The Wisconsin Workshop

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Popularität und Trivialität: fourth Wisconsin workshop
Popularität und Trivialität: fourth Wisconsin workshop

Beginning in 1969 the Department of German at the University of Wisconsin, Madison sponsored “The Wisconsin Workshop,” an annual, interdisciplinary conference traditionally held in the fall and focused on a topic related to German culture. The Workshop was conceived at the time as an innovative mode of focused intellectual debate, unique among foreign literature departments at North American universities for its longevity and regularity for almost 50 years now. It was also remarkable in the way it brought together young and mature scholars of German literature, arts, culture, and history, creating a transatlantic bridge for scholarly exchange about “things German.” The selected proceedings of almost every Wisconsin Workshop were published in volumes that have accompanied and documented major trends in the discipline of German Studies. Many of these volumes are considered path-breaking contributions in the field, others have become standard reference works.

The twenty-eight volumes included here cover most of the Wisconsin Workshops held from 1969 until 1998. Reinhold Grimm and Jost Hermand, the department’s two senior Vilas Research Professors, organized the annual event with support from younger colleagues and published the volumes from 1970 until 1982 in Germany and from 1986 until 1994 under the imprint of the University of Wisconsin Press. Owing to an oversight in sequential numbering, no “11th Workshop” took place and therefore no “volume 11” exists. The 1982 Workshop on “Recent Trends in Literary Criticism” did not yield a publication, while there was no Workshop held in 1983. The Wisconsin Workshop continues: a complete chronology, including a list of all published volumes of Workshop proceedings, can be found here:

The material included in this digital collection is by permission of those publishers who still hold copyright: W. Kohlhammer Verlag in Stuttgart (volumes 5-7), University of Wisconsin Press (volumes 15-22), and Peter Lang Publishing (volumes24-30). Users who quote from or refer to the Wisconsin Workshop volumes are requested to cite standard source and publisher information found at the beginning of each volume.

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Managing editor: Marc Silberman (
Sponsor: Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic (