Society of Friends of TU Berlin

Walter Höllerer Lecture

Since 2007, the Höllerer Lecture has been held once a year at the end of the summer semester. As an interdisciplinary event, it is aimed at a broad, academically interested public. With the Höllerer Lecture, the Society of Friends of TU Berlin commemorates the literary scholar and author Walter Höllerer (1922–2003) and his commitment to the University as a place of the spirit of the mind in the “age of technology.”

Walter Höllerer was born in Sulzbach in the Upper Palatinate on 19 December 1922. After World War II, he studied German philology, philosophy, history, and comparative literature. In 1952, Höllerer made his debut as a poet with the collection of poems “Der andere Gast” (“The Other Guest”). From 1954 on, Höllerer participated in the meetings of Group 47 – a platform for the renewal of German literature after World War II – attending mostly as a critic, but also contributing his own texts. During this time, he also pursued his academic career, worked as an assistant at the University of Frankfurt, and completed his Habilitation. In 1959, he was appointed professor of Modern German Literature at TU Berlin, a position he held until his retirement in 1988. For his students, mostly prospective engineers, Walter Höllerer organized the series of events “Literature in the Age of Technology,” inviting celebrated authors to the University to read from their works. In 1961, the first issue of the journal “Sprache im technischen Zeitalter” (“Language in the Age of Technology”) appeared, which was planned as a supplement to the journal “Akzente” and focused on the function of literature and language in the media age. In parallel to this, Höllerer also established the “Institute for Language in the Age of Technology” at TU Berlin. In 1963, Walter Höllerer founded the Literary Colloquium Berlin.

He received numerous awards for his work. Among those honors were the Fontane Prize of the City of Berlin (1966), the Johann Heinrich Merk Prize (1975), and the Horst Bienek Prize for Poetry (1993). He was a member of the German PEN Centre, of the German Academy for Language and Poetry in Darmstadt, and of the Academy of Arts in Berlin. Walter Höllerer died in Berlin on 20 May 2003.

Walter Höllerer Lecture 2022: “Artificial and Post-Artificial Texts: Literature and Artificial Intelligence”

Speaker: Hannes Bajohr (Collegium Helveticum, Zurich), literary scholar and author

The lecture will be followed by a discussion with the writer Ulrike Draesner on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Society of Friends of TU Berlin.

When: Thursday, 8 December 2022 at 18:00
Where: TU Berlin, Main Building, Lecture Hall H 104, Straße des 17. Juni 135, D 10623 Berlin
 

>> Further information

2021

“Human Language and Artificial Intelligence” by Professor Dr. Hans Uszkoreit

Höllerer Lecture on 8 July 2021 with Professor Dr. Hans Uszkoreit of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)

The latest language models – gigantic in size – can already express themselves better than the average human language user when generating texts. Every day, millions of people successfully use the software applications Siri, Google Translate, and Grammarly. These applications still make lots of mistakes, because their general command of the language does not even approach that of a third grader. Computers are able to write like journalists – though without understanding humans and the world. Journalists would not be able to do that. A contradiction?

This is the exciting subject that Professor Dr. Hans Uszkoreit, scientific director at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and former honorary professor at TU Berlin will be addressing at this year’s Höllerer Lecture, organized by the Society of Friends of TU Berlin.

video recording of the event is available.

2019

“Ethics as Technology” by Professor Dr. Petra Gehring

Bioethics, climate ethics, robotics and IT ethics, ethics by design: The need for ethics in highly technological societies is enormous. Do we need technology ethics in order to cope with new technologies? Does ethics integrate technology, does it slow down technological developments, and, with the help of a philosophical perspective, does it make technologies more “humane”? These questions seem, at any rate, to be among the societal – and also political – expectations of ethics.

If one takes a closer look at the phenomenon of “applied ethics,” things look different. In this context, ethics is something new, namely a kind of semi-scientific expertise. The “principle of discourse” to which ethics is committed – from hearings, panel discussions, talk shows, and work carried out by commissions to individual lessons in the classroom – also gives it a powerful presence within society that goes far beyond a mere braking effect. Therefore, it is worth asking: How does ethics relate to politics and law? And what exactly is its function in the field of the technologies it deals with – bioethics with biotechnologies, IT ethics with digital technologies?

