Thorsten Wilhelm, Holocaust Narratives : Trauma, Memory and Identity Across Generations

This semester, Thorsten Wilhelm, Visiting Professor of German Studies, teaches the Freshmen Seminar, Holocaust Remembrance in Germany: The Third Generation. The German Studies Department congratulates Professor Wilhelm on his recently released book. Holocaust Narratives : Trauma, Memory and Identity Across Generations was published in August 2020 by the Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

The publisher states that Professor Wilhelm analyzes “individual multi-generational frameworks of Holocaust trauma to answer one essential question: How do these narratives change to not only transmit the trauma of the Holocaust – and in the process add meaning to what is inherently an event that annihilates meaning – but also construct the trauma as a connector to a past that needs to be continued in the present?”

Professor Emeritus Murray Baumgarten, University of California, Santa Cruz and Founding Director of The Dickens Project comments, “a major achievement, bringing subtle analysis of Holocaust trauma to bear on the narratives that construct the collective discourse of its meanings. Wilhelm’s fine analysis helps us understand the continuing impact of the Shoah on ‘the memories of the future’ generated by second and third generation witnesses.”

The book is now available online at Olin Library.

Source: https://www.routledge.com/Holocaust-Narratives-Trauma-Memory-and-Identity-Across-Generations/Wilhelm/p/book/9780367442972

 

Krishna Winston’s Linden Tree Plaque

On August 20th, at long last, the plaque that was to accompany Krishna’s Linden Tree was installed. We thank Elizabeth Raccio, Assistant Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations, who helped organize this work.

Originally, we had envisioned a festive reception with many colleagues, friends, and alumni to witness this event and to celebrate Krishna’s retirement. But the party has to wait.  Luckily, Krishna is still very active on campus, be it directing the Wasch Center or supervising tutorials, theses, and senior projects focused on German literature or on translation, and more.

The plaque was donated by the College of the Environment and the German Studies Department.

Open Letter to our GRST Seniors

Department of German Studies
Dr. Iris Bork-Goldfield
Adj. Professor of German Studies, Chair

May 18, 2020

Dear Binxin, Scott, Hannah, Thomas, Mathias, Lily, and Charlie,

Before you officially graduate on May 24, 2020, Uli Plass, Martin Bäumel, and I would like to congratulate you on your many wonderful achievements. I count myself as lucky to have had you in one or more classes during your time here at Wesleyan on your way to becoming more proficient in German. The last few weeks were challenging for all of us, but we managed—on some days better than on others. But you did it, you finished all your requirements! Although the future is somewhat uncertain, we have no doubt that you all will move on to many other exciting opportunities. We wish all of you the very best and hope you will stay in touch with us here at Wesleyan.

I would like to put some information about you, your accomplishments, and future plans on our German Studies blog. If you have not done so already, could you please send me a paragraph or two about your future plans, anything that you would like to share, AND a picture of yourself? Here is a link to a previous blog entry: http://german.site.wesleyan.edu/2018/06/17/german-studies-majors-and-minors-summer-2018/.

Vielen Dank im Voraus, alles Gute und nochmals herzlichen Glückwunsch.

Binxin, thank you for having been such a wonderful German Haus manager and dedicated student. I will miss our lively discussions in my office. Congratulations on receiving the well-deserved Blankenagel prize! I am looking forward to reading your senior thesis, “Im Geheimnis der Begegnung – Poetics, Ossification, and Reading in Rilke and Celan,” which discusses, to quote Uli Plass, “the poetry of Rilke and Celan in light of their own poetics, that is, in light of how these poets conceive of their poetry in relation to the poetic tradition and conventions they inherit.” Congratulations on being admitted to Columbia University’s Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program this fall.

Scott, thank you for your enthusiasm and good humor. I especially enjoyed our tutorial on the Bauhaus last fall when we were still allowed to meet face-to-face and traveled to New York and Bethel together with our class to explore Bauhaus art. You received two Reihlen grants to help with your research in Germany for your senior thesis, “Utopian Longing: Space and the Production of Affect in the Work of Toni Schwabe.” Toni Schwabe, as Martin Bäumel wrote, was “a fascinating writer between neoromantic kitsch and explorations of gender norms” who “would probably be forgotten were it not for Thomas Mann’s review of one of her novels.” Congratulations on your thesis which—together with Binxin’s is one of the items on my summer reading list. I hope you will be able to move to Germany soon to start your DAAD fellowship at Konstanz University.

Hannah, thank you for all your insightful and thoughtful discussions throughout the years and for introducing us to the graphic novel Kinderland in our GDR seminar. You received a Reihlen grant that enabled you to return to Hamburg last year and interview my parents and Jutta Gutzeit (director of the Smith in Hamburg program) among others as background for writing the screenplay “On Belongings,” about a German family moving to Arizona in the 1970’s.  I truly enjoyed reading the Drehbuch and working with you on the translations for parts of it. Now, I only hope that one day we will see the story of the Frühlings and the Kaplans on-screen.

