Early Fall 2015 UW Germanics Newsletter

Dear Friends of Germanics and Alums:

Greetings and best wishes from Condon Hall as we are getting ready for the academic year ahead. Special thanks go to our administrator, Stephanie Welch, for graciously orchestrating the Department’s move earlier this summer. With this laborious task behind us now, we are enjoying our spacious new faculty offices and the fantastic views of Mount Rainier and the Space Needle in our temporary location in Condon Hall.  We look forward to welcoming new faculty and student members to the Department and to welcoming back those colleagues who were on sabbatical last year. And we are very glad to enjoy our esteemed colleague Charles Barrack’s company for one more quarter as he plans to retire by the end of this year. Here are some departmental stories and news we would like to share with you. As always, we are looking forward to hearing from our alums.


Brigitte Prutti
Professor of German and Chair

Helga Stipa Madland was awarded a Ph.D. in German (eighteenth century German literature) with a minor in Spanish in 1981. At that time, she joined the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics at the University of Oklahoma as Assistant Professor. Professor Madland served as Interim Department Chair in 1986, and later as interim and full Department Chair from 1999 to 2005, when she retired. She lives with her husband, Richard Beck, who taught Ancient Greek at OU and retired in 2015,… Read more
Guten Tag!             My name is Kellum O’Connor and I graduated from the University of Washington in June of 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Germanics. Since April 2014, I have worked at a job where I have had to use my command of German and my analytical skills honed from writing nuanced and precise essays as a historian. A vendor for Microsoft called Keywords International conducts gaming localization for the XBOX ONE and XBOX 360 consoles, and I have the distinction of… Read more
From our Lowenfeld Collection, generously donated by the heirs of Dr. Berthold Lowenfeld (1901-1994), a letter to the Lowenfelds written in 1963 by Olga Schnitzler, the widow of Austrian author Arthur Schnitzler.  Lugano, 9.  Mai 1963 Meine sehr geliebten Freunde, Eure guten Worte des Gedenkens haben mich tief berührt und haben bestätigt, was ich schon lange weiss: wir, Kinder unserer Epoche, haben keine… Read more
Thinking about and relating to the environment – what the Germans call Umwelt, i.e., the world that surrounds us – in the way that we do today has a long tradition within modern German culture. German scientists were among the many European explorers that left Europe in the late eighteenth century on voyages of discovery to then unknown parts of the world. For some explorers, discovery meant the fundamental confirmation of their own superiority vis-à-vis primitive peoples and primitive… Read more
Congratulations to Evan on her acceptance into the PhD program at Oxford. The Department would also like to extend our most sincere thanks to Evan for her invaluable service last year as a mentor to our current majors. We wish her all the best as she heads off to England!   Evan Elise Easton-Calabria, September 2015: After I graduated from the University of Washington in 2009, I was able to pursue work with Holocaust survivors in Germany as a direct result of majoring in Germanics. The year I… Read more
“Professor Gray, the Gadfly?!”   Interview with Prof. Richard T. GrayByron W. and Alice L. Lockwood Professor in the HumanitiesBy Seth Berk, Ph.C.April 21st, 2015   SB:      Rick, when one takes a look at your career as a scholar in German studies, it really is striking to look at the resonance that your work has had in our field, both nationally and internationally. Here at the UW, you currently hold the Byron W. and Alice Lockwood Professor in the Humanities position, you previously were the… Read more
Germanics doctoral student, Jasmin Krakenberg, has been awarded a Joff Hanauer Excellence in Western Civilization Graduate Fellowship for the 2015-16 academic year.  Hanauer Fellows will participate in a bi-monthly seminar led by Professor Galya Diment, Joff Hanauer Distinguished Professor for Western Civilization. The goals of the program are to foster creative and critical work in the Western cultural tradition and to help prepare teachers from different disciplines who have well-reasoned… Read more
Recent UW graduate Sabine Noellgen (Ph.D. 2014) has accepted a position as Visiting Lecturer at Cornell University for the 2015-16 academic year. Currently an adjunct instructor of German at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Sabine will soon move on to Ithaca, NY, where she will be teaching a second-year German language course with a special focus on conversation and writing, a first-year writing seminar in English, “From Fairy Tales to the Uncanny: Exploring the Romantic Consciousness… Read more
Melissa Gile: My Year with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) About MeAs I write, I have exactly one month left of my year abroad in Germany with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals. Although it is a strange and displacing feeling to know that I am going to be leaving the life, culture, and community that I have found here, I am excited to head back to Seattle to finish my last year at the University of Washington. To get an idea of my… Read more
Snapshots from Spring in Vienna 2015: Evening at the Opera The Spring in Vienna program is comprised of intensive language study plus a literature and culture and an art and architecture course. It is open to all UW undergraduates who want to study in Vienna for one quarter, earning 16 credits overall. Serving as our program director for this year, I worked with a wonderful group of students with majors ranging from Physics to Political Science, Art… Read more