Fall 2011 Newsletter


Fall 2011

A Note from the Editor

Dear Friends of the German Department,

Greetings once more from U.Va. We are pleased to begin our academic year with news for you about the many recent developments in the German Department and the Center for German Studies. Our graduate students have been actively presenting papers, receiving fellowships, and finally, graduating and moving on. Our faculty continues to distinguish itself with publications and presentations at conferences around the world. You may read about their milestones here.

In this issue, we present two new features, an indepth discussion from Prof. McDonald of a new teaching method he is in the process of developing, and original poetry by graduate student Stefanie Parker.

This past November, the Center for German Studies hosted a weekend colloquium titled "The Car of the Future/The Future of the Car." In this Newsletter, we take a detailed look at this campus-wide, multidisciplinary event.

Should any of you wish to have news included in the Newsletter, please feel free to contact the Editor at the email address below.

Wishing you a wonderful year,

Cora Schenburg, Ph.D.
German Department Newsletter

Graduate Student News

The Graduate Student Conference

On the weekend of March 18-19, the Department's graduate students presented their eighteenth annual German Graduate Studies Conference. The event, titled "Textual Violence in German Contexts," opened with a keynote speech with the title "Avant-Garde, Montage, and Violence" by Professor Patrizia McBride of Cornell University. U.Va. graduate students Xiaoxi Liu, Gerrit Roessler, Verena Kollig and Beatrice Waegner presented papers, along with Harold Mock of the University's History Department and visiting students from Penn State, Stanford, the University of Maryland, and Washington University, St. Louis. The conference received funding from the DAAD, as well as the German Department and several other on-campus sponsors.

Graduate student Selma Erdogdu writes from Germany, where she teaches American Studies at the Technische Universität Dortmund, that she presented two papers this past year. In November, Selma participated in a lecture series called "Migration, Mobilität, Geschlecht," Veranstaltungsreihe Freiburger Geschlechterstudien." Organizers of the conference included the Zentrum für Anthropologie und Gender Studies of Universität Freiburg (ZAG) and the Carl-Schurz-Haus [Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut]. Selma's paper was titled "Aus dem Bauch heraus? German-Turkish and Haitia-American Migration Literature." An extended version of her paper, titled "Aus dem Bauch heraus?" Reading Emine Sevgi Özdamar‟s Das Leben ist eine Karawanserei and Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory," is forthcoming in "Freiburger Geschlechterstudien." On August 6th, Selma presented a paper titled "Von home zu Heimat: Interkulturelle Identität in Marcus Ingendaays deutscher Übersetzung von Chang-rae Lees Roman A Gesture Life" at the "XII. Kongress der Internationalen Vereinigung für Germanistik (IVG): Vielheit und Einheit der Germanistik weltweit." A shortened version of this paper was submitted for publication in the proceedings.

In the summer of 2010, Gabe Cooper presented a paper at a postgraduate conference on Austrian literature at the Ingeborg Bachmann Centre, which is part of an institute at the University of London. Gabe reports that one of our former Mannheim exchange students, Iuditha Balint, presented there, as well. Gabe also gave a paper at the Midwest MLA.

In January 2010, Verena Kollig published an article titled "Schlafwandeln im totalen Raum - Inszenierungen der Allmacht in Hans-Jürgen Syberbergs 'Hitler, ein Film aus Deutschland" in Mauerschau. Fachzeitschrift Germanistik.

Gerrit Roessler presented a paper entitled "Hamlet's Migration and Integration in the Theater as Cyberspace," on the panel "AlienNation: Migrants, Cyborgs and Other Liminal Beings," at the ACLA in Vancouver this year. Gerrit‟s short essay, "Aura Factory," along with photography by Gerit, was published in "Still Developing: A Story of Instant Gratification." According to Gerrit, the essay "argued against Benjamin that the Polaroid is a type of mechanical reproduction and production that maintains the aura of the artwork." Finally, Gerrit's essay, "Walking the great line: Underoath and Christian fundamentalism in punk rock after 9/11," will be published as a chapter in The Politics of Post-9/11 Music: Sound, Trauma, and the Music Industry in the Time of Terror, due to be published in December 2011. More information about this book may be found at ashgate.com.

