Events | The Regime of the Charlatan

Los Angeles | December 7, 2021

Literary scholar Veronika Fuechtner in conversation with Thomas Mann Fellow Claus Leggewie. Moderated by Alexandra Lieben.

Political scientist Claus Leggewie and literary scholar Veronika Fuechtner get into a conversation about the fascinating power of charlatans, their techniques and the people who surrender to them. The figure of the charlatan, who feigns abilities and deceives others, runs through the history of literature as well as politics. What makes it so difficult to unmask and fight charlatans to this day?

The background foil for the conversation is Thomas Mann's novella Mario and the Magician, which Mann wrote after a trip to fascist Italy. Years later, it prompted author Grete De Francesco to write her comprehensive study The Power of the Charlatan, which has recently received renewed attention. The conversation will be moderated by Alexandra Lieben.




© Dartmouth

Veronika Fuechtner is Chair of Jewish Studies and Associate Professor of German Studies at Dartmouth. She is the author of Berlin Psychoanalytic (2011) and the co-editor of Imagining Germany, Imagining Asia (with Mary Rhiel, 2013) and A Global History of Sexual Science 1880-1960 (with Douglas E. Haynes and Ryan Jones, 2017). She is completing a monograph on Thomas Mann's Brazilian mother and Mann's construction of race and "Germanness." In spring 2020 she was a Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.





© Stephan Röhl

Claus Leggewie is a political scientist and Ludwig-Börne-Professor at the University of Gießen. He directed the Cultural Studies Institute in Essen for ten years and was a visiting professor at the University of Paris-Nanterre and the New York University (Max Weber Chair). His books include Breivik, Dugin, al-Suri & Co (2016), co-authored with Patricia Nanz, The Consultative: More Democracy through Citizen Participation (2018), and most recently, co-authored with Federic Hanusch and Erik Meyer, Thinking Planetary (2021). He is a 2021 Honorary Fellow at the Thomas Mann House.






Alexandra Lieben is the Deputy Director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations – and lecturer at the Luskin School of Public Affairs. She has served as faculty advisory on several social impact projects at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and teaches crisis de-escalation, conflict resolution, and cultural competency to UCLA students and professionals in the public and the private sector. She is a member of the Thomas Mann House Advisory Board.


Thomas Mann House
1550 N San Remo Drive
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

By invitation only.


An event by the Thomas Mann House.

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