German newsletter els 2017 linked (002)

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In This Issue

Message From the Chair (4) German Day (6) Faculty News (8) German Grad Students (14) German Alumni (19) Mirasol Award winner (20) Acknowledgements / Index (21)


David T. Pan

From The Chair

e D O

toward a more humanities-oriur changing world has highlighted more ented approach to knowledge and learning. Because than ever the imporclimate change for instance has tance of a humanities educabecome a political issue that tion. The challenges of populism goes beyond climate science to have made it necessary for evencompass the status of humans eryone to rethink and articulate within a larger universe as well as basic values and their relationthe complexities of political change ship to everyday decisions. The and rhetoric, a holistic approach that movement of political discourse addresses issues of human meaning to new digital platforms has is essential to approaching the probboth broadened the number of lem adequately and for convincing people who write publicly and others of the wisdom of a particular expanded genres of writing to direction. As a consequence, the kind include blogs, posts, and tweets. of work we do as humanities educators Moreover, the surprising results has become more important than ever of recent elections in the tradias a way of providing a needed overtional liberal democracies – the arching perspective on current issues United Kingdom, the United as well as the rhetorical skills for makStates, France, and Germany – ing a difference in public debates. have made clear the high stakes of political discourse for detern order to address this pressing mining group identity and, with need, our department has it, existential questions for hudeveloped a new M.A. promanity as a whole. All these degram in European Thought velopments have demonstrated and Culture, whose goal is the limits of specialized, tech- to approach broad politinical knowledge and press us


cal, philosophical, and cultural questions using problem-based, interdisciplinary approaches to research and teaching. This new program, for which we are accepting applications for enrollment in fall 2018, 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. The rigorous and critical study of European thought and culture can provide a strong foundation for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in such fields as English, French, German, Spanish, European Studies, Philosophy, Critical Theory, and Comparative Literature. Alternatively, the training in the thought and culture of Europe can also benefit students interested in




e look forward to seeing you at our annual UCI German cash bar at the MLA convention in New York on January 6 at 7:15 PM in the Hilton.

, AM


inally, we would like to congratulate our recent alumni, Jaime Roots, who is beginning a new position at UC Santa Cruz, as well as Rebecca Schuman, whose book, Schadenfreude: A Love Story, appeared this past February through Flatiron Books.



e welcome two new graduate students this fall to the German Ph.D. program, Steven Nave from Colgate University and Carolin Mehnert from the University of Tübingen. We’re very excited to have them here and wish them a great first year in Irvine.



Our department has also had an eventful year in terms of our faculty. We welcomed Christophe Litwin and Peter Frei as two new assistant professors of French, as well as Catherine Malabou as a new professor of French and Comparative Literature. They will all be contributing to the new M.A. program, with Professor Malabou starting her appointment with a seminar on Hegel’s




he department celebrated Professor Gail Hart’s retirement with fanfare during a symposium in her honor in May 2017, entitled “Aesthetics and Violence: Cultural Continuities in the German Tradition.” Featured speakers included, in addition to Professor Hart herself, Peter Pfeiffer from Georgetown University, Gesa Dane and Irmela von der Lühe from the Free University in Berlin. It was a wonderful tribute to Professor Hart’s three-decade career at UCI, and we wish her safe and exciting travels in her retirement.




pursuing careers in international business, government service, or with non-profit organizations. You can find out more about the program at our European Languages and Studies website

Phenomenology of Spirit. We would like to wish Eve Morisi all the best in her new position at Oxford University, though we are of course very sorry to see her leave Irvine.


6 Jaurary

7:17 PM -8:30 PM, Murray Hill West (Hilton)

GERMAN DAY T hird S outhern C alifornia G erman D ay at UCI!


n February UCI German organized and hosted the third Southern California German Day for area high school students! Around 400 students from SoCal area schools participated in events such as a German scavenger hunt, spelling bee, trivia game and poetry slam and workshops on German rock and pop music, German regional cultures, German fairy tales, Fußball, studying abroad in Germany and Austria, and what it’s like to study German in college. For their support and participation we thank Kathrin Steinbrenner and Ines Beyer of the LA Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany; Vera Dindoyal



of the Bundeszentrale für das Auslandsschulwesen; Hanni Geist of the DAAD; Peter Zy-

kowski of the San Francisco Goethe Institut; UCI School of Humanities Dean Georges

Van Den Abbeele; the AATG Southern California Chapter; the UCI Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools; the UCI “The Hill” Bookstore; 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, and to Liz, Bindya, Suzanne and their student assistants for their amazing work with logistics, organizational details and creating materials for the teachers and students. It was fantastic to meet and get to know our SoCal German teachers and students. We’re already looking forward to the next German Day event in February 2018!


