UCI German Newsletter, Fall 2018

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German Department, European Languages & Studies Volume 13, Issue 1 October 2018

GERMAN NEWSLETTER Message from the Chair

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: From the Chair

1

New MA Program

2

German Day

3

Reflections

3

Opinion Piece

5

Faculty News

7

Grad Students

11

Grad Alumi

13

Mirasol Award

14

German Essay

14

We look forward to seeing you at our annual MLA Cash Bar arranged by the University of California, Irvine, German Graduate Program (also known informally as the “Best Party at the MLA”).

In the past year, we have been proud to have organized a number of events to support successful interaction and collaboration amongst all members of our department. We had a very successful fall retreat, in which graduate students, non-Senate, and Senate faculty came together to discuss the department’s most important concerns and projects. In February, we hosted our 4th Annual Southern California German Day, with over 350 high school students attending. In winter quarter, the German faculty and students participated in a workshop on populist politics in the U.S. and Germany, led by visiting writer, Professor Bernhard Schlink. The workshop provided a great forum for faculty and students to discuss contemporary literature and politics in way that highlighted many differences of opinion as well as some common insights. We are grateful to Professor Schlink for his engagement. Later on in the year, Peter Frei, and Christoph Litwin, and Catherine Malabou of our French faculty organized a workshop on “The

Absurd,” with thoughtful presentations by several members of our department as well by guests Jack Katz from UCLA Sociology and Celine Spector from the faculty of philosophy at the Université ParisSorbonne. We have launched our new M.A. program in European Thought and Culture, whose goal is to approach broad political, philosophical, and cultural questions using problembased, interdisciplinary approaches to research and teaching. The curriculum will focus on the foundational philosophical texts and cultural products in literature and the arts produced in Europe from the Middle Ages to the present. Designed as a one-year program, the course of study culminates in a comprehensive exam based on a reading list or a thesis, depending on the student’s preference. Students will go on to Ph.D. programs or careers in international business, government service, or with non-profit organizations. You can find out more about the program and how to apply by visiting our European

Languages and Studies website (www.humanities.uci.edu/ els/). We welcome two new graduate students this fall to the German Ph.D. program: Colin Clark from the University of Houston and Jonas Weaver from Calvin College. They were both active participants in last year’s workshop, and we wish them a great first year in our program. We also welcome back Anke Biendarra, who is back in Irvine after serving for 3 years in Berlin as the UC Education Abroad Program Director for Northern Europe, and she offers below some useful reflections about this experience. Finally, I have included an opinion piece about the recent sexual harassment case at the NYU German department. We look forward to seeing you at our annual UCI German cash bar at the MLA convention in Chicago, which will take place on Saturday, January 5, 2019, from 7:15 PM-8:30 PM, in the Chicago Ballroom X of the Sheraton Grand Hotel. Best wishes for the fall, -David Pan


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GERMAN NEWSLETTER

New M.A. in European Thought & Culture

"…laying a foundation in significant trends ...will benefit students interested in pursuing teaching careers"

The German Program and the Department of European Languages and Studies (ELS) at the University of California, Irvine, is pleased to announce the formation of a new M.A. in European Thought and Culture (ETC). The M.A. Program draws on expertise from faculty in other departments in the Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences in order to take an interdisciplinary approach to European cultural studies. The degree will provide students with a rigorous course of study in the foundational philosophical texts and cultural products in literature and the arts produced in Europe, locating them in their historical contexts. The program will have students entering in two ways: (1) Students with a B.A. degree can apply to the “stand-alone” program and pursue a one-year degree consisting of nine courses, plus either a comprehensive examination or a thesis. (2) This will also be a 4+1 M.A. program so that UC Irvine undergraduates in good academic standing can begin with the program’s three Core Seminars during their senior year. The objective of the program is to train students in interpreting and writing about cultural products (literature and the arts) and philosophical texts