This lecture demonstrates that the situation is actually the other way around: Ethics is by no means directed at technology from a great distance (e.g. skeptically, reflectively or critically), but is closely connected to its object conceptually, argumentatively, as well as professionally – especially during the phase in which new technologies are still in the process of establishing themselves. “Ethics as technology” should therefore mean there are reasons to consider the form called ethics itself as part of the technologies it deals with. Applied ethics itself is an enabling instance, an enabling technology. If ethics is therefore productive in societies like ours, if it accomplishes something, the question, however, remains: What does it do and for whom?

An audio recording of the event is available.

2018

“Utopias of Resistance: Alfred Döblin, Stanislaw Lem, and Thomas Pynchon” by Professor emeritus Dr. Norbert Miller

The title of the Höllerer Lecture on 4 July 2018 organized by the Society of Friends of TU Berlin and the president of TU Berlin is “future-oriented.” This popular annual public lecture, which is named after the literary figure and co-founder of the “Group 47” Walter Höllerer (1922–2003), is being given this year by TU Berlin’s renowned literature professor, writer, and recipient of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Professor Dr. Norbert Miller. He wants to use this event to whisk his audience away to “Utopia,” to the ideal world, to the world of nowhere – an imaginative space that has been imagined and shaped by art and literature for centuries. As part of the event, Norbert Miller will be awarded honorary membership of TU Berlin for his special services to the University. The term “Utopia” – Thomas More’s dream of the ideal political system published in 1517, the “nowhere” of the ideal state – soon transferred itself to philosophical models of the future, to visionary futures of all kinds. The technology and progress-loving 19th and 20th centuries then applied this term to the novel of the future, the Utopian novel, a narrative genre that first developed hesitantly and then expanded around the globe. To this day, the Utopian novel is one of the most widespread genres. “It serves our never-ending curiosity about distant living worlds,” says Norbert Miller. Walter Höllerer endeavored to establish a creative link between the humanities and the technical sciences, and the visionary designs and models in literature, art, and architecture were passionately discussed at his institute. In his lecture, Norbert Miller, former assistant to Walter Höllerer, traces these designs and models. He will discuss writers such as Alfred Döblin, Stanislaw Lem, and Thomas Pynchon as authors who, in hugely different ways, continued the critical dialog about utopia and the anticipation of the future through literature.

During the 11th Höllerer Lecture, TU Berlin awarded Professor Dr. Norbert Miller honorary membership of the University. TU Berlin’s president, Professor Dr. Christian Thomsen, had proposed the award for the literary scholar, art historian, and writer for his special services to Technische Universität Berlin.

In 1970, Norbert Miller initially became a private lecturer with authorization to teach at TU Berlin’s Chair of German Philology. In the Institute of General and Comparative Literature, he subsequently served as a scientific advisor and professor of “Language in the Age of Technology.” In 1973, he was appointed full professor for General and Comparative Literature at the institute of the same name, a post he occupied until his retirement in September 2005. Prior to this, in addition to art history and musicology, he had studied literature with Walter Höllerer in Frankfurt, before accompanying him to Berlin as his assistant in 1961. Among other projects, he was involved in the publication of the journal “Sprache im technischen Zeitalter” (“Language in the Age of Technology”), which for the first time created a close link between technology and the humanities, as well as in the founding of the “Literarisches Colloquium Berlin” (Literary Colloquium Berlin) in 1963.

    Together with Höllerer, he brought to fruition, among other things, a multi-volume edition of the works of Jean Paul. To this day, it has remained an indispensable reference work for Jean Paul research. Further works followed. Wilhelm Heinse’s and Friedrich Nietzsche’s posthumous writings, as well as Marieluise Kaschnitz’s complete works are only some of the books that caused a sensation. Norbert Miller also won accolades as co-editor of the “Theorie der modernen Lyrik” (“Theory of Modern Poetry”) – two volumes with commentary – and of editions that made great French or English authors such as Henry Fielding, Daniel Defoe, Pierre Carlet de Marivaux or Gérard de Nerval accessible to German readers. Above all, however, Miller himself emerged as a writer, for instance, with “Der Wanderer. Goethe in Italien” (“The Wanderer. Goethe in Italy”), Hanser 2002, with “Die ungeheure Gewalt der Musik. Goethe und seine Komponisten” (“The Tremendous Force of Music. Goethe and his Composers”), Hanser 2009, or with the two-volume work “Europäische Romantik in der Musik” (“European Romantic in Music”) written together with Carl Dahlhaus, Metzler 1999/2007.  

