Are you ready for paranoid park? Daniel Paul Schreber. 100 years later

Call for Papers
Are you ready for paranoid park? Daniel Paul Schreber. 100 years later

The Modern Experience and the Performance of Paranoia
International Conference
13th – 15th April 2011 in Sonnenstein, Dresden

Speakers:Prof. Friedrich Kittler, Humboldt University Berlin
Prof. Eric Santner, University of Chicago
Prof. José Brunner, Tel Aviv University
Prof. Alan Read, Kings College London
Prof. Zvi Lothane, Mount Sinai School of Medicine New York City
Prof. Moshe Zuckermann, Tel Aviv University
and others …

Since its publication in 1903, Daniel Paul Schreber’s Denkwürdigkeiten eines Nervenkranken fascinated a broad spectrum of scholars spanning from Freud and Lacan to Canetti, Foucault and Deleuze, giving rise to a wide variety of interpretations. Schreber’s experience, manifested in his Denkwürdigkeiten, exposes paradoxes, a crisis of meaning and the problematic forms of his own subjective mental and physical existence. It seems that Schreber leaves none of the conventional dichotomies intact, be it man/woman, body/soul, conscious/unconscious, private/collective, God/human, etc. Consequently Schreber’s unique account of his mental
condition and therapy also constitutes a radical perspective on modernity. His transgressions and displacements open up a whole array of discursive fields, turning the discomfort and unease shared by many of Schreber’s readers into a fruitful journey that has been evoking inspiring and critical ideas ever since.

Exactly two hundred years after the establishment of the fortress Sonnenstein as a mental asylum (in 1811) and one hundred years after the death of Daniel Paul Schreber (on April 14, 1911) we would like to rethink Schreber’s legacy through an interactive, interdisciplinary seminar, to take place at the Gedenkstätte Sonnenstein, where Schreber was hospitalized. Sonnenstein ironically gives an example to one of the most horrific consequences that modern political theology has caused, a theme we will reflect upon by bringing these two topics together spatially and conceptually.

The seminar will be comprised of four main sessions, each focusing on one central theme, with three presentations in each session, followed by discussions. In addition we will hold reading sessions in small groups as well as an art installation and a musical performance.

The first association evoked by the word Schreber in German is the Schrebergarten, an allotment garden, named after Daniel Paul’s father who pursued various educational techniques inventing iron machines to control behaviour and movement of children – not least his own. Contrary to his father`s constraining realm, Daniel Paul Schreber`s world retains none of the fatherly visions and reveals to some extent where the moles are in Schreber’s garden that rather turns out to be a paranoid park.

Please submit a 300 words abstract of your interest in Schreber, the conference and the context and a short biographical note via e-mail to

Application deadline: 9th January 2011. Feel free to contact the same address for any further questions or assistance.

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