(broadly speaking, including works in political theory, the history of science, and theology) from the European tradition. This training has three goals: (1) attentiveness to the formal structures and languages in which ideas are expressed; (2) location of ideas in larger historical contexts, be they social, economic, or political institutions, cultural developments, or in conversation with other ideas; (3) exploration of ideas and texts that are crucial for understanding the formation of modern critical theory. The program will also emphasize the legacy and transformation of this tradition, in both recent developments in the broad area of “literary and critical theory” and in colonial, postcolonial, and other non-European contexts. The specific role of the European tradition in the development of the modern world cannot be denied (even as it also is only one of many ways that modernity has unfolded). This M.A. looks to both the distant and recent history of Europe for ways in which its alterity to or intersection with the global past and present can help us understand the modern world. Major developments in the European tradition include the transition from medieval to Early Modern modes of organizing

intellectual, social, and political life, urbanization, the Reformation and the wars of religion of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the formation of the nation state, colonialism, the rise of modern science, the Enlightenment, premodern, early modern, and modern political revolutions, concepts of sovereignty, the development of the modern notions of individual subjectivity, agency, and autonomy, as well as modernist and postmodernist critiques of this very tradition. Moreover, and just as significantly, the program includes an emphasis in the non- European legacies of the European tradition, i.e., how it framed and intersected with other major civilizations (the Ottoman Empire, the Persian Empire, and the indigenous civilizations of the New World), on the one hand, and was translated and transformed by colonial and postcolonial writers (the likes of Césaire, Senghor, Fanon, etc.) as well as by African American writers and theorists (many of whom spent formative years in Europe), on the other. By laying a foundation in significant trends in European intellectual, political, and cultural history, this M.A. program will benefit students interested in pursuing teaching careers or professions with international connections, as well as students planning to pursue doctoral degrees in fields


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GERMAN NEWSLETTER

New M.A. in European Thought & Culture Continued…

We look forward to seeing you at our annual MLA Cash Bar arranged by the University of California, Irvine, German Graduate Program (also known informally as the “Best Party at the MLA”).

professions with international connections, as well as students planning to pursue doctoral degrees in fields involving any aspect of European thought and culture. More information and the application process can be found on the departmental website:

Please assist us in advertising this new opportunity to your students!

P.S. We will, of course, be continuing our Ph.D. -John H. Smith Program in German Studies as well. Professor of German and M.A. Program Coordinator Department of European Languages and Studies jhsmith@uci.edu

https://www.humanities.u ci.edu/els/euro/ma.php

Fourth Southern California German Day at UCI!

“Around 350 students from SoCal area schools participated in events”

In February UCI German organized and hosted the fourth Southern California German Day for area high school students. Around 350 students from SoCal area schools participated in events such as a German scavenger hunt, spelling bee, trivia game, poetry slam, and workshops on German rock and pop music, Fußball, studying abroad in Germany and Austria, and what it’s like to study German in college. For

their support and participation we thank Peter Zykowski of the San Francisco Goethe Institut; UCI School of Humanities Dean Georges van den Abbeele; the AATG Southern California Chapter; and the UCI Study Abroad Center. Special thanks to our undergraduate majors and our Ph.D. students for all their help creating and hosting the events, to our outstanding office staff, Megan Schleh, Bindya

Baliga, Suzanne Bolding, and to their student assistants for their excellent support with logistics, organizational details and creating materials for the teachers and students. It was wonderful to again meet and get to know our SoCal German teachers and students. We’re already looking forward to the next German Day event in early 2019! -Glenn Levine

Reflections on Study Abroad From July 2015 until July 2018, I had the privilege to serve as Faculty Director for the University of California’s Study Abroad Programs in Northern Europe. Having now returned to the U.S., the last days of Irvine’s (perpetual) summer have provided me with the opportunity to reflect on

my experience and to plan the further integration of our departmental pursuits with study abroad at UCI. My position encompassed the programs in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and, since summer of 2017, Norway. Based in Berlin, my responsibilities were

wide-ranging and included academic and personal advising of the roughly one-hundred students in residence in Berlin at any given time throughout the year, grading of up to 400 students in four different locations, oversight of enrollments, outreach to and close collaboration with the International


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NEWSLETTER TITLE

Reflections on Study Abroad Continued…

“Invigorated by the immersion environment and the chance to interact with the local people, many students also threw themselves enthusiastically into their language study.”