    However, Norbert Miller was not only a literary artist and professor, but was also unafraid of throwing himself into administrative tasks. Within TU Berlin, he took on a variety of responsibilities as vice dean, dean and managing director of the Institute for German Philology, General and Comparative Literature. For more than two decades, his voice was often to be heard in the Academic Senate of TU Berlin. He is a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry in Darmstadt, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the PEN Club, among other organizations; from 1972, he headed the Literary Colloquium Berlin (LCB). He received many honors, of which the following are particularly noteworthy: the Sigmund Freud Prize (1993), the Goethe Medal of the Goethe Society Weimar (2009), the German Language Prize (2010), and the Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2010). He continues to be an active member of the Society of Friends of TU Berlin, where his wealth of knowledge and expansive network of contacts, among other things, have contributed significantly to the success of the Höllerer Lecture and attracting distinguished speakers.

    2017

    “The Language of Birds in the Age of Technology” by Professor emeritus Dr. Ulrich Raulff

    Since 2004, Ulrich Raulff has been director of the German Literature Archive, which, based in Marbach, houses and maintains the original manuscripts of many well-known German-language authors, among other things. He was previously head of the features section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, before taking on the role of managing editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung’s features section in 2001. He is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the German Academy for Language and Poetry, as well as the German PEN Centre, and is also the author and editor of numerous works.

    “Among all human artistic exercises, music is the one – since time immemorial – in which birds have had the most say, or rather singing,” he says and demonstrates how they as a “flying music theater” have inspired not only musicians, but writers and poets alike. “After all, birds are not only close to music, but also close to the sky, the light, and the night.” This has given rise to theological implications for ornithology, and to mythological ones for musicology, in an exciting arc to “tweeted” language forms in the age of technology.

    A photo review of the event as well as the script by Professor emeritus Dr. Ulrich Raulff are available.

    2016

    “‘...seems to me to spell the end of Beethoven.’ Remarks on the Music Business” by Professor Dr. Nike Wagner

    Beethoven may be considered the epitome of “classical” music. His instrumental music is, so to speak, a world heritage of sounds. The “Ode to Joy” from the final movement of his Ninth Symphony has not only achieved the status of a hit song, but also, as the anthem of the European Union, features in all sorts of occasions that require a demonstration of democracy’s defensive capabilities. How, then, are we to understand the suspicion expressed by musical aesthetes that the time of Beethoven might be coming to an end? Could this suspicion be prompted by the music industry itself, which, after all, uses Beethoven as one of its most representative crowd pullers? Nike Wagner reflected on the complex relationships in our music culture – between art and commerce, serious and popular music, the realities of the present and the desires for the future. The lecture was introduced by Professor emeritus Dr. Norbert Miller, TU Berlin.

    At the time of giving this lecture, Nike Wagner, great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner, was the artistic director of the international Beethovenfest Bonn. She studied music, theater studies, and literature in Berlin, Chicago, Paris, and Vienna, where she also earned her doctorate. Since 1975, Nike Wagner has been working as a freelance cultural researcher and has participated in international symposia and colloquia. As an author, she became known for her work on the cultural and intellectual history of fin-de-siècle Europe, and as a critic and essayist, for her examination of Richard Wagner and Bayreuth. She is a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry. From 2004 to 2013, she was artistic director of the art festival “pèlerinages” in Weimar.

    2015

    “The World Wanderer. The Long Journey of Odysseus Through European History” by Professor emeritus Dr. Werner Dahlheim

    “The World Wanderer. The Long Journey of Odysseus Through European History” was the title of the lecture given by Professor emeritus Dr. Werner Dahlheim as the 2015 Walter Höllerer Lecture at TU Berlin.

    “I [...] am known among men for all manner of wiles, and my fame reaches unto heaven,” Homer has his Odysseus say. War was his destiny, resourcefulness his weapon, and to return home his goal. Homer guides him home after a long odyssey, reunites him with his wife and son, and lets him rule as king. Many poets and philosophers after Homer were unwilling to accept the transformation of the world wanderer into a paterfamilias, tied to hearth and home, and waiting for a gentle death.

