German Studies Majors and Minors News

Adam Rashkoff Baltner ’13 (GRST major) has been living in Vienna for the past few years. From 2013-2015, he taught English at two high schools in Vorarlberg, Austria. He then worked for another year as an English teacher at a technical school in Vienna. Since 2015, he has been in a Master’s program in the Department of German at the University of Vienna. He just finished all his course work and is currently writing his thesis. Adam recently published an article about the teacher strikes in the United States which was published on the Austrian political blog Mosaik.

Adam is married and will become a father in October.

Madalene Smith-Huemer ’14 (GRST/HIST major) has been pursuing an M.S. in Foreign Service at Georgetown University and is spending the summer working at an anti-human-trafficking NGO in Belgrade, Serbia, called Atina. Her work includes helping to teach German at the refugee camps near Belgrade and designing and writing a guidebook for Serbian employers on how to hire refugees.

Wy Ming Lin ’16 (GRST/NS&B) is currently working at a psychology researchlabat New York University following his year-long stay in Cologne and Leipzig through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program. Wy Ming will be moving to Germany in the fall to pursue a Master’s degree in Neural and Behavioral Science at the University of Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg. He is looking forward to speaking German again, enjoying some German beer, and visiting friends around the country!

Philip Katz

Philip Katz ‘17 (GRST/HIST) is planning to apply to law school in the fall while continuing to work as a paralegal in New York.

Carter Deane ’18 (CSS major and GRST minor) will be spending this summer working at a restaurant before moving to Köln with the support of DAAD’s 10-month Research Fellowship. The latter will allow him to continue his research on the legal history and current status of Islamic religious groups that remain unacknowledged by the government of Nordrhein-Westfalen. His research will be centered around recently unsealed documents in the State archive which detail the first application for official status and rights by an Islamic religious community. This first application, like all those that followed, was ultimately rejected by the State.

Jack (Hans) Guenther

Jack Guenther ’18 (GRST, HIST, COL) received high honors for his honors thesis, “‘Gateway to the World’: Hamburg and the Global German Empire.” He graduated with University Honors, received the Blankenagel Prize and Robbins Memorial Prize, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Jack has received a full scholarship for a 5-year Ph.D. program in history at Princeton University. This summer he will return to Hamburg, Germany to do more research at the Warburg Archive.

Katherine Peterson

Katherine Paterson ’18 (THEA/ENVS and GRST minor) completed an honors thesis in Theater this year called (at)tend, which explores urban farming and theater as sites of coming together and building community. The thesis included a performance component which involved building a greenhouse and growing vegetables. This year, Katherine received the Outreach and Community Service Award from the Theater Department and the Sophie and Anne Reed Prize for the best poem/group of poems. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa last fall. Future plans include touring with a production of up your aesthetic in July. up your aesthetic, a former Wesleyan theater capstone project, premiered in the Theater Studio in the spring of 2017. The show is touring in upstate New York, Vermont, Philadelphia, and ending at the Capital Fringe Festival in DC. If you are in the area, please come see it! After the tour, Katherine plans to continue working in the theater, eventually making the move to New York City in the fall. Hopefully German will find a way into these plans as well!

Sophia Shoulson

Sophia Shoulson ’18 (GRST/COL) received high honors for her thesis, “All Tales Are True.” She received the Prentice Prize and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa last fall. After graduation, she will work at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA.

Christina Sickinger

Christina Sickinger ’18 (GRST/ECON) received the Scott Prize for her work in German Studies, the Plukas Teaching Apprentice Award, and she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa last fall. She is working for Aberdeen Standard Investments in Manhattan.

Chris Steidl

 

Chris Steidl ’18 (GRST/HIST) will be moving to Boston in September to do nonprofit work! Still up in the air is what that work will be, but he is as always optimistic and open for whatever comes.

Caroline Adams ’19 (GRST/AMST) will be living in Brooklyn this summer where she conducts research for Professor Bork about family history and German-Jewish immigration during the 19th century. She will also be delving into research for her own German Studies senior thesis about Karl May’s indianer novels and their impact on modern cultural perceptions of indigenous life in German culture. Additionally, she is taking a class at Brooklyn College and learning for the first time how to navigate the New York subway system! She is very excited to pursue this research with the generous help and support from the Helmut und Erika Reihlen fund, Professor Bork, Professor Winston and the German Studies department! She is looking forward to a wonderful, wonderful, German-centric summer!

