Fall 2022 UW German Studies Newsletter

Dear Alums and Friends of German Studies:

It has been an humbling experience to sit in as chair of this dynamic department during this quarter. Sabine Wilke is on a research fellowship in Tübingen this fall, and by all accounts having a marvelous time. No one looks forward to her return more than I do!

It is a pleasure to share our latest news in this fall edition of the newsletter. Our featured faculty member in this issue is Jason Groves, who is returning from a productive year of sabbatical research, and who will be teaching a cool winter course, Cultures of Extinction. You’ll also read about the amazing work that Professor Annegret Oehme has been doing with the Seattle Opera for their production of Tristan und Isolde. You can be inspired by the activist zeal and analytical rigor of projects from a course for incoming freshmen on RevolutionThen there’s news from our graduate students: exciting updates from Sam Romanelli and Aaron Carpenter, and introductions of our two new Kade Fellows beginning their studies at UW this year: Inga Schwemin and Shallom Ogungbade. You will also be hearing from our amazing undergraduates, including the impressively active German Club, which had over 50 students attend this fall! There’s a report and student testimonials from the brand new Summer in Berlin program founded by Kye Terrasi and Andre Schütze. And we’re very proud of a recent alum, Miah Roberts, who gives a report on her experience as a Fulbright teacher in Dresden.

During this season, I am inviting you to make a donation to our fund, Friends of German Studies, which supports students and faculty who present papers at conferences, guest speakers in courses or Zoom webinars, scholarly publications, student awards, and many other activities that are so vital in a small department.

Because of recent donations, we have been able to create incredibly enriching experiences for our students this quarter: a trip to the Seattle Opera to watch Tristan und Isolde during a special German-themed performance; a catered departmental seminar in which undergrads, graduate students, and faculty all discuss the opera together; and an indigenous walking tour of the UW campus led by Owen Oliver, the author of the 40-page guide available at the Burke Museum. These are just some of the events and opportunities that would not be possible without the generosity of our donors.

Thank you so much for your help and your continued support of the Department and its programs. The faculty joins me in wishing you a very pleasant holiday season, robust health, and a great start into the New Year!

Best wishes,

Ellwood Wiggins
Associate Professor of German Studies 
Interim Chair (fall 2022)


Incoming Freshmen in Early Fall Start studied Revolutions and their Art (Aug-Sept 2022).  Students came together from across the world to take part in a seminar taught by German Studies professor, Ellwood Wiggins. In class, they discussed representations of revolutions from antiquity to today, including the American Revolution (Hamilton: a… Read more
While on sabbatical this past year, I was able to get some rest, spend more time in the sea, and also pursue my existing interests in literature and the environment into new fields, in particular Jewish studies and memory studies. Having invitations to publish in essay collections—in other words, having deadlines—was a major impetus for this. You can read more about these essays, and the book project that grew out of them, on my Read more
Annegret Oehme, Associate Professor of German Studies at the University of Washington, discusses TRISTAN UND ISOLDE in this podcast in advance of a new production at the Seattle Opera. Wagner’s inspiration for this amazing opera was the 12th century poem by Gottfried von Straßburg, a classic of medieval German literature. Wagner built on Gottfried’s timeless tale… Read more
This year the Austrian Academy of Science offered a scholarship to students covering travel and accommodation expenses for a trip to their summer school in Vienna, Austria. I was one of the winners of this scholarship and got to attend the three-day course for free this September. The subject to be discussed was homosexuality in Franz Schubert’s lifetime, since there has been a longstanding debate in the field of musicology on whether Schubert was homosexual or not. We heard lectures from… Read more
This last year, I had the pleasure of being a Robert & Pamela Center Fellow with the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies here at the University of Washington. Going in, I was not sure what to expect. I knew that I would be meeting and speaking with other graduate students who were working in and around Jewish studies and with faculty from Jewish Studies, including our own Prof. Richard Block and Prof. Annegret Oehme. As part of the Fellowship I had the opportunity to write an article about my… Read more
Hello everyone, I'm Inga, this year's Kade Fellow. Last year, during the pre-vaccine part of the pandemic, I came to Seattle as a visiting graduate. Even though the city and campus were running on a completely different rhythm, I had an amazing time, met great people, and fell in love with the area. This time I'm returning as a full member of the graduate program, pursuing a joint degree between the University of Washington and the University of Münster. Both German departments as well as UW’s… Read more
In 2021, I decided to continue my academic journey by pursuing a master's degree in German. At the time of this decision, I was still in my final year as an undergraduate. It almost seemed like an unattainable goal, when I realized that there is only one university in Nigeria that offers German at the post graduate level and the courses they offer do not align with my research interests. I didn't know what else to do and I almost gave up on this dream. I spoke to my undergraduate lecturer about… Read more
This Autumn, the German Club at The University of Washington has been welcoming dozens of German learners and enthusiasts of all levels to weekly meetings to connect socially with our community and to practice language skills with activities and games. Beyond the casual sessions are several upcoming special events, including a trip to Tristan und Isolde at the Seattle Opera (10/23), a guest… Read more
“Berlin sank down on me like a quilt covered with fiery flowers.” Irmgard Keun, The Artificial Silk Girl After two years of delays due to COVID, we were finally able to launch UW’s Summer in Berlin program in 2022!  Students spent five weeks taking language classes and exploring their new city; their language school campus, GLS, is right in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg, and they had easy access to transportation, quirky stores, vibrant restaurants and cafes, and a pulsing nightlife. … Read more
Cassidy Lucht "The Summer in Berlin program was such an enriching experience for me. Not only did I get to practice and improve my German language skills in a high-level classroom, but also got to experience so many other parts of German culture that I would not have had the opportunity to had I not been in this program. An amazing part of this program is the fact that none of our classes with Andre and Kye were inside a classroom. We were able to use the… Read more
Greetings from Dresden, Germany! Since graduating in June with a B.S. in speech and hearing sciences and a B.A. in linguistics and Germanics, I have moved 5,000 miles away to my new home in Dresden, Germany. I was fortunate to find a wonderful apartment in the Löbtau area with three fantastic roommates who have quickly become good friends. A few trips to IKEA and a number of EBay Kleinanzeigen purchases later and I am finally feeling settled.  As an English Teaching Assistant in the Fulbright… Read more
Dear Friend of German Studies, We are excited to be back in-person for a strong kick-off to a new academic year with full classes, impactful research projects, inspiring students, and fantastic friends and connections in the community. Our signature events this fall include a day at the opera, a seminar for the entire department, and an indigenous walking tour of the UW campus! Support for Friends of German Studies is crucial and allows us to: Engage important speakers and scholars for public… Read more
Your donation helps us to: Engage important speakers and scholars for public events. Provide research support for our graduate students. Subsidize tuition for our summer programs. Fund student and faculty participation in conferences. For more info about our featured funds and to make a donation click HERE. Thank you to our donors: Michael… Read more