysis.
Dr Katie Sutton is a lecturer in German and Gender, Sexuality and Cultural Studies at the Australian National University, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics. She is the author of 'The Masculine Woman in Weimar Germany' (Berghahn Books, 2011), and is currently working on a book project on encounters between psychoanalysis and sexual science in the German-speaking world from 1890-1930.
Professor Emerita Friederike Klippel, University of Munich
Most research in any field these days concentrates on clearly focused questions and limited areas. In language education and applied linguistics, this is partly due to the current preference for empirical research. With specialisation growing in all disciplines it becomes more and more difficult, however, to gain a general overview and see long-term research developments and changing emphases within a whole field. In Germany, research into the teaching and learning of modern languages and language teacher preparation spans a period of more than a century. During that time we can distinguish different trends in relation to the following questions: What are the topics and areas of research? How is research conducted? Who are the researchers? Where does research happen? I report on trends and developments in the last 120 years and sketch the current state of research, also casting a look at its present blind spots.
And it's that time of the year again! Come and join us at the Goethe Society for this year's Weihnachtsfeier with Stollen, Plätzchen, and some Glühwein (hopefully).
This year's cultural entertainment is going to be:
Volker Strübing (GI writer in residence in Christchurch) & Renée van Bavel will perform songs (some in English, some in German; voice and piano) on the topic of their travels in New Zealand. Between sets, they will speak about their experiences in English.
In cooperation with the Goethe-Institut New Zealand.
Join us for our last Stammtisch of the year!
Brew on Quay, 102 Quay St, Akl CBD.
Last Tuesday of the month, from 6pm.
Chatting in German (no fluency needed!) over a beer or other drink.
Recognise us by our Goethe Soc sign on the table. We're usually in one of the ground floor "rooms" in Brew on Quay, which used to be a police station.
This event follows our AGM that same evening.
Ulli Weissbach, film maker and Auckland resident, died in September this year. As a successful producer and director of many documentaries about the Pacific, Ulli placed his films regularly with large TV stations, among them French/German ARTE, German ARD and others. His most recent appearance for the Auckland Goethe Society had been in 2014, when he presented his documentary about Samoa 100 years after German colonial rule had ended.
Ulli was scheduled for an event with the Goethe Society this spring. Instead, we're now going to dedicate this evening to his memory with a screening of his documentary about solar energy in Tokelau.
Film shown in English version.
Drinks and nibbles as usual.
It's that time of the year again: our Annual General Meeting is upon us.
The Goethe Society relies entirely on the work of volunteers, and it is because and for the community of those interested in German culture and language that the Society exists.
All members of the Auckland Goethe Society are cordially invited to attend.
A number of positions on the committee will open up due to a couple of people leaving Auckland. A list with the available positions will be sent around before; please remember to get yourself nominated for a position if you're keen on taking one on.
As usual, the AGM will be followed by a normal event at 7.30pm.
We invite you to an event hosted by the School of Cultures Languages and Linguistics, presented by our new Senior Lecturer in German, Dr Diana Feick (picture). The bulk of the scholarship on Learner Autonomy in the foreign language classroom focuses mainly on the individual learner. However, established measures of fostering learner autonomy have reached their limits of their usefulness when it comes to classroom-based learning and teaching contexts. This observation motivated my investigation into the socio-interactional nature of learner autonomy. I studied a group work situation of a mobile phone video project with 13 Mexican adult learners of German as a Foreign Language. The aim was to examine autonomy, heteronomy and participation in L2 classroom negotiations. These constructs have been shown to be highly influential to second language learning (Lave & Wenger 1991, Little 2000, O ÏLeary 2014, Schmenk 2008, Thornbury 2012). The data unveil a strong link between individual interaction styles, different types of participation, group discourse patterns and the display of group autonomy and/or personal autonomy. The study's outcome is an empirically grounded, theoretical model of social autonomy in the L2 classroom. Its practical implications will be taken into consideration.
German culture with a Kiwi twist.
The Winterreise Project is a cabaret show/apocalyptic vision of obsession, with all the feminist power and black humour the Trump-era demands. Based on Schubert’s Winterreise song-cycle, this highly experimental, devised opera/cabaret combines music from 30’s Berlin with Schubert’s music to portray a woman’s obsession in the time of presidential tweet-storms.
U Auckland German studies alumna Jan Kemp is returning to her alma mater for a book launch!
In her collection Dante's Heaven Jan Kemp geographically locates Dante's point of emergence from the tunnel leading out of Inferno into Purgatorio in the Pacific Ocean. Here he views the Southern Cross for the first time. Jan sees him to Aotearoa/New Zealand where he experiences his first southern hemisphere sunrise, meets other poets and artists, learns something of her country's peoples, culture, flora & fauna and disguised as a pukeko (swamp hen) travels south to view Aoraki/Mt Cook, N.Z.'s highest peak.
Kemp re-imagines the tor in a yacht-anchored, swimming bay near Auckland as a mini Mt Purgatory on which, in Maori myth, a girl sits and waits for her lover's return. Their reunion would take place on top of the tor, in Dante's 'earthly paradise', known in N.Z. as 'heaven'. In a concluding cycle of poems "Love is a babe", Kemp imagines for herself a male muse, Beatus, and gives Dante's young Beatrice a voice with which to address the young Dante of Vita Nuova.
A poet with a lot of travel experience under her belt, Jan originally hails from Hamilton, but has taught literature at universities across the globe for many years. In the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2005 she was awarded an MNZM for services to literature.
Find out more about Jan's poetry here.
The reading and presentation will be in English and German.
Drinks and nibbles as usual.
Students & Families & Teachers,
Please join us for the annual Prize Giving Ceremony following the Auckland Goethe Society German exams back in June/July and August.
