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250 Years On: Friedrich Schiller and his Impact

27 04 2009
Series of lectures and scholarly exchanges at Heidelberg University
On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great German dramatist Friedrich Schiller, Professor Dr. Dieter Borchmeyer, Heidelberg German studies scholar and president of the Bavarian Academy of Arts, has organised a series of lectures and scholarly exchanges entitled “Schiller and his Impact”. The series is part of the Heidelberg Lectures on Cultural Theory co-funded by the Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation and begins on 29 April with a Schiller “audience” at which novelist Martin Walser and Dieter Borchmeyer will be reciting extracts from Schiller’s works and talking about them. The central text is the audience scene from Schiller’s Don Carlos with Martin Walser as King Philip and Dieter Borchmeyer as Marquis Posa.

Lectures by Dieter Borchmeyer on Schiller and Enlightenment dialectics (6 May), Schiller as a classic and a national hero (13 May) and Schiller’s impact on Nietzsche and Thomas Mann (closing lecture on 8 July) figure alongside a number of exchanges with other scholars. The first of these (20 May) involves Heidelberg Egyptologist and cultural studies scholar Jan Assmann, who will be talking to Dieter Borchmeyer about Schiller’s theory of drives (20 May). Later Borchmeyer will be discussing Schiller and Napoleon with the Munich scholar and doyen of German studies Walter Müller-Seidel (27 May) and “Schiller or the theatre as a political institution” with literary scholar Walter Hinderer, who teaches at Princeton University (17 June). On 24 June Heidelberg jurist Paul Kirchhof and the young German studies scholar Yvonne Nilges of Oxford University will look at the concerns and implications of Schiller’s works in connection with human rights and the law. Towards the end of the series two evenings will be devoted to Schiller and music. The first is a concert with commentaries on the music featuring soprano Silke Schwarz from Heidelberg’s Municipal Theatre and pianist Siegfried Mauser (2 July). The other is a lieder recital featuring Schiller settings by Schubert performed by Thomas E. Bauer (baritone) and Uta Hielscher (piano).

The lectures take place on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. in lecture hall No. 14 of the New University. The location for the two concerts is the Great Hall of the Old University (Grabengasse 1).

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