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5:00 pm
Minor 125

Repetition is a reflection of the world we live in. From the branching of trees to the branching of neurons, we can see examples of repetition in nature. Even the foundations of language may be built upon the repetition of sounds.  Our very conception of beauty is based on forms of repetition, found in natural expressions of symmetry.  In our modern world, truth has become fused with the necessity for verification through repetition.  Repetition is ubiquitous on Earth.

Recently, our conception of repetition has become marred. Like a broken record, we find ourselves detesting the mundane, quotidian nature of our lives.  We associate repetition with boredom and monotony.  We struggle to find a way out of the cycle, assuming that if we don’t find an escape, we will be “doomed to repeat” the same events for eternity.  Repetition can be seen as criminal. Plagiarism and forgery are today viewed as repetition in its worst forms. German politicians have recently demonstrated that plagiarism is a trap that even the most highly educated of us can fall into.

While it may seem that forgery is a modern epidemic, emulation was long considered the path to mastery. In each discipline, repetition is a basic drive.  Codified ideals of pattern and form influence the creation of art throughout history. Rhythm and beat are dependent on the repetition of sounds. In dance, complex but repetitive choreography can convey the deepest emotions.  The natural sciences not only study repetitive phenomena like reproduction and self-sustaining biochemical reactions, but the entire research process is beholden to the repetition of observations. Today, what is called “intertextuality” brings a positive connotation to repetition within texts by alluding to the themes, motifs, or other textual aspects of previous works. Whether it is a repeated frame of a film or a roter Faden (red thread) woven through the pages of a text, repetition is rarely far away.  We live each day in this enigmatic world, experiencing all of the mundane and beautiful aspects of repetition – and we’ll do it all over again tomorrow.


Conference Schedule

All conference events will take place in Minor Hall, Room 125.

Schedule for Friday, February 28, 2014

Opening Remarks: 5:00 pm, followed by a reception


Keynote Speaker: Professor Irene Kacandes, Dartmouth University

Irene Kacandes is The Dartmouth Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Harvard University in 1991 and taught at the University of Texas, Austin, before going to Dartmouth in 1994. Specializing in narrative theory and 20th-century cultural studies, she has published on topics ranging from orality and literacy, feminist linguistics, the Holocaust, and German prose to experimental life writing.


Schedule for Saturday, March 1, 2014

9:00 - 9:30



Panel I: Narrative Strategies and Memory - Repetition in Literature and Thought 

Moderator: Robert Stone


9:30 - 9:55

Stephanie Galasso (Brown): The Acropolis and After: The Emergence, Doubling, and Haunting of Memory in Freud's Erinnerungsstörung auf der Akropolis


9:55 - 10:20

Rebekah Slodounik (Virginia): The Figure of Imposture in Benjamin Stein’s Die Leinwand


10:20 - 10:45

Maeve Hooper (Chicago): Going in Circles: Structural  Repetition in Stifter’s Bergkristall


10:45 - 10:55



Panel II: Re-appearances - Repetition of Art and Objects

Moderator: Ani Tramblian


10:55 - 11:20

Beatrice Waegner (Virginia):Inside a Blossom lies the Truth. Original and Recreation in Stefan Zweig’s The Buried Candelabrum.


11:20 - 11:45

Matthew Anderson (Texas): Beautifully Blonde or Enchantingly Ugly: John Bauer’s Visual Narrative in the Illustrated Volumes of Bland tomtar och troll (Among Gnomes and Trolls), 1912-1915


11:45 - 12:15

Geraldine Suter (Virginia): “Down into that Dark Abyss”: Mirroring (Im)Mortality in Mörike’s “Erinna an Sappho”


12:15 - 1:15



Panel III: The Beat Goes on - Repetition in Film and Music

 Moderator: Dilara Serhat


1:15 - 1:40

Kevin Boix (Virginia): Subversive Suburbia and Seidl's Hundstage


1:40 - 2:05

Victor Szabo (Virginia): Loops after the End of History


2:05 - 2:30

Anne von Petersdorff (Michigan State): Establishing Polyphony Through Repetition: Rethinking Tourism-Migration Categories through Lisl Ponger’s Passagen


2:35 - 2:55 Coffee Break


Panel IV: Scientific Advancements through Repetition - Repetition in 

the Physical World 

Moderator: Dylan Goldblatt


2:55 - 3:25

Harry Caufield: Let’s Do Some Networking: Interactomics across domains of life


3:25 - 3:50

Chris Nichols (Virginia): Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy


3:50 - 4:00



Panel V: Borrowing and Subverting - Repetition in/from Cultures and Institutions 

Moderator: Chuck Taggart



Dylan Goldblatt (Virginia): Rosa’s Misdiagnosis: Perlocutionary and Illocutionary Speech Acts in Kafka’s “A Country Doctor”


4:25 - 4:50

Karsten Forbrig (Uni. Nantes): « Es gibt eben abermals : noch einmal : nur das Theater » Recycling und covering in den Theatertexten Werner Schwabs


4:50 - 5:20

Philipp Sugg (Chicago): Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre, oder die Entsagende: The Repetition of Religious Themes in Search of an Expanded Frame


5:20 - 5:30 Closing Remarks


6:45 Dinner