Offices of the partner universities, working on study abroad selection committees, implementing security protocols, as well as supervision of the local staff and the administrative running of the Study Center in Berlin. Most importantly, on my frequent visits to the different Scandinavian countries, I had a chance to learn about the study abroad experiences of students from all ten UC campuses majoring in many different subjects. While the various programs in Berlin are drawing students from all fields of study, the programs in Lund and Uppsala tend to attract more students from the sciences and technical fields such as engineering. Copenhagen University and Arhus University are of particular value for students interested in climate change, psychology, development, business, and public health. All of these locations and universities have their own distinct character, from the urban and globalized environment of Berlin, Oslo, and Copenhagen to the smalltown atmosphere of Lund. One of the most interesting findings in my conversations with students was that they all equally loved their study locations. In three years, I did not meet any students who felt that they had made the wrong choice and would have

rather gone elsewhere. Instead, students in Copenhagen were thrilled that they could go everywhere by bike, those in Sweden delighted in the daily custom of “fika” (the art of the Swedish coffee break, which always involves sitting down, often with friends and a piece of pastry), and students in Berlin could not stop talking about the great public transportation and the city’s cultural attractions, such as the 170 museums and galleries and, of course, Berlin’s famous nightlife. Invigorated by the immersion environment and the chance to interact with the local people, many students also threw themselves enthusiastically into their language study. This is especially crucial for exchange students in Berlin who study at the three local universities (Free University, Humboldt University, Technical University) and take about half their courses in German; this is different from the programs in Scandinavia, where all relevant courses are offered in English. The chance to combine language study with another field that offers career prospects and international experiences became a reality for many students who pursued an internship while studying in Germany. As faculty director, one of my primary objectives was to find suitable internships

for our students in Berlin, guide them through the application process, and make sure that their experience provided a meaningful opportunity to integrate their practical experiences with their academic pursuits. Internships ranged from working for a translation agency that dubbed films into German to working in a psychology lab and being a collaborator on a research study; from assisting a team in a start-up company with complex coding issues to providing tutoring and teaching high-school students in challenging, often disadvantaged Berlin neighborhoods. These and other involvements led more than a handful of UC students to the decision to stay or come back to Berlin after graduation, either to pursue a fellowship, a master’s degree or employment. Last but not least, I witnessed firsthand how the experience of being a foreigner abroad, of having to navigate a different language and culture, and being independent and selfreliant can help students grow academically and as human beings. Many develop a more global awareness and a cultural literacy that allows them to appreciate how insulated the United States is, not least due to its size but also due to shifting political and cultural attitudes that have become more pronounced since the U.S. election in 2016. Especially since the change in administration, more and more students


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NEWSLETTER TITLE

Reflections on Study Abroad Continued… pronounced since the U.S. election in 2016. Especially since the change in administration, more and more students spoke to me about recognizing their roles as ambassadors for a United States that promotes values of openness and cultural diversity. Now back on the UCI campus and in collaboration with colleagues, I will continue my advocacy for study abroad. During the

academic year 2018-19, I will serve as the Faculty Director for Study Abroad on campus. I am excited to teach an online seminar for the Study Abroad Center, “Reflections While Abroad,” that will allow UCI students studying all over the world to interact virtually while they reflect on their individual experiences abroad. In the department, we have a growing number of students who are pursuing a dual degree in

Engineering and German (PIE- Program in International Engineering), which includes studying and gaining practical experience abroad. We also have extended the opportunity to UCI’s majors in Economics, and International Studies and will continue to pursue more initiatives that allow our students to benefit from study abroad.

-Anke Biendarra

Opinion Piece: #wetoo “The affair has highlighted both the vulnerability of the lower echelons of the academic hierarchy to mistreatment …”

As we begin this school year, faculty and students in the humanities will need to careful consider the significance for their professional lives of the recent revelations about sexual harassment at NYU’s department of German. The affair has highlighted both the vulnerability of the lower echelons of the academic hierarchy to mistreatment by those at the top as well as the complexities of the advisor-advisee relationship. At the same time, it has shown that our profession is surprisingly ill equipped to deal with such cases in an equitable manner. The alacrity with which 50 of the most distinguished members of our field, including a president-elect of the MLA (who has since issued an apology), came out publicly in support of the accused professor in

this case without any knowledge of the facts is at best disturbing. At worst, it indicates a deeply ingrained tendency to defend professional privilege and to blame victims in a way that recalls and even exceeds in egregiousness the types of behavior in other fields such as the entertainment industry, politics, and corporations. We would certainly be outraged to hear that 50 prominent media executives had come out publicly in defense of Harvey Weinstein at the first hint of impropriety without having been apprised of the details of his case. We should be similarly disturbed now. By the same token, we should also be wary of condemning accused persons before a proper judicial process has come to any conclusions.