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y t l u c a s F w Anke Biendarra

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nke Biendarra is in Berlin for a third year, after her contract as Faculty Director for the University of California Education Abroad Programs in Northern Europe was unexpectedly extended. She oversees the academic programs in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway and works with students from all ten UC campuses, which has been an eye-opening experience in many different ways. Berlin continues to inspire, both in terms of Anke’s research on contemporary literature and the many cultural events, especially literary readings the city has to offer. Anke has

Kai Evers

continued work on her book project in transnational literature and configurations of European cultural identity. Several publications are forthcoming, among them a book chapter on overcoming European trauma in works by Ulrike Draesner, Poetikvorlesungen and feminist ethics in Terézia Mora and Juli Zeh, and literary anamneses of mental illness and cultural deterritorialization in Mora and Julya Rabinovich. Anke also presented her work at the MLA’s International Symposium in Düsseldorf, at the Deutscher Germanistentag in Bayreuth, and an invited lecture at the University of Hamburg.


ai Evers is the director of the German graduate program. Next year, he is going to teach courses on the continuities between Weimar and Nazi cinema, the changing ideas of ‘plannable’ futures in European modernity, and an introduction to German literature that focuses on writers who sought to either embody and represent or to subvert and oppose contemporary state and society. His current research focuses on “next war” scenarios in German and European thought and culture from the 1920s

to the 1960s. Of particular interest to him are at the moment literary works by authors like Franz Kafka and Arno Schmidt whose writings imagine a present whose imminent destruction appears as equally foreseeable and unimaginable, as evermore calculable but also at risk. Such readings are part and parcel (and appendix) to his current book project that develops a prospective reading of Weimar culture and society by analyzing the military, scientific, political, literary, and public next war discourses in interwar Germany.



Glenn Levine


lenn Levine is the German language program director, responsible for coordinating the lower-division 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 three edited volume chapters, including “Das komplexe System des Fremdsprachenunterrichts: Ein ökologischer Ansatz zur Fremdsprachendidaktik” in


Sprachen Lehren: Proceedings of the 26th Biennial Conference of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Fremdsprachenforschung, edited by Joachim Appel (Tübingen: Stauffenberg), “A View to Other Side of the University: Engineering Pedagogy and Its Implications for Teaching German for Science and Technology” in Deutsch als Fremdsprache für die MINT-Fächer, edited by Erwin Tschirner, Keith Cothrun, and Jupp Möhring (Tübingen: Stauffenberg), and “Implications of the AP World Languages Tenets for University Foreign Language Programs,” co-authored with Christina Frei, Heather Willis Allen, and Bridget Swanson, which appeared in The Interconnected Language Curriculum: Critical Transitions and Interfaces in Articulated K-16 Contexts, edited by Johanna Watzinger-Tharp and Per Urlaub (Boston: Cengage).


ast fall Professor Levine gave invited talks at the University of Leipzig, the University of Mannheim, and Harvard University. Together with UCI PhD student Kierstin Brehm he presented at the fall American Conference of Foreign Language Teachers (ACTFL)

convention in Boston, entitled, “Virtual Language Immersion through Massively Multiplayer Online Games,” which is based on a project Kierstin developed for our second-year German course. He presented new research at the spring meeting of the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) in Portland, Oregon, a collaborative project with Hiram Maxim of Emory University on third-language learning among and language pedagogy for international-student learners of German. In addition, he continues work on a monograph, co-authored with Alison Phipps of the University of Glasgow, entitled A Human Ecological Language Pedagogy, scheduled to appear in the monograph series of The Modern Language Journal in 2019.


n the winter and spring Professor Levine began a new research project in Berlin on the teaching of German to migrants in Germany, focusing in particular on refugees learning the language and acculturating in their new home. He is interested in aspects of language pedagogy, language use inside and outside the classroom, as well as what ‘integration’ means for both learners and teachers.



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erbert Lehnert and Eva Wessell submitted the manuscript of their biography “Thomas Mann” to Reaktion Books London. It is to be published in its series ‘Critical Lives’. Herbert is still working on “Thomas Manns Eintritt in die Literatur des Modernismus”.

