CSULB Students, Faculty, and Staff Participate in the International Graduate Student Conference “Kleistian (pre-) Occupations”

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the death of Heinrich von Kleist, the international graduate student conference “Kleistian (pre-) Occupations” took place from Friday 28 October through Saturday 29 October 2011 in the Karl Anatol Center for Faculty Development at California State University, Long Beach. CSULB joined 146 other universities and cultural institutions across six continents in commemoration of Kleist, who lived from 1777 until his suicide in 1811. Kleist was a poet, dramatist, author of prose, political writer, soldier, journalist, mathematician, public servant, and suspected spy against the French under Napoleon.

Following a spirited keynote address from Dr. Seán Allan of Warwick University, seventeen papers of an eclectic variety were presented over a span of two days, addressing such diverse Kleistian themes as the influence of the Napoleonic occupation on the author’s artistic consciousness, the presence of paranormal activity in the author’s works, and the use of geological and biological phenomena in his novella “The Earthquake in Chile”. A unique highlight of the conference was a pedagogic series that featured a vibrant mix of five presentations addressing the didactic potential of teaching Kleist in the University setting. The enthusiastic audience, with an average of some 60 listeners, was composed mostly of CSULB German graduate and undergraduate students, who were joined by students of other disciplines and professors from numerous nearby universities.

With the guidance and support of the dedicated CSULB German Studies faculty and with additional help from on- and off-campus sponsors, the entirely student-run “Kleistian (pre-) Occupations Conference” was a great success.

Please visit Flickr for the “Kleistian (pre-) Occupations 2011’s photostream”.

PowerPoint Kleist Conference

Click here to visit the Heinrich von Kleist World Wide Reading Day website.