Irina Kuznetsova has won the 2011 AATG-German Quarterly Graduate Student Paper Award for the best research paper by a graduate student in German Studies. The title of her paper is "The Possessed: The Demonic and Demonized East and West in Thomas Mann‟s Der Zauberberg and Dostoevsky's Demons." Irina will receive the award at the AATG event in Denver in November, and her paper will be published in the German Quarterly next year. Irina has recently returned from a year‟s stay in Berlin on a DAAD grant. In the fall of 2010, she presented a paper at the GSA in Oakland. In the following spring, Irina took part in the Annual Dostoevsky Conference in Russia, and in January, co-organized the J-Term course in Berlin, in collaboration with Prof. Gordon Stewart.

Brett Marz (Ph.D. 2010) landed a tenure-track position at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. Brett's dissertation, titled "Robert Musil's Embodied Poetics," was directed by Professor Bennett, with Prof.'s Martens and Kaiser as second readers. Brett spent academic year 2010-11 teaching language and literature courses at Gettysburg College.

Martin Sheehan, Ph.D. '09, has begun a tenure-track position at Tennessee Tech University, in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich defended her dissertation, titled "Holocaust Memories: Visuality and the Sacred in Museums and Exhibits," in March 2011. Prof. Renate Voris directed Jennifer's dissertation. Jennifer, who begins teaching at Mary Washington University this fall, has recently published two articles, one in the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies and the other in an edited volume called "Nexus: Essays in German Jewish Studies."

Finally, Barbara Rieger defended her doctoral dissertation in April 2011. Barbara worked under the direction of Prof. Lorna Martens.

Department News

Department Hosts German Outreach Day '11

On March 25, the Department hosted its annual German Outreach, a day of German-related presentations and activities for local and regional high school teachers and their students, as well as for University and community members interested in German, UVA and German at UVA. This year‟s activities included our third annual Declamation Contest, a scene from a German play, performed by U.Va. students; a piano concert by Prof. Michael Puri, featuring the music of Franz Liszt; and a Yiddish lesson by Prof. Gabi Finder, featuring klezmer fiddle music by Grad T.A. Gabe Cooper. Our high school guests also got to take part in games "auf Deutsch" and to have lunch with German Department students and faculty.

J-Term in Berlin

The Department of German offered its fifth consecutive January Term in Berlin. Led by Professor and Mrs. Gordon M. Stewart, the J-Term course introduced eighteen undergraduates to the history and cultural life of Germany's capital. Among the highlights of the trip were a reception to meet Ambassador Philip Murphy at the American Embassy; performances of Carmina burana and Beethoven's 9th Symphony at the Berlin Philharmonic; an introduction to Berlin's modern architecture, and a visit to Sanssouci, the Potsdam residence of Frederick the Great. A side trip to Weimar made possible a guided tour of Goethe's home. On that same trip, students experienced a visit to the nearby concentration camp Buchenwald. Plans are already underway for January Term 2012, which will divide the time between Munich and Berlin and explore the subject of Germany North and South. Students receive 3.0 credits for this course, GETR 2559. Mr. Stewart ( ) would be pleased to respond to any inquiries.

Faculty News

Special Feature: Prof. McDonald Develops New Model for Teaching German Composition

Prof. William McDonald is in the process of developing a "Composition Module" for German writing courses that uses Internet texts as the basis of, and model for, student compositions. The method is applicable to other foreign languages and English as a Second Language, as well as German.

On April 14th, Prof. McDonald presented a talk titled "Using Internet News and Culture Sites for Modeling Writing Exercises,&qupt; at the Academic Symposium held in conjunction with the inauguration of U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan. At the symposium, Prof. McDonald described the new teaching method, which he currently uses in composition classes and which U.Va.‟s Curry School, Teaching Resource Center, and Arts and Sciences Media Center support. The following is a transcript of Prof. McDonald's talk:

The current method, which developed over time, arose from my frustration at text books and at my own inadequacies as a nonnative speaker of the foreign language I teach. All writing teachers face the same problem. Assign a written exercise: Some compose it first in English, and then translate it. Others try to think in the target language, but lack the idiomatic structure to complete the exercise successfully. All too often, the result is a mixture of English and the target language. There's even a name for that non-existent language: the combination of German and English becomes "Denglisch."

