Spring 2018 UW Germanics Newsletter  

Submitted by Michael Neininger on
Newsletter Editor: Misha Neininger

Source URL: https://german.washington.edu/news/spring-2018-uw-germanics-newsletter


Dear Friends of Germanics and Alums,

I hope you will enjoy this Spring 2018 edition of our Newsletter featuring the voices and accomplishments of our remarkable students from beginning language learners to advanced PhD candidates, along with new faculty research and cross-disciplinary initiatives as well as other extra-curricular programs and events and the timely new courses we are offering this spring.  Winter quarter is coming to a close and we look forward to the festive Kirschblütenzeit here on campus. Our Spring-in-Vienna students will soon be listening to Frühlingsstimmen in the parks of Vienna and their program director, Dr. Kye Terrasi, will join them there for their study abroad adventure in May. We are most grateful to the Max Kade Foundation for the generous travel support. It allows many more students to participate in the program than would otherwise be possible. Spring greetings and best wishes from Denny Hall.


Brigitte Prutti

Chair, Germanics



Now in Print: Rick Gray's New Book Ghostwriting: W. G. Sebald’s Poetics of History 



Richard T. Gray, Ghostwriting: W. G. Sebald’s Poetics of History. New Directions in German Studies. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2017.  Book Abstract:  Ghostwriting provides a comprehensive picture of W. G. Sebald’s prose fictional narratives and the poetic practices that define their literary artistry. It examines his four major works of narrative fiction, Schwindel. Gefühle (Vertigo), Die Ausgewanderten (The Emigrants), Die... Read more

Languages Matter: Why we learn German - María Salinas, Major: Speech & Hearing Sciences



María writes:  “Learning and speaking different languages has been such a valuable tool that has opened doors for awesome opportunities! I grew up in Mexico, learning English in a bilingual school, and always appreciated the advantage of speaking two languages. This appreciation grew more in the 7th grade, when my family moved to Texas and I was able to adapt to the change with relative ease. My interest in languages only grew when I visited my brother, who lives in Hamburg, during my freshman... Read more

Languages Matter: Why we learn German - Yikai Xu, Major: Math



Yikai Xu, German 101: "As a math major, I am looking forward to exploring the beauty of math throughout the language of famous German mathematicians." Yikai Xu writes: "As an International student at the University of Washington, I consider German as my second foreign language. Honestly, I am not required to learn a new language for graduation. However, I believe languages, as the most direct and effective tool of communication, establish bridges between different nations,... Read more

Meet our Student Ambassadors: Sara Koeck and Francesca Cook



Our Student Ambassadors are undergraduate Germanics majors who want to connect with prospective and current students to share their experiences and support them with the college/major decision process. Here is our first Student Ambassador Sara Koeck:  "After graduation, I wish to go into international business with a focus on marketing and advertising. I am especially interested in the specific advertising strategies that come from the differences in the German and English Language.  I chose... Read more

An Eventful Spring Quarter with the Anthropocene Research Cluster



Germanics faculty member Jason Groves, together with collaborator Jesse Oak Taylor (English), are wrapping up the second year of their Simpson Center-funded cross-disciplinary research cluster with a host of talks on topics ranging from plants running amok in German “cli-fi” to the biological effects of plastic pollution to the development of musical instruments for rescued parrots to the experience of energy in everyday life. Special guests include UW Germanics alumna Heather Sullivan,... Read more

Academic (Gender) Equity: A Performative Roundtable



The room quickly filled with students and professors who stepped away from their projects this winter quarter on February 23, to take part in an important discussion at the UW Germanics Department. “To kick off a conversation that identifies continuing barriers to the advancement of women in academia and to analyze past and current efforts to address these barriers …” was just one of the goals in the organizers’ vision, when the team of three doctoral candidates started working on the program... Read more

Winter Quarter Film Series: Coming of Age in Germany



This quarter, we screened a wide range of films focused on portrayals of youths in Germany. We started the series with Ich war neunzehn (1968), a DEFA production and depiction of personal experiences of the director, Konrad Wolf. The film tells the story of a young German who fled the Nazis with his parents and in 1945, returned to Germany as a lieutenant in the Red Army. This film was followed by Martin Zandvliet's Land of Mine (Under Sandet, 2015), which turns to... Read more

Languages Matter: Why we learn German - Stephanie Smotherman, Major: Astronomy and Physics



Stephanie writes: "I like to study subjects that transport me to new places and strengthen my understanding of the places I encounter every day. While studying Astronomy, my major, gives me the information to imagine new worlds, studying new languages opens a window for me to view other areas of our world. For me, learning German isn’t only about new vocabulary. It’s also a way for me to get to know German culture and customs and get more acquainted with history from a different... Read more

