Autumn 2017 UW Germanics Newsletter

Dear Friends of Germanics and Alums,

Warm greetings from Denny Hall. I hope you will peruse some of the following stories about our remarkable students and alums, our colleagues and guests, their exciting projects and fall quarter events. Most recently, we celebrated the end of the quarter with a wonderful holiday party in our spacious new library together with some cherished guests.  The room had been magically transformed into a sphere of warmth and light thanks to Stephanie Welch and Jasmin Krakenberg whose great work behind the scenes I hereby gratefully wish to acknowledge. Special thanks go to Misha Neininger as well for his expert help in creating this Newsletter.  

Best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year.

Brigitte Prutti

Professor of German and Chair

Grüß Gott!   My name is Hamda Yusuf and I’m currently based in New York City attending the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School as a Rangel Fellow. I graduated from UW with a Germanics minor and International Studies major in 2016. Having taken part of the Spring in Vienna program in 2014, I was inspired to apply for a Fulbright grant and return to Vienna for the 2016-17 school year!   My specific grant was called the Community-Based Combined grant and it split my time… Read more
MJ Durkee, Associate Professor of Law: German is a key language   In this part of the series on Languages Matter: Why we learn German, we are featuring Melissa (MJ) Durkee, Associate Professor in the School of Law at the University of Washington. MJ writes: “German… Read more
Dear Friends of Germanics: We are most grateful to Peter Neurath for establishing the Hilde Bial-Neurath Endowed Fund in Germanics to honor the memory of his mother. Hilde Bial-Neurath was an accomplished cellist who played in the UW orchestra in the 1950s and her lovely ‘cello portrait’ by Edith London graces our… Read more
Daniel Garratt participated in our study abroad UW Germanics “Spring in Vienna” program in spring 2015 and in the Physics Department exchange with the University of Giessen in the academic year 2015-16. Daniel writes: "Upon leaving high school I had no intention to study language again. Because my high school offered Spanish, French and Japanese, I had never even considered studying German.  It was not until I decided I… Read more
I will be attending the Mannheim Business School's Full-Time MBA Program in September 2017 to earn my master's degree. I'm excited to return to Europe for the first time since completing my study abroad (Spring in Vienna 2011) to further my education while utilizing and building upon my German language and cultural knowledge. I look forward to the career opportunities that may be available in Germany to help make my dream of living there full-time a reality. Thanks to the UW Germanics… Read more
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
Tommy Bell writes: "In the city known as “North of Normal,” Fargo, ND, I have had the tremendous opportunity to work this last semester as a German Lecturer at North Dakota State University. Encouraging colleagues have made the experience very rewarding. The students have made my time here memorable; they have a strong work ethic, and they are highly motivated to learn German. Because many of them want to spend time in Germany, they realize the importance of gaining fluency in the language. It… Read more
Hayley will spend 2017-2018 studying at the Institut für Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik in Hamburg, Germany. She writes:   Moin Moin! I am currently based in Hamburg, Germany and I have accepted an offer from the IFSH - the Institut für Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik (the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy) at the University of Hamburg. I am one of twenty-five international graduate students studying nuclear disarmament and arms control, counter-… Read more
Coming to Seattle and the UW in the beginning of September 2016, I found a beautiful city and an even more beautiful campus in a perfectly warm and sunny autumn week. Although the weather changed for the worse soon, what then started was one of the most important experiences of my academic life so far. Not only did I study at UW, a dream I’ve had since my Bachelor’s; I also had the chance to teach German as a Foreign Language to talented and engaged students on an everyday basis. Teaching my… Read more
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of “500th Anniversary of the Reformation”, the German Embassy’s 2017 Campus Weeks program, the department was able to host multiple events centered on Luther and the Reformation. One very thought-provoking event was the well-attended talk by Dr. Britta Simon who shared insights about Luther with us and ignited a debate about Luther’s place in history. Dr. Simon explored the Luther phenomenon as a result of its time and predecessors, standing… Read more
Adam Paulsen writes: "Spending almost half a year as a visiting scholar at Germanics has been a great experience for which I am very grateful. Located in Sabine Wilke's well equipped office in the beautiful Denny Hall, I have had a wonderful time preparing my own teachings for the next semester and trying to catch up on various publications and deadlines, including an article on the idea of landscape in European tradition, reviews of… Read more
Students of all German levels enthusiastically attended the Fall 2017 Kaffeestunde, making it an exceptionally lively and exciting event.  Every Monday afternoon, students participated in interactive activities and discussions, led by our fantastic graduate students.  The department offers special thanks to Justin Mohler, Aaron Carpenter, Matthew Childs, Franziska Klein, Nathan Bates, Chase Stamper and Jeffrey Jarzomb for their help and commitment to making language learning such a fun… Read more
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of “500th Anniversary of the Reformation”, the German Embassy’s 2017 Campus Weeks Program, the department was able to host multiple events centered on Luther and the Reformation. In the class “Love in the Middle Ages” (German 411), students explored the way love between two humans, and humans and God was narrated and envisioned in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period, ending with Luther’s popular treaties “Von der Freiheit eines… Read more
Autumn 2017 Film Series in GermanicsReformers, Revolutionaries, and Avantgardists The Germanics Film Series meets the visionary Martin Luther. This is the starting point of fall quarter's film series. The focus, however, lies not on the great reformer as a historical figure, but as a foundation of ideas and a socio-cultural avantgardist of his time. Luther challenged existing power structures, highlighted injustices, and unleashed a process of reforms. Who are other great initiators in… Read more
Birthe Hoffmann writes: "I have been very fortunate to be a visiting scholar at the Germanics Department this Fall, enjoying half a year of undisturbed time for research as well as the opportunity to get new impulses from colleagues at the UW. As a professor of German Studies, I find it necessary to get out of the daily routines now and then, and as during my earlier long-term visits to the University of Constance, New York… Read more
I began studying German in the third year of my bachelor's degree in preparation for applying to master's programs in Germany. Now in my first semester as a master's student at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, I'm grateful to receive a world-class education free of tuition fees. Aside from practical considerations, I believe the value of learning any language reveals itself in the imprecision of translation. Does the German word lebensbejahend really just mean "… Read more
The Department of Germanics at the University of Washington offers a new Master of Arts in Pedagogy and Culture. This new two-year program is truly interdisciplinary. Students take courses in German studies, second language acquisition, and curriculum design from departments and programs across the UW College of Arts & Sciences.  Students are trained in language pedagogy with a focus on communicative language teaching and task-based instruction under close mentorship of Professor Klaus… Read more
Students, faculty, staff, and friends gathered together on December 8th to celebrate the end of the quarter and the beginning of the holiday season. Suffused with good cheer and plenty of glühwein, guests celebrated in a room festooned with twinkling lights and seasonal trim. Our thanks to all, and best wishes for 2018!  Frohe Feiertage!                                                                                                                            … Read more
Thanks to the following donors for their generous support of the Department of Germanics. Private contributions help us support undergraduate and graduate students, sponsor public lectures, and provide resources for faculty and student research. If you would like to donate to the department, please visit Support Us for more information.   Marie E. Bardin Alan and Lois Bauer Margarete C. Berg The Boeing Company Monika Boos Diana… Read more



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  • Provide student fellowships and awards
  • Enhance study abroad and internship options
  • Support student and faculty research
  • Fund student-centered activities and events

Happy Holidays and thank you for your support!


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