's blog

Vienna, Paris, Shanghai, Berlin


Dear NEHers 

We may want to try online postings to preview presentations or to share responses. Let's see if this space works.

Welcome: and an essay on Exiles and Expats in Los Angeles

Welcome to the Exile Cultures "collaboratory." This has grown out of the NEH summer seminar on "German Exile Culture in California: European Traditions and American Modernity," which explored the exile experience of refugees from Hitler's Germany.  This space is designed first of all to continue the seminar discussions and to allow for the participants to share their follow-up work.  I will also be inviting the participants in a previous version of the seminar, which took place in 2006.

my essay on exiles and emigres

Here's an essay that I prepared for a volume on literature Los Angeles. I was asked to write about German exiles and British emigres in LA/Hollywood during our period, more or less.  It's pretty much a synoptic (rather than critical or analytic) essay, a kind of introduction.

Thomas Mann "German Republic" and "Germany and the Germans"

These two texts could be seen as sort of framing the time period at stake. In "German Republic," a speech of 1922, Mann, previously  a prominent conservative, came out in defense of the young Weimar Republic. He did so with a rhetorical device: finding compatibility between the notionally very German figure of Novalis (the romantic author Friedrich von Hardenberg) and the icon of American democracy Walt Whitman.  If Novalis could be seen as akin to Whitman, then (so the argument) Germans could become comfortable with democracy.

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