John Smith


inally, Professor Levine continued his work 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 known for its Spracheid, which students and faculty follow in and outside the classroom. He taught the level 4 Sprachkurs and Literaturkurs for a phenomenal group of students. The topic this year was “Deplatziert sein: Flucht und Migration aus, nach und in Deutschland.”


ohn has received a fellowship from the National Humanities Center in the Research Triangle, North Carolina, to complete work on his book, “How Infinity Came to Be at Home in the World: Metaphors and Paradoxes of Mathematics in Modern German Thought, 1675-1830.” He will be in residence there from January through May, 2018. He has completed a number of essays: “Kant, Calculus, Consciousness: The Mathematical Infinite in Us.” Goethe Yearbook 23 (2016), 95-121; “Dialectics,” Entry for Encyclopedia of Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Publica-

tion date February 20, 2018; “Freedom through Bildung: Rhetoric, ‘Second Nature,’ and ‘Ethical Life’ in Hegel’s Political Theory.” In: Oxford Handbook in Rhetoric and Political Theory. Ed. Keith Topper. Oxford UP; “You Are What You Will: Kant, Schopenhauer, Facial Expression of Emotion, and Affective Computing.” German Life and Letters, October, 2017. He has also had fun and success teaching his large undergraduate lecture course, “Europe and the Foundations of Modernity,” which has just been offered online this past summer.




e made presentations on the crisis of liberalism and



e taught a new workshop course on Research and Methods for the German graduate program that helped students in working toward their next set of professional goals, and he developed an online version of “What is the Origin of Language?” that was taught in summer 2017.


n addition to chairing the European Languages and Studies 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.

Gail Hart

David Pan


n the past year, David Pan published an article on “Intentionality and Interpretation in Biology and the Humanties” in the volume, For a New Naturalism, as well as an article on “Cosmopolitanism, Tian Xia, and Walter Benjamin’s Task of the Translator” in Telos. He also published an online article, “Liberal Democracy and “Other” Democracies,” in Telosscope and a set of topical pieces in the Telos journal, including “The Joker Takes the White House, Crashes the End of History,” “Nationalism, Liberalism, and World Order,” and “Populism and the Humanities.”

Carl Schmitt’s idea of political representation at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, Renmin University in Beijing, the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and the Deutsches Haus at New York University. He also presented on Walter Benjamin’s Origin of the German Tragic Drama at the 2017 MLA Convention and on Kafka’s Metamorphosis at the German Studies Association conference in 2016.


ail Hart retired on July 1, 2017 and has been traveling. The travel included Iceland with trips to volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs, and other natural wonders. Gail will teach one class in Winter 2018, will give a paper on Kleist and Genesis at the 2017 GSA, is revising an article on historical bubble gum cards for publication, working on a special issue of Colloquia Germanica on sisters, and performing various professional tasks. This looks to be a nice balance of work and recreation thus far.


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German Grad Studetnts 14 GERMAN


ourth year graduate student, Kierstin H. Brehm, spent her break summering in Long Beach with Zurn, Rilke, Meyrink and the legendary Norman Bean, her senior pug. Brehm is currently preparing for her exams and her areas of interest are humor, dystopias, Freud, and Krimis emboldened with a smattering of film, feminism and digital humanities. Winter quarter Brehm had the pleasure of presenting on German music (pop, rock and hits) to local high school students at the third SoCal German Day at UCI. Over spring break she attended the German Perspectives Graduate Conference: Aesthetics of Surveillance at Vanderbilt University and presented her paper, “The Virtual Real: Figuring Digital Spaces through Forensic Architecture.” This fall she plans to attend the German Studies Conference: Marx, Nietzsche--Freud, And? at California State University Long Beach (CSULB). Her presentation is entitled, “Giving Freud the Slip: Rewriting Freud in Contemporary Fiction.” Brehm completed the Course Design Certificate from the Center for Engaged Instruction at UCI and completed the second phase of her research project in second language acquisition, Project V-LIFe: Virtual Language Immersion in Foreign Language Courses through Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming Communities. She is the on-campus advisor for the newly revived German Club at UCI and she was awarded the German TA Achievement Award from the German Department. “Frau Brehm” is thrilled to be teaching her third year this fall.


avid Lamme received his BA in Anthropology and German from Southeast Missouri State University. During his studies, he participated in a year-long exchange program at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena studying Deutsch als Fremdsprache, German literature, and applied linguistics. He completed his MA at New York University in the Humanities and Social Thought in 2011. Specializing in critical theory and its connections to and media/film studies, much of his graduate work thus far has sought to put 19th and 20th century continental philosophy in conversation with contemporary life. His Master’s Thesis, “The Graven Image: Truth, Self, and Identity in Max Frisch’s I’m Not Stiller” examined Frisch’s protagonist as a model of identity in the modern, electronic age. His dissertation “Mind the Gap!” focuses on reading the films of Werner Herzog with and against Deleuzian film theory, chiefly through the concept of rhythm.


atthew Cooper received a certificate of completion from his Immersion in Modern Greek Course and contributed a text to an art show dealing with tragedy in Athens, Greece. He spent two months studying for exams in the Austrian Alps and finished a draft prospectus there for his dissertation tentatively titled “‘I should like to give our physics...wings again’: The Aesthetic Roots of Schelling’s Philosophy”




arolin Mehnert received her MA degree in “Literatur und Kulturtheorie” at the Eberhard-Karls University of Tuebingen. This past year she worked on the exploration fund “Körper im Visier/Body in Sight”. Her research interests mainly focus on theories of race, space and culture. For her research on racism in India Carolin went to the Universities of Mumbay, Delhi and Pune.