My challenge was to find the "perfect textbook," one that presented students with authentic language, current events, and offered the element of choice, so that the teacher did not dictate the topic of every written assignment. My "book" became the Web. Fortunately, there are stable, excellently-written sites presenting texts on which students can model their own writing. This led to our compositional method.

Using Web-texts, I have developed a module for 3rd- and 4th-year foreign language conversation and composition courses. The audience is majors and minors, but the method can be adapted for various levels and audiences. It involves student written adaptations of learner-chosen, streaming Internet texts from stable culture and foreign affairs programming. (For Germany, we recommend www.dw-world.de, which has news and texts in 30 languages. The equivalent American site would be NPR; in Great Britain the BBC.).

Four steps are involved: students select an Internet text; they chose a paragraph or two for editing, which involves changing one element per clause (=synonym, tense change); they write questions in the target language on the Internet text and then answer these; finally, they compose a "reaction" to the Internet text in the target language, using at least one, set "opinion phrase" in the target language ("In my opinion," etc.). The method is thus constructed to go from un-graded, native writing sample to the student's own writing in imitation of a stylistically and culturally authentic model. An additional element of the module is a student e-mail summary of Internet news/culture which is sent weekly to the teacher. The benefits of this method are: 1) it is available to every learner at the University; 2) it is language-universal, including English as a Second Language; 3) it is learner-centered; 4) it stresses active learning; and 5) it helps fulfill the University's 20-20 mission to develop global citizens, conversant with international concerns and knowledgeable about geography. The spectrum of a Professor William McDonald semester's written work is astounding, ranging last term from efforts to combat AIDS to a political revolt in Madagascar.

Prof. Gabriel (Gabi) Finder, who was named incoming director of U.Va.'s Jewish Studies Program, was also selected as one of ten Mead Honored Faculty for the 2011/2012 academic year.

In the course of the 2010/2011 academic year, Prof. Finder gave several conference presentations, which he outlines below:

"The Politics of Retribution in Postwar Warsaw: In the Honour Court of the Central Committee of Polish Jews," presented at "Warsaw: The History of a Jewish Metropolis," International Conference held at University College London, London, June 2010.

"Undzere Kinder (Our Children)," presented in conjunction with screening of the film at "Children and War: Past and Present," International Conference held at the University of Salzburg (Austria), September 30- October 2, 2010.

"Interview with Shimon Redlich, Professor Emeritus, Ben-Gurion University (Beersheva, Israel)," public conversation held at "Children and War: Past and Present," International Conference held at the University of Salzburg (Austria), September 30-October 2, 2010.

"Undzere Kinder," presented in conjunction with screening of the film at the Filmmuseum, Stadtmuseum München, October 3, 2010 (in German).

"Children from the Ruins of Poland—in Hebrew: The Representation of the Child Survivor in Benjamin Tenenbaum"s"ehad me-"ir u-shenayim mi-mishpahah (One of a City and Two of a Family)," presented at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Association of Jewish Studies, December 2010.

In December 2010, Assistant Professor Chad Wellmon's book titled "Becoming Human: Romantic Anthropology and the Embodiment of Freedom (Literature & Philosophy)" was published by Pennsylvania State Univ Press. Prof. Wellmon's book aims to address Immanuel Kant's question "What is the human?" This question, Kant suggested, could be answered by a new science of man called anthropology. According to an editorial review of the book, "In Becoming Human", Chad Wellmon recounts the emergence of anthropology around a question that had become too capacious for a single discipline and too unstable for the distinctions that had come to ground Enlightenment modernity distinctions between nature and culture, body and mind, human and animal, European and non-European.

If, as Friedrich Schlegel wrote, we don't even know what the human is, then what would a science of the human base itself on? How would it be possible and why would it even be necessary? This book is an intellectual and literary history of how these questions took form in late eighteenth-century Germany. By examining this period of anthropological discourse through the works of thinkers such as Kant, Novalis, Schleiermacher, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and Goethe, Wellmon argues that the crisis of a as condemned to draw its norms and very self-understanding from itself. Modernity became fully modern when it became fully reflexive that is, sensitive to the paradoxical and possibly futile nature of the modern project."