This last point indicates some of the unintended consequences of the #metoo movement. As much as it has created a welcome challenge to patterns of abuse and harassment in virtually all areas of professional life, the danger has been that it has created a chilling atmosphere in which accusations immediately become condemnations. While the defense of academics based purely on their status in the profession is clearly unacceptable, it would also be important to wait until proper administrative and judicial proceedings run their course before making any condemnations, and outside attempts to influence such proceedings in one direction or another in any case need to be prevented. rticles or find “filler” articles by accessing the World Wide Web. You can write about a variety of topics but try to keep


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NEWSLETTER TITLE

Opinion Piece: #wetoo Continued…

“It takes the attention and cooperation of all members of a department to create an open atmosphere”

In addition, though, the current case has highlighted the way in which the advisor-advisee relationship is a particularly fraught one, as the merging of a professional with a personal relationship is often difficult to avoid. The terms Doktormutter and Doktorvater indicate the almost familial character of this relationship and the way that it straddles the distinction between professional and personal life, just as the kind of work we do is often inseparable from the activities and reflections that give our life personal meaning. So while any kind of romantic character is clearly out of bounds in the advisor-advisee relationship, it would be a mistake to exclude all aspects of a personal relationship. The danger of course is that the power differential always threatens to make the relationship abusive, and we as advisors need to be especially conscious of this potential and carefully analyze our actions to be sure that we

are always acting in the best interests of our advisees. Advisees have few alternatives other than recognizing problems and pointing them out or attempting to switch advisors. In order to assist advisees, it is incumbent upon us to create a culture in which professors are not seen to be collaborating as part of an insider club, so that students can feel comfortable in pointing out problems. One of the most damaging effects of the recent affair is consequently the way in which the 50 professors who unquestioningly supported the accused have reinforced the impression that students are without recourse in their attempts to deal with harassment and abuse. In order to counter this assessment, we need to be willing to direct criticism at instances of abusive behavior wherever we encounter it and to listen objectively to those who bring them to our attention.

It takes the attention and cooperation of all members of a department to create an open atmosphere. So above all, recent events have indicated that none of us can afford to assume that this is an issue in which we are not personally implicated and involved. -David Pan


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GERMAN NEWSLETTER

Faculty News Anke Biendarra

After three years that seem to have flown by, Anke Biendarra is finally back from Berlin, where she served as the University of California’s Study Abroad Director for Northern Europe. The position provided ample opportunities of gaining administrative experience, making meaningful connections with university partners, and pursuing scholarship on

contemporary issues. Anke’s thinking was infused by the everyday experience of living through the so-called “refugee crisis” in the summer of 2015, Britain’s decision to leave the E.U. (“Brexit”) in 2016, and the difficulty of forming a government after the rise of the right-wing AfD (Alternative for Germany) to the German parliament in 2017. All of these experiences shaped the development of new undergraduate and graduate courses that she will teach throughout the academic year 2018-19. The opportunity to immerse herself in Berlin’s literary culture, frequently go to readings and theater performances, and exchange thoughts about her experience with visiting colleagues and

friends led to further research and progress on her book project, entitled The European Imaginary in Transcultural GermanLanguage Literature, which focuses on literary configurations of migration and European cultural identity and belonging. Forthcoming publications include book chapters on overcoming European trauma in the works of Ulrike Draesner, migrant and touristic mobility in works by Terézia Mora and Julya Rabinovich, as well as an article in Text & Kritik on feminism in Sibylle Berg’s journalistic texts. During the academic year 201819, Anke will continue her advocacy of study abroad and serve as the Faculty Director of Study Abroad on the UCI campus.

goes, to complete their studies successfully at UCI. We succeeded as well to attract our two top graduate student applicants. Colin Clark and Jonas Weaver are joining the German graduate program in fall quarter 2018. Despite the challenges that face the humanities in general and German Studies in particular, a small program like ours could continue to thrive last year for a variety of reasons. The continued excellence of the program and all of its faculty is of course central for such a success. Just as important was the active engagement and

collaboration of our graduate students. Last year, this became particularly visible during our workshop on the rise of populism in Germany and the U.S., a workshop initiated by David Pan and organized together with Bernhard Schlink. To no small degree, such engagement and collaboration of graduate students depends on their financial security. In this regard our participation in the Mellon Degree Programs (“5+2”) has been of very valuable assistance. I hope, this successful program will be continued at UCI. I’ll end my contribution to the newsletter with a few comments on my own research, or rather with some promotional pointers to three volumes that have been published in 2018. Just in time for

Kai Evers

As the director of the German graduate program I can report that the year 2018 has been a year of excellent news. Each and every one of our current graduate students passed their exams last year. Thanks to their hard work, they are moving along “in a timely fashion,” as the phrase

“All of these experiences shaped the development of new undergraduate and graduate courses that she will teach throughout the academic year 2018-19.”


