Conference Sessions and Calls for Papers

Upcoming Conference Sessions


GSA Conference, October 5-8, 2023, in Montreal, Canada

Heinrich Heine and Translation 

Heinrich Heine’s oeuvre and reception raise important questions about the poetics and ethics of translation. Notable US poets, for example, have translated his well-known early poetry with very different motivations, including situating it in his biography as a German Jew (Emma Lazarus), reflecting his lyrical refinement (Ezra Pound), and radically communicating the ambiguities of his poems through homophonic translation (Charles Bernstein). Additionally, modern Hebrew poets and Jewish translators balanced their love of Heine with his apostasy and Germanness after the Shoah. Heine’s sprawling oeuvre, comprising of poetry, essays, journalism, and voluminous correspondence, also begs the question of how much of a writer’s work must be translated, a question Charles Godfrey Leland repeatedly raises in his twenty-volume nineteenth-century translation of Heine’s works (the most complete English translation to date). Moreover, Heine’s regular use of untranslated words and sentences from other languages (including French, English, Latin, and Hebrew) suggests he imagined his German as polyphonous and energized by the tension of translatability and untranslatability.   

103. Heine and Translation (sponsored by the North American Heine Society)

10/6/23, 3:45 PM–5:45 PM Suite 3504

Moderator: Na'ama Rokem, University of Chicago

  • Jocelyn Aksin, University of North Carolina Greensboro: “Es treibt dich fort von Ort zu Ort”: Tracing the Footsteps of Heine in Turkish
  • Abigail Gillman, Boston University: Heine’s Fichtenbaum in a Grove of Oranim: Towards a History of Heine’s Poems in Hebrew
  • Michael Swellander, Skidmore College: Logopoeia: Reading Heine with Ezra Pound
  • Paul Peters, McGill University: Heine In and Beyond Translation

Commentator: Jeffrey Grossman, University of Virginia


MLA Convention, Conference, January 4-7, 2024, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Heine: Between Hegel and Marx

In his Geständnisse (1854), the last prose work to be published in his lifetime, Heine would claim that he “let out the school secret” of Hegelian philosophy, “which, wrapped up in scholastic formulas, was known only to initiates of the first class” (DHA15 169). The school secret was a fundamental atheism that would pave the way for a “political revolution” in Germany (DHA8/1 117), and Heine would associate this revolution with the then emerging communist movement. As a young student and up-and-coming poet in the 1820s Berlin dominated by political reaction, Heine attended the lectures of German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel at the height of his fame. Around twenty years later in the time now known as the Vormärz, and after having become one of the leading figures in German oppositional literature living in Parisian exile, Heine formed a friendship with the young, then relatively unknown philosopher, Karl Marx. Between the heights of classical German speculative idealism and at the beginning of its transition into the critique of political economy that would have lasting consequences into the next century, Heine experienced—perhaps like no other—“the adventure of the dialectic,” between the two titans of German thought and practice who would be associated with this name. But beyond the biographical, Heine’s own work, in both his poetry and prose, played an active role in deriving the political and revolutionary consequences of Hegelian philosophy and thus shaping the intellectual landscape that would make the work of thinkers like Marx possible. Thus Friedrich Engels (1886), Georg Lukács (1937), and Stathis Kouvelakis (2003) would view Heine as the first Left Hegelian, a loose designator for an activist legacy that began by secularizing Hegelian philosophy and using it for ideological criticism. In addition to Heine’s explicit references to Hegel (which are often, admittedly, quite anecdotal), the shadow of Hegel is palpable in many of Heine’s writings that do not expressly deal with Hegelian philosophy—indeed, even in works that are against this philosophy. Jean-Pierre Lefebvre (1975) argued that Heine’s late poetic work, Romanzero (1851)—a work in the “Afterword” of which Heine poignantly renounced Hegelianism—is structured by a dialectical syllogism inspired by Hegel which registers historical crisis.

