A Stronger Body for a Healthier Mind: German Lebensreform, Midwestern Vegetarians, and the Politics of Resistance

Vegetarianism, nudism, alternative medicine, ecology, and organic farming: In the late 19th– and early 20th-century, diverse groups promoting “back-to-nature” lifestyles captured the popular imagination throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Emphasizing a holistic approach to both physical and mental health, this so-called Lebensreform (“life reform”) movement sought to liberate body and mind from the ardor and exigencies of modern life. The roundtable discussion will focus on the intersection of everyday practice and political potential by addressing the origins of the Lebensreform movement during the socially restrictive German Kaiserreich, their appropriation in the United States (from the Chicago Vegetarian Society to utopian settlements), and their later role in the context of Nazi Germany.

Speakers include Thorsten Carstensen (Associate Professor of German, IUPUI), Mark Roseman (Distinguished Professor, Pat M Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies, IU Bloomington), and Marcel Schmid (Assistant Professor of German, Universityof Virginia).

Parking vouchers will be provided. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a light reception. For all questions, please contact Thorsten Carstensen at tcarsten@iupui.edu.

Monday, November 5, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Campus Center, Room 305

Registration is encouraged!