The Department of German at NYU and Deutsches Haus at NYU present a reading (in German) by Elisabeth Bronfen from her novel, Händler der Geheimnisse (Limmat Verlag, 2023); followed by a conversation (in English) – about Bronfen's thought process and writing practice, and how this novel fits in with her scholarly research – with Atina Grossmann.
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About Händler der Geheimnisse:
Spy story and family drama Fifty years after the end of World War II, Jewish-American veteran George Bromfield dies suspiciously in a New York City hospital. Could it be that his second wife hastened his death? While trying to uncover the mysterious circumstances of his death, his daughter Eva and her brother Max dig deeper and deeper into their father's mysterious past. The siblings go to Munich and New York to find out why their father returned to Bavaria after the end of the war and how this pertains to his friendship with a portrait painter and Nazi collaborator. Elisabeth Bronfen skillfully combines a spy story with a family drama and depicts the after-effects of a culture of secrecy that characterized the post-war period from 1945 onwards.
About the participants:
Elisabeth Bronfen is Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Zurich and, since 2007, Global Distinguished Professor at New York University. She completed her habilitation at the University of Munich on representations of femininity and death. Her areas of specialization include gender studies, psychoanalysis, visual culture, and television seriality. She published Obsession. The Cultural Critic’s Life in the Kitchen with Rutgers University Press, and Serial Shakespeare. An Infinite Variety of Appropriations in American TV Drama with Manchester University Press. Her debut novel Händler der Geheimnisse will appear with Limmat Verlag in September 2023.
Atina Grossmann (moderator) is Professor of History in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Cooper Union in New York City. Publications include Jews, Germans, and Allies: Close Encounters in Occupied Germany (2007, German 2012), Wege in der Fremde: Deutsch-jüdische Begegnungsgeschichte zwischen New York, Berlin und Teheran (2012), and Reforming Sex: The German Movement for Birth Control and Abortion Reform, 1920-1950 (1995); co-edited volumes on Crimes of War: Guilt and Denial in the Twentieth Century (2002) and After the Nazi Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe (2009), as well as Shelter from the Holocaust: Rethinking Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union (with M.Edele and S. Fitzpatrick) and The JDC at 100 (with A Patt, L. Levi, M. Maud). Her current research focuses on “Remapping Survival: Jewish Refugees and Lost Memories of Displacement, Trauma, and Rescue in the Soviet Union, Iran, and India,” as well as the entanglements of family memoir and historical scholarship.
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To RSVP for in-person attendance, please click here.
“'Händler der Geheimnisse:' An Evening with Elisabeth Bronfen and Atina Grossmann” is funded by the DAAD from funds of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).