Dr. Claudia Bosch

"Solid and Liquid: How to Celebrate Oktoberfest Style in Germany"
Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. in the Marvin K. Peterson Library, Upper Level


Each fall in the German south: 2 beer fests, a total of 4 weeks of excitement, 20 beer halls with more than 100.000 seats and at least 3 million visitors. There, during the Oktoberfest in Munich or the Cannstatter Volksfest, the beer hall revelers drink, eat, sing, and dance boisterously which is not only tolerated, but even expected and intended. How this deviant “sweet disorder” is reached, is the focus of the lecture which bases on Dr. Claudia Bosch's fieldwork and dissertation. Based on Victor Turner's theory of cultural performance, an overview of the complex dynamic process is given from changing into Dirndls or Lederhosen, traveling to the fairground, shouting the first chant or doing line dances up to enjoying the final night cap on the way home (separation – liminality – reaggregation).


Dr. Bosch will show how the visitors are doing codes (and not folkloristic habits) which reflect changes towards a more pluralistic society. The beer halls offer a playground for adults, creating space for social disorder as well as reaffirming existing norms. The celebrations are both traditional and modern, rowdy and orderly – or in other words “solid and liquid”.

Biographical Information

Dr. Claudia Bosch is teaching in the Department of Psychology/Sociology Program at the University of New Haven as Adjunct Professor/Lecturer. She received her doctoral degree at the Department of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Her dissertation completed in 2013 was the very first encompassing ethnological study on the topic of beer hall celebrations. Thus, the publication of her book “Fest und flüssig” in September 2015 resulted in considerable interest in Germany with numerous interviews, essays, and presentations. Currently, Bosch is following up her research with projects on qualitative methods and developments of German group dance forms as indicator of social change.


Before moving to Connecticut, Bosch worked as public relations and ISO 9001 manager in the hard- and software industry of Southwest-Germany. She was the responsible communications manager (PR and financial) for the IPO of the IT-solutions specialist transtec AG in 1999.


Dr. Claudia Bosch