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GERMAN NEWSLETTER

Faculty News Continued… comments on my own research, or rather with some promotional pointers to three volumes that have been published in 2018. Just in time for the centennial of the end of WWI, Telos Press published Europe and the World: World War I as Crisis of Universalism, a book co-edited by David Pan and me. Routledge published a new European

Literary History, an immense project edited by Maarten De Pourcq and Sophie Levie, and my contribution tries to shed some light on the relations between violence, war, and modernism. And finally, if you are interested in Robert Walser, one of the stranger modernists, Northwestern University Press published a few

months ago Robert Walser: A Companion, edited with great care by Samuel Frederick and Valerie Heffernan, for which I am getting almost lost in Walser’s microscripts. I hope to see you in January at the MLA in Chicago.

Gail Hart

Gail Hart is easing into retirement, having taught one undergraduate honors seminar in 2018 and attended a few conferences. Her “The Nanking Massacre on Gum Cards” has appeared in The Journal of American Culture 12 June 2018 https://doi.org/10.1111/jacc. 12871 and has been endorsed by the editor of The Wrapper, the leading publication on non-sports bubble gum cards. Also recently published is the special issue of Colloquia

Herbert Lehnert Herbert Lehnert and Eva Wessell's book "Thomas Mann" in the series "Critical Lives" of Reaktion Books, London, is scheduled to appear in the Spring of 2019. Herbert Lehnert continues to revise his manuscript "Thomas Manns Eintritt in die Literatur des Modernismus" (in German).

Germanica that she edited on “Sisters and Sorority in the German Cultural Tradition,” with contributions by Barbara Becker-Cantarino, Eleanor ter Horst, Adrian Daub, Jaime Roots, and Jordan Lavers. She was also main editor of Susan Gustafson’s and Kristina Becker Mallett’s new translation of the first version of Goethe’s Stella, that has just appeared. Please consider using it in your classes: https://www.peterlang.com/v

iew/title/68812?tab=aboutau thor . She was also named American counterpart of Thomas Mann Fellow, Heinrich Detering, and was invited to participate in the Fellows inaugural discussion with Bundespräsident Steinmeier and the opening of the recently renovated Thomas Mann House in Pacific Palisades.

“She was also named American counterpart of Thomas Mann Fellow, Heinrich Detering.”


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GERMAN NEWSLETTER

Faculty News Continued… Glenn Levine

Glenn Levine continues as the German language program director, responsible for coordinating the lowerdivision curriculum and working with the teaching assistants and lecturers in the program. He also offers courses in applied linguistics and language pedagogy, as well as in Germanic linguistics, German-Jewish literature and history, German and European culinary history, and German for the professions. This year he published a refereed article, co-authored with Jang Ho Lee of ChungAng University in Seoul, South Korea. “The effects of instructor language choice on second language vocabulary learning and listening comprehension” was published in the journal

Language Teaching Research . He is currently completing a monograph entitled A Human

Ecological Language Pedagogy , to be published in early 2020 in T he Modern Language Journal’s monograph series.

Last winter Professor Levine gave invited talks at Harvard, Yale, NYU, and Columbia, as well as at the University of Mannheim. At the fall American Conference of Foreign Language Teachers (ACTFL) convention in Nashville, he organized and participated in a panel entitled, “ Peace and

Conflict in the German Classroom: An Intercultural Imperative ,”

and presented ongoing research on a collaborative project with Hiram Maxim of Emory University on thirdlanguage learning among and language pedagogy for international-student learners of German. Maxim and Levine also presented this work at the spring meeting of the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) in Chicago. At that conference Levine also organized and participated in a panel on “The politics and pedagogy of language and integration of refugees in Europe” and is planning an edited volume on the topic together with David Mallows of University College London. During the winter quarter, Professor Levine continued a multi-year study of the teaching of German to migrants—and particularly refugees—in Germany. He worked at the

Volkshochschule Berlin Mitte as well as in a secondary school in the Wedding district of Berlin, interviewing instructors and learners, as well as visiting many language classes. Recently he was awarded a DAAD research grant to be able to continue the project in 2019. Finally, Professor Levine finished his term on the AP German test development committee, and this summer again had the honor and pleasure of teaching at the Middlebury College German School, a seven-week immersion program located in rural Vermont. He taught the level 4 Sprachkurs and Literaturkurs with a phenomenal group of students. The topic this year was “Deplatziert sein: Flucht und Migration aus, nach und in Deutschland.”

