Spring 2019 UW Germanics Newsletter

Dear Friends of Germanics and Alums:

Spring greetings from Denny Hall. We look forward to welcoming Martina Wagner-Egelhaaf from the University of Münster as our distinguished Max Kade Visiting Professor later this month and to the exciting lectures and events by faculty and guests in the quarter ahead. Germanics PhD students Vanessa Hester and Matthew Childs took the lead in organizing an interdisciplinary graduate student conference on April 5-6. We were glad to receive a UW Diversity Seed Grant and will be hosting a cross-disciplinary workshop on Diversity and Inclusion in the World Language and Literature Classroom on April 19.  Partnering with the Seattle Area German American School [SAGA], we can offer great new internship options for our undergraduates with medium to advanced language skills. 

Congratulations to our PhD candidate Verena Kick on her success in garnering a tenure-track Assistant Professor position at Georgetown University and a sincere thanks to the students and alums who have shared their thoughts and stories for this spring edition of our Newsletter. It is dedicated to the memory of our emeritus colleague Sammy McLean who passed away last August.


Brigitte Prutti

Professor and Chair

We mourn the loss of our Emeritus Sammy McLean. Born on September 29, 1929 in El Dorado, Kansas, Sammy passed away in Seattle at age 88 on August 6, 2018. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma and earned a Ph.D. in Germanic Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. Sammy joined the department in 1967, after teaching at Dartmouth College and for the University of Maryland Overseas Program in England. He taught at all undergraduate and graduate levels in Germanics and… Read more
We are very happy to announce another enjoyable “mentoring lunch” with current UW German majors. On February 25, 2019, Alex Minami (UW class of 2010) and Arabelle Liepold (Managing Director,… Read more
Sara Koeck interviewed Gabe Verdugo:   I recently had the opportunity to meet with Gabriel Verdugo, who graduated from the UW with a BA in Germanics and a BS in Plant Biology back in 2008. After attaining his bachelor’s degree, he continued on to law school, clerked at the Washington… Read more
Starting Fall Semester 2019, Verena will join the Department of German at Georgetown University as an Assistant Professor of German. She is very excited to bring her teaching experience and her research focus on 20th century Modernism, Digital Humanities and film/media to Georgetown’s Department of German.    As a PhD Candidate in the Department of Germanics, she has had excellent support from her PhD advisor, Sabine Wilke, and all other faculty members at all stages of her graduate student… Read more
You may remember Sam Hylton, one of our recent graduates. You may not know that he and his jazz band, Ark Noir, are making a splash in the Munich jazz scene.   We asked Sam a few questions about life after graduation:       Why do you live in Munich?         I moved here for a Master's degree in Jazz Piano (performance) at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, or University of Music… Read more
Thank you to everyone who attended the Winter 2019 Kaffeestunde and for making it such a lively event. Every Monday afternoon, the third floor of Denny Hall buzzed with excitement as our students enthusiastically participated in interactive activities and discussions in German. Jorma, Dominik, Dome and Jeffrey created memory games for students to practice grammar and vocabulary while Sara, Justin, Matthew and Derek facilitated stimulating conversations for the advanced groups.  German 102… Read more
About a year ago, I found myself enjoying a certain type of German music. I couldn’t understand the lyrics, but it had a nice ring to it. It was something new. That was a good enough reason for me to sign up for the German 100 series when I came to UW. It seems as though my choice was spot on, because I grew very fond of the language itself. It has an absolutely intriguing grammatical system that is very orderly. At the same time, you can familiarize yourself with it rather easily if you are an… Read more
My name is Emily Kargl and I am a sophomore in the Michael G. Foster School of Business. I intend to study Operations and Supply Chain Management, with a specific focus in international business. Currently, I am enrolled in German 102, and plan to take German 103 and 351 in the spring. My interest in learning German stems from my passion for international business, and my family’s roots in Germany. Both my maternal and paternal great-grandparents emigrated to the United States from Germany in… Read more
