See also Olivia Drake’s article in Wesleyan Connection, May 2, 2018.
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.
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 majors Christina Sickinger and Sophia Shoulson, and German minor Katherine Paterson were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. The initiation ceremony took place on December 6, 2017.
Kamryn Wolf ’12 Recently, Kamryn was accepted at Union Theological Seminary in New York and will be starting her graduate studies this fall.
Madalene Smith-Huemer ’14 Since graduating from Wesleyan in 2014, Maddy has lived in Washington, DC, where she works as Assistant Director for Campaigns and Stewardship at the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy think tank that promotes constructive US engagement in global affairs. At the Atlantic Council, Maddy has led fundraising campaigns for various programs and centers, including the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Center and Middle East Center. This summer, Maddy is backpacking through Spain, Portugal, France, Austria, and Germany, where she hopes to brush up on her German. In the fall, she will enroll in the Master of Science in the Foreign Service program at Georgetown University, where she hopes to concentrate in global politics and security with a focus on immigration in Europe.
Colin O’Connor ’15 Currently, Colin is living in New York working for an environmental organization on state policy. He also runs a website on patient-centric care for people with Parkinson’s Disease.
Philip Katz ’17, a German Studies and College of Social Studies double major, received the German Studies Blankenagel Prize for his excellent work in German. He wrote a senior essay entitled Germany’s Sickness Funds during and after the Nazi Seizure of Power, 1933-1938, which he presented at our annual end-of-semester party in May. This summer, he will be heading back home to Taiwan for a short while before starting work as a paralegal in New York.
Ezra Kauffman ‘17, a German Studies and History double major, received the German Studies Blankenagel Prize for his excellent work in German. He wrote a senior essay, which examines how environmentalism played a role in economic and political decisions in both Germanys during the Cold War. This summer, he will be traveling in Asia, before taking data analysis courses in New York in the early fall. In October, he will depart for Innsbruck, Austria, where he will be an assistant English teacher under the aegis of Fulbright Austria.
Toys Koomplee ’17, a German Studies and Psychology double major, will be returning to Thailand. There he will be working in the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection, under the Ministry of Justice for the Royal Thai Government in Bangkok. His work involves both researching and developing the programs for rehabilitation and education for juveniles in detention centers.
Lisa Shepard ’17, a German Studies and Earth & Environmental Science double major is planning to go to Munich until the end of the summer to work as a program coordinator with Education First. Her subsequent plans involve moving to either Durham, North Carolina, or New York to spend time with family and to pursue a Master’s in Earth Science. Eventually, she hopes to find a long-term job in Germany.
Ethan Yaro ’17, a German Studies and College of Letters double major, wrote an honors thesis entitled Herder: A World that We Each Create by Ourselves. He shared his work with us at our end-of-year party in May. This summer he is working with Professor Jesse Torgerson on a data analysis project where they are mapping a Byzantine manuscript, looking at the geographical nature of the text, and ascertaining how the geography in the text changes over time.
Luisa Chan ’18, a German Studies and Anthropology double major and Lizzie Whitney ’19, a German Studies and College of Letters double major, have been studying in Hamburg, Germany, since March. They write from Germany: “…This program has been a great choice so far. It offers enough support to make taking classes in German at the University of Hamburg not only possible but enjoyable; yet we still have plenty of freedom and time to explore Hamburg and the rest of Germany on our own. The relatively small program facilitates close friendships with students from other colleges, and yet Smith has enough history in Hamburg that people at and around the university recognize the name and are willing to help us succeed.”
Carter Deane ’18, a College of Social Studies major with a German Studies minor, will spend his summer in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, to investigate the history of Islamic religious education in German schools. Carter will also look at the legal challenges Muslim communities have faced in their efforts to organize these classes, and at the recent critiques of these classes by the ascendant right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). Carter received funding for his project from several sources, among them the German Studies Arthur Schultz fund.
Hannah Fritze ’18, an Astrology major and German Studies minor, will be spending this summer on campus, conducting astronomy research with professor Roy Kilgard. Her research focuses on characterizing extremely bright X-ray sources both inside and outside the Milky Way, primarily in an attempt to find black holes of a particularly interesting mass. This research will likely be the topic of her senior thesis. Later this summer Hannah will be taking a road trip to see the total solar eclipse this August.
