Summer 2019 UW Germanics Newsletter

Dear Friends of Germanics and Alums:

Greetings from a festive UW Husky Campus. Please join me in congratulating the members of the graduating class of 2019 and the recipients of the special honors and awards you may read about in this Newsletter. We celebrate their achievements and we are very proud of them.

Warm congratulations also go to the following colleagues on their promotions, effective this fall:  Richard Block (Full Professor), Kye Terrasi (Senior Lecturer), and Ellwood Wiggins (Associate Professor with Tenure).

I extend my sincere thanks to the students, colleagues, and alums who shared their unique perspectives, projects and stories in this and earlier editions of our Newsletter. And I am grateful to the talented kids at the Seattle Area German American School, who drew the lovely pictures of their favorite UW Germanics interns, Madison, Isaiah and Miah. Our new partnership with SAGA is off to a good start.

It’s off into the summer now and for me it’s also the end of my five-year term as chair. Sabine Wilke will be back at the helm as chair of UW Germanics, starting July 1. I trust that under her leadership we are in for a great time ahead.

Best wishes for a restful and enjoyable summer. 

Brigitte Prutti
Professor and Chair


The department congratulates all students of the graduating class of 2018-2019! Many thanks to those who joined us Thursday, June 13th as we honored the academic achievements of our incredible students. We wish everyone the best of luck in the journey ahead!   Bachelor of Arts -- Germanics: Isaiah Back-Gaal Kathryn Bossio Suzi Kang Sara Koeck Briana Lindly Minors -- Germanics: Haeden Coffey Alexandra Fletcher Shayden Freebairn Haley Goodman Madison Longbottom Brandon Schwecke Doctor of… Read more
I came to UW in 2014 after finishing my Master’s program at the University of Kentucky, where I taught undergraduate German for two years. I was the recipient of a Max Kade Fellowship during my first year at the University of Washington, as well as a Go-Map Fellowship for the 2018-2019 academic year, affording me the opportunity to focus more intensely on completing my dissertation project. My dissertation, "Subverting the Gazhe Gaze: Reclaiming Roma Identity in the European World and Beyond",… Read more
I am excited to share that I recently defended my dissertation, Negotiating the German Public Sphere: Workers, Soldiers, and Women in Photobooks of Weimar Germany. My study shows how photobooks reuse previously published images and texts to specifically address workers, soldiers, and women. I highlight how these books employ montage strategies associated with 1920s Soviet Cinema to cast these three social groups as counter-publics. My analysis of Walter Benjamin’s Einbahnstraße… Read more
My doctoral work started with a love for puns. In 2015, I began my research with the conviction that Afro-German poetry and life writing were powerful forces that impacted contemporary German literature and society. At that time, I had read various works by Black German authors but knew little about their history. The Department of Germanics, as well as creative colleagues and friends, then provided me with the support that helped me develop my interdisciplinary research project over the years… Read more
I have been incredibly lucky to have studied German at the UW. The UW Germanics program has offered me an intimate community within the context of a large university, and I have been able to pursue research and participate in Study Abroad. Professor Kye Terrasi's course on fin-de-siecle Vienna inspired my interest in Austrian art and literature, and in 2018 I participated in the Spring in Vienna study abroad program with Professor Terrasi and fourteen other undergrads. In Vienna I got to… Read more
I have enjoyed being able to work so closely with the Germanics Department during my undergraduate study. It has been an incredible learning experience to work as the German Club president as well as the Undergraduate Student Representative and ambassador. Now that I am graduating, I look forward to… Read more
In the past academic year, I have been representing the department as a Hanauer Fellow (2018-2019). The Joff Hanauer Fellowship is awarded each year to six graduate students from various departments within the Humanities and beyond. It provides the unique opportunity to discuss the Western cultural tradition from the viewpoints of different disciplines, preparing students for interdisciplinary scholarship. Together with five other graduate students from the departments of English (Emily George… Read more
This year, I was thrilled to be accepted as a Hanauer fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year and honored to have my work as lead TA recognized through the Manfred Bansleben Excellence in Teaching Award. I am particularly excited to take part in the Hanauer seminar next year, as the theme aligns perfectly with my research interests and dissertation, tentatively titled “Writing (Off) the Animal: German Romanticism and the Animal-Human Divide.” The project is an attempt to explore the Western… Read more
I will be going to Austria on a Fulbright Combined Grant. This means I will be teaching English to secondary school students while also carrying out a research project with the University of Salzburg. My research will be on the intersection of youth, social media, and democracy. I am grateful for the Germanics department and my instructors for being incredibly influential in my Fulbright application and giving me the language skills I need to be successful on this opportunity. One of my major… Read more
I am honored to have received the Hanauer Fellowship for Excellence in Western Civilization for the 2019-2020 academic year. I am excited to be learning once again from our very own Professor Sabine Wilke as we attempt to think outside the box about human relationships with the environment and how they have come to shape us. The Hanauer Fellowship requires one to study Western Civilization intensively in order to understand its impacts, imperfections, and importance for the world today. I will… Read more
