Work/Ethics Conference, 12/6-7 NYU German

The Department of German at New York University cordially invites you to its two-day Graduate Student Conference, “Work/Ethics,” set to take place on December 6-7, 2013. Our conference brings together a number of outstanding graduate students from the United States and abroad and will feature a keynote address by Professor Martin Jörg Schäfer (Universität Erfurt) and a round table discussion with Professor Avital Ronell (NYU).     


The notion of work is as significant for the understanding of modern society as it is inherently ambiguous. The spectrum of conceptions range from the curse of toil in Genesis, alienated labor in Marx, the ‘iron-cage’ of modern work ethics in Weber to the anthropological revaluation of work in Locke and its world-building, cultivating function in Hegel, Heidegger, and Arendt. Its repercussions pervade literature, the arts, philosophy, and psychoanalysis as thematic work, conceptual exertion, dreamwork, the work of mourning, working through, or the very notion of an œuvre. Our conference seeks to elucidate the slash between work and ethics in examining different configurations of work, labor, operativity, productivity and their opposites (if such a thing exists): non-work, doing nothing, leisure, idleness.


Please join us for the keynote address on Friday, December 6, at 6:30 PM in the Deutsches Haus at NYU (42 Washington Mews). The conference will continue with a full day of panels on Saturday, December 7, in NYU’s Silver Center room 401 (100 Washington Square East). A detailed schedule can be found on the conference flyer attached in this email. The flyer is also available on the NYU Department of German’s homepage:


Please send questions to Jerome Bolton ( 


No RSVP is necessary. We look forward to seeing you! 




Susanne Fuchs, Jonathan Kassner, and Jerome Bolton


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