Anna Apostolidis ’19 (GRST/ANTH) received the Blankenagel Prize and a scholarship from the GRST Helmuth and Erika Reihlen Fund to support her research in Berlin this summer. Anna will be spending four weeks in Germany’s capital where she will conduct archival research on the Humboldt-Forum’s planning, looking at correspondence and records of buildings and exhibits.

Lizzie Whitney

Lizzie Whitney ’19 (GRST/COL) will be spending part of her summer in Hamburg and Berlin. In preparation for her honors thesis, she will see as many plays as she can and explore how classic German texts are performed and reinterpreted in the contemporary sociopolitical climate. For her research project, she received funding from the GRST Helmuth and Erika Reihlen Fund.

 

Lily Davis ’20 (FGSS/PSYCH major and GRST minor) will be interning at an organization called Environment Oregon. She is working on a campaign to keep plastic out of the Pacific Ocean and keep our planet safe.

OUR STUDENTS ABROAD

Will Bellamy ’19 (GRST/ENGL), Hannah Cooper ’20 (GRST/FILM), and Scott Walkinshaw ’20 (GRST/COL) are currently studying with the Smith program in Hamburg. Karen and Julia from Smith College the Hamburg program director, Jutta Gutzeit, together with Wesleyan students Will, Hannah, and Hendrik recently visited Professor Bork in Hamburg-Blankenese. After a walking tour through this picturesque village on the Elbe River, they relaxed for a few hours on Frau Bork’s balcony with Kaffee und Kuchen. As the German semester is still in session, they are busy studying before they can ultimately relax and enjoy their well-deserved vacation.

Will is currently also collecting material for his honors thesis. He is planning to write about the Austrian writer Elfriede Gerstl (1932-2009).

Hannah has been focusing this semester has been on improving her language skills and exploring German culture and history in the decades following the Second World War. She’s looking forward to returning to Wesleyan in the fall to continue her studies.

With great sadness we share this news

Our colleague and friend Peter M. Frenzel, Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Studies, Emeritus, passed away on Sunday, May 20, 2018, at the age of 82.

Peter Frenzel playing the Glockenspiel with the pep band during homecoming weekend in 2010.

Peter arrived at Wesleyan in 1966 after receiving his B.A. from Yale, M.A. from Middlebury, and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He retired in 2003 after 37 years at Wesleyan. During his time here, Peter served on virtually every major committee, including Advisory and EPC, and he served in a number of administrative roles, including as an Associate Provost, Dean of Arts and Humanities, chair of German Studies, director of the Wesleyan Program in Germany, and as the Commencement Marshal. In his retirement, Peter served on the Advisory Board for the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty and was editor of the Center’s newsletter. He was a carillonneur who oversaw Wesleyan’s carillon bells, and he played the glockenspiel with the pep band during football games.

Peter was one of the foremost experts on the German Minnesang tradition of lyric- and song-writing, with particular expertise in the early forms of Medieval German literature and the connection between poetry and music. His scholarship on medieval music and literature and German music and culture of the 19th century contributed much to our knowledge of the Middle Ages. 

His colleague Herb Arnold said, “Peter loved music in its more modern expression, as well, often sitting down at his piano for an impromptu riff or chasing the perfect Wagner Ring around the globe, visiting what seems like every operatic venue from New York to Sydney.”

Peter is survived by his wife, Laurie Neville Frenzel; grandchildren John Frenzel and Rita Frenzel; daughter Kim Frenzel and partner John Lucey; and his older brother, Robert. A memorial gathering will be held at the Wadsworth Mansion from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, 2018. Memorial contributions can be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, P.O. Box 97372, Washington, D.C. 20090-7372, or to the Susan and William Wasch Center for Retired Faculty, c/o Jessie Steele, 51 Lawn Avenue, Middletown, CT 06457.

Alumni News

Wy Ming Lin ’16, a German Studies and Neuroscience & Behavior double major, is currently working at a psychology research lab at New York University following his year-long stay in Cologne and Leipzig through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program. Afterwards, Wy Ming will be moving to Germany in the fall to pursue a Masters degree in Neural and Behavioral Science at the University of Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg. He is looking forward to speaking German again, enjoying some German beer, and visiting friends around the country!

Carter Deane ’18 wins DAAD scholarship

Carter Deane has been awarded the prestigious DAAD fellowship to spend next year in Köln.

This year we mark the 35th anniversary of Wesleyan’s sesquicentennial, on which occasion the then director of the DAAD in New York, Manfred Stassen, made Wesleyan a Partner-Universität. Manfred had taught in the College of Letters before going to the DAAD. He died in February in Bonn at the age of 78.