Her current publications are: “Rassismus in gegenwärtiger (populär-) wissenschaftlicher Theorie – Samuel Huntingtons rassistischer Kampf der Kultur” (2016), which focuses on implicit structures of racism without race in the argumentation of Huntington’s culturalism; as well as “Das Höcke-Patzelt-Debakel. Oder: Die Wiederkehr des Bio-Rassismus” (2016), which analyses the racist manner of the “Afrikaner-Rede” of AFD politician Björn Höcke in 2015, in relation to the even shockingly more racist survey of this speech by political scientist Werner Patzelt.


ao Pei As is second year German graduate student. Yao is interested in 20th Centuery German literature and how it influences modern society. Coming from an Asian background, her research also focuses on cultural comparisons between cultural connections. Her other field of interest is second language acquisition.



teven Nave recently graduated from Colgate University and spent his summer in an intensive German language program at Middlebury College. His academic interests are centered on international and interdisciplinary connections, especially between Germany and East Asia. He wrote most recently on Eislauf poetry and the development of Buddhology in 19th century Germany. He is excited to work with his fellow graduate students on developing new ways for undergraduate students to get involved with German Studies.


acob Schaubs has spent his first year at UCI expanding his knowledge of German literature in preparation for his MA work (of which he is hoping to rekindle and redirect the conversation around Hochhuth’s der Stellvertreter) and has spent the summer in Germany deepening his knowledge of the language in preparation for his teaching assistantship. For this trip, he received support through ELS and the Mellon Foundation, for which he is thankful and because of which he is not yet entirely destitute. He hopes to spend this next year redirecting every conversation into orbit around his favorite themes, guilt and duty.Â




uxu Song completed her first-year study in German Studies at UC Irvine and is preparing for her M.A. Exam this upcoming quarter. In the past year, she has developed an interest in Early German Romanticism after taking Professor John Smith’s seminar on this period and is writing her master’s essay on this topic. Specifically, her research looks at the early romantic notion of “Sympoesie” and how it is a radical aesthetic practice that is realized in the major early romantic journal Das Athenäum. In general, Xuxu has developed enthusiasm in the general eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German literature and aesthetics.

Xuxu also spent a month over summer reading and taking the “2017 Fortbildungskurs” for Germanistik students and teachers at University of Heidelberg, Germany, in order to be better prepared for her upcoming TA work as well as her study and research. In addition, Xuxu’s abstract was selected for the “Mediating the Modern Conference” and she is going to present her paper at University of Michigan this fall.






harles Hammond was promoted to full professor at the University of Tennessee at Martin.



MARISOL A wa r d W i n n e r To Apply Visit: 20 GERMAN


aolinh Nguyen is a fourth year B.A. student majoring in History with a minor in Linguistics. She is currently participating in a year-long University of California Education Abroad program for the 2017-2018 academic year at Humboldt-Universität Berlin, for which she received UCI’s Mirasol Travel Award. For the entirety of the program, Baolinh will be enrolled in courses taught entirely in German in a wide breadth of subjects. Prior to the beginning of classes, she has been exploring Berlin and all that the historic city has to offer.


aolinh’s academic interests revolve chiefly around linguistics and learning new languages. During her time abroad, she intends to pursue learning Italian and Spanish as well as practicing and improving her French and German, a goal made vastly easier by Berlin’s status as a multicultural hub for people from countries around the world.



Faculty News, 8

Special Thanks to:

Biendarra, Anke, 8

David T. Pan

Everes, Kai, 9

Suzanne Bolding

Hart, Gail, 12

Bindya Baliga

Levine, Glenn, 10

Pan, David, 12

Publication and Illustrations

Smith, John, 11

Created by Megan Schleh

Lehnert, Herbert, 11

German Alumni, 19

Hammond, Charles, 19

German Day, 6 German Grad Students, 14

Brehm, Kierstin, 14

Cooper, Matthew, 15

Lamme, David, 15

Mehnert, Carolin, 16

Nave, Steven, 17

Pei, Yao, 16

Schaubs, Jacob, 17

Song, Xuxu, 18

Marisol Award Winner, 20 Message from the Chair, 4

Cash bar, 5