Fall 2016 UW Germanics Newsletter

Dear Friends of Germanics and Alums:

We are celebrating the end of our first quarter back at the newly restored Denny Hall where the Germanics department has been located since the University of Washington was founded in 1861. Among its most remarkable features are a grand modern staircase and state-of-the art classrooms, along with the beautifully restored loft, which now serves as a common space for the TAs of all departments housed in the building. Please come and see for yourself and we will gladly show you around the department and the new Denny Hall. And I hope you will peruse some of our fall quarter news here. In the Q and A session of her annual address earlier this fall, UW President Ana Mari Cauce underscored the importance of foreign language learning and its ethical and cognitive dimensions. Languages matter. They create possibilities for cross-cultural understanding and respect. And they create marketable skills as well. In a time of new challenges we are emboldened by our amazing students and the success of our alums. Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year. We look forward to your continued support.

Brigitte Prutti
Professor of German and Chair

We asked students in our first- und second-year language courses why they learn German. Here are some of their answers:   Lydia Castro Major: Linguistics with Germanics minor Why I learn German: "While it might seem like it makes sense for a Linguist (as someone who studies languages) to study German and other foreign languages, I actually chose to learn German for different reasons. I initially wanted to learn German because it is a language of science and music. I play bassoon (a German… Read more
Darren Langston provided some more details to his story: "During my four and a half years at the incredible University of Washington, I decided not only to focus on my academics, but also my experience. I knew working would not only support me financially, but would also allow me to get my feet wet and give me the experience needed upon graduation for a professional position. All four years I balanced 2-3 jobs at a time, while pursuing my double BA in Germanics and Communications. I never… Read more
Dear Germanics Department, After receiving the generous Lufthansa Award from the Germanics Dept upon graduation, I moved to Munich, where I am currently living. I recently completed a Master of Music degree in Jazz Piano at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. Since my second year of studies at the HMTM, I've also been teaching (as Lehrbeauftragter) jazz piano and jazz harmony/composition in the Hochschule's department of Komposition für Film und Medien.  In addition to that, I've… Read more
UW graduate Anke Biendarra (Ph.D. 2003) is an Associate Professor of German at the University of California, Irvine, where she teaches in the European Languages & Studies department. From 2015-17, she serves as the Faculty Director for the University of California’s study abroad programs in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. Based in Berlin, she has been continuing her research on the contemporary, specifically the question how German-language writers explore their cultural and civil identities… Read more
Odmaa Munkhjargal Major: Economics Why I learn German: "Ich nahm Deutsch 101 vor zwei Jahren. Weil ich in Europa leben will, beschloss ich Deutsch zu lernen. Deutsch ist die meist gesprochene Sprache in Europa. Es gibt rund 120 Millionen deutsche Muttersprachler auf der ganzen Welt. Viele Menschen sprechen auch Deutsch als ihre zweite oder dritte Sprache. Ich mag die Deutsch 101 Klasse sehr und nahm alle einhundert und zweihundert Klassen. Deutsch ist eine sehr schöne, interessante Sprache!"  … Read more
Annegret arrived at the University of Washington after receiving her doctorate in May 2016. Originally from Zwickau, Germany, she came to the United States to obtain a Ph.D. degree in German at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s and Duke University’s combined graduate program. For her dissertation, she researched the adaptations and transformations of Wigalois, a text narrating the adventures of an Arthurian knight, across different languages (Yiddish and German) as well… Read more
The Fall German Campus Weeks are sponsored annually by the German Embassy in Washington, DC. The topic this year was “Germany meets the US.” The UW German campus community participated with several exciting activities inside and outside the classroom such as a weekly film series on “Heimat meets Hollywood”, planned by our lead TA Jasmin Krakenberg;… Read more
Each gathering of the Fall 2016 Kaffeestunde was a lively and fun-filled event!  Students from all levels came to converse and immerse themselves in German.  German 101 and 103 played creative games, while the higher levels took part in exciting activities and discussions.  Kaffeestunde is an opportunity for our students to not only improve their German, but also to connect with a warm and supportive community of language learners.  Thank you to the students for their passionate engagement with… Read more