 

German Chancellor Fellowship

Launch your career in Germany – become part of a worldwide network

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is searching for the leaders of tomorrow – from Brazil, China, India, Russia, and the USA. The German Chancellor Fellowship offers you an opportunity to take the next career step in Germany – irrespective of your field of work.
In order to apply, develop your own project idea and find the host of your choice to mentor you. Once your host has confirmed, you can apply for a fellowship.

For more information visit the Humboldt Foundation

Second German Studies Colloquium

Lizzie Whitney (GRST/COL ’19) will lead a discussion (in German) on two pieces from Wladimir Kaminer’s Russendisko alongside a brief chapter from Hegel’s Aesthetik on “Der subjektive Humor.” I have attached the texts to this mail. Please feel free to distribute this invitation to other German speakers on campus.

Tuesday, March 6, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., in Boger Hall 113

German Symposium-Meaningful Presence: Lived Experience (Erlebnis) and Representation

Thursday, February 15

5:00-7:00 p.m. at Russell House, 350 High Street

Keynote Lecture by David Wellbery (University of Chicago): “’Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön.’ Image as Dramatic Motivation”

Moderator: Martin Bäumel (Department of German Studies, Wesleyan University)


Friday, February 16 

The following events will take place at the Center for the Humanities, 95 Pearl Street, Room 106

9:30 a.m.-1:10 p.m. Epistemologies

9:30-11:10 a.m. Conceptualizing Presence; Moderator: Daniel Smyth (College of Letters, Wesleyan University)

9:30-10:20 a.m. Aleksandra Prica (Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill): “Signatura rerum. On Presence and Method”

10:20-11:10 a.m. Ethan Kleinberg (Center for the Humanities, Wesleyan University): “The Sourcery of the Text: Chladenius and the Historico-Theological Presence of the Past”

11:10-11:30 a.m. Coffee Break

11:30 a.m. – 1:10 p.m. Knowing Oneself, Knowing the World

Moderator: Julia Goesser Assaiante (Department of German Studies, Trinity College)

11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Michael Meere (Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, Wesleyan University): “Imagining the Self, Inventing the Other: Representation and Presence in Montaigne’s Essays and Travel Journal

12:20-1:10 p.m. Kirk Wetters (Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Yale University): “Presence and Absence in Georg Forster’s Voyage Round the World

1:10-2:30 p.m. Lunch Break

2:30-7:00 p.m. Technologies

2:30-4:10 p.m. The Presence of the Ephemeral; Moderator: Ulrich Plass (Department of German Studies, Wesleyan University)

2:30-3:20 p.m. Marco Aresu (Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, Wesleyan University): “Aurality and Corpus in Medieval Italian Literature”

3:20-4:10 p.m. Gabriel Trop (Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill): “The Aesthetics of the Paradox”

4:10-4:20 p.m. Coffee Break

4:20-7:00 pm Presence Techniques; Moderator: Stephanie Weiner (Department of English, Wesleyan University)

4:20-5:10 p.m. Jocelyn Holland (Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara): “Die Kunst des Fügens: Materials, Techniques, Schemas”

5:10-6:00 p.m. Courtney Weiss Smith (Department of English, Wesleyan University): “The Echo Historians: Prosody and Natural History in Eighteenth-Century England.”

6:00-6:10 p.m. Break

6:10-7:00 p.m. Natasha Korda (Department of English, Wesleyan University): “Gyno Ludens: Puppenhäuser and the Gendered Phenomenology of Play”


Saturday, February 17 

9:30 a.m.-3:20 p.m. Sociability

10:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Aesthetics and Ethics; Moderator: Roger Mathew Grant (Department of Music, Wesleyan University)

10:20-11:10 a.m. Frauke Berndt (Deutsches Seminar, Universität Zürich): “A.G. Baumgarten’s Epic Voice”

11:10-11:30 a.m. Coffee Break

11:30-12:20 Dorothea von Mücke (Department of Germanic Languages, Columbia University):  “The Presence of the Poet and The Enlightenment’s Author Function”

12:20-1:40 Lunch Break

1:40-3:20 p.m. Visualizing Social Cohesion; Moderator: Natasha Korda (Department of English, Wesleyan University)

1:40 -2:30 p.m. Michael Armstrong (Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, Wesleyan University): “Master Mistresses on the 17th-Century Spanish and English Stage: Actresses, Boy Actors, and the Proto-History of Screwball Comedy”

2:30-3:20 p.m. Joel Lande (Department of German, Princeton University): “Goethe’s Many”

3:20-3:45 p.m. Closing Remarks


Organized by the Department of German Studies and the Center for the Humanities, with generous support from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), the Thomas and Catharine McMahon Memorial Fund, the College of Letters, the Center for the Study of Public Life, and Academic Affairs. 