“Recently he was awarded a DAAD research grant to be able to continue the project in 2019.”


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GERMAN NEWSLETTER

Faculty News Continued… David Pan

In the past year, David Pan published the article “Myth and Rationality in Politics: Carl Schmitt, Thomas Hobbes, and Liberalism’s Materialist Quandary” in Telos 183 (Summer 2018) and the short piece, “Populist Politics and the New Campus Culture Wars” in Telos 181 (Winter 2017). He presented papers on "Liberal Democracy and ‘Other’ Democracies" at

John Smith

Besides getting a new pair of glasses (photo at the optometrist), this year John H. Smith finished up a number of contributions to volumes that will be appearing shortly. For The Posthuman in an Age of Humanism, edited by Edgar Landgraf, Gabriel Trop, and Leif Weatherby, he has a piece called “Steps toward an Ecology of Geist: Hegel, Bateson,

the Higher School of Economics in Moscow in September 2017; on "The Idea of Sovereignty in Europe from the Reformation to the Present" at the Université Catholique de Louvain in October 2017; on “Populist Politics and the Conservative University: Hitler and Trump against the State” at UC Irvine in November 2017; on "Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister and the Pedagogical Narrative of Capitalism" at the MLA Convention in New York in January 2018; on "State Movement People: Contemporary Antinomies of Political Identity" at the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute conference in New York in February 2018; and on “Empire

Today” at the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute conference in Ragusa, Italy, in September 2018. He is working as UCEAP Visiting Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai in Fall 2018, during which he is taking a break from his chair duties at UCI. He continues to serve on the Executive Council of the MLA, as Executive Director of the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute, and as Book Review Editor at Telos .

and the Spirit of Posthumanism.” Irving Goh is publishing his “Nancy with Hegel: The Restless Pleasures of Calculus and the Infinite Opening in Finitude” (in the volume, Jean-Luc Nancy among the Philosophers). He is looking forward to seeing “Religion and Literature in the Transition from the Infinite to the Finite (1700-1770)” appear in Religion and Literature in the German-Speaking World 1200-2015, edited by John Walker and Ian Cooper (Cambridge UP). And his chapter, “Religion and Early German Romanticism: The Finite and the Infinite,” will

appear in The Brill Companion to German Romantic Philosophy (edited by Judith Norman and Elizabeth Millán). All these are circling around the topic of his book that has obsessed him recently (as well as a lot of contemporary French thought), namely the concept of infinity. It preoccupied him during his five months with a fellowship at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. Together with his friend and colleague arriving full time at UCI, Catherine Malabou, he will be hosting the fourth annual one-day departmental symposium in April. The topic this year will be: “Philosophical Approaches to Infinity: History, Ontology, Cosmology.” He will be completing his

“Besides getting a new pair of glasses (photo at the optometrist), this year John H. Smith finished up a number of contributions to volumes that will be appearing shortly.”


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GERMAN NEWSLETTER

Faculty News Continued… symposium in April. The topic this year will be: “Philosophical Approaches to Infinity: History, Ontology, Cosmology.” He will be completing his stint as a co-director-atlarge for the Goethe Society of North America (join, if you’re not a member!). To get him

through these dark times, he loves hearing every day from academia.edu that thousands of people have referenced “John Smith” in an article. He likes to think he’s the only one.

GERMAN GRADUATE STUDENTS

GRAD STUDENTS

Kierstin Brehm

Kierstin Brehm Matt Cooper Yao Pei Steven Nave Jacob Schaubs Xuxu Song

Fifth year graduate student, Kierstin H. Brehm recently passed her qualifying exams and is in the quixotic process of transitioning to working on her dissertation project. Fall quarter Brehm had the pleasure of presenting on Freud and contemporary fiction at the German Studies Conference: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, And? at California State University Long Beach (CSULB). Her presentation was entitled, "Giving Freud the Slip: Rewriting Freud in

Contemporary Fiction." In the spring she attended the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) in Pittsburgh and presented her paper on gaslighting as rhetorical device entitled, "Narratology, Manipulation and Mind Control in Jeremias Gotthelf’s Die schwarze Spinne". Her luggage was crammed full of books as her exams were the following Monday! Brehm rounded out her year by presenting at the ELS end-of-the-year celebration on her second language acquisition (SLA) research project, “Project V-LIFe: Using Video Games in the German Language Classroom.” Additionally, after an all-too-long

hiatus, she is bringing back the German Radio Broadcast on KUCI 88.9FM for the 2018-2019 school year. “Frau Brehm” is thrilled to be teaching her fourth year this fall.