Our distinguished speaker that evening will be:
Dr Nicola Gaston
Associate Professor in Physics, University of Auckland, Faculty of Science
Deputy Director, MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology
former President, New Zealand Association of Scientists (2013-2015)
This week, UoA German is hosting a distinguished guest: Associate Professor Matthew P Fitzpatrick from the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. Matt is a specialist on colonialism in the Pacific and has agreed to give a talk for the Goethe Society.
German colonialism is often viewed as a prelude to the horrors of the Third Reich. According to this view, the genocidal warfare of German Southwest Africa is indicative of Germany’s characteristically brutal history of imperialist conduct. But where does this leave the history of Samoa under German rule? By examining elements of the history German colonialism in Samoa, this paper suggests that the Nazi analogy is a poor one for understanding liberal forms of imperialism, both in Samoa and elsewhere. It obscures the suppleness of empire and the scope for creating systems of domination without recourse to widespread atrocities. Accordingly, this paper suggests an alternative narration of German Samoa; one that neither seeks to reduce it to the pre-history of the Holocaust nor to rehabilitate it naively as Germany’s ‘good colony’.
The talk will be in English.
Drinks and nibbles as usual.
All welcome. Non-members are asked for a gold coin koha.
It's that time of the year again, and the Goethe-Institut have been busy bees organising this with the support from many different partners:
German Film Festival 2017
Auckland 5 - 10 September
44 Lorne St (directly underneath the public library)
Goethe-Institut webpage for the GFF here.
Programme PDF here.
Tickets are FREE again, just like in the last couple of years. Tickets can be picked up on the day for that day only. First come, first served. And let's hope the cinema doesn't alter its ideas about that again like they did last year...
Further locations are.
Wellington 13-16 Sept
Christchurch 23-24 Sept
Dunedin 30 Sept-1 Oct
New Plymouth 3-8 Oct
The fabulous German Drama Co. is back for its 55th year with a play in German at the University of Auckland! As always, this is an all-student production.
'Ein Schluck zuviel', an adaptation of Pierre Chesnot's play, serves as an important warning against excessive drinking: our hero Michel wakes up in a strange environment with a terrible headache and must uncover the mystery of what got him there.
Directed by Dacia Benson.
The play is entirely in German, but the programme leaflet will contain a synopsis in English.
5 nights only
22-26 Aug @ 7pm
UoA City Campus, Arts 1 Building
Buy tickets here:
There are only 60 seats per night, i.e. best book your tickets online ahead of time.
The Auckland Goethe Society conducts an annual German competition for secondary school students: the Goethe Society Exams.
The written examination usually takes place in June, and students who were particularly successful during that stage are then invited to participate in the oral examinations.
If you are a Goethe Soc member and would like to help out during the orals, please contact us at:
You should be fully fluent in German and feel competent to evaluate students' performance during the orals.
Irascibility, Colloquialism, and the Paradoxes of Translation
Martin Luther’s 1530 circular letter on translation belongs to a genre that has long been a mainstay of the emerging field of translation studies: the irascible open letter defending one’s own translation against carpers. St. Jerome wrote one as well; so did Erasmus of Rotterdam, in defending his new Greek text and Latin translation of the New Testament in 1518. (The other mainstay genre in the field is the humble translator’s preface that admits to every possible failure, apologizes for inadequacy, and hopes that a better translator will come along in the future and do the brilliant source text justice. Full disclosure: I lean more strongly in the Jerome-Erasmus-Luther direction. My new book Aleksis Kivi and/as World Literature is among other things a book-length irascible self-defense.)
This paper will look closely at Luther’s letter, under three headings: (1) Why is Luther so angry? (G.K. Chesterton called him a bully; but if he is, what makes him one?) (2) What does he mean by the famous principle that “You’ve got to go out and ask the mother in her house, the children in the street, the ordinary man at the market. Watch their mouths move when they talk, and translate that way. Then they’ll understand you and realize that you’re speaking German to them”? (3) How do you translate that focus on “speaking German” into another language, say, English? Do you pretend you’re speaking German, even though you’re actually speaking/writing English? Or do you read Luther’s emphasis on “speaking German” as code for “speaking the target language,” and simply push everything over into English?
Douglas Robinson is Chair Professor of English at Hong Kong Baptist University. His area of speciality is Translation.
The talk will be given in English.
All welcome. Drinks and nibbles provided as usual.
Eisenach, Erfurt, Wittenberg, Worms and more! 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation initiated by Martin Luther writing 95 theses against the sale of indulgences in the Catholic Church and, by popular belief, nailing them to a church door in Wittenberg. But Wittenberg was not the only place where things happened. Heike Papenthin will take us on a virtual tour to places related to Martin Luther’s life and legacy.
Heike, a long-time member of the Auckland Goethe Society, trained and worked as a teacher for English and Religious Education in German secondary schools before coming to New Zealand in 2013. Keenly interested in Reformation matters, she has kindly agreed to put into context what, as a one-off, has given Germany an additional public holiday this year: Reformation Day (on 31 October).
The presentation will be held in English. Drinks and nibbles will be provided.
The film Die innere Sicherheit brings our series on political activism to a close.
Hans and Clara live in Portugal with their 15 year old daughter Jeanne. They are about to emigrate to Brazil, when Jeanne starts connecting to her peers more and more. What is normal teenage behaviour becomes a huge problem for Hans and Clara: both were active during the left radical terrorist times in Germany in the late 1970s and have been on the run ever since.
Directed by Christian Petzold
Starring Barbara Auer, Richy Müller, and Julia Hummer
The film will be shown in German with English subtitles.
Drinks and nibbles as usual.
Screened in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut New Zealand.