Languages Matter: Why we learn German - Je Hyun Lee, Intended Major: Chemical Engineering; Intended minor: German



“For me, as a Korean, who learned English as his first foreign language, German seemed to be an interesting language as it is pronounced differently from English, yet has the same spelling. I also liked the strength and the freedom that comes with pronunciation in German. It was not an easy decision, but it was worth it to start learning German. A language is more than a tool for communication; it is the complex combination of one country’s history and culture over centuries. I feel like making... Read more


NOW IN PRINT: Prof. Richard O. Block, Echoes of a Queer Messianic: From Frankenstein to Brokeback Mountain



Now in Print: Richard O. Block, Echoes of a Queer Messianic: From Frankenstein to Brokeback Mountain. SUNY Series, Literature ... In Theory: SUNY PRESS, 2018. Reconsiders mostly German narratives from around 1800 to recover echoes of a queer messianic that still resonate today. Queer theory has focused heavily on North American and contemporary contexts, but in this book Richard O. Block helps to expand that reach. Deftly combining the two main currents of recent queer... Read more

News from our Graduate Students: PhD Candidate Vanessa Schmolke



Vanessa Schmolke has just completed her PhD exams and started working on her dissertation project, called “Unseen Dangers: the Narration of Invisible Environmental Threats in Contemporary German Literature” (advisor: Sabine Wilke). In her dissertation, she is going to analyze the presentation of urgent environmental threats, such as climate change, the extinction of species, and nuclear danger, in contemporary German literature. Many of these environmental perils cannot be perceived visually by... Read more

News from our Graduate Students: PhD Candidate Kristina Pilz



I am excited to continue working on my dissertation Writing Across the Margins: Contemporary Afro-German Literature that describes innovative writing practices in contemporary Afro-German literature. My project focuses on rhetorical, intertextual and aesthetic strategies as creative devices for a diasporic literary history. My analysis includes fictional/non-fictional texts comprised of Afro-German poetry and autobiographies. The greater evolution of Afro-German writing, with roots in... Read more

News from our Graduate Students: PhD Candidate Chase Stamper



This quarter marks a significant milestone in the overall process of my dissertation: the completion and submission of my first chapter draft. The project as a whole takes Spivak’s well-known postcolonial essay, Can the Subaltern Speak?, as a point of departure in an examination of a minority group that has faced a historically unique sort of oppression—the Roma. In this work, I strive to expand the definition of communication across societal power strata, demonstrating that while... Read more

Fellowship News: Congratulations to PhD candidate Verena Kick



Verena Kick received a “Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship” from the UW Simpson Center for the Humanities for Summer Quarter 2018. This fellowship enables her to finalize the digital component of her dissertation based on her dissertation chapter on Kurt Tucholsky’s Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles (1929). Her digital project, entitled Revolutionizing the Public Sphere - The Invasion of the Working Class in the Media of the Weimar Republic, reimagines the presentation of... Read more

Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference: Being a Hedgehog: Isolation, Creativity, and Destruction



The graduate students of the Departments of Germanics, French & Italian, and Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Washington are pleased to announce their second interdisciplinary graduate student conference on May 11th and 12th, 2018:   Being a Hedgehog: Isolation, Creativity, and Destruction   “Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous... Read more

German Club will resume in spring



The University of Washington’s German Club has recently been re-started by our Student Ambassadors, Sara Koeck and Francesca Cook. During Winter quarter, German Club organized bi-weekly meetups for students to hang out, practice their language skills, and play some German board games. Recently, they facilitated a ‘Study Slam’ to help prepare 100 and 200 level language students for their final exams. German Club will continue to meet every other... Read more

Dance Lessons for Spring in Vienna 2018



Carolyn Knaack, Olivia Nicolas, Noelle Robbins and Anastasia Sidorovich attended the 2018 Viennese Ball in Seattle at the Nile Country Club.  Carolyn, Olivia, Noelle and Anastasia enjoyed a free dance lesson before the event, learning to waltz to music from the film Anastasia.  In the elegant ballroom they dined on filet, salmon and strawberry cheesecake before dancing the night away.  Carolyn said her favorite part of the evening was meeting new people and hearing their fascinating... Read more

Spring Courses in Germanics



Students joining us for spring quarter will have a variety of exciting, timely courses to choose from: GERMAN 285: The Queerness of Love, with Professor Richard Block. The nature of love is thus self-estrangement; the lover, if (s)he truly is in love, can be nothing other than queer. GERMAN 293: Gegenkultur: The Art of Protest, with Dr. Jasmin Krakenberg. How effective is art as a form of... Read more


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Department of Germanics

University of Washington
Denny Hall 360
Box 353130
Seattle, WA 98195-3130


Source URL: https://german.washington.edu/news/spring-2018-uw-germanics-newsletter