Thomas, thank you for your perseverance and thoughtful contributions in class. I still remember you, as freshman, entering the beginning German classroom with your skateboard under your arm.  I enjoyed the times we met during your study abroad in Hamburg and the various discussions in German in my GDR seminar this spring. You mentioned that you might be doing something with Web design this summer, and I hope you will find what you are looking for.

Mathias, thank you for your many superb contributions in our GDR seminar this spring and your final paper on poetry and its role in the former GDR. This fall, you will continue your studies at Columbia University in pursuit of a Master’s degree in European history, politics, and society regarding the development of Europe. I hope the German you learned at Wesleyan will come in handy.

Lily, thank you for sharing the experience you gained while interning at Die Schlumper in Hamburg last year. Die Schlumper, and I quote you, “is a unique organization in that it provides a space for handicapped adults to work every weekday on independent artistic projects which are then displayed in various gallery exhibits and sold to customers.” I was happy to learn that the internship not only helped you with your German and making new friends, but also with furthering your career in Psychology. Congratulations on being admitted to a two-year Post-Baccalaureate Clinical Fellowship Program at the Simches Center of Excellence in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at McLean Hospital.

Charlie, thank you for coming to my office in the fall to declare a GRST minor. I have pleasant recollections of the boat ride from Hamburg harbor to Blankenese, when you interviewed me for a course you were taking at Hamburg University last summer.

Viele Grüße und vor allem—bleiben Sie alle gesund! Das ist jetzt das Wichtigste.

Iris Bork-Goldfield

Winston Named Honorary Fellow of the American Association of Teachers of German

An article by Olivia Drake

The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) recently named Krishna Winston, Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature, Emerita, an honorary fellow of the association. The fellowship is limited to 25 fellows worldwide.

Founded in 1926, the AATG has nearly 3,500 members and “believes that bringing the language, literature, and cultures of the German speaking-world to all Americans is a vital humanistic endeavor, which serves an essential national interest,” according to its website.

To receive this honor, Winston was nominated by 10 colleagues, with the nomination approved by the Honorary Fellows Committee and voted on by the Association membership at its 2019 annual meeting. According to the AATG, honorary fellows are “men and women of letters of international distinction who have contributed to the advancement of German studies in the fields of literary studies, literary criticism, linguistics, creative writing, translation, and second language acquisition.”

Iris Bork-Goldfield, chair and adjunct professor of German studies, made the initial recommendation. She’s known Winston for more than 20 years.

“Krishna has devoted her life to the German language and literature. With her many celebrated translations of works by Golo Mann, Siegfried Lenz, Peter Handke, and of course Günther Grass, just to name a few, she has enabled millions of English speakers to appreciate German literature,” Bork-Goldfield said in her nomination letter. “Apart from being a brilliant translator, Professor Winston has educated generations of American students as a teacher of German. She is a passionate teacher, deeply committed to her students whom she inspires to enjoy German literature, study abroad in Germany, apply for scholarships to teach and /or do research in German-speaking countries, and become engaged citizens.”

Winston, who retired from Wesleyan in 2019, recently published a volume of four film narratives by Werner Herzog, Scenarios III (University of Minnesota Press, 2019), and has just completed translations of a novel and an essay by Peter Handke. Her translation of the address Handke delivered upon receiving the 2019 Nobel Prize can be found on the Swedish Academy’s Nobel Prize website. She is currently working on another Handke essay.

Winston remains actively engaged in campus life. In the fall of 2019, she taught her First-Year Seminar “The Simple Life?”, and she continues to serve as an advisor to the Community Standards Board, support the University’s sustainability efforts, and participate in the nomination process for Fulbright, Watson, and Udall fellowships.

“Krishna Winston has been a great source of motivation and inspiration for everyone around her, in the US and in Germany,” Bork-Goldfield said. “Her lifelong dedication to promoting German, be it as a teacher or a translator, complemented by her and her social activism, makes her an ideal honorary fellow.”

Willkommen Katharina Bueschler, German TA

Katharina Bueschler

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.

First row from left to right: Ana Alejo, Lily Davis, Grace Lopez, Thomas Donovan, Prof. Bork, Katharina Bueschler

Katharina’s hobbies are, but not limited to, hiking, singing, and traveling. She enjoys eating  Shakshuka, Lasagna, “Rote Grütze”, and “Franzbrötchen”. Some of her favorite musicians include Clueso and First Aid Kit, and Danube’s Banks.

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.

Bork-Goldfield Elected to American Association of Teachers of German Council

Iris Bork-Goldfield, chair and adjunct professor of German studies, has been elected to serve as the Northeast Region representative to the Executive Council of the American Association of Teachers of German.

The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) supports the teaching of the German language and German-speaking cultures in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education in the United States. The AATG promotes the study of the German-speaking world in all its linguistic, cultural and ethnic diversity, and endeavors to prepare students as transnational, transcultural learners and active, multilingual participants in a globalized world.

