Past Events

"Charlottengrad: Russian Culture in Weimar Berlin"

Roman Utkin, Wesleyan University

February 27th, 2024 | 4pm

Max Kade Center

As many as half a million Russians lived in Germany in the 1920s, most of them in Berlin, clustered in and around the Charlottenburg neighborhood to such a degree that it became known as “Charlottengrad.” Traditionally, the Russian émigré community has been understood as one of exiles aligned with Imperial Russia and hostile to the Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet government that followed. However, Charlottengrad embodied a full range of personal and political positions vis-à-vis the Soviet project, from enthusiastic loyalty to questioning ambivalence and pessimistic alienation.

 In this talk, Roman Utkin will highlight the key findings of his book, Charlottengrad: Russian Culture in Weimar Berlin (University of Wisconsin Press, 2023). He will provide insight into the exile community in Berlin, which, following the collapse of the tsarist government, was one of the earliest to face and collectively process the peculiarly modern problem of statelessness. Utkin’s talk will explore how community members balanced their sense of Russianness with their position in a modern Western city charged with artistic, philosophical, and sexual freedom.  

Cover of Charlottengrad by Roman Utkin

Reading from “The Summers” by Ronya Othmann

Tuesday, Dec. 5th, 2023

6 - 7:30pm

Joseph R. Pearson Building, Room 150

Join us for a reading by Ronya Othmann from the 2023 English translation of her 2020 book The Summers – a novel about cultural differences, issues of gender and sexuality, politics, and identity. Othmann, born in Munich, is an author, poet, and journalist whose work deals with themes of migration, homeland, and war.

The Summers narrates the coming of age of Leyla, who spends the school year in Germany but travels every summer to her father’s Kurdish village in Syria. As Leyla grows older, her sexual awakening takes a back seat to her cultural discoveries. She becomes increasingly disenchanted with her German friends’ indifference when ISIS troops enter the village, threatening the lives of her family.

Cover of The Summers by Ronya Othmann

“On Nature and Need in Theodor Adorno”

Dr. Ari Linden, Associate Professor, Slavic, German, and Eurasian Studies, University of Kansas

Nov. 9th, 2023 | 4:00 pm

Max Kade Center for German-American Studies

Reception to follow

In 1942, the exiled philosophers and “critical theorists” of the Frankfurt Institute of Social Research held a seminar series in Los Angeles devoted to the development of a theory of needs. Responding both to the Third Reich and to the New Deal—as well as to Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel, Brave New World, published a decade earlier—Adorno’s position was the most radical and dialectical of all the members in attendance. This presentation will analyze Adorno’s “Theses on Need” in relation to its historical context, to Marx, and to Adorno’s concept of “natural history.” 

Cubist Study of a Head, Elemér de Kóródy, 1913, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thomas Mann: "Democracy Will Win"

Aug. 14th - Sep. 15th 2023

An exhibition by Literaturhaus München and VATMH in co-operation with the Max Kade Center for German-American Studies, realized with the generous support of the German Federal Foreign Office.

Thomas Mann was a German author who fled to the United States in 1939 when his critiques of Hitler’s regime made Germany unfriendly to him. This exhibition focuses on the remarkable evolution of Thomas Mann’s political biography: from monarchist to powerful opponent of National Socialism and committed champion of democracy.

Opening Reception

August 23rd, 2023 | 4:30pm

Joseph R. Pearson Building, Room 150

"All Are Welcome: Public Libraries and Democracy”

by Brad Allen, Executive Director of the Lawrence Public Library 

With remarks by Dr. Ani Kokobobo and Dr. Marike Janzen

Reception and Exhibition Viewing at the Center Afterwards

Flyer for the Thomas Man Exhibit at the KU MKC

Namibian Women and their Networks of Support

Wed., April 7th, 2021

12-1 PM

Elene Cloete, PhD, Anthropology, University of Kansas; Director of Research and Advocacy, Outreach International

Martha Ndakalako-Bannikov, PhD candidate, comparative literature, University of Oregon

Mariah C. Stember, PhD candidate, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Kansas 

Namibian Women and their Networks of Support poster

vintage photography of a shop saying "bohack"

 Markus Bierkoch, PhD candidate, History 

John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin 

Wed., March 31, 2021
12-1 PM CDT (Kansas)

Markus Bierkoch's doctoral research focuses on German-American associations in New York (1890s to 1930s) and their roles as both providers of social and economic benefits and proponents of ethnic politics. He will speak about economic networks formed by these organizations, specifically in the retail and wholesale sectors of the food and alcohol industries. 

Culinary Cosmopolitanism in 19th-Century Austria

Mon., March 22, 2021

12-1 PM CDT

Amy Millet, PhD candidate, History

Currently in Vienna on a Fulbright Research Grant, Amy Millet studies cooking, shopping, and dining out in 19th-century Austria.

Poster advertising Amy Millet's presentation

Poster advertising for Civil Rights Activism & German-Jewish Refugees Panel

Civil Rights Activism & German-Jewish Refugees Panel

A virtual event series exploring civil rights in Europe and America

Tuesday, February 23, 4pm CST

From Swastika to Jim Crow features Jewish-German scholars who taught at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the South after emigrating to the U.S., a rich and complex chapter of Black and Jewish relations in American history.

Ari Linden, German Studies
Fithawee Tzeggai, Sociology
Shelia Bonner, American Studies, Andrew Mellon Visiting Scholar, Margaret Walker Center, Jackson State University

Wednesday, February 24, 4pm CST

Civil rights activist Joyce Ladner speaks about her mentor, German-Jewish refugee and sociologist Ernst Borinski, whose innovative teaching at Tougaloo College engaged students in the civil rights movement in Mississippi.


Max Kade Center for German-American Studies,  Spencer Museum of Art, German Studies, Peace & Conflict Studies, American Studies, African & African-American Studies, Sociology, Jewish Studies, Margaret Walker Center