Jack (Hans) Guenther ’18, a German Studies, College of Letters, and History triple major, will spend the end of his summer in Hamburg, Germany researching the Hamburg’s development as one of Europe’s leading port cities. It will be the topic of his honors thesis. Until then, Jack will be in his native Washington, D.C., working for the National Endowment for the Humanities, where he is helping the Endowment evaluate and award research fellowships. Two of Jack’s colleagues are native Germans, and he has been delighted to find German is the office’s unofficial second language!
Katherine Paterson ’18, a Theater and Environmental Studies double major with a German minor, received the Prentice Prize for her excellent work in German. Katherine will be spending the summer doing research for her honors project in New York City. She will be working at community gardens and gathering information and data on how they build community. She will use this information to devise a theater performance in the spring that explores community building in community gardens and in theater. Katherine is also looking into a project for the fall that will introduce the Wesleyan community to the Swiss drama Biedermann und die Brandstifter by Max Frisch.
Sophia Shoulson ’18, a German Studies and College of Letters double major will spend this summer at the Steiner Summer program in Amherst, MA, learning Yiddish language and culture. She also works as an intern at the center on the “Wexler Oral History” project. She listens to interviews in Yiddish of people from all over the world and describes the content of the interviews. Sophia received the Scott Prize this year for her excellent work in Germany.
Chris Steidl ’18, a German Studies and History double major, will spend this summer in Boston working for a non-profit organization, Community Rowing Inc. (CRI). His future intentions include traveling to Germany and teach English.
Anna Apostolidis ’19, a German Studies and Anthropology double major, sang Lieder by Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann beautifully at our end-of-semester party. She was accompanied on the piano by Olivia Backal-Balik ’20. Anna will be spending this summer in Berlin studying German at the Humboldt University and traveling through Germany.
Will Bellamy ’19, a German Studies and English double major, will be driving across country over the summer and spending some time in Los Angeles before attending a one-year study abroad program in Hamburg, Germany. Undoubtedly, he will improve his German and learn about the city and its culture there. He is hoping to get an internship in Hamburg in some field related to translation, as that is what he hopes to be doing after graduation.
Joanna Paul ’19, a Psychology and Sociology double major with a German Studies minor, will spend the first month of her summer interning at a therapeutic preschool called LEEP Forward in Chicago that helps children who experience challenges with social communication, sensory, and emotional regulation. She will spend the remainder of her summer working at their Wediko Summer Program in New Hampshire, a program for young people 9-19 years old that provides social, behavioral, and academic support. She will then be returning to campus two weeks early for her third year as an Orientation Leader, welcoming incoming students to Wesleyan.
Liz double majored in COL and German Studies. She spent her sophomore spring semester in Regensburg,
Germany. Her senior thesis was the translation of Russian émigré humorist Vladimir Kaminer’s The Trip to Trulala, which she completed under the mentorship of Professor Krishna Winston. Liz then moved to Germany, where she spent a year at Hamburg University through a DAAD Study Scholarship, before relocating to Berlin.
In 2011, Liz returned to the States to complete her Master’s in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Since then, she has dabbled in various educational pursuits (including teaching in and directing the Middlebury Interactive Summer German Academy) and committed herself to literary translation. In 2014, Liz was awarded the Gutekunst Prize for Emerging Translators through the Goethe Institute New York. In 2016, her first full-length book translation, Animal Internet by Alexander Pschera, was published with New Vessel Press. Liz is currently under contract for two titles with the MIT Press and works as Production Editor at Chooseco, publishers of the Choose Your Own Adventure children’s book series.
Hein Jeong ’16, a German Studies and Philosophy double major, wrote an honors thesis about thinking through Hegel, Marx, and Marcuse and asks, “How do we think and talk to inspire and guide actions that change our world?” The thesis is entitled, Dialectic of Thinking and Talking. Henny received the Scott Prize for her outstanding work in German Studies. In the fall, she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and this summer she is spending time with her parents in California before embarking for Japan.
Miranda Haymon ’16, a German Studies and Theater double major, directed an adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five and received the Rachel Henderson Theater Prize in Directing this year. She is spending this summer in Berlin before starting the Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., as their Directing Fellow.
Wy Ming Lin ’16, a German Studies and Neuroscience double major, received the German Studies Blankenagel Prize for his excellent work in German and a fellowship from the German Government to attend the prestigious Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program for Young Professionals. This program pays for one year of living and educational expenses in Germany. He will most likely also do some work in the medical field.
