The Baader Meinhof Complex – German movie night

The German department will show Uli Edel’s film The Baader Meinhof Complex (with English subtitles) on Monday, November 28, at 7:00 p.m., in Fisk 210. The film is based on Stefan Aust’s book of the same title. Prof. Leo Lensing will give an introduction to this thought-provoking film.

Germany in the 1970s: Murderous bomb attacks, the threat of terrorism and the fear of the enemy inside are rocking the very foundations of the yet fragile German democracy. The radicalised children of the Nazi generation lead by Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof and Gudrun Ensslin are fighting a violent war against what they perceive as the new face of fascism: American imperialism supported by the German establishment, many of whom have a Nazi past. Their aim is to create a more human society but by employing inhuman means they not only spread terror and bloodshed, they also lose their own humanity. The man who understands them is also their hunter: the head of the German police force Horst Herold. And while he succeeds in his relentless pursuit of the young terrorists, he knows he’s only dealing with the tip of the iceberg. Written by Constantin Film

Movies are Fun – Bork-Goldfield presents at ACTFL


On November 19, 2011 Iris Bork-Goldfield talked at the ACTFL conference in Denver, CO on how one can effectively integrate short movies into the foreign language classroom. Movies, she argues, motivate students, support listening comprehension, and convey much cultural and historical information. As a good example she used Ingo Rasper’s humorous film Dufte that tells the story about German coffee smugglers in 1952.

Bringing Students’ Culture into the Classroom

Iris Bork-Goldfield presented at the Massachusetts Foreign Language association on October 28, 2011 on Digital Story Telling. She illustrated how Intermediate German students at Wesleyan University brought their hometown into the language classroom and created an engaging multicultural environment that enhanced students’ writing, speaking, and listening skills.

Prize-winning novelist, playright, and screenwriter Christopher Kloeble to read at Wesleyan

The German Studies Department and the Writing Center invite you to meet Christopher Kloeble on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, at 6:00 p.m., in the Shapiro Center/Allbritton 311. Join us for stories by Christopher Kloeble and a sneak preview of his latest novel, Almost Everything Very Fast, which will be published in March 2012. Mr. Kloeble will read in English and German. English translations will be available for the parts he reads in German. A discussion will follow.

Christopher Kloeble grew up in Königsdorf, a small town in Bavaria. He has studied in Dublin and at the Literary Institute in Leipzig. Recently, he also attended the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa. For his debut novel, Amongst Loners, published in 2008, he received the Juergen Ponto-Stiftung Prize. A collection of 11 short stories followed a year later. His plays have been staged in major theaters in Vienna, Munich, Leipzig, Heidelberg and Nuremberg. The film,Inclusion, for which he wrote the movie script, will air on December 12, 2011, on BR-alpha, a German television station owned by the regional broadcaster Bayrischer Rundfunk. Kloeble lives and works in Berlin.

Kaffee und Kuchen


Relax, speak German, and enjoy coffee and cake at the German House on 65 Lawn Ave. The German House is inviting to “Kaffee und Kuchen” on  Friday, October 7 from 4:30 – 6:00 PM.


Study Abroad in Regensburg

Interested in studying abroad in Regensburg, Germany?

Join us for an informal information session on Wednesday, September 21 from 5-6 p.m. in Fisk 414. You will meet former Wesleyan students who have studied in Regensburg and our German exchange student Stefanie Schaffler. We will start with a presentation on living and studying  in Regensburg and then will have time for questions.


Relax, speak German, and enjoy coffee and cake at the German House on 65 Lawn Ave. The German House is inviting to “Kaffee und Kuchen” on  Thursday, September 15 from 4:30 – 6:00 PM.


Katherine Wolf interns at oqbo Galerie in Berlin

German Studies major, Katherine Wolf ’12, has been studying at the Freie Universität in Berlin since Fall 2010 and worked as an intern at the Galerie oqbo last spring.  Katherine sent us the following article from Berlin. She will be back at Wesleyan this fall.

Friday, May 13, 2011, 7pm

Opening Evening, 7pm at both locations. Gallery Tour led by Katherine Wolf begins in Galerie oqbo at 8pm.

Friday, May 13, 2011, 7pm Opening Evening, Gallery Tour led by Katherine Wolf

Five months and the majority of the first semester had flown by, but returning to Berlin after the holidays, I felt as if I needed an activity to deepen the substance and purpose of my abroad experience. Dozens of emails and a rewritten version of my resumé auf deutsch later and I found myself at at a table with artist and co-founder of the Galerie oqbo Michael Bause: the acquaintance of the childhood best friend of my favorite German teacher. On our first meeting we chatted about the gallery while drinking cappuccinos. I got a tour of the petite gallery, with its main room, the kitchen and meeting area (with a fridge consistently stocked of white wine, cheap champagne, and beer),  and the narrow spiral staircase that leads to a second exhibition room in the basement.

Our second meeting was in the apartment of artist and American Abstract Artists member Gilbert Hsiao to meet about the upcoming exhibit celebrating the 75th anniversary of the creation of the American Abstract Artists organization. Gilbert was, so to say, the guardian of the artworks; on the walls of his home hung nearly every piece that would soon be presented in that lonely, empty gallery on Brunnenstrasse. They varied in style, in color, technique, and medium. I was astounded, thrilled, and filled with excitement for my tasks to come.

