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John Urang Gives Talk at University of Chicago

Dr. John Urang, media studies faculty, gave a talk on film director Werner Herzog at the University of Chicago in October 2013.

Dr. Urang's talk, Why does Herr S. Run Amok? Werner Herzog's Lebenszeichen (Signs of Life, 1968), explored an early work by Herzog, a key figure in New German Cinema.

Urang writes:

Werner Herzog's first feature film tells the story of a German soldier stationed on a remote Greek island during the Second World War. Although Herzog always insisted that Lebenszeichen was "apolitical," closer scrutiny seems to suggest the contrary.
By attending to the film's historical, cultural and intertextual resonances, we discover an overpresence of politics—narrowly and problematically defined—behind the film's scenario of insanity and insurrection. In this light, Lebenszeichen becomes an emphatic engagement with—and critique of—a political framework defined by the distinction between friend and enemy.

John Urang is a faculty member in the Department of Culture & Media at Marylhurst University. He is currently working on a book about domesticity and reproduction in postwar German film.

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