Saturday, May 17, 2003
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street
—a conference organized by Andrew Hewitt, University of California, Los Angeles, in honor of Ehrhard Bahr, University of California, Los Angeles
While the intersection of politics and literature appears self-evident to those working in cultural studies today, Ehrhard (Ted) Bahr pioneered this perspective before it was fashionable in German Studies. From his early work on Kafka behind the Iron Curtain to his current investigations of the Goethe Society under National Socialism, Ted has consistently developed original questions and approaches to this complex area. His work has encompassed three centuries with equal erudition and subtlety, and its focus has always been progressive. In looking backwards, whether to Weimar Classicism, to the literature of World War II, or to the problem of Fascism, he has taught us to look forward as well. His research on the impact of the French Revolution on German intellectuals, his writing on Anti-Semitism, and finally his groundbreaking work on exile literature will stand the test of time as the political-historical problems of revolution, religious persecution, and exile assume ever greater prominence in an increasingly chaotic globalized context. Alive to the importance of changing methodologies in a constantly changing world, Ted’s receptivity to new interpretive paradigms rests precisely at the intersection of politics and literature. His work has enriched the lives of students and colleagues alike. This conference is a celebration of Ehrhard Bahr and of his contributions to scholarship.