Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Alice Goff – Sanctifying the Humboldt Forum: Displacement and Transcendence in the Napoleonic Wars

12:00 pm CEST

In 2017, when it was announced that the Humboldt Forum would bear a cross atop its cupola, the art historian and founding co-director of the institution, Horst Bredekamp, remarked in an interview: "The cross bears witness to the absence of that for which it stands." "Sounds complicated," the interviewer replied. This talk is inclined to agree. It traces the history of the delicate interplay between spirit and matter, and presence and absence evident in the Humboldt Forum to the German cultural political visions developed during the Napoleonic Wars, a period in which looting and displacement also served transcendent purposes.

Alice Goff is Assistant Professor of History and the College at the University of Chicago. She is a historian of German cultural and intellectual life in the modern period with a particular focus on the place of art in political thought and practice. In the Spring of 2021 she is the Nina Maria Gorrissen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. 

This event is moderated by BCB faculty Annette Loeseke and is in cooperation with the American Academy in Berlin.

Contact information:  events@berlin.bard.edu

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