Skip to main content
Detail from an oil painting: portrait of Moses Mendelssohn in half profile, the eyes are directed at the viewer, the left eye is highlighted by a red frame

Mendelssohn Discourses

Media Revolution – Publicity, Celebrity, A Flood of Images (video recording available)

Media has undergone radical change in the twenty-first century. At the end of the eighteenth century, the situation was similar: The emergence of numerous new media such as newspapers and magazines influenced the social and political life of the time. Beyond the courts of princes, a new public sphere emerged in cafés and scholars’ clubs. A veritable wave of publications made the ideas of the Enlightenment much more visible. This was entirely new and turned the protagonists into “celebrities.” First and foremost was Moses Mendelssohn: the Berlin philosopher from Dessau attracted attention far beyond the borders of his homeland with countless publications in journals that were popular at the time, such as Briefe, die neueste Literatur betreffend (Letters Concerning the Latest Literature). From reproductions of the first miniature in 1767 to the famous portrait by Anton Graff, images of Moses Mendelssohn were unusually widespread throughout Europe – in the same way that Albert Einstein’s image has become part of present-day popular culture.

recording available

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The W. M. Blumenthal Academy is marked in green


W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
Klaus Mangold Auditorium
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin (Opposite the Museum)

Caspar Battegay (University of Basel) and Shmuel Feiner (Bar Ilan University) talk with curator Inka Bertz (Jewish Museum Berlin) and Frederek Musall (Heidelberg University of Jewish Studies) about the media revolution, how images create and serve our projections, and how the public sphere is constituted.

Video recording from 5 July 2022; Jewish Museum Berlin


Caspar Battegay is a literary and cultural scholar. He researches German-Jewish literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as Jewish identity in pop culture, from Leonard Cohen to “Transparent.” His recent publications include the volume Connected Jews: Expressions of Community in Analogue and Digital Culture with Simon Bronner, and Geschichte der Möglichkeit. Utopie, Diaspora und die jüdische Frage (History of Possibility. Utopia, Diaspora and the Jewish Question).

Portrait of Caspar Battegay

Caspar Battegay

Shmuel Feiner is Professor of Modern Jewish History at Bar Ilan University, Israel, chairman of the Samuel Braun Chair for the History of the Jews in Germany, chairman of The Historical Society of Israel and editor of Zion. His publications include The Jewish Enlightenment; Moses Mendelssohn; The Origins of Jewish Secularization in Eighteenth Century Europe; The Jewish Eighteenth Century; A European Biography, Volume 1, 1700–1750 and Volume 2, 1750–1800.

Events Pro­gram by the Mendels­sohn-Gesell­schaft

In addi­tion to the Jewish Mu­seum Berlin's pro­grams, the Mendels­sohn-Gesell­schaft is orga­nizing events accom­panying the exhi­bition. More infor­mation and regis­tration here

Portrait of Shmuel Feiner

Shmuel Feiner

Ausschnitt aus einem Ölgemälde: Porträt von Moses Mendelssohn im Halbprofil, die Augen sind auf die Betrachtenden gerichtet, das linke ist durch einen roten Rahmen hervorgehoben

Exhibition “We dreamed of nothing but Enlightenment” – Moses Mendelssohn: Features & Programs

Exhibition Webpage
“We dreamed of nothing but Enlightenment” – Moses Mendelssohn: 14 Apr to 11 Sep 2022
“We dreamed of nothing but Enlightenment” – Moses Mendelssohn: Exhibition catalog, 2022, bilingual in German and English
Moishe. Six Anecdotes from the Life of Moses Mendelssohn: Graphic Novel by Typex, 2022, English edition, with reading sample for download
Moische. Sechs Anekdoten aus dem Leben des Moses Mendelssohn: Graphic Novel by Typex, 2022, German edition, with reading sample for download
Digital Content
Moses Mendelssohn and His Time: Online feature, 2022
Current page: Mendelssohn Discourses: Media Revolution – Publicity, Celebrity, A Flood of Images: Video recording with Frederek Musall, Caspar Battegay, and Shmuel Feiner, 2022, in Englisch
Mendelssohn Discourses: Enlightenment: Fake News, Sentimentality, Reason: Video recording with Carolin Emcke, Hannah Peaceman, Frederek Musall, Inka Bertz, and Thomas Lackmann, 2022
Based on a True Story: Interview with Typex, comic artist and author of Moishe, 2022
See also
Moses Mendelssohn, Philosopher
Moses Mendelssohn: More objects in our online collections, in German

Where, when, what?

  • When Tue 5 Jul 2022, 7 pm
  • Where W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
    Klaus Mangold Auditorium

    Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin
    (Opposite the Museum)

    See location on map
  • Entry fee

    6 €, reduced rate 3 €

  • Tickets If there are no tickets left for this event, it is, however, still worthwhile to ask at the box office on the evening of the event. Unclaimed tickets are given to people from the waiting list approxi­mately 15 minutes before the event starts.

    Corona rulesAll guests to live events are required to follow the current hygiene regulations of the Jewish Museum Berlin.

    LanguageThe event will be conducted in English.

    LivestreamThe event will be streamed live. You can find the livestream on this page and on our YouTube channel.

Events accompanying the exhibition: “We dreamed of nothing but Enlightenment” – Moses Mendelssohn (11)

Video Recordings: Watch Past Museum Events (84)

Share, Newsletter, Feedback