Fellow Natalie Scholz will open the 2nd Semester NIAS seminars, Thursday 20 March 2014.
“In only a few years’ time after the end of the Second World War the Volkswagen Beetle became one of the foremost political symbols of West-German society’s recovery and new beginning as a Western and democratic country. As such the Volkswagen was also a highly emotionally charged commodity. It became a ‘miracle car’ of sorts, a tangible proof of the “economic miracle”. Taking methodological clues from material culture studies, the presentation sets out to unravel various and often strange and contradictory layers of meaning attached to the car in public discourse, including the common practice to anthropomorphize it.
Initially the car was often associated with dreams of social harmony and the (collective) conquering of space, whereas over time, and especially from 1960 onwards, the Volkswagen changed its cultural meanings to include playfulness and irony. I will argue that it in order to understand these changes and their complicated emotional load, it is necessary take into account how the meaning of the car was connected to, and disconnected from, its National Socialist prehistory.”
The NIAS Seminar series given by Fellows of the current research group is a sequence of lectures set up each academic year by the Rector of the Institute. The lectures are meant to appeal to interested parties from a wide range of backgrounds.
The series aims to encourage closer contact with the various Dutch academic institutions and advance public understanding of the research the Institute aims to stimulate and promote. The lectures are always followed by an open discussion, which is considered a vital part of the seminar.
The monthly seminars take place in the Lecture Room (NIAS, Meijboomlaan 1, Wassenaar, telephone +31 (0)70-5122 700). The Seminar of 20 March starts at 16.00. Changes in the programme may occur, so, please let us know if you wish to attend. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Joshua Hamilton