Prof. Lorna Martens' latest book, "The Promise of Memory: Childhood Recollection and Its Objects in Literary Modernism," is due for release in October 2011. According to the book description on Amazon, Ms. Martens‟ book, the first sustained look at childhood memories as depicted in literature, "opens a new perspective on early recollection – how it works, why it is valuable, and how shifts in our understanding are reflected in both scientific and literary writings." More information on Prof. Martens" book is available atamazon.com.

Lecturer Cora Schenberg (Ph.D. '03) had two plays produced at Charlottesville's Live Arts Theater. Ms. Schenberg's play, "Sweethearts with a Soul," was staged in July 2010, "Strawberries" in August 2011. Her poem "Late-Fall Roses" is forthcoming in the Delmarva Review in October.

Undergraduate News

The German Studies Center Essay Prize was awarded to Diana Galindo for an essay on Christa Wolf's Kindheitsmuster.

Kyle Smalkowski won first prize in the essay contest run in conjunction with the Center for German Studies' colloquium, "The Car of the Future/The Future of the Car." The competition, sponsored by the CGS in cooperation with many UVa programs and schools, and supported by the German Embassy, asked UVa undergraduates to explore the future of a sustainable society with focusing on the car. Kyle received a cash award of $2,500 for his essay, titled "The Future of the Automobile." First runner up David Tracy won $1,000 for his essay titled "Blast from the Past." Third prize went to Lauren Caldwell for her essay, "Non-Motorized Transportation in the United States and Germany."

Creative Work

Trübse(e)(h)n by Stefanie Nauhardt Parker Eine Träne perlt, prallt in den Abendsee, Süsse Seele weckt Melancholie, was ein Herz verschmerzen. Kerzenschein flackert ungebändigt; Eine Grille zirpt im Weingrund Stefanie Nauhardt Parker Der neue Tag lebendigt. Doch der Kaspar die Fasade hält, Tief im See Wahres rauscht, Unangetastet schwelgt auf ewig Brauch. Sinne im Rausch verglissen nicht, So fühle tiefer, finde sie. Grabe, grab um Erleuchtung Friede dem wallenden Herzen, (Ende nie in Sicht) Ohne Rast kommt irgendwann Mensch an trüben Ufern an

The Center for German Studies

Special Feature: German Studies Symposium

Family Weekend Symposium on the Car of the Future/Future of the Car, November 5-6, 2010

Center members Manuela Achilles (German and History), Tim Beatley (Architecture), Peter Debaere (Darden), Dana Elzey (Engineering), and Gordon Stewart (College) were instrumental in conceptualizing and organizing a first University-wide Family Weekend symposium at UVa. Bringing together many UVa schools and programs, the two-day event explored, from a cross- and interdisciplinary perspective, conceptions of a more sustainable society by focusing on one of its central everyday objects: the car.
Nationally and internationally prominent experts on sustainability joined UVa faculty to discuss alternative car technologies and fuels, as well as the effect of cars on our health, city planning, and culture. Panelists included bestselling authors Jeremy Rifkin, Daniel Sperling and Debbie Gordon, car company executives Chris Borroni-Bird (GM) and Frank Weith (VW), battery expert Michelle Buchanan from the Oakridge National Laboratory, and cultural historian Wolfgang Schivelbusch. Faculty from the University included Bob Davis (Chemical Engineering), Brent Gunnoe (Center for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Funtionalization), Mike Lenox (Darden School), Audrey Synder (School of Nursing), and Kim Tanzer (School of Architecture).
On-site exhibits featured the newest car technology and car-related projects by UVa students, and a pristine 1927 Model T convertible made available by Law alumnus Peter Bernhardt. A University-wide prize competition challenged UVa's undergraduates to imagine the car of the future or a future without cars. The winners were announced by President Teresa A. Sullivan in front of a large audience. In cooperation with the Virginia Film Festival, the symposium concluded with a film screening of "The Nature of Cities" by UVa's Tim Beatley, followed by a discussion of the key challenges of urban mobility for the cities of the future.
The symposium was sponsored by the Center for German Studies, Page-Barbour Fund, Center for Global Initiatives (Darden School of Business), Batten School of Public Policy, School of Architecture, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Nursing, College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Development and Public Affairs, and Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. All events were free and open to the public.