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Carolyn Knaack   Intended major: Biology Intended minor: Classics "I started taking German because my family has German roots and I've always been curious as to why my last name is pronounced "Kuh-knock" instead of "Nack". I hoped it would be interesting and fun to learn more about my heritage and the culture of present day Germany, which I hope to travel to in the near future."   Haeden Coffey   Intended major: Business Administration… Read more
Much has happened for me since graduating from the UW Germanics program and from the Jackson School of International Studies in 2011. I have been living in Berlin since the fall of 2011, where I have worked in (higher ed and primary) education, journalism, and German-English translation. I received my Master's degree from the Free University Berlin in Social and Cultural Anthropology. I also began a popular blog on multiculturalism and diversity politics through the lens of Berlin called… Read more
As a bassoonist, I find the history of my beloved instrument to be uniquely captivating. Upon further exploration, I found that one of the single most important individuals in my instrument’s history, Carl Almenräder was German. His workshop produced some of the very best bassoons, even to this day. Almenräder catapulted the bassoon into the modern era, with his technical improvements to the instrument. He collaborated and experimented, making a bassoon that was (and still is) infinitely more… Read more
Earlier this November, the Departments of Classics, Germanics, and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) organized the first Denny Career Coffeehouse, a lunch hour workshop geared at graduating seniors and open to all students thinking about their careers. Students had a chance to meet their peers in the other departments and to learn about articulating their core strengths and skills.  We thank Career Counselors Catherine Basl and John Olivera from the UW Career and Internship Center… Read more
I am writing from San Francisco, where I recently joined the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at San Francisco State University, with a joint appointment in the German and the Italian programs. I am currently teaching a beginning Italian language class and a course on Italian culture and civilization, in which students embark on an interdisciplinary journey, from the mythical origin of Rome to present-day Italy. Through various cultural products across different media, students… Read more
Since finishing my Ph.D. at the Department of Germanics this past spring quarter, I am now back in Germany participating in the Teach@Tübingen Program at the Eberhard Karls Universität as a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow. The teaching stipend is funded by the university's Exzellenzinitiative, and--as part of its internationalization effort--I am currently teaching an undergraduate proseminar at the Deutsches Seminar... aber auf Englisch! The class is titled Strong Women in German Literature from… Read more
To celebrate Nikolaustag and the end of Fall Quarter, the Iota chapter of Delta Phi Alpha (the National German Honors Society) hosted a dual event: a Study Slam review session for 100- and 200-level Germanics students and a celebration of Saint Nicholas Day. Many thanks to all those involved! Prospective members of Delta Phi Alpha can check out the national website for more information (http://deltaphialpha.org) and write to chapter advisor Jason Groves (… Read more
Verena Kick and Sabine Wilke launched a new digital platform to support research and scholarly exchange in the environmental humanities in October 2016. This platform replaces the old website "Environmental Humanities: A Transatlantic Research Network," designed by Verena, that supported the scholarly network founded by Sabine with funds from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation through their Alumni Prize competition from 2011 until now. While the website for the transatlantic research network… Read more
Germanics faculty member Jason Groves, together with collaborator Jesse Oak Taylor (English), have wrapped up a successful first quarter of their year-long Simpson Center-funded interdisciplinary research cluster on the Anthropocene. This cluster brought together a wide range of faculty and graduate students for multiple events, including a lecture and seminar on “Late Holocene Poetics" by Tobias Menely (Associate Professor, English, University of California Davis), as well as a field trip with… Read more
 February 24, 1:30 pm (Denny 359) Colin Marshall:  Does Kant Debunk Metaphysics? Colin Marshall (PhD, New York University) is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Washington. His research focuses on 17th-19th century European philosophy and contemporary meta-ethics. He is currently finishing a book defending a historically-inspired meta-ethical view entitled Compassionate Moral Realism.   April 28, 1:30 pm (Denny 359) Selim S. Kuru: Stranger in a strange land:… 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. BardinThe Boeing CompanyMonika BoosJane K. Brown and Marshall J. BrownEli Lilly &… Read more