Having completed an orientation week in Washington, D.C., in July and a follow-up in Budenheim, Germany, he is taking an intensive two-month German language course in Cologne, proceding placement in Saxony.
Arya Mistry ’16, a German Studies and Psychology double major received, the German Studies Blankenagel Prize for her excellent work in German. She has been accepted into the Master’s program at Christie’s in Art Business and Law and will be living in New York starting this summer.
Nicholas Selden ’16, completed a double major in German Studies and the College of Letters. He wrote his honors thesis on the German Expressionist artist Emil Nolde, for which he received high honors in GRST. Nick’s thesis is an examination of nationalism and the construction of German modernism in Emil Nolde’s work and the early German avant-garde between 1895 and 1912. Nick also received the Blankenagel Prize for his fine contributions to German Studies. This summer he will be spending time back home in California before deciding on next year’s plans.
Suchakrey Koomplee ’17, who has been studying with the Smith program in Hamburg since the fall of 2015, received its Manfred Bonus prize for excellent achievement in German on May 31, 2016.
From left to right: Sophia, Lisa, Thomas, Frau Bork, Jack, Hannah
Smith in Hamburg
Full-year or spring only. The language requirement for the full-year program is GRST 214 or the equivalent. For the spring semester only, we require GRST 211 or the equivalent. Students will be able to take courses at Hamburg University and the Technical University. Please contact the German Studies faculty for more information.
The German department congratulates Henny (Jeong) Hein’15 on her outstanding academic achievements and her induction into Phi Beta Kappa on Wednesday, December 2, 2015.
Herzlichen Glückwunsch Henny!
Daniel is to begin his job as an English Teaching Assistant in Austria as part of the Austrian US Teaching Assistantship Program. He will be living in Bludenz, a small town in Vorarlberg, a region of Austria right in the Alps, near Switzerland and Italy.
Daniel sends his greetings. Here you are seeing him at the beautiful Lünersee in Austria, near the Swiss border before he started his work in Bludenz.
Ezra Kauffman ’17. Ezra is working for JetBlue Airways in New York this summer and will be departing for Berlin in August. To prepare for his semester there, he is taking German lessons once a week during the summer:)
In June he will be working as a mentor in a summer camp at Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, NH. This is a camp for the Thai high school students who received full scholarships from the Royal Thai Government to study in the US. In July, Toys will go back home to Thailand, where he has not been for two years! He will intern with the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection in Bangkok.
In August, he will move to Trat, his hometown, to spend time with his family. He will be practicing his German a lot during this time to prepare for his study abroad year in Hamburg, Germany.
Mirands Haymon ’16. Miranda will spend this summer participating in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship’s 6-week summer session on campus and conducting research on campus for her thesis. Herthesis will include both a performance and an essay investigating the effects of war on the art produced by a generation. For the written component, she seeks to answer the question: “How do theater artists working in post WWII Germany interpret the political issues of the time and represent them in their practices?”
Hein Jeong ’16. Henny is spending part of her summer in Boulder, CO, doing an internship with a small publishing firm. Afterwards, she will be travelling to Berlin to meet some old friends, practice her German, and explore more of the city where she studied with the Duke in Berlin program in spring 2014. She might connect with Prof. Plass in Berlin to discuss her thesis.
Wy Ming Lin ’16. Wy Ming will be doing research on campus as a Quantitative Analysis Center pprentice; he will learn to use statistical programming for his research with Professor Psyche Loui in the Mind, Imaging, and Neural Dynamics (MIND) Lab. Having studied in Berlin in the spring of 2014, Wy Ming encourages any students interested in studying in Germany to contact him.
Arya Mistry ’16. Arya is studying in Berlin. She and Ethan Yaro attended Professor Bork’s film event at the Nikolaiplatz in Berlin on June 23. When asked about her summer plans, Arya wrote in German: “Ich bin nicht ganz sicher, was ich sagen soll aber ich werde versuchen ein bisschen über meine Zeit in Berlin zu erzählen.
“Ich finde, dass Berlin eine unglaubliche Stadt ist. Es gibt so viel zu tun und viele interessante Leute. Am besten gefallen mir die Kultur und die Kunstmuseen. Ich habe neulich alle Museen auf der Museumsinsel besucht aber das Alte National- Museum und der Hamburger Bahnhof sind meine Lieblingsmuseen. Außerdem finde ich es ganz schön, durch die Stadt zu laufen und neue Stadtteile zu entdecken.
