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The SALON is a new event format at the Cologne International Forum. It is designed as a get-together event on international research topics, bringing together international and local researchers, students and interested members of the general public.

Starting in the winter semester 2023/24, the SALON will take place monthly at the International House of the University of Cologne, in formats ranging from lectures to book presentations.

Program Winter Semester 2023/2024






Venue & Registration

All events take place at the International House - Kringsweg 6, 50931 Köln – The venue is wheelchair accessible


Upcoming Events


Alice A. Salamena & Stephan Michael Schröder:
Fan Mail to Danish Film Stars in the 1910s

December 6, 2023 at 6 p.m.

During the 1910s, the film fan came into being. But all we know about the establishment and formation of early film fan practices we know from heavily biased third-party accounts such as press articles, portrayals in literature and film or later memoirs of film stars. However, several newly discovered collections of fan mail to Danish film stars, totalling up to about 2,900 letters, not only makes it possible for the first time ever on a worldwide scale to reconstruct the agency and practices of early film fans and their sociological, cultural, gender and age diversity. At the same time, the difference to the media representation of ›the‹ fan and his/her fandom provides insights into the functionalization of the discourse on fans and fandom in the respective cultural, social and media-historical context.

Past Events

Meltem Gürle: Resistance, Repetition, Retreat: Turkey and the Bildungsroman


We are happy to announce that Meltem Gürle will talk to us about the Turkish Bildungsroman on November 24, 2023 at 6 p.m.

Meltem Gürle is a comparative literature scholar whose focus is on the genre of the Bildungsroman, with a particular interest in the relationship of post-1950 twentieth-century Turkish literature to the modernist masterpieces of the West in the volatile context of recent Turkish political history. She was a Fritz Thyssen-Fellow at the University of Cologne until September and is presently working on her book, The Turkish Bildungsroman, in which she considers the Turkish influence on the development of the genre.

In this talk we look closely at the dialectical process involved in the formation of subjectivity within the Turkish Bildungsroman. The focus of this analysis centers on themes of stagnation, stasis, and trauma, which diverges notably from the conventional interpretation of the Bildungsroman genre as a narrative of reconciliation. Instead of focusing on the reconciliation of the individual with the society—the ultimate goal of the conventional Bildungsroman— our approach shifts its focus to the challenges encountered in the journey, which eventually evolve into patterns of resistance, repetition, and retreat.

Gagaku - Traditional Japanese Music 

Kölner Gagaku Ensemble — Monday, 6 November 2023, 6.30 p.m.

Gagaku, which means "elegant music" in Japanese, has been practiced since the 7th century, especially in the imperial court and in religious contexts. Originally, the music goes back to the ceremonial music of China and Korea. Japanese gagaku was designated an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2009. The highly traditional Japanese music has been "transplanted" to Cologne and cultivated in an experimental way since 2000 by the Cologne Gagaku Ensemble, which is the only gagaku group in Europe.

Since the beginning, the Cologne Gagaku Ensemble has been dedicated to perform traditional music and to contribute to the promotion of cultural understanding between Japan and Germany. The Tenri Japanisch-Deutsche Kulturwerkstatt e.V. Köln, a non-profit  cultural association, has not only provided rehearsal space since 2006, but also all instruments of the ensemble. The director of the ensemble, Dr. Yoshiro Shimizu, is also a representative of Tenri University, a partner university of the University of Cologne.

The gagaku concert takes place on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the city partnerships between Kyoto and Cologne.

We are looking forward to experiencing an important piece of Japanese culture within the SALON series of the Cologne International Forum.