Spring 2017 UW Germanics Newsletter

Dear Friends of Germanics and Alums:

Greetings from the new Denny Hall. Here’s the spring edition of our quarterly Newsletter with an array of interesting stories about people and courses and news of recent activities and events. We warmly welcome Professor Moritz Baβler, our Distinguished Max Kade visitor from the University of Münster, and a renowned scholar of contemporary German pop culture. We are proud of our junior colleague, Dr. Kye Terrasi, for having been nominated for a UW Teaching Award, and we congratulate Professor Sabine Wilke on garnering another major research award.  Eagerly awaiting the yearly cherry blossom splendor at the UW, we look forward to seeing the Quad in full bloom when we return from our spring break. And we look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your support.


Brigitte Prutti
Professor and Chair

Germanics welcomes Professor Moritz Baßler (Universität Münster) as Distinguished Max Kade Visiting Professor for 2017. During his spring quarter stay Moritz will offer a graduate seminar on Popular Realism: Ever since the second half of the 20th century, an extremely successful ‘International Style’ of narrative literature has evolved around the world, from the authors of the Latin American Boom to Haruki Murakami,… Read more
Professor Sabine Wilke was awarded a 10-month residency as a Research Fellow at the International Research Center „Interweaving Performance Cultures“ at the Freie Universität Berlin for a project on „Anthropocene Performances: Theorizing Interweaving Beyond Postcolonialism.“ The Center for Interweaving Performance Cultures at the Freie… Read more
Sympathy for the Devil: The Rhetoric of Compassion (German 390), Team Learning Projects, 2016 Is compassion the foundation of human morality or a dangerously unreliable emotion? This course examined the strategies and motivations in different media of fostering empathy for commonly held enemies or discriminated groups. The syllabus ran from Ancient Greece to depictions of Nazis and terrorists in modern film, and considered philosophical assessments of sympathy alongside examples of its… Read more
Germanics Film Series  Before everyone had the opportunity to watch films in isolation on a little screen, cinema was a social act. So for the current departmental film series, we encouraged students to join us for screenings followed by discussions, which revealed really intriguing thoughts and, at times, creative films analysis skills.  In fall quarter, I curated an embassy-sponsored film series on German and American film collaborations, entitled Heimat Meets Hollywood. Films… Read more
“The Essay in a Time of Crisis: Reconstituting the German Public Sphere in Narrative, Visual and Digital Culture (1920s – 2010s)”   My dissertation pursues two goals: to examine the transformation of the essay genre in Germany during the 20th and 21st centuries; and to thereby investigate how the essay’s interplay of personal opinion and public voice has been serving as a strategy to confront Germany’s social, economic and political crises since the Weimar Republic. Since the 1920s, authors… Read more
Students from Prof. Wilke's course on "Literature, Culture, and the Environment“ were showing their projects on Friday, March 10, in the new active learning classroom in Denny Hall.   Over the course of winter quarter 2017 they explored the topic along five examples: the study of food and consumption, animals and the post-human perspective, waste and pollution, climate change, and the question of diversity loss in the age that has recently been called the Anthropocene or the Age of the Human.… Read more
BlackWhite — Experiences and Writing Practices in Contemporary Afro-German Literature               I am excited to continue working on my dissertation that describes innovative writing practices in contemporary Afro-German literature. My project focuses on rhetorical, intertextual and aesthetic strategies as creative devices for a diasporic literary history. My analysis includes fictional/non-fictional texts comprised of Afro-German poetry and autobiographies. The greater evolution of Afro-… Read more
Thank you to everyone who attended the Winter 2017 Kaffeestunde and for making it such a lively event. Every Monday afternoon, the sounds of fun and excitement poured from the library in Denny Hall as our students enthusiastically participated in interactive activities and discussions. With each session they improved their language skills and helped to create a warm and vibrant community of German speakers. Join us in the Spring of 2017 for the next installment of Kaffeestunde!  
"Writing (Off) the Animal: German Romanticism and the Animal-Human Divide" In the year to come I will have the opportunity to take some of the most significant and exciting steps toward completing my PhD that have yet been available to me. With my exams behind me, I look forward to beginning a project which I hope will provide a new and vital perspective on a relationship as old as humans themselves. Attitudes toward animals and the place afforded to them within western society have undergone… Read more
We are very happy to announce another enjoyable “mentoring lunch” with a Germanics alum and current majors. On February 13, 2017, Darren Langston (class of 2016) joined three students to chat over curry at Shalimar’s on the Ave. Darren currently works for Amazon as a German Speaking Risk Buyer Investigation Specialist. He is excited about being able to use German on a daily basis in his job, and is very pleased with his prospects to advance his career at Amazon. You can read more about Darren’s… Read more
Benjamin Green, History Major: "I decided to learn German for a variety of reasons. In large part, the decision was made out of respect and admiration for German culture, history, and people. While in high school, we had far more German students on exchange with us than from any other nation. A few became my friends, and remain so to this day. They were all curious, intelligent, and spoke English at a high level. While a student at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, I traveled to… Read more
Ana Sofia here. I graduated with a Germanics minor and Journalism major in 2013.  Since graduating, I have written for a number of local news publications, including The Seattle Globalist, Grist, and Crosscut. In March 2016, I began working full-time at The Stranger, a local alt-weekly newspaper. At the paper, I cover issues in Seattle's neighborhoods, civil rights issues, and culture. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to use my three years of German all that much… Read more
We asked students in our first- und second-year language courses why they learn German. Here are some of their answers: Erin Price, Sociology Major: Why I learn German: "The German culture has such an influence in our contemporary American life and sometimes I don't think we realize it. Learning the language brings this into perspective for me and helps me appreciate just that! Being that I'm a Sociology Major, I get to dive into the great German minds of Simmel, Tönnies, Marx, Weber, all whose… Read more
On January 13th, the Henry Art Gallery offered a private tour of Paul McCarthy’s exhibit (“White Snow, Wood Sculptures”) for students of German 422 ("Tales of the Romantic Imagination: Fairy Tales and the Fantastic”). Assistant Curator Benjamin Levy and Deputy Director of Exhibition Luis Croquer offered a wide-ranging introduction to McCarthy’s work and interest in the reception of fairy tales. These graphic, grotesque, and yet remarkably alluring objects offered an excellent… Read more
The Origins of German and its Closest Relatives                                                                                                                     The legend goes that only one vote prevented German from becoming the official language of the colonies that predated the USA. Despite being opponents in this case, German and English share common features and a linguistic genealogy. This class offers an… Read more
In times of "alternative facts", rising separatism, and democracies in crisis, UW graduate students join together for a fast-paced evening of discovery. In this “short takes” event, each speaker will spend five minutes exploring ‘courage and consciousness’ through their own unique perspective—including visuals: How do you understand courage and consciousness? This event, organized by doctoral students of Germanics, will encompass an informal evening that features a variety of takes on the topic… Read more