For the students of German 298: Witchcraft: From History to Pop Culture, the haunted season began early this year. For ten weeks, the students explored the history of witchcraft, with a special focus on a 17th-century trial that took place in Germany and the representation of witches in pop-culture. Exploring the transcultural fascination with witches, students shared in teams their own reading experience of classical witches depicted in literature, from Yama-Uba to Circe to La Segua… Read more
Sabine Wilke about the Hanauer Seminar 2018-19: The Hanauer seminar has begun its work for the year. Six select graduate students and I are examining human and nonhuman relations in Western Civilization from the Classics to today. What does it mean to engage the Western tradition and its core values such as equality, freedom, justice, and democracy in a broader and more global context? What is the meaning of the enlightenment in this age of radical interconnectivity where even the concept of… Read more
I completed my doctorate in Germanics from the UW in 2005. I focused on German-Jewish philosophy and literature through the lens of dialogic philosophy. Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas were the key influences for my exploration. I began teaching full time as a non-tenure track faculty member at Western Oregon University in the fall of 2003 and worked happily at that institution until 2009. I was able to co-design a German Studies major and develop 11 new courses for the program while working… Read more
I received my PhD in Germanics in 2008 and worked for many years as a part-time lecturer at both the Bothell and the Seattle campus of the UW, teaching philosophy, literature and intellectual history. As part of the UW summer study abroad program I brought students to Berlin for an experiential course on Jewish Berlin entitled, Berlin Beyond the Wall. Then, last summer, we packed our bags and moved to Berlin! After a year of adjusting to life in Germany (on the one hand, rules and bureaucratic… Read more
One of my more surreal experiences in recent memory involved finding myself not only registering as a lobbyist but soon thereafter finding myself in the D.C. office of a representative who was reciting a poem by Chilean poet and Nobel Prize recipient Pablo Neruda. I don't know how common it is for members of congress to cite Pablo Neruda poems to visiting lobbyists, but it is probably somewhat more likely in the state of Washington than others, and, within Washington, much more likely in… Read more
As an international student, I am often asked by my friends and families what the point is for me to learn German in the US. To be honest, I never considered majoring in German when I entered UW. I started learning German simply because I was a soccer fan of FC Bayern Munich and wanted to learn some more about German soccer and German culture. However, as time went by, I found a connection between German and Human-Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE), the major that I have always wanted to… Read more
As daunting as it may seem, to learn a language is to suddenly gain the spectacular ability to connect with people from all around the world; to be able to exude smiles, laughter, happiness, and understanding from individuals one might otherwise struggle to communicate with. At the core of every culture, you will find language as an integral element, and learning that language will inherently bestow upon you a greater understanding of the people, allowing you to make boundless connections to… Read more
The Department of Germanics in conjunction with Scandinavian and French & Italian is offering a diversity workshop in the Spring of 2019 for their faculty, staff and graduate students.  The workshop, Cross-disciplinary Conversations on Diversity and Inclusion in the World Language and Literature Classroom, will be facilitated by Dr. Anu Taranath and seeks to create a more inclusive learning environment for students in world language and literature departments.  Dr. Taranath, who is… Read more
Residue and Remnants: (re)Presenting Cultural Memory, Contamination, and Destruction “Without remembrance and without the reification which remembrance needs for its own fulfillment and which makes it, indeed, as the Greeks held, the mother of all arts, the living activities of action, speech, and thought would lose their reality at the end of each process and disappear as though they never had been.” – Hannah Arendt, Read more
Whether you are curious about the Art of Protest, need to fulfill your VLPA / I&S or DIV credits, or just looking to further your education, these courses are sure to open your mind and inspire you! The following English-language and culture courses are open to all students. GERMAN 293A / CHID 270B: Gegenkultur: The Art of Protest  (sln: 14805), VLPA/I&S, DIV, 5 credits TTh 1:00 – 2:20pm, MGH 231 Instructor:… Read more

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