GERMAN GRADUATE STUDENTS Continued…

Matt Cooper “I received the TA of the year award and had a wonderful year teaching German 2.”

I received the TA of the year award and had a wonderful year teaching German 2. Students really took their language learning into their own hands this year in and out of the classroom. Inspired by the rich worlds and literatures we were able to get into this year including Faust, Trümmerliteratur, and migration, students really took it on themselves to do their own research investigating these topics. Just to take one example, a student handed in an essay on an unassigned and difficult text by Unica Zürn that fit well with her own research interests. We also had several film evenings throughout the year. In the spring the

students developed an exhibition with minimal structural support from me and Professor Levine detailing their research on the topic of refugees in Germany. As part of their research they communicated with students in Berlin with a migration background that were also learning German. I even heard from three of our German 2 students over summer that are studying abroad in Berlin, that they had continued this line of research in their summer courses there, where they are so far taking intensive German and a course on the EU in the 21st century. I of course also continued to make progress on my own studies. I passed my qualifying exams in the fall with wonderful support from professors. I wrote lists on aesthetics, drama, idealism, and nature. In the winter and spring I turned to work on the dissertation. For that

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I have most centrally been reading Schelling’s Philosophie der Kunst with Professor Smith. In the spring I contributed a text on the concept of the individual vehicle and was part of a panel discussion for Eric Wesley’s art exhibition at Redling Fine Art in Los Angeles. In the fall of 2018 I am a dissertation fellow at the Universität Bremen as part of Professor Frank Wilderson’s involvement in the research ambassador program there. I will continue writing my dissertation there as well as visiting the Schelling archives in Munich and Berlin and interacting with several experts in my area of interest for the dissertation as a continuation of my research.

Yao Pei My research focuses on German and Austrian modernist novels, primarily Robert Musil and his novel Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften. I wish to understand the thought of

"Möglichkeitsgedanken" in this novel and its discourse in Western philosophical tradition. Other scholarly interests are Asian-German studies and second language acquisition.


GERMAN GRADUATE STUDENTS Continued…

“my research has mainly been about the development of ideas about Buddhism in Germany in the early 19th century.”

Steven Nave

Jacob Schaubs

Xuxu Song

“Xuxu has conquered her goals step by step.” In the 2017-18 academic year, Xuxu has conquered her goals step by step. She received her M.A. in German Studies in May, with her essay entitled Sympoesie: The Essential Aesthetic Practice of Early German Romanticism. Last September, she presented a paper at the 2017 Graduate Student Conference “Mediating the Modern” at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In February, she

I received my BA in German Studies from Colgate University. I have a number of areas of academic interest that center around German philosophy, such as the role of desire in the works of Hegel and Wittgenstein’s approach to the philosophy of language. So far, my Jacob Schaubs spent much of the last year reveling in both the joys of German literature and German pedagogy, the first of which saw him through a successful master's exam and the second of which saw him resolve to teach the language until his death (which he intends to put off for as long as possible). His previous goal accomplished and his life's participated in the workshop “Challenging Liberal Order: Populism from the Nazis to Today” with Bernhard Schlink. Other than being a German graduate student in seminar rooms, she has also attempted at enhancing her professional skills. Over the past year, she taught German level one courses as Teaching Assistant for Professor Glenn Levine. Teaching the language independently in the classroom has largely enriched her professional experience, which is invaluable for her, and has at the same time allowed her to understand German culture from another perspective. In December, she attended the two-day “2017 DAAD German Language Teaching Methodology Workshop” at UC Berkeley. In February, she gave a presentation on

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research has mainly been about the development of ideas about Buddhism in Germany in the early 19th century.

work declared, he is now burrowing into light and cheerful topics (guilt, authority, Luther) as he plots out his trajectory for his next three exciting years here at the university.

