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Part of the Lecture Series “The Imagined Orient” (Part 1, in German)

“Orient” is a problematic magic word: it evokes biblical idylls, adventurous scenes from fairy tales and erotic fantasies, but also Western arrogance and colonial crimes. “Orient” is an ambiguous word: the term refers not only to various regions, from China to the Levant to Al-Andalus (Islamic Iberia), but also to various eras, from the start of human history to Babylonian antiquity to the present-day Middle East.


The first lecture in the series The Imagined Orient invites you to join literary scholar Kathrin Wittler (Freie Universität Berlin) in exploring the term’s broad range of connotations through the lens of German-Jewish literary and cultural history and in revealing new perspectives in today’s heated debates. The focus will be on Jewish philosophers and writers who since the 18th century have been reflecting on the meanings contained in German-language terms used to refer to said areas, such as “Orient,” “Morgenland” and “Osten,” as well as similar Hebrew terms like “misrach” and “kedem.” The lecture will also examine how such terms reflect one’s own position in Europe.

The lecture series The Imagined Orient introduces ways of understanding German-Jewish and Israeli perspectives on the term “Orient” and explores its contradictory fantasies and realities within the spectrum of modern Jewish experiences. The series takes us from the 18th century to the present over the course of six events as it presents various biographies, films, photographs, texts and art pieces.

(Program in German)
Additional information
Meeting point: W.M. Blumenthal Academy, Klaus Mangold Auditorium, Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin (opposite the museum)

Price info: 6 €, reduced rate 3 € – Booking opens soon in our ticket shop.

Price: €6.00

Reduced price: €3.00