Events | Lecture by Stefan Keppler-Tasaki: “With the Eyes of a Global Citizen.” Alfred Döblin as “Berliner” and Cosmopolitan

Los Angeles | December 5, 2019 | 5:00 PM

Gino Severini: La Danse du pan-pan (1911/1959)

With his representation of the masses, the Berlin novelist and exile writer Alfred Döblin (1878–1957) introduced a new element to modern German fiction. Döblin, who gained international renown with his novel Berlin, Alexanderplatz, rightfully earned his reputation as the bard of Berlin. From the beginning, though, he pursued his epic style not only with reference to Berlin, but also from consideration of such places as China, Warsaw, Paris, and American cities such as Los Angeles, where he lived from 1940 to 1945. A psychiatrist by profession and a proletarian by conviction, he rejected cosmopolitanism as a bourgeois lifestyle but opened up the possibility of a proletarian cosmopolitanism. Hence, his remark in “Impressions of New York” (1939): “As soon as we set foot on American soil, we are poor people, proletarians.” – This lecture deals with the intersection of Döblin’s Berlin images and his international experiences.

USC Lecture Series “Exile and Resistance – Migrants and Refugees in Literature, History, and Public Affairs”. The lecture series is a collaboration between USC Libraries, USC Dornsife’s Department of French and Italian, and USC Dornsife’s Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies.

Stefan Keppler-Tasaki is an associate professor of modern German literature at the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Letters. He was also an assistant and junior professor of modern German literature at the FU Berlin from 2005 to 2012 and is currently a fellow at the Thomas Mann House Los Angeles.


USC Max Kade Institute


An event in cooperation with USC

Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V. is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.



Go back