41. Heine between Hegel and Marx (sponsored by the North American Heine Society)

Thursday, 4 January, 2024, 1:45 PM-3:00 PM, 404 (Marriott)

Presiding: Tracie Matysik, University of Texas, Austin

  • Colby Chubbs, University of Toronto: Heine as the First Left Hegelian,
  • Jörg Kreienbrock, Northwestern University: A Right against Rights: Hegel and Heine on the Human Right to Life,

Respondent: Tracie Matysik, University of Texas, Austin


Past Conferences

MLA Convention, January 2023: Heine and the Diasporic Experience


Alicia Ellis, Colby College


Linda Maeding (University of Bremen): 1492; or, The Emergence of a Diasporic Utopian Thinking in Heine
Willi Goetschel (University of Toronto): Heine’s Diasporic Modernity
Alicia E. Ellis (Colby College): Slavery, History, and Seascapes: Heine’s ‘Das Sklavenschiff’ and Walcott’s ‘The Sea Is History’
Arianna Amatruda (University of Florence): Diasporic Bodies in Heine’s Oeuvre: The Case of Pomare


Heinrich Heine und die Menschenrechte. Internationale wissenschaftliche Konferenz zum 225. Geburtstag Heinrich Heines

Heinrich-Heine-Institut, Heinrich-Heine-Gesellschaft e.V. und North American Heine Society, Düsseldorf, 18. und 19. November 2022

Sabine Brenner-Wilczek (Heinrich-Heine-Institut Düsseldorf), Willi Goetschel (University of Toronto): Begrüßung
Christoph auf der Horst (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf): Heinrich Heines Kampf für die Menschenrechte. Konstruktivität und Solidarität
Arnd Pollmann (Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin): "Der Gedanke geht der Tat voraus". Inwiefern gab es zu Heines Zeit Menschenrechte?
Tracie Matysik (University of Texas at Austin): Ursus sacer: Sovereignty and Bear Life in "Atta Troll"
Christine Ivanovic (Universität Wien / Freie Universität Berlin): Zur Aktualität von Heinrich Heines "Atta Troll"
Helge Dedek (McGill University): "Eine Bibel des Egoismus" - Heine, Recht und Rechte
Christian Liedtke (Heinrich-Heine-Institut Düsseldorf): "...und es war ein Mensch." Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Heines Werk
Sebastian Wogenstein (University of Connecticut): Vom Recht auf Brot. Sozioökonomische Rechte als Menschenrechte bei Heine
Willi Goetschel (University of Toronto): Heine und die Menschenrechte: Eine verborgene Tradition


MLA Convention, January 2022: Heinrich Heine and Human Rights


Alicia Ellis, Colby College


Claudia Nitschke (Durham University, UK): Embodying Human Rights: Heine’s Atta Troll
Christoph auf der Horst (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf): Heine’s Struggle for Human Rights: Writing in the Spirit of Solidarity
Willi Goetschel (University of Toronto): Poetic Justice: Heine’s Critique of the Limitations of Human Rights
Helge Dedek (McGill University): ‘A Bible of Egoism’: Heine, ‘Human Rights’, and Law
Sebastian Wogenstein (University of Connecticut): Lege artis: Heine and Human Rights


MLA Convention, January 2021: World Literature Otherwise: Heine's Opening Gambits


Willi Goetschel, University of Toronto

Azade Seyhan, Bryn Mawr College: Searching for Heinrich Heine in the World Literary Domain 
    Chloe Vaughn, Columbia University: Invented Worlds: Heine and Herder between National and World Literature 
      Barbara Di Noi, University of Florence: Heine's Subversive Notion of Weltliteratur (World Literature) 
        Michael Swellander, University of Iowa: ‘Yes, He Was a Mighty Poet’: Heine’s ‘Jehuda Ben Halevy’ and World Literature 
          Christoph auf der Horst, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf: Heinrich Heine and the Persistence of His Concept of World Literature 



          If you would like to notify the membership of a Heine-related call for papers and would like it posted on this website, please email  Sebastian Wogenstein (