The German Department welcomes our Teaching Assistant Katharina Bueschler to the department. She will teach the Oral Practice Sessions for GRST 101 Beginning German and help organize German events on campus.
Katharina comes to us from Hamburg, Germany, where she studies British and American Studies at Hamburg University. She has been a long-time Scout and has travelled to many European countries with her group. We are excited that she brings her group leadership to Wesleyan.
Last summer, she met our five Wesleyan students who were studying at the Smith in Hamburg program and toured Blankenese, a suburb of Hamburg, with them and Professor Bork.
Adam Baltner ’13 I was interested in philosophy when I came to Wesleyan and figured it would be a good idea to take some German classes so that I could read important source texts in their original form. Little did I know how much that decision would influence my future. Having enjoyed my intro language classes so much, I studied abroad in the spring of my sophomore year and declared German as a second major (in addition to College of Letters). After graduating I moved to Austria to teach high-school English through a Fulbright-affiliated fellowship. Not quite ready to return to the US after that, I subsequently did a Master of Arts in German at the University of Vienna, a degree program for which the Wes German department prepared me brilliantly. I’ve since stayed in Vienna and returned to working as a high-school English teacher at a bilingual school in the city, but on the side, I’m putting my academic German skills to good use as a professional translator, mostly of texts written in the critical social sciences and humanities. If you have questions, just email me.
Caroline Adams ’19 I double-majored in German and American Studies. Some of my favorite German classes included “Forward, without Forgetting: The GDR in Literature and Film” and “Deutschland Multikulti: Expressions of Germany’s Cultural Diversity.” In the summer before my senior year, I worked as a research assistant for Professor Iris Bork-Goldfield on the topics of family history and German-Jewish migration to Brooklyn in the mid-nineteenth century. The German department’s Reihlen fund enabled me to conduct research for my senior thesis, “Imagining Indianer: Karl May’s Winnetou and Germans’ Enduring Fantasies about Native Americans.” Currently, I am enrolled in a Master program in American Studies at Brown University. Questions? Just send me an email.
Wy Ming Lin ’16 I majored in German Studies and Neuroscience and Behavior. After Wes, I wanted to do something with both majors, so what better way to combine the two than by moving to Germany and pursuing some research opportunities? That’s exactly what I did through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals where I had the chance to spend a year in Leipzig. I did an internship at the Max Planck Institute there and worked with some amazing and brilliant neuroscientists who convinced me to keep studying in Germany. Currently, I am doing my MA in Tübingen and plan on continuing on with a PhD in Germany! I’ll be happy to answer any questions just email me.
Christina Sickinger ’18 I double majored in German Studies andEconomics. I studied abroad in Berlin during the fall of my junior year. Now, I am living in New York City, where I work as a municipal credit analyst at Aberdeen Standard Investments. My team manages funds of municipal bonds, which provide local governments with money for infrastructure and other community needs. I continue to enjoy reading German literature (and drinking German beer) in my spare time. Questions, just send me an email.
Carter Dean ’18 I graduated from CSS and German Studies. German Studies, with its wide breadth of courses in film, literature and politics, compliments CSS’ focus on history and social theory with a more specific survey of German culture and history. In retrospect, minoring in German Studies also gave me the language skills crucial for my post-grad life: I’ve moved to Cologne, Germany for research and graduate school. All in all, the department’s professors are as patient as they are generous with their time and guidance. I would gladly speak to any prospective GRST students, especially if they are considering balancing an intensive program like CSS with a minor or double-major. Questions? Just email me.
Anna Apostolidis ’19 I graduated with a double major in Anthropology and German Studies and a certificate in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory. I wrote my thesis about the Humboldt-Forum, a new museum in Berlin, and the politics of remembering German colonial history through the lens of the museum. Through funding from the German Department, I was able to travel to Berlin for a month to study the museum. I am currently working at Covey Law in New York City, a firm that provides legal aid to artists and musicians who are applying for visas to work on the US. The research experience and the knowledge I gained about the arts and international cultural exchange through the combination of the German Studies and Anthropology programs helped prepare me for this exciting opportunity. I hope to eventually pursue a PhD in Anthropology. Questions? Just send me an email.
Madalene Smith-Huemer’14 I studied German and History at Wesleyan, with a focus on European intellectual history. After graduating, I worked in the Office of External Relations at the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy think tank in Washington, DC. In May, I graduated from the M.S. in Foreign Service program at Georgetown University. Currently, I am living in San Francisco, where I work as an Executive with the global communications advisory Brunswick Group. Questions? Just send me an email.
Jack Guenther ’18After leaving Wesleyan in Spring 2018, I entered the PhD program in history at Princeton University. The ideas for my doctoral research began in the Wesleyan German Studies Department: studying abroad in Hamburg, in fact. Those ideas took further shape in a joint history, COL, and German Studies senior thesis with Professors Bork-Goldfield and Grimmer-Solem. My research on globalization and migration takes me both Germany and elsewhere–this summer it was Buenos Aires. A year from now, I will begin teaching courses down in Princeton, and I will spend the two years thereafter in Germany and Latin America, completing my dissertation research. Questions? Just sen me an email.
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Study abroad at our favorite program in Hamburg
“The Smith program in Hamburg was the most rewarding experience, both academically and personally, in my life. The program challenged me to engage with people and the world around me in ways I never thought imaginable. I arrived in Hamburg timid, a little anxious, and with broken German (to put it nicely) and left with a newfound confidence in myself and my language skills. The Hamburg program offers the amenities and excitement of a big city with a strong support system to help guide you along the way.” Scott Walkinshaw ’20 Questions? Send me an email.
Hannah Cooper ’20 “I’m a senior Film and German double major, and I spent my sophomore spring abroad in Hamburg. I went on the program to improve my languages skills, which definitely happened. But I also unintentionally focused my studies on a period in German history that ended up informing my thesis for the Film major. The language and history classes I took with the Smith program were great—small class sizes and really wonderful professors. The fact that the program itself was small as well meant I was able to get so much support from the administration, whether it was academic help or getting to know the city or any other advice I needed.” Questions? Send me an email.
Lily Davis ’20, I knew I always wanted to study abroad in college, but what I didn’t know was what a life-changing experience studying abroad in Hamburg would be! I am a Psychology and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies double major with a minor in German Studies. At the University of Hamburg, I was able to find courses I wanted to take in all of my academic interests, and learned so much about German culture and history. I also volunteered at an art collective in Hamburg called “Die Schlumper” that works with people with special needs, and I had so many great experiences through that. While abroad, my language skills improved exponentially, and I met amazing people from all around the world. Questions? Just email me!
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 ‘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 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 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 ’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 ’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’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 ’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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.