Online Summer Workshop

Alone Together: Alienation & Reconciliation

Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies

Workshop Dates: June 30-July 2, 2021

Deadline: March 17, 2021

We are, maybe we have always been, “alone together.” And while the challenges of being “alone” and “together” have existed historically in various, often complex ways, the current moment of cultural extremism, of Brexit, of American unilateralism, and of a global pandemic, have given the challenge a new urgency.

In her last New Year’s address to the nation on December 31, 2020, Chancellor Angela Merkel touched on the need to be “together” and “alone” simultaneously while urging the German public to cooperate with pandemic measures: “To me, this is an expression of what makes it possible to live in a humane society in the first place—consideration of others, awareness of when to show restraint, and a sense that we are part of a larger community.”

But how have we been, how can we continue to be “alone together” without homogenizing diverse voices, ideologies, beliefs, and positions? What dangers, and what opportunities—at home and abroad, real and imagined—has being “alone together” posed and how might it affect Germany and German-speaking communities?

To these ends, the Berlin Program Summer Workshop 2021 seeks proposals from a diverse array of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives on what it means to be “alone together” in historical or contemporary terms. The proposals may take a variety of forms: from case studies, literary analyses, and policy examinations to media matters, cultural comparisons, historical considerations, and aesthetic investigations.

APPLICATION & DEADLINE: Submit one PDF file containing a 250-word abstract, a two-page c.v., and a 150-word bio by March 17, 2021 to

FORMAT:The Berlin Program workshop is focused on creating dialogue and knowledge across and among disciplines. The event serves as a forum for Berlin Program fellows and alumni, but invites participation of all other scholars. During the workshop, scholars will present for ten minutes on papers that participants will have read prior to the workshop. A substantial period of time will be reserved at the end of the panels for discussion of the papers.

LOGISTICS: The workshop will be an English-language online event, free of charge.

REQUIREMENTS:Presenters are required to submit papers of 15 to 20 pages or an existing publication of similar length for circulation to workshop participants by June 15, 2021. All workshop participants are asked to read these submissions prior to the workshop. Presenters who do not submit their paper on time will not be allowed to present.


  • March 17: Application deadline
  • March 31: Notification of accepted presenters
  • April: Circulation of preliminary program
  • June 15: Final deadline for essays (15–20 pages). There will be no extensions.

PROGRAM COMMITTEE                                                   

  • Dr. Deborah Barton | Université de Montréal
  • Dr. Jeremy DeWaal | University of Exeter
  • Karin Goihl | Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin Program
  • Dr. Thomas O. Haakenson | California College of the Arts
  • Dr. Carol Hager | Bryn Mawr College

The Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies promotes North American scholars in the humanities and the social sciences working on dissertation or postdoctoral research projects on Germany and/or Europe. In close cooperation with our North American partner and co-sponsor, the German Studies Association, our Summer Workshop and other events offer opportunities to engage with timely topics and strengthen ties between the program and scholars working in these fields.

Read more on the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies page.

PHOTO CREDITS    Photo by Victor Rodriguez on Unsplash