Bork-Goldfield will act as an as ambassador and advocate for the AATG to both the association’s members and to external constituents; serve on one or more committees as appointed by the president; attend committee meetings; discuss meeting agenda items as necessary with key leaders in her region prior to meetings; and keep abreast of emerging professional issues.

In November, Bork-Goldfield will attend the AATG / American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Annual Convention and World Languages Expo in Nashville, Tenn. There, she will participate in two days of meetings and participate in the assembly of chapter presidents.

Bork-Goldfield has already served as president of the Connecticut AATG chapter and is a long-time member of the chapter’s executive committee.

“Iris’s election provides evidence of the support and respect she enjoys among AATG members for her many valuable contributions to teaching the German language and culture,” said Wesleyan colleague and Connecticut AATG executive committee member Krishna Winston, the Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature.

At Wesleyan, Bork-Goldfield teaches German language, literature, and culture courses at all levels. Born and educated in Germany, Bork-Goldfield has lived and worked in China, England and Israel. She is the recipient of the Rosenbaum-Anderson Award for Teaching in 2009 and has received research grants from the German government, German Embassy and Wesleyan.

by Olivia Drake

German Studies Faculty News

Krishna Winston

Krishna Winston translated three early screenplays by Werner Herzog (Signs of LifeEven Dwarfs Started Small, and Fata Morgana) for the first of two volumes she is translating for the University of Minnesota Press.

Uli Plass

At the University of Potsdam, Ulrich Plass lectured on debates over literary realism from the 19h century to the present and led a workshop on the same theme. At the ACLA conference in Utrecht, he presented a paper on the mediations of social and aesthetic form in Schiller, Lukacs, and Adorno. He also wrote an article on liberalism, neoliberalism, and the literary representation of economic inequality for a forthcoming essay collection on literature and economics.

Martin Bäumel

Martin Bäumel’s chapter entitled “Cognitio poetica – Rational and Sensate Cognition in Hagedorn’s Poetry,” was accepted for inclusion in a collection of papers from the 2013 GSA Seminar “For a New Enlightenment,” ed. by Hans Adler and Rüdiger Campe, Random House. 

Iris Bork-Goldfield

Iris Bork-Goldfield’s book Wir wollten was tun, published by Metropol in 2015 was reviewed in the German Studies Review, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2017. Her teaching materials for her book and documentary film were accepted for publication for a digital textbook to be published by EDUVERSUM, Wiesbaden, Germany.

Krishna Winston receives the Order of Merit

Krishna-WinstonThe German Consul General will bestow the Order of Merit to Professor Krishna Winston on Monday, February 13. The Order of Merit, in Germany also referred to as the Bundesverdienstkreuz, was instituted by Federal President Theodor Heuss in 1951. It is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany pays to individuals for services to the nation or contributions to enhancing Germany’s standing abroad and its relations with other countries. The Order of Merit may be awarded to Germans as well as to foreign citizens for achievements in the political, economic, social, or intellectual spheres and for outstanding service to the nation in the field of social, charitable, or philanthropic work. In awarding the Order of Merit, the Federal President wishes to draw public attention to achievements that he believes are of particular value to society in general. Krishna Winston will receive this honor for her excellent translations, her work with Fulbright, the German Exchange Board (DAAD), and the Baden-Württemberg exchange as well as for her advancing the role of German language and culture in the U.S. for many years.

Laudatio given by Mr. Ralf Horlemann, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany on February 13, 2017 at Wesleyan University.

Short video about this event.

 

Handke’s Moravian Night translated by Krishna Winston

Krishna Winston, the Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature, translated The Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 3.16.55 PMMoravian Night: A Story by German novelist Peter Handke. The American translation was published in December 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York.

Reviews of the translation have appeared in The New York Times, the New York Review of Books, and Kirkus.

WinScreen Shot 2017-02-08 at 3.14.14 PMston specializes in literary translation and has translated more than 35 works of fiction and non-fiction from Handke, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Günter Grass, Christoph Hein, Golo Mann, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Hans Jonas. Her translations make available to the entire English-speaking world works originally written in German, and she has received three major literary prizes for her translations. She also was awarded the The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Bundesverdienstkreuz, by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Moravian Night, as summarized by the book’s publisher, explores the mind and memory of an aging writer, tracking the anxieties, angers, fears, and pleasures of a life inseparable from the recent history of Central Europe.

Mysteriously summoned to a houseboat on the Morava River, a few friends, associates, and collaborators of an old writer listen as he tells a story that will last until dawn: the tale of the once well-known writer’s recent odyssey across Europe. As his story unfolds, it visits places that represent stages of the narrator’s and the continent’s past, many now lost or irrecoverably changed through war, death and the subtler erosions of time. His story and its telling are haunted by a beautiful stranger, a woman who has a preternatural hold over the writer and appears sometimes as a demon, sometimes as the longed-for destination of his travels.

by Olivia Drake