Ich werde in Berlin bis Anfang August bleiben und dann werde ich nach
Hause gehen, bevor ich zurück nach Wesleyan komme.” [Sie ist in Mumbai, Indien zu Hause.]
Nick Selden ’16. This summer Nick will be working for a classical music festival in Saarbrücken called theMusikfestspiele Saar. He will also be conducting thesis research on the German Expressionist painter Emil Nolde. He is very excited to return to Germany and explore new places and new ideas.
Colin O’Connor ’15. Colin received the German Studies Department’s Blankennagel Prize which he shared with Daniel Hurlbert. When asked what his plans for the summer were, he wrote: “Hinsichtlich dieses Sommers und der weiteren Zukunft habe ich ehrlich keine Ahnung, was ich mache. Meine Pläne wechseln mindestens jede Woche und oft jeden zweiten Tag. Vielleicht ziehe ich im Herbst nach Berlin, aber das ist nur einer von mehreren Gedanken.”
Daniel Hurlbert ’15. Daniel received the Department’s Blankenagel Prize which he shared with Colin O’Connor. This summer he will be working at a summer camp in Vermont. Starting this fall he will be teaching English in Austria as part of the Austrian US Teaching Assistantship Program. He will be living in Bludenz, a small town in Vorarlberg, a region of Austria right in the Alps, near Switzerland and Italy. Being an enthusiastic outdoor person, he is looking forward to skiing, hiking, and climbing! After a year as an ESL teacher, he is hoping to continue his studies abroad in either Germany or Austria before eventually moving back to the states.
Daniel Kennedy ’15. Daniel received the Scott Prize for his studies in German. Starting this fall, he will be studying data analytics at Heidelberg University for the 2015-2016 academic year, under the auspices of the Connecticut – Baden-Württemberg Exchange Program. After that, he will probably come back to the United States and seek employment, but he is also open to the possibility of spending more time in German.
Last but not least, a note from our alumna Heather Stanton ’10. Originally from Mesa, Arizona, she completed a year of post-graduation research in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, before returning to Arizona. She worked as an insurance agent at Allstate Insurance for two years before beginning law school at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
While at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. While there she externed at the Arizona Court of Appeals with Judge Kessler, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona with Judge Teilborg, and at the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the Criminal Division. She also served as a teaching assistant for Judge Silver’s Constitutional Law course, Professor Menkhus’s Business Organizations course, Professor Schufeldt’s Alternative Dispute Resolution course, as well as for Professor Tofte’s Legal Method and Writing course. Heather has been the 2015-2016 executive managing editor for the Arizona State Law Journal. She spent this summer at the Phoenix law office of Lewis Roca Rothgerber and hopes to return there upon completion of her studies.
Adam Rashkoff ’13, a double major in German Studies and the College of Letters, spent 2013/14 teaching English at two secondary schools in Vorarlberg, Austria, under the auspices of USTA-Austria, a program administered by the Fulbright Commission and funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture. He is currently enrolled in two MA programs at Vienna University: Deutsche Philologie (German Studies) and Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft (Comparative Literature). Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft at the University of Vienna is a literary studies degree that emphasizes working with texts from the perspective of multiple languages, nationalities, cultures, and artistic traditions. Deutsche Philologie is, to quote Adam, “similar to German Studies at Wesleyan, but the program does incorporate some study of German linguistics and language history. For example, in the coming semester I’ll be taking courses in Middle High German and in contemporary grammar. These will help me to fulfill the MA’s first stage, which consists of a mandatory quota of courses in ‘Linguistics’ along with quotas in ‘Older German Literature’ and ‘Newer German Literature.’ In subsequent stages of the MA, (…) I’ll have the opportunity to focus on one of these three ‘fields’ and to develop a degree of scholarly competence in it with the ultimate goal of gaining enough context to write a masters thesis. While I don’t yet have a thesis topic, I am broadly interested in literary modernism, critical theory, and in writers who engage in social critique through innovative aesthetics, interests that I developed as a Wesleyan German Studies major.”
Madeline Smith-Huemer ‘14, a double major in History and GRST, Oscar Takabvirwa ‘14, a double major in Mathematics and GRST, and Mari Jarris ‘14, a double major in COL and German Studies, gave short presentations about their theses.
