Chair's Letter Spring Newsletter 2024

Submitted by Michael Neininger on

Dear Alums and Friends of German Studies,

Our winter and spring quarters have been chock full of exciting events for German Studies at UW!

Our department is proud to have hosted two highly popular authors in contemporary German culture: Max Czollek (Desintegriert Euch!) and Miriam Stein (Berlin—Seoul—Berlin). We also inaugurated the first of what will become the Annual Graduate Student Invited Lecture: the grad students hosted Huaping Lu-Adler, whose new book on Kant and racism is stirring up the world of Kant scholarship. We also enjoyed the invigorating sounds of Swiss Alphorn Music from the world-renowned Alphorn performer, Yannick Wey, on tour from Lucerne.

We are especially proud of our graduating PhDs this year, all three of whom have landed great jobs in a tough academic market!  Jeff Jarzomb, whose dissertation critiques the developing ideas of ‘Volk’ around 1800, will join the faculty at the University of Nebraska; Matthew Childs, who writes on catastrophe in the nineteenth century, will be teaching at Wake Forest University in North Carolina; and Aaron Carpenter, who studies multilingualism in contemporary German novels, is heading to Allegheny College in Pennsylvania. We wish them joy and success in their new adventures!

It has been particularly inspiring to see the sharing of ideas and collaborative readings in our Departmental Seminars each quarter. In the winter, we tried to get into the mind of a fin-de-siècle Viennese perambulating officer. In the spring, we tackled a contemporary poem by Max Czollek. All are welcome to our quarterly seminars—we hope you will join us in the fall! 

We also hope you will be able to find us when you come to campus. Our home in Denny Hall is proving hard to locate for some, especially since our neighbors in Anthropology installed a handsome new sign on the 3rd-floor landing:

UW Anthropology

One might expect the University to provide this clear signage to help visitors navigate their way around campus buildings, but the administration leaves it to departments to fund their own visibility efforts. This is what visitors see on the German side of the hall:

german hallway

So here’s our ask for you: please consider donating to the Friends of German fund to help defray the cost of this sign, and—more importantly—to support the continuing mission of the department to enrich the lives and learning of our students. We are grateful to Judith Alexander, for instance, who made a very generous donation in the memory of Rosalie Motz (PhD UW German, 1978). Her gift is currently enabling the students on our exchange programs in Vienna and Berlin to gain cultural and educational experiences they would otherwise have missed out on.


ellwood wiggins

Ellwood Wiggins :: Chair, German Studies