Erich Auerbach: Scholarship and Identity in Times of Crisis, A Critical View
An International Webinar: The Graduate Center, CUNY, and the University of Oldenburg, Germany
March 11, 2021, 4-6pm
March 12, 2021, 12-2 pm
An international conference planned with the University of Oldenburg, Germany, we will explore varying views on Erich Auerbach’s relation to German, Jewish and Christian traditions. As Auerbach’s influence as a medieval and Dante scholar has spread, his reputation has subsequently grown as a cultural-historical figure known for writing his most important literary and cultural history in exile during the National Socialist era. He now shares this focus of attention with Walter Benjamin, Theodore Adrono, and Hannah Arendt. The question of the cultural position from which this German-Jewish scholar wrote under these circumstances has become paramount in Germany and the US. He has gained posthumous authority a paradigmatic twentieth-century intellectual exiled by political persecution, while new research by German and American scholars has turned attention to Auerbach’s debt to Christian and Jewish intellectual traditions in Germany.