“Task-based Language Teaching” in the AATG workshop. As a Mellon Fellow, Xuxu also went to workshops and talks held and sponsored by the Mellon Teaching 5+2 Teaching Institute. In the recent Summer Session I, she worked as Teaching Assistant for Professor John H. Smith’s European Studies course Europe and the Foundations of the Modern World. Overall, it was a good and fruitful year. And she’s ready for a more challenging but also exciting, new year. She needs to and will try harder.


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GERMAN NEWSLETTER

Grad Alumni Jonathan Fine is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of German Studies at Brown University, where he coordinates the German

language program. His article, "A Troll Emerges: The Beginning of August Friedrich Cranz’s Career as a Provocateur,” is forthcoming in the

Edinburgh German Yearbook.

Freie Universität Berlin. I will be enrolled in upperdivision courses That are all taught in German. I hope to take some German literature and history courses. Prior to traveling to Germany I had to overcome one of my biggest fears. I have been afraid of flying for around twenty years, but when I was aboard my flight to Germany I felt no fear. Perhaps it was due to my excitement of traveling to my dream country! Upon my arrival in Germany I Immediately began to explore Berlin. Everything was so different from what I was used to but I adapted

quickly. I have made many friends and I have been practicing my German. I hope that By the end of the program I will have mastered my German. I also hope to be more knowledgeable about Germany’s history. Berlin is a city that is full of history so I feel that I made the perfect choice. During my stay in Germany I hope to travel around Germany and learn more about the culture and history. I am looking forward to spending Christmas in Germany.

Mirasol Award “I am looking forward to spending Christmas in Germany.

My name is Victoria Fuentes and I will be a fourth year at UC Irvine. I am majoring in German Studies. I am currently participating in a yearlong University of California Education Abroad Program for 2018-2019 at

German Essay Award “I chose German because I am interested in its history, culture, and most importantly, the food (just kidding!)”

Hi! My name is Wing Yan, or Winnie and I am a 4th year Biomedical Engineering and German Studies major student. I

love learning new languages and that’s why I chose German because I am interested in its history, culture, and most importantly, the food (just kidding!). I am not traveling to anywhere this summer since I have summer classes, but I am traveling to NYC in September after summer classes end. I hope to travel to Germany after I graduate to immerse myself more deeply into its culture! For my future

plans, I plan to be part of a neuroscience research to design microchips for comatose/paralyzed patients for them to express themselves easily. And of course, I plan to have my career in Germany eventually. But for now, I am focusing on speaking more German so I can be more fluent than before!


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GERMAN NEWSLETTER

GERMAN DEPT.

243 Humanities Instructional Building Irvine, CA 926973150 Phone: (949) 824-6406 E-Mail: ELSDept@uci.edu We’re on the Web!

See us at: https://www.human ities.uci.edu/els/ger man/index.php and on Facebook: https://www.fac ebook.com/Europ eanLanguagesand Studies/

About Our Organization… In 2012 the German Department joined together with the Department of French and Italian as well as with the Programs in Russian and European Studies to create an innovative unit, the Department of European Languages and Studies. Within this unit, German maintains its own undergraduate major and an independent graduate program leading to the Ph.D. Thus, like the UCI School of Humanities in general, German fosters a combination of disciplinary specialization and interdisciplinary cooperation. Just as at the geopolitical level the nations of Europe maintain their national identities within a transnational union, so, too, at the academic level UCI’s program in German maintains its own course of study while recognizing the need for students to relate German’s rich literary, cultural, and philosophical tradition to an international and multi-disciplinary context. Professors in the German program thus work closely not only with those in the other European languages

but also with the program in Global Cultures, Department of Comparative Literature, and the Critical Theory Emphasis, with which we share many faculty appointments. The focus of the German curriculum on both the undergraduate and graduate levels is on post-1750 culture. Courses cover four major areas: linguistics, including the cultural history of the German language; traditional literary history (doubly anchored in the period around 1800 and twentieth- and twentyfirst-century literature); German cultural studies, which explores a diverse array of socio-political developments and questions of national identity; and the philosophical tradition from Idealism to the present. Our experienced, dynamic professors have

won numerous teaching awards and cover a wide range of interests, including: German linguistics and secondlanguage acquisition; German Classicism (Goethe, Schiller, Kleist); aesthetics; contemporary literature and film in a global and transnational context; Modernism and violence; intellectual history of the inter-war period (Benjamin, Schmitt, Heidegger); holocaust studies; the importance of German philosophy for the background of critical and literary theory. We are committed to highlighting the ways German culture has contributed to shaping the world we live in today.