“New Forum’s Third Way and German Grassroots Organization” is the title of Maddy’s thesis. She explores a political movement that arose during the fall of 1989 in communist East Germany. Amidst the chaos that was the decline of the SED regime, a grassroots organization named “New Forum” began to develop an alternative political program, which it called the Third Way. As can be inferred from the name, this Third Way was intended to be a solution to a problem of two extremes — one being the political oppression of the East German government and the other being the possibility of unification with West Germany. Instead, New Forum advocated for the internal reform of the GDR, which would be achieved through a predominantly apolitical strategy. Within the literature on East German opposition and German reunification, the concept of the Third Way has challenged countless historians, most of whom have chosen to analyze New Forum’s apolitical movement only in the context of the GDR. In order to better understand the apolitical Third Way, this thesis will employ two methods of historical analysis. First, the Third Way will be investigated through its defining features, that is, the central tenets of the alternative movement. Secondly, a historical approach, in which New Forum is related to other Third Way movements throughout German history, will seek to make sense of the greater meaning of public organization as it relates to German political identity.
Oscar introduced the audience to Stories in Transit: An Anthology of Texts by Exiles, Migrants and Émigrés, translated from the German with an introduction and conclusion.
The last 10 years of Oscar’s life have been filled with a lot of travelling and moving around the world. With every stop have come unique challenges: bureaucratic hurdles, language barriers, and the question of integration—whether to fit in, to stick out, or to position himself somewhere in between. His thesis project constitutes a response to those challenges: a collection of both fictional and non-fictional accounts of émigrés, migrants, and exiles at various stages of their journeys; organized around the themes of identity, bureaucracy and migration, and language.
Mari concluded the presentations with her thesis, “Theory, Empirics, Revolution: A Three-Dimensional Approach to Subverting Authority.”
Mari addresses the Frankfurt School’s interdisciplinary critique of authority in the 1930s through the 1970s. She analyzes the dialectical relationship among the Frankfurt School’s three methodological approaches that yield its “social philosophy”: philosophical critique, empirical research, and political practice. Mari explores the question of how economic, social, and political tendencies are internalized in individuals using the Frankfurt School’s social psychoanalytic concept of the “authoritarian character.”
Julian Thereisa, a double major in CSS and German Studies, with a certificate in International Relations, wrote a thesis for the CSS entitled, “Gentle as Jade: Perspectives Upon the Multiple Lives of Lou Tseng-Tsiang.”
Future plans of our GRST majors / minors, and prizes
Julius Bjornson ‘14, a Music and German Studies major received the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship Grant and will be teaching English at a German Gymnasium (high school) in Nordrhein Westphalen. “With his musical talent”, it would not surprise us if he formed a band and led it with his fiddle. He received the Blankenagel Prize for his outstanding work in German Studies.
Katherine Dean ‘14 received the Baden-Württemberg–CT Exchange grant.
Mari Jarris ’14 received a Fulbright Grant and a DAAD Grant and decided to accept the DAAD Grant to continue her research on the Frankfurt School critique’s of Idealist philosophy at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin next year. She hopes to enroll simultaneously in a Master’s program in German literature. She received a scholarship to attend the Middlebury French Language School this summer, which will enable her to expand her study of German to Franco-German history and philosophy. Mari was awarded the Prentice Prize for her outstanding work in German Studies.
Elizabeth Lauffer ’07 received the Gutekunst Translation Prize administered by the Goethe-Institut.
Julian Thereisa ‘14 was awarded a Baden-Württemberg grant and was admitted to the Chinese Studies program at Oxford University and the Masters program in International History program at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Julian decided to go to Geneva, and he is looking forward to living and studying in Switzerland, a country he has never visited. While in Geneva, he aims to intern at an international organization or NGO to gain some work experience. He has been awarded the Joan Miller Prize for his outstanding CSS thesis and the Scott Prize for his accomplishments in German. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.
Maddy Smith-Huemer ’14 was awarded the Blankennagel Prize for her excellent work in German and the Robins Memorial Prize for excellence in History.
Oscar Takabvirwa ’14 Oscar started working for Argus Information and Advisory Service, a big data strategic consulting firm in Westchester County, in early June. He received the Blankennagel Prize for his excellent work in German. Oscar was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.