    In the “Divine Comedy,” for example, Dante, as well as countless others before and after him, sent Ulysses once again into foreign lands. He was to “experience the value and foolishness of people throughout all countries.” Admittedly, this Ulysses failed, since wanting to know everything was still tantamount to disobeying divine commandment. But his virtues, like his presumption, heralded a new man who challenged the unknown.

    An introduction to the lecture was given by Dr. Matthäus Heil, honorary professor at Freie Universität Berlin’s Friedrich Meinecke Institute and staff member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

    Professor Dahlheim was professor of Ancient History at TU Berlin from 1972 until his retirement in 2006. The focus of his scholarly activities was Roman history, early Christianity, and the reception of antiquity, on which he wrote landmark studies offering overviews of the academic terrain. His recent publication, “Die Welt zur Zeit Jesu” (“The World at the Time of Jesus”), is not so much a textbook as an exciting read and a testament to a great storyteller among today’s classical scholars. For this work, in particular, he received the Golo Mann Prize for Historical Writing on 28 November 2015.

    A photo gallery as well as an audio recording of the event are available.

    2014

    Imaginary Creatures in the Literature of Daniel Kehlmann

    “Danny Torrance Is Afraid. On Some Imaginary Creatures” is the title of the lecture to be given by the well-known author Daniel Kehlmann as TU Berlin’s 7th Walter Höllerer Lecture 2014. He will explore the history and aura of imaginary creatures in literature: from Jeremias Gotthelf’s “Black Spider” to Tolkien’s elves, from Stephen King’s zombies to the witches in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

    What does a writer do when he invents creatures that do not exist, what traditions does he draw on, and what psychological mechanisms does he play with? In his lecture, Daniel Kehlmann will be taking a wander through both artistic and supposedly trivial literature.

    An introduction to the lecture will be given by Professor Dr. Florian Höllerer, director of the Literary Colloquium Berlin (LCB).

    The Höllerer Lecture is organized by the Society of Friends of TU Berlin. Please refer to the public event in your media. Admission is free of charge. Journalists are cordially invited to attend:

    Daniel Kehlmann
    His novel “Measuring the World,” which has been translated into more than 40 languages, has made Daniel Kehlmann world-famous. To date, he has written more than twelve books, as well as stage plays, for which he has been awarded several of the most prestigious literary prizes, including the “Thomas Mann Prize.” Daniel Kehlmann is not only a widely read author, but also a sought-after lecturer. Several universities have offered him teaching posts in the field of poetics, including Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and New York University. The theater community remembers his speech at the opening of the 2009 Salzburg Festival, in which he critically examined today’s German-language “director’s theater,” which allows directors freedom to change the creator’s original work. His play “Der Mentor” (“The Mentor”) was last performed in Berlin at the Theater und Komödie am Kurfürstendamm in 2018.

    A photo gallery of the event is available.

    2013

    “Origin of Human Language – What Primate Research Reveals to Us” by Professor Dr. Julia Fischer

    At the Walter Höllerer Lecture 2013 at TU Berlin, the primate researcher Professor Dr. Julia Fischer dealt with the “Origin of Human Language – What Primate Research Reveals to Us.” Behavioral scientist Julia Fischer studies the evolution of social behavior, intelligence, and communication in primates. She investigates whether intelligence and communicative abilities are closely related. Her research vividly combines the natural sciences with the humanities.

    Professor Dr. Julia Fischer studied biology in Berlin and Glasgow. She received her doctor’s degree from Freie Universität Berlin in 1996. As part of her postdoctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania, she researched free-ranging baboons in Botswana. She completed her Habilitation at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig in 2004 and was appointed professor at the University of Göttingen and the German Primate Center. There she heads the Cognitive Ethology Laboratory which is affiliated with the Simenti field station in Senegal. Her research focuses on the evolution of social behavior, intelligence, and communication.

    2012

    “Poetry in Descent? Lyrical Speech in the Audiovisual Age” by Dr. Joachim Sartorius

    Together with TU Berlin’s Professor Norbert Miller, Sartorius edits the journal “Sprache im technischen Zeitalter” (“Language in the Age of Technology”). In December 2011, he was named a Knight of Arts and Letters (Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres) by then French Minister of Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand.

    Together with Norbert Miller, Joachim Sartorius, Knight of Arts and Letters, edits the journal “Sprache im technischen Zeitalter” (“Language in the Age of Technology”), founded by Walter Höllerer. As one of the most important German literary journals, it dedicates itself, among other issues, to the question of how modern information and communication technologies are shaping all areas of life, including language.

