Guest Lecture, Dec. 3: Christopher D. Johnson: “Beyond Ekphrasis: Warburg’s Mobile Denkräume”

Guest Lecture, Dec. 3: Christopher D. Johnson: “Beyond Ekphrasis: Warburg’s Mobile Denkräume”

The reading group Ekphrasis: Text – Image Denkräume in conjunction with the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures is happy to announce the following lecture by Prof. Christopher D. Johnson (Arizona State University). Prof. Johnson will join the reading group on Thursday December 3rd, 2020 from 4-6pm to discuss what he calls the ‘reverse’ ekphrasis or post-iconographic work of the late Aby Warburg.

At this meeting of the reading group we will focus on the following sections of the texts and the topics indicated:

  • Aby Warburg, “Italian Art and International Astrology in the Palazzo Schifanoia, Ferrera” (1912)
  • Warburg, “The Absorption of the Expressive Values of the Past” [Einleitung. Bilderatlas Mnemosyne] (1929)
  • Erwin Panofsky, “Introductory” (1939)
  • W. G. Sebald, excerpts from Austerlitz (2001)

Participants are also encouraged to explore the Bilderatlas via these two sites:

Christopher D. Johnson is an Associate Professor of Spanish, German, and Comparative Literature at the School of International Letters and Cultures of the Arizona State University. He previously taught at Harvard University, University of California Los Angeles, Northwestern University, and was a research associate at the Warburg Institute, London. Author of “Memory, Metaphor, and Aby Warburg’s Atlas of Images” (2012) and “Hyperboles: The Rhetoric of Excess in Baroque Literature and Thought” (2010), he also translated and edited “Selected Poetry of Francisco de Quevedo” (2009). In 2015, he was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. Currently, he is working on a book for Princeton University Press, whose working title is “Baroque Expression: On Seventeenth-Century Literature, Art, and Thought.”

The guest lecture will take place on Zoom. If you would like to participate, please send an email to