            Whenever I tell Germanists at distant conferences that I work at the University of Washington, the first question they usually ask is, “Oh, that’s where Jane Brown is, right?” Even though Jane retired in 2012, her name is still what rings bells for UW among scholars of Goethe and the Faust tradition around the world. This recognition is not only due to the influential body of scholarship she published during her distinguished tenure as an active teacher, administrator, and… Read more
Greetings from the College of Charleston, South Carolina, where I have been working as an Assistant and now Associate Professor of German since I graduated with a PhD in Germanics at the University of Washington in 2007. It was very difficult to leave the fabulous city of Seattle, but over the years Charleston has grown a great deal on me and I am proud to say I can now appreciate the difference between 80, 90, and 100 degrees Fahrenheit--for the first 5-6 years it felt all exactly the same to… Read more
UW Germanics alumna Heather Sullivan is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Trinity University in Texas, USA. Sullivan began teaching at Trinity in 1995 after completing the Ph.D. in comparative literature with an emphasis on German at the University of Washington. Her dissertation advisor was the esteemed Diana Behler. In April of 2018, Sullivan offered a remarkable lecture "The Dark Green: Plants Run Amok in the Anthropocene” at the invitation of UW Germanics faculty member… Read more
I studied German in middle school and through high school, including spending a summer in Bavaria as an exchange student. When I came to the University of Washington as a freshman in 1991, I had already planned on a career in medicine, but I wanted to continue my language studies. I changed my major to German as a freshman when I realized that this period of my life might the last time that I could explore the humanities in any kind of comprehensive way. (Thankfully, this turned out to be wrong… Read more
I received my Ph.D. from UW Germanics in August 1989, having written, under the guidance of Jens Rieckmann, on the early works of Viennese satirist Karl Kraus.  I finished the degree just in time to start a position at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where I stayed for 12 years, earning tenure and expanding my teaching and research into International Studies while also giving birth to two wonderful daughters.  Eventually, my husband and I decided we wanted to raise our children in a more… Read more
“Amazing”, “highly engaging”, “best decision of my life”, “far better than I could have ever expected”, “made life-long friends”, “Once in a lifetime experience!”. These are the some of the words that describe this year’s group that spent 10 weeks in Vienna, learning German, and exploring the cultural richness of the city and many of Austria’s neighboring countries. Our sincere gratitude goes to the International Culture Institute (IKI Vienna), Dr. Friederike Forst-Battaglia, a Viennese art… Read more
“It feels like coming home” Professor Martina Wagner-Egelhaaf is this year’s distinguished Max Kade Visiting Professor from the University of Münster. In Münster, Dr. Wagner-Egelhaaf works as a professor of Modern German literature, leads a wide variety of interdisciplinary research groups, and holds several editorial and advisory positions. She recently edited the three volume Handbook of Autobiography/Autofiction, released this year, taught a graduate level course here at UW, and was… Read more
This year’s interdisciplinary graduate student conference was a resounding success. Not only was the work presented at the conference thought-provoking and insightful, but the sources of these remarkable pieces of research were truly global, with participants flying in from as far away as Brazil, India, and Sweden. While most attendees were concentrated in the Humanities, there were also forays into topics like medicine, economics, and public policy, indicating an awareness that greater… Read more
When I was 12 years old, I was a kid living in Dalian, a well-known soccer town in China. I watched the 2010 World Cup with my dad. I still remember how my dad described the Germany vs Argentina match as “Mars crashing into Earth.” I made a bet with my dad that whoever guessed the winner right would get 100 rmb. My dad guessed Argentina. I, knowing almost nothing about soccer, put my bet on Germany. Germany crushed Argentina 4:0 and I won the bet.  That was the first time when Germany came to… Read more
I first began studying German my freshman year of high school and became entranced by being able to speak with and express myself to people in other languages. Between the conclusion of high school and beginning my time at UW, I was unable to study German for about four years, but still had an interest and began taking classes as soon as I could. I immediately fell back in love with the language and its efficient complexity. Sometimes I am asked why I want to be fluent in German, while in the… Read more
“Why German?” That’s the number one question I’m asked when I say I’m a German major. My typical answer is usually something sarcastic along the lines of “why not German?” But truthfully, I have a lot of reasons for why I chose to study German at UW. The biggest reason is that I wanted a link to my family’s past, since my heritage is very German, with both sides of my family originating from Germany. The first foreign country I can remember visiting was Germany, attending a family friend’s… Read more
The Department of Germanics is excited to offer a new internship program in cooperation with the Seattle Area German American School, a local German-immersion preschool/elementary school. Put your German skills to work and explore career options in education, language pedagogy, childcare, administration, and other aspects of running a language immersion school.  Work closely with experienced educators/administrators at the SAGA School to enhance and further your professional goals.  Form long-… Read more
„Warum kannst Du so gut Deutsch sprechen?“ the Kindergarten Kids are wondering. It is Circle-Time in Kindergarten and all eyes are on the smiling intern from the University of Washington. „Weil ich Deutsch studiere!“ Madison answers and the students are amazed by this simple fact. Working together in a fun environment and having a positive role model for German is priceless, when teaching young kids the value of foreign languages. That is one of the many reasons why we love having our three… Read more

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