    Joachim Sartorius is both a poet and a cultural manager. Until the end of 2011, he served for ten years as artistic director of the Berliner Festspiele; prior to that, he was secretary general of the Goethe-Institut. His readers appreciate him as a poet and translator of American literature. He has published six volumes of poetry, most recently “Hôtel des Étrangers.”

    The long-time director of the Berliner Festspiele, Joachim Sartorius, will be giving this year’s Höllerer Lecture, which is organized by the Society of Friends of TU Berlin. “Poetry in Descent? Lyrical Speech in the Audiovisual Age” is the title of his lecture, which will take place on 3 July 2012 (18:00) in the Main Building of TU Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, D 10623 Berlin, Room H 104. Born in 1946, Joachim Sartorius was, among other things, artistic director of the Berliner Festspiele from 2001 to 2011. Together with TU Professor Norbert Miller, Sartorius is editor of the journal “Sprache im technischen Zeitalter” (“Language in the Age of Technology”). In December 2011, he was named a Knight of Arts and Letters (Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres) by then French Minister of Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand.

    A photo gallery and an audio recording of the event are available.

    2011

    “Conflicts Between Intuition and Neurobiological Evidence” by Professor Dr. Wolf Singer

    Wolf Singer, who is considered one of the world’s most eminent neuroscientists, will be giving this year’s Höllerer Lecture at TU Berlin on the topic of “Conflicts Between Intuition and Neurobiological Evidence.” The brain researcher has become known for statements that question human free will. His hypotheses on the free will of humans have triggered lively public debates and have been repeatedly taken up by the media. Lawyers regard them as a threat to the entire legal system of punishment and detention, which is based on the idea of the offender’s responsibility and presupposes “free will.”

    This fourth Höllerer Lecture organized by the Society of Friends of TU Berlin will take place on 16 June 2011. The lecture will be given by Professor Dr. Wolf Singer, director of the Frankfurt-based Max Planck Institute for Brain Research. One of his endeavors is to convey research results to the general public and to relate the findings of brain research to other societal issues. For his commitment to explaining the topic in a comprehensible way – even to non-scientists – and in the process enabling people to form their own opinions on brain research, he has been awarded the Communicator Prize. This award is bestowed by the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany and the German Research Foundation.

    A photo gallery and an audio recording of the event are available.

    2010

    “Konrad Zuse – Thoughts on Computing” by Professor Dr. Bernd Mahr and “The Woman for Whom I Invented the Computer” by F. C. Delius

    Höllerer Prolog

    I was invited to this Zuse reading and Höllerer Lecture not least because I was a Höllerer student. What is a Höllerer student? How to become a Höllerer student?
    I read my first Höllerer poems when I was 17. At 20, I heard Höllerer laugh for the first time at his readings and lectures. When I was 21, I watched Höllerer the critic putting his critical tools on display for the first time at Group 47. At 22, I was asked by Höllerer if I wanted to become a doctoral student under his supervision; for the next five years, I sat in his advanced seminar, which was called a colloquium, and listened. At 27, I completed my doctoral thesis titled “The Hero and His Weather” under Höllerer’s supervision, and since that time, since the year 1970, I have been happy to be called a Höllerer student.

    What did we, what did I, try to learn from him?
    First, the wide literary gaze spanning from Jean Paul to James Joyce. Contemporary world literature was just as important to him as Romantic literature or a text by Ingeborg Bachmann – there were no hierarchies or pigeonholes. Literature, we learned, even that of the greatest poets, is technique, meaning: It is not the so-called content, but its treatment that constitutes literary art. The decisive factor in this regard is the form, the choice of words, the construction – dramatic, stylistic, crafting techniques and imaginations. This is how we learned: by evaluating. At Freie Universität Berlin, German philologists learned to interpret – all well and good – but at TU Berlin, they learned more, namely, to weigh, to examine, to analyze, to evaluate.
    Thirdly, Höllerer hated nothing as much as idioms, phrases, linguistic brainlessness, ideological – that is, perspective-narrowing – conveniences. In this way he educated us – even in times of the movement of 1968 – to be accurate, to differentiate, to keep a critical distance to every sentence we heard, read or wrote ourselves.
    The fourth lesson we learned from him was to have respect for other arts, other sciences, to have respect for technical achievements. When students of the ‘68 movement demanded, “More Marxism, please, Professor!”, he countered: “You are absolutely right: More engagement with Marxism would be important, but please don’t forget that more engagement with brain research and thermodynamics would be too!”