My main assignment for the moment is to formulate gallery tours (in German!) through that will be offered at the opening event, on the state-sponsored nation-wide “Kulturtag,” and during the last week of the exhibition.  It will offer insight into the development of abstract art and its public reception, from its development in the early 20th century through present day, as well as touch upon the differences between American abstract art and German abstract art. Depending on the availability of the American ambassador to Germany, I may be giving him and his council a private tour, too.

I am elated to be working with such an engaging and interesting group at oqbo. Though its small, the six co-founders are all working artists and fascinating, engaging, hilarious individuals. I have already been exposed to new discoveries about the behind-the-scenes workings of the art world, and am sure that more is sure to come.

German Studies Seniors about their major(s) and future plans

William Krieger ’11: Other than German Studies, I also majored in Art History. I wrote a thesis in both departments about the contemporary German artist Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997), focusing on three of his major installation projects from the 1990s.

Next year, I will continue working on my thesis at Humboldt University in Berlin under a Fulbright grant and hope to continue my interest in German studies in a graduate program after that.

Ben LaFirst ’11: I have a double major in German Studies and Sociology. My senior essay in Sociology is entitled “Monopoly Capitalism and Network Neutrality: The Future of the Internet as a Material/Discursive Body”. I studied one semester in Regensburg and am excited to go to Austria, where I will be teaching English to Austrian high school students this fall. This is part of the United States Teaching Assistantship program sponsored by the Fulbright Commission in collaboration with the Austrian-American Educational Commission.  After my year as an ESL Assistant in Linz, Austria, I hope to enroll in a Master’s program to study history and eventually get a job as a history teacher.

Ryan Moses ’11: I am a German Studies and History major with a concentration in European history. My particular interests in history focus on Germany. I wrote an extensive research paper on German companies and their ties to the Nazis, and  another paper that examined the evolution of the relationship between German companies and their Nazi pasts, focusing on certain key events that forced them to reevaluate how they address their troubled history.

After Wesleyan, I’m hoping to pursue a career in finance.

I would recommend to anyone considering studying a foreign language that they study abroad. Living in Germany was one of the best times I’ve ever had. Whether it be for a summer, a semester, or an entire year, you’ll have a great time and learn more about the language and the culture than you can imagine.

Anya Olsen ‘11: I am a College of Letters and German Studies Major.

I wrote my thesis on the portrayal of women and gender in four selected works of German literature in the period after World War II, comparing two from West Germany and two from East Germany.

After I graduate, I will be going to Tübingen and studying there as part of the Connecticut-Baden-Württemberg Exchange Program. I will continue looking at issues of gender within German literature, as well as taking German history courses.

Catherine Steidl ’11: At Wesleyan, I have majored in both German Studies and Archaeology. I wrote my thesis within the Archaeology Department on specific female votive statuary from the Athenian Acropolis and the ways in which we can use them to learn about women’s roles and social experiences in Ancient Greece. My studies in German were extremely critical to my thesis, however, as a good portion of my research relied on German texts and archaeological reports!

Next year, I am taking part in the CT-BW exchange and attending the University of Tübingen to improve my German and continue my studies in Archaeology before applying to PhD programs in Classical Archaeology, for which German is essential.

Celebration and Prizes

Anya Olson ’11 and William Krieger ’11 present their Honors theses in Uli Plass’ garden to a spellbound audience.

Anya Olson “Gender and Society in Selected Works by Irmtraud Morgner, Christa Wolf, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Heinrich Böll”

William Lawrence Krieger, IV: “Framing the Dilettante: The Art of Martin Kippenberger”

Anya received a Baden-Württemberg scholarship and will be studying in Tübingen next year. Will received a Fulbright scholarship to study and do research at Humboldt University in Berlin next year.

Will Krieger, Profs. Leo Lensing and Arne Höcker "im Gespräch."
Teaching Assistant Anna Huber and recently reappointed professor Iris Bork
Alexandra Scherbl, Maddie Smith-Huemer, Anya Olson, Catie Steidl


We celebrated the following German Studies Majors

Matthew Alexander – COL Short Story Prize

William Krieger – Fulbright Fellowship, Beulah Friedman Prize, Blankenagel Prize

Benjamin LaFirst – Fulbright Teaching Fellowship to teach English at a high school in Linz, Austria, Prentice Prize

Anya Olson – Baden-Württemberg-CT Sister State Exchange, Scott Prize

Catherine Steidl – Baden-Württemberg-CT Sister State Exchange, and Blankenagel Prize

In the back, BBQing - our host and recently tenured professor Uli Plass (right)

The German Consulate Book Awards were presented to

Isadora Danim, Mari Jarris, Steven Le, Hannah Overton, Oscar Takabvirwa, Alexandra Scherbl, and Carmen Yip

Jenseits der Stille (Beyond Silence)

American Sign Language and German Movie Night with an introduction by Sheila Mullen and Iris Bork-Goldfield

April 6, at 4:30 p.m. – Fisk 302

Beyond SilenceBeyond Silence (1998) directed by Caroline Link. Starring Sylvie Testud, Tatjana Trieb, Howie Seago is a German movie with English subtitles. Acclaimed by critics and audiences everywhere, BEYOND SILENCE is the powerful Academy Award-nominated story of a young woman’s battle for independence and her deaf parents’ struggle to understand her gift for music. Given a clarinet by her free-spirited aunt, Lara is immediately consumed by a new passion her parents cannot share. Determined to follow her dreams, Lara’s ongoing pursuit of music creates an ever-widening rift that eventually threatens to tear apart her once close-knit family.