Events for Everyone: The University of Freiburg’s new Studium generale and Colloquium politicum programmes

During the Winter semester the charm of wine and the 75th birthday of Germany’s Basic Law will be among the topics

Rich, challenging and varied: That’s the aim of the programmes of the Studium generale and Colloquium politicum, which are directed at anyone who’s interested from within or outside of the University of Freiburg community. In the Winter semester as well, starting in mid-October, many lectures, discussions, and readings on scientific, cultural, and political topics are on offer. ’In this semester once again we’re adhering to the tried-and-true motto of the theatre director of Goethe’s Faust’, says Werner Frick, the director of the Studium generale. He quotes, ’They who bring much, will contribute to some, and everyone will go home satisfied.’

Samstags-Uni  (Saturday University), seminars and field trips

A central part of the Studium generale is the Samstags Uni (Saturday University), which is offered by the University of Freiburg and the Volkshochschule Freiburg (Adult Education Centre). In this semester the programme headline is: ’In vino veritas’ Wein, - Kultur - Wissen’ (’In vino veritas? Wine, culture - knowledge’). ’The topic couldn’t be more characteristic or significant for our landscape here on the Upper Rhine,’ says Frick. ’And the University of Freiburg grows its own wine, too! We’re going to take an interdisciplinary look at wine - perhaps the most cultivated beverage in human history - in the entire richness of its scientific, cultural, and historical contexts’. The topics of the fourteen events range from the challenges of climate change for viticulture to festive cultures, rituals, and the role of wine in literature, art, and religion. This time, the series is also being held in cooperation with the Staatliche Weinbauinstitut Freiburg (State Viticultural Institute - Freiburg). It starts on 21 October 2023.

’After the encouraging fresh start last Summer semester, this winter we’re also holding a small, but excellent programme of Studium generale seminars and field trips,’ says Frick. Seminars on the history of literature, culture, and ideas will cover diverse topics. These range from the Italian Renaissance to Nietzsche’s ’Zarathustra’ to contemporary art and theatre. The seminars will be presented by experienced university lecturers on six evenings. There are no prerequisites for taking part beyond curiosity and an open mind. The number of places, however, is limited, so prompt registration (see below) is recommended for these as well as the field trips.

Freiburg city history

The city history series ’ Auf Jahr und Tag’ (’A Year and a Day’) is a new addition to the programme of the Studium generale. A group representative of all the institutions important in researching Freiburg’s city history has been organising the series for twelve years. ’Orte im frühneuzeitlichen Freiburg’ (’Places in Early Modern Freiburg’) is the title of the next round. Starting at the turn of the 16th Century, many characteristic new buildings were put up in Freiburg. These include the Stadtpalais (City Palace) by Konrad Stürtzel, which is known today as the Baseler Hof, or the core structures of the Neues Rathaus (New City Hall). During the Winter semester well-known places such as Münsterplatz (Münster Square), Peterhof, and the Breisacher Tor (Breisach Gate), will be examined, but also less obvious ones like the Freiburger Stadtwald (Freiburg City Forest).

Individual lectures and series

The Studium generale places many individual lectures within the intentionally open series called ’Faszination Wissenschaft’ (’Fascination of Science’). The events offer insight into the diversity of university research topics from all disciplines - from the humanities to cultural studies to social sciences and on to mathematics, natural sciences, and technology.

The lecture series ’Konturen der nächsten Gesellschaft’ (’Shapes of the Next Society’) takes place in cooperation with the Katholische Akademie (Catholic Academy). It is being held this semester for the last time. The Kunstwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft (Art Historical Society) is offering a series on the topic: ’Mit Erfahrungen im Ausland: Aktuelle Forschungen der Kunstgeschichte’ (’With Experiences Abroad: Current research in art history’). Meanwhile, the Fachschaft Philosophie (Departmental Student Committee of Philosophy) is offering a lecture cycle called ’Dekolonial philosophieren’ (’Philosophising Decolonially’). The New German Literature Section of the (Department of German) is dedicating a lecture cycle to the topic ’Academic Vibes. Mediale Inszenierungen eines Lebensgefühls’ (’Academic Vibes. Media presentations of an attitude towards life’).

Slam, performance, film - and Nils Petersen

The series ’Bücher, über die man spricht’ (’Books people talk about’) is devoted among other things to the latest book by the publicist and historian specialising in Eastern Europe, Gerd Koenen - Im Widerschein des Krieges. Nachdenken über Russland (In the Reflection of the War. Contemplating Russia). Beyond that, former Freiburg football player Nils Petersen will discuss the look back at his career Bank-Geheimnis - Selbstgespräche eines Fußballprofis (Bench Confidential - A Professional Football Player Reflects) as part of a three-part series featuring specialists from sport and science. The series ’Gespräche über ausgewählte Inszenierungen’ (’Conversations about Selected Performances’) is again devoted to productions at the Theater Freiburg (The Freiburg Theatre). The event formats are set up as panel discussions aimed at promoting debates not just between the panel members, but the public as well.

In the artistic area, ’Rezitation und Theater’ (’Recitation and Theatre’) the Studium generale joins the Samstags-Uni programme ’In vino veritas?’ to hold their own poetry slam dedicated to the poetically inexhaustible subject of wine. It will also show the film ’Terroir. Eine genussvolle Reise in die Welt des Weins’ (’Terroir. An enjoyable journey into the world of wine’) in cooperation with the tradition-rich student film group aka-Filmclub. Additionally, actor Christian Fries will give a one-time guest performance of his breathtaking solo portrayal from Thomas Bernhard’s novel about the arts, Der Untergeher (The Loser).

Colloquium politicum

Our present is dominated by international political upheaval and global insecurity. The Colloquium politicum’s programme addresses political, economic, and societal developments in depth in individual talks, panel discussions, debates, and lecture series. On 16 October 2023, the Colloquium politicum opens the Winter semester in conjunction with FRIAS Freiburger Horizonte (FRIAS Freiburg Horizons) with a panel discussion on the timely topic of ’Städte im Hitzestress - Intelligente Klimaanpassung für den urbanen Raum’ (’Cities under heat stress - Intelligent climate adaption for urban spaces’).

In further events, Meron Mendel will discuss the topic of ’Über Israel reden’ (’Talking about Israel’) while philosopher Andrea Günter will ask: ’Warum feministische Außenpolitik?’ (’Why feminist foreign policy?’) Four lecture series address ’75 Jahre Grundgesetz: ein Glücksfall’!’ (’75 years of the Basic Law: A stroke of luck’!’) Here, the former president of the Federal Constitutional Court Andreas Voßkuhle will hold the opening lecture. This will be followed by talks on the topics: ’Mutprobe Demokratie: Die USA vor den Präsidentschaftswahlen 2024’ (’Testing democracy: The US ahead of the 2024 presidential elections’), ’Echo - Prägendes aus Deutschland in China’ (’Echo - Significant influences from Germany in China’), and ’Freiburg und die Region in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus. Versuch einer lokalen und regionalen Bestandsaufnahme’ (’Freiburg and the region during the National Socialist period. An attempt at a local and regional inventory’).

Studium generale programme

Colloquium politicum programme

The printed programme has also been set out in University of Freiburg buildings, Freiburg bookstores, and in the office of the Studium generale in Belfortstraße 20.

Registrations for seminars and excursions can be made through Mr Rainer Dausch at the Studium generale’s office: rainer.dausch@studgen.uni-freiburg.de




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