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Undergraduate Conferences

German Undergraduate Conference 2022

18 & 19 February 2022


With a keynote from Kübra Gümüşay

Following the success of the Conference on ‘Interruption’ in 2021, the theme for 2022 is ‘Optimism’. 

All German Studies undergraduates and sixth form students of German welcome for the conference



Friday 18th February (ONLINE)

17:00-18:00 - Careers Panel

Join us for a careers discussion and Q&A with a range of professionals on working with a degree in German Studies Please note that the Careers Panel will take place online only.

Saturday 19th February (HYBRID)

9:00-9:30 - Introduction 9:30-10:30 - 'Building Optimistic Societies'

  • Saul Samuels Moselle (Cambridge) - ‘Optimism and Other Emotions: Sentiment Analysis of the German-Language Twittersphere During COP26’

  • Lee Morrow (Aberdeen) – ‘Rebellion and Innovation: Reinterpreting Viennese Modernism in the 21st Century’

  • Andy Hills (Leeds) – ‘Trans, Yet Optimistic: Removing Barriers Facing Trans and Non-Binary People in the UK and Germany’

10:30-11:00 - Break

11:00-12:00 - 'Optimism in Entertainment'

  • Olivia Copeland (Cambridge) – ‘Happy Endings: How Children’s Literature in the German Democratic Republic Reflected the Highs and Lows of the Regime’

  • Zachary Dickerson (KCL) – ‘”Werden alle Menschen Brüder?”: Beethoven's Complicated History in 20th-Century Politics’

  • Orli Vogt-Vincent (Cambridge) – ‘Hitler Humour: A Reason to Smile?’

12:00-13:30 - Break for lunch

  • Drop-in session for sixth-form students with current Cambridge German Studies undergraduates

13:30-15:00 - Keynote from Kübra Gümüşay - ‘Optimismus & Sprache - wie existieren in einer Sprache, in der wir als Sprechende nicht vorgesehen sind?’

15:00-15:30 - Break

15:30-16:30 - 'Sensitive Optimism: Memorial Work'

  • George Crimes (Cambridge) – ‘Remembering for the Future: Finding Environmental Optimism in German Memorial Culture’

  • Oliver Lawrie (Leeds) – ‘”Ohne uns ist gegen uns”: In Richtung der Entkolonialisierung der namibischen-deutschen postkolonialen Erinnerungskultur’

  • Charlotte Copeman (Oxford) – ‘No Road to Recovery: The Problem of Optimism in Post-War German-Jewish Literature’

16:30-17:00 - Break 17:00-18:00 - 'Optimism in Thought and Literature'

  • Jack Graveney (Cambridge) – ‘Sad Nobles and Happy Workers: Aristocratic Pessimism and the Critique of Socialist Optimism in Nietzsche’

  • Lidija Beric (Cambridge) – ‘Optimism in the Ruins of Utopia: How Medieval Dis-Illusion Reflects Metamodern Illusion’

  • Amy Brook (Cambridge) – ‘Rose Auslaender: Poetic Space as Constructive Forces’

18:00-18:15 - Closing Remarks

18:15–19:00 – Drinks Reception and Pre-launch of Undergraduate Research Journal in German Studie




Please contact with any questions you may have.


Photograph taken at 2020 conference on the theme of ‘Invention and Innovation’.





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'Optimism in the German-speaking world' 18th & 19th February 2022 With a keynote from Kübra Gümüşay Panel discussions: 'Building optimistic societies' 'Optimism in entertainment' 'Sensitive optimism: memorial work' 'Optimism in thought and literature' Careers panel with German studies graduates All German studies...

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