Sommerfest – Celebrating the End of the Academic Year

On May 8, we came together to honor our students and to celebrate the end of the academic year.

Here are some pictures:

Heather Stanton ’10, who is about to graduate with a double major in History and German Studies, presents her Honor-Thesis “Where German Hearts are Molded: Historical Memory and State Legitimation in the German Democratic Republic, 1945-1989.”

The chair of the German Studies department Leo Lensing awards prizes to our students:Linnea Damer ’10 won the Scott Prize, Heather Stanton ’10 won the Prentice Prize, and James Gardner ’13, Matt Alexander ’12, and Katherine Wolf ’12 the Blankenagel Prize. Adam Rashkoff ’13, Adrian Rothschild ’12, and Catherine Doren ’13 received the annual Book Prize presented by the Department of behalf of the German Consulate in Boston.

Iris Bork-Goldfield was honored for being an enthusiastic teacher, a great thesis-advsisor for Heather Stanton’s Honor Thesis, and not at least a wonderful colleague.

From left: Helen Reeve, Jerry Wensinger, and our colleague and Dean of the Arts and Sciences, Krishna Winston; in the background: Matthew Alexander.

From left: our students Anya Olsen and Catherine Doren, in the background: Matthew Alexander.

And now, we wish our seniors a wonderful and happy commencement, and everyone a joyful and sunny summer!!!

Leo Lensing deconstructs the Coffeehouse Myth at the Austrian Embassy

On March 19, Leo A. Lensing gave a lecture at the Embassy of Austria on

Demolition Man: Karl Kraus and the  “Deconstruction” of the Coffeehouse Myth

No other great culture is as intimately associated with the coffeehouse milieu as what has come to be known as “Vienna 1900,” the era of Freud and Wittgenstein, of Klimt and Schiele, of Schnitzler and Hofmannsthal, of Adolf Loos and Josef Hoffmann. Yet the Viennese coffeehouse was not merely an architectural project, an actual meeting place or a literary topos. It often represented a hotly contested “marketplace of ideas.” Karl Kraus, whom many consider the greatest satirical writer of the 20th century, undoubtedly enjoyed the sociability and intellectual exchange fostered by the coffeehouse. But he also viewed this typically Viennese institution as a symbolic location of dubious reputation.  The coffeehouse figures in his work – from the early satirical sketch. A Literature Demolished, which took its inspiration from the razing in 1897 of the famous Café Griensteidl, to his great anti-war drama The Last Days of Mankind (1922) – as an often comic stage upon which cultural superficiality and ideological corruption reveal themselves.

Jason Kavett ’09 and Andrew Kirwin ’09 join German Department at Yale

Jason Kavett ‘09 and Andrew Kirwin ‘09, who graduated with a major in German and COL last year, are going to pursue their careers in German Studies as graduate students at Yale University. After having received offers from prestigious German programs at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Berkeley, Hopkins or the University of Chicago, both Jason and Andrew decided to stay close to their Alma Mater in Middletown (although, the excellence of Yale’s German Department might also have influenced their decision).

Congratulations to Jason and Andrew!

Soldiers, Gramophones, And Other Stories: Author Saša Stanišić reads at Wesleyan

sasaposter_3.inddThe German Studies Department and the Center for the Humanities invite you to meet Bosnian-born German writer Saša Stanišić, who will read from his novel, How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone, a very pictorial and linguistically inventive novel about the Balkan wars seen through the eyes of 14-year-old Aleksander, who has fled from the Bosnian town of Višegrad to Germany. In addition, Saša will present his latest works, accompanied by a lyrical photo essay. He will read in German and English.

The event will take place Thursday, April 1, at 5:00 p.m. at Russell House. Reception to follow.

For further information contact Iris Bork-Goldfield at ibork@wesleyan.edu

Winter Impressions from Regensburg

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[Photos by Rachael Cleveland]

“Regensburg. Eine dieser Städte, bei denen alles stimmt. Alte Mauern, junges Volk (Universität!), ein Fluss, immer eine gute Mischung. […] An der Flussstraße Antiquitätenläden, weinumkränzte Lokale wie das Sausen-Eck, urkundlich erwähnt bereits 1363. Oha! Das haut den stärksten Ami vom Burger-King-Hocker.” – Wolfgang Röhl (Stern Nr. 25/2007)