The Cakemaker

Wesleyan’s Israeli Filmfestival starts this semester with The Cakemakera story about German/Israeli/Jewish relations. The film will be shown on Thursday, February 1 at 8PM at the Goldsmith Family Cinema.

We are also very fortunate to have the director of the film, Ofir Raul-Glazer, an Israeli living in Berlin, introduce the film and conduct a Q/A session with the audience after the screening.

Trailer

Scholarships for Germany

Departmental Scholarships

The Helmut and Erika Reihlen Fund

In 2017 Dr. Helmut Reihlen ’55 and Dr. Erika Reihlen generously established a fund whose income supports especially meritorious student projects in German studies, including but not limited to research for theses and capstone projects.

Non-Departmental Scholarships

The Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)/ German Academic Exchange Services provides students with the opportunity to study internationally in Germany. Since its inception in 1925, DAAD has been working to promote cultural understanding and international exchange. Each year they provide financial assistance to over 67,000 students and scholars. Only the top-students are recruited for their programs. They offer multiple fellowships and scholarships to students who academically-prove they deserve them.

  • Undergraduate Scholarship– seniors looking to conduct thesis research or an internship in Germany are encouraged to apply for this award. Preference is given to students whose work will be based out of a German university. These scholarships can be allotted as either an individual award or part of an organized study abroad program. This scholarship awards a monthly stipend of € 650 for a length of four to ten months.
  • Study Scholarship– graduating seniors at the top of their class are eligible to receive this scholarship. It provides funding for one year of independent study or a full master’s degree program at a German university. These study scholarships are granted for one year of academic study (10 months) with the possibility of a one-year extension. Students will receive a monthly stipend of €750 plus money for health insurance and travel costs.

Cultural Vistas is focused on connecting the globe through international exchange by enriching minds, advancing global skills, and building careers. They provide both American and international students the opportunity to study abroad. Cultural Vistas offers programs all over the globe. Here are a few programs for students who are interested in going to Germany:

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals– the CBYX program provides 75 American and 75 German young professionals the chance to change countries for a year to study, intern, and live with hosts in a cultural exchange program.

Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program– this is an intensive language training program. Students will attend top German institutions and engage in thorough work phases while meeting with leaders all across Germany and Europe. This program is only open to the most devoted of students.

Work Immersion Study Program– this three-month work-study immersion program is designed to give students studying in vocational fields the chance to advance their skills while improving their German language skills and directly experience German culture. A monthly stipend of EUR 300 is provided along with free accommodations and work authorization.

Students interested in a unique political studies opportunity may qualify for a short-term internship with the German government through the Émigré Memorial German Internship Program. Students will gain true, governmental work experience while improving their German language skills and encounter German culture firsthand.

American Graduates are eligible for the German Chancellor Fellowship Program through the Humboldt Foundation. Students that show true leadership skills in their fields such as politics or public policy, law, media, business, arts, and the non-government sector are the only ones qualified for Chancellor Fellowship Program. While in Germany, Fellows will work at their host institutions on independent projects. The topic of their research should be focused on a topic or issue within their field of interest. Only 10 students from America are selected for this award annually. Accepted applicants receive EUR 550 per month for as long as they stay in Germany and will cover the cost of traveling expenses.

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness. The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.

Fellowships after Graduation

For Germany the Fulbright Program offers more grants for university study, projects in the arts, and teaching assistantships in English than for any other country. Students interested in Fulbrights should consult the Fulbright Program Advisor, Kate Smith in the Fries Center for Global Studies (ksmith02@wesleyan.edu). Only American citizens are eligible for Fulbright grants. Teaching assistantships for American citizens are also available through USTA (U.S. Teaching Assistantships at Austrian Secondary Schools).

Students of all nationalities are eligible for the study/research grants and grants in the arts sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Baden-Württemberg Exchange.  The DAAD scholarship provides funding for one year of independent study or a full master’s degree program at a German university. These DAAD study scholarships are granted for one year of academic study (10 months) with the possibility of a one-year extension. Students will receive a monthly stipend of €750 plus money for health insurance and travel costs.

The Baden-Württemberg–Connecticut Exchange grant also provides funding for one year of studying at a German university in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Travel expenses are not covered.

For the latter two categories of grants, students should consult Professor Krishna Winston in the German Studies Department (kwinston@wesleyan.edu)