    Why is a Höllerer student writing a novel about Zuse?
    Up front: Contrary to rumors, I have never attended one of Höllerer’s writing schools for prose or drama; I have only been in a course for young critics – perhaps six sessions. (I never offered him poems for “Akzente” either, except once as a student of 17 or 18 years). I would not claim that Höllerer incited me to write this novel 40 years ago. But I think he did help the literary youngster feel more respect for technicians and scientists. Without respect for the achievements of the inventor Zuse, this novel could not have been written.

    Why a novel about Zuse?
    A fascinating figure like Zuse offers so much material that one has to wonder why he has remained undiscovered by artists and biographers for so long. My work was facilitated by our biographical connections – we had once been neighbors, from 1949 to the mid-fifties, he in Neukirchen, district of Hünfeld (Hesse), I in Wehrda, district of Hünfeld; fewer than five kilometers lay between his workshop, where the machines of the future were built, and my sandbox, my parental home, my school, my sports field. I located the story in our common landscape – encouraged not least by Höllerer, whom I have often admired for the way he described landscapes and the matter-of-factness with which he made Sulzbach-Rosenberg the center of his literary world.

    The third point: Zuse hints now and then that he sees himself as a Faustian person. When I grasped that, the literary key was found, a literary work had to be created that included Mephisto and Helena: The woman for whom I invented the computer...
    Fourth: This book is not a biography. Anyone can write a biography about Zuse, I sometimes say. This is a novel. And a novel, according to a definition by Imre Kertész, consists not of facts but of what it adds to the facts. That is, emotions, the insides of a person, secrets, fears, dreams, thoughts. In short: the subjective perspective, as subjective as possible – this is how, if it actually succeeds, the objective truth of a novel emerges.

    2008

    “The Fragility of Originals. On the Art of the Beginning” by Professor Dr. Gottfried Böhm

    Professor Boehm has engaged with the fascinating question of why, unlike in linguistics, there has never been a comparable discussion about the visual image in science. In 1994, he coined the term “icon turn,” assigning visual and linguistic information equal value. For the philosopher Boehm, the modern contemplation of images also extends to the culture of dealing with images. In his lecture “The Fragility of Originals. On the Art of the Beginning,” he uses selected works as examples to argue for the inevitability of the original, which asserts itself against forgeries or imitations.  In doing so, the art historian addresses questions like to what extent “originals” can still be identifiable as such in the digital age and, if at all, what role they play.

    Born in 1942, Gottfried Boehm completed his doctor’s degree in philosophy in 1968 and his Habilitation in art history in Heidelberg in 1974. He was a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2001/2002), is a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and has published numerous books and writings on philosophical and art-historical topics.

    2007

    “Happiness in the Cosmos. Happiness in Literature” by Peter von Matt

    Walter Höllerer was one of TU Berlin’s most influential professors. This lyricist and professor of German literature breathed content and life into the ambition that TU Berlin had when it was re-founded after the war, namely, the ambition to achieve the connection and permeation of technology with humanism.

    A series of events initiated by the Society of Friends of TU Berlin is dedicated to him. Once a year, renowned humanities scholars are invited to give the “Walter Höllerer Lecture.” The first Walter Höllerer Lecture titled “Happiness in the Cosmos. Happiness in Literature” will be given by the German philologist Peter von Matt, to which you are cordially invited. The introduction to the lecture will be given by Professor Dr. Norbert Miller, professor of German Philology, General and Comparative Literature at TU Berlin until 2005.

    Peter von Matt
    Born in Lucerne in 1937, Peter von Matt taught as professor of modern German literature at the University of Zurich between 1976 and 2002. He is a member of various academies of science and humanities and is known for his many publications. His most recent publications include “Das Wilde und die Ordnung. Zur deutschen Literatur” (“Wildness and Order. On German Literature”) and “Die Intrige. Theorie und Praxis der Hinterlist” (“The Intrigue. Theory and Practice of Deceit”). He has received numerous awards for his work, including the order Pour le mérite for Sciences and the Arts in 1997, the Zurich Art Prize in 2000, and the Great Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2005.