German PROGRAM PROGRAM
From the Chair Professor David T. Pan German at UCI is building new programs to extend the scope of our activities. For undergraduates, we are launching a new German for Professions course that will develop communications skills for business and government contexts. It will provide students with an alternative perspective on German culture as well as skills that they can use in a work environment. This course will be especially helpful for students in the new double major programs we are establishing with the departments of Economics, Engineering, International Studies, and Political Science, as well as the Paul Merage School of Business. Students participating will work toward a double major in German and another discipline, with a year in Germany that includes both university study Fall 2016
and an internship experience. Our initial group of Engineering students started last year, and we will begin recruiting students in the Social Science majors this year. We are also bringing this German studies approach to our graduate programs in our planned M.A. in European Thought and Culture. This program will be a standalone degree, or will allow our majors to receive an M.A. by adding a fifth year to their studies, in which they develop a broader knowledge of European culture. While these students will become better prepared to enter Ph.D. programs, they will also develop knowledge and expertise for careers with government agencies, such as the State Department or the Department of Defense, which look for foreign language, analysis, and communication skills.
school German programs, holding our 2nd Annual German Day event for local high school German students this past February. I would like to thank all the members of our department for making the event such a great success, with over 500 students attending from area schools.
In our Ph.D. program we welcome this fall the first cohort of students in our new 5 + 2 fellowship program: Yao Pei, Jacob Schaubs, and Xuxu Song. This program, funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, provid es students who finish their Ph.D. in 5 years with a two-year post-doctoral teaching fellowship in UCI’s Humanities Core Course, giving them 2 years after the Ph.D. to navigate the job market. The students will also receive additional summer and fellowship support to give them the extra free time to finish their degree in 5 years.
We congratulate Mohammad Rafi and Jaime Roots, who both finished their Ph.D.s this past year. Dr. Rafi’s dissertation, From Kulturarbeit to Gharbzadegi: A Genealogy of German Ideological Interaction with Iranian Nationalism, explores the connections between early twentieth-century German cultural and political aspirations and the ideals that drove the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Dr. Roots’s dissertation, (Re)Constructions of German Culture : How Folktales (Re)Create the Past through Oral Storytelling, Text and Fan Fiction, compares the production and distribution of fairy tales and fan fiction to show how the internet has returned us to many of the practices and processes of oral culture. We also congratulate less recent alumni: Jonathan Fine, who begins this fall as Visiting Assistant Professor of German at Pacific Lutheran University, Charles Hammond, who published an article this year on Kafka’s “Judgment,” and Rebecca Schuman, whose new book, Schadenfreude, A Love Story, will surely make a big splash when it appears in February.
Finally, we have also been supporting high
Research by our faculty spans a range of
topics, including Anke Biendarra's analysis of the "European imaginary," Kai Ever's development of the concept of the “past future," Gail Hart’s work on bubble gum cards with scenes from the Sino-Japanese War, Glenn Levine’s research into language pedagogy for science and technology students, and John Smith’s project on the development of the idea of infinity. We congratulate Jane Newman Cash Bar Arranged by the German Graduate Program at the University of California, Irvine 7:00pm to 8:15pm
on receiving the MLA Scaglione Prize for the Translation of a Scholarly Study for her Time, History, and Literature: Selected Essays of Erich Auerbach. Finally, Ruth Kluger adds to her long list of international recognition a presentation before the German Bundestag on January 27 of this year, in which she spoke in remembrance of the victims of National Socialism. The full text of her remarks is available at the website of the German Bundestag (https://www.bundestag.de/dokumente/te xtarchiv/2016/kw04-gedenkstunde-redeklueger/403436). We also include here a text that she has written on the Statue of Liberty.
Saturday, January 7, 2017 Philadelphia Marriott We will be meeting at the Franklin 2 room!
David T. Pan Chair European Languages & Studies
Spotlight on Faculty Research
John Smith How Infinity Came to Be at Home in the World: Metaphors and Paradoxes of Mathematics in German Thought and Literature, 1675-1830 In 1600, after propagating a radical view of an infinite universe with an infinite number of worlds, Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Rome. In stark contrast, by the early nineteenth century, Georg Friedrich Hegel developed his influential dialectical philosophy that conceived of the infinite as a fundamental feature within the finite world. How Infinity Came to Be at Home in the World tells the story of what happened within German thought to make this remarkable transition possible—a transition that saw infinity go from a dangerous anomaly to a “normalized” force embraced by mathematics, theology, philosophy, and poetry. In looking back to a history of productive interdisciplinary cross-fertilization, this study strives Page 3
to bridge the so-called divide between the “two cultures” of the natural sciences and humanities. I am completing research on a book-length project, the first to examine the way fundamental mathematical concepts related to calculus—infinity, continuity, differentials, limits, and the infinitesimal—not only found their way into different humanistic disciplines but were also in turn transformed by them. Calculus, discovered by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz at the end of the seventeenth century, employs different forms of infinity—socalled infinitesimals, infinite series, and infinite sums—in order to study such phenomena as rates of change and irregular areas. Its applicability for physics was extremely broad and made it possible to perform calculations on a dynamic and flowing nature. But concepts of calculus were not confined to the realm of mathematics. In fact, they were used to think through and represent such issues as creation, becoming, and the relationships between mind and matter, freedom and nature, God and world. Because of the way the infinitely large and the infinitesimally small infiltrated into different modes of cultural representation, these concepts lost their sense of being anomalous threats and instead transformed the view of nature and the divine. Mathematical and humanistic discourses thereby exerted mutual influences on each other. In employing the terms “anomaly” and “normalization” to characterize the changing role of infinity over the long eighteenth century, I am appealing to Thomas Kuhn’s famous theory of the ‘structure of scientific revolutions.’ It is tempting to view the transposition of the characteristic of infinity from the transcendent realm of God to the concrete realm of humanly grasped nature as a process of secularization, a turn from religious to nonreligious values and institutions. However, Hans Blumenberg (1920-1996), in his 1966 study, The Legitimacy of the Modern Age (Die Legitimität der Neuzeit), provided an important alternative to the “secularization thesis.” Especially in terms of the transformation of the concept of infinity, he argued in Chapter 7 (“The Supposed Migration of the Attribute of Infinity”) that such master terms in fact underwent a “reoccupation” (Umbesetzung), whereby a notion of scientific progress came to redefine a notion of the divinely infinite that had become a problem. Over some one hundred and fifty years the shock of the infinite, which was masterable at first by only a limited number of intellectuals, came to be dramatically experienced as a fact of the finite world. According to Kuhn’s view of science, phenomena that are anomalies to one theory can only become part of a new “normal science” for further inquiry once a wider community has been persuaded, often with non-scientific means, to shift paradigms. I argue that philosophical, theological, and literary writing from 1675-1830 is doing much of the work of shifting the paradigm that makes the presence of the infinite within the finite accessible and “normalized,” an experience at once overwhelming and manageable, indeed full of sublime
pleasure. At this crucial stage of the German literary and philosophical tradition thinkers turned to the ideas associated with calculus to address fundamental problems and paradoxes. If calculus can explain what it means for a curve to be changing direction at a single point, or, as it might be represented, the direction of a line tangent to (touching) that curve at one point, then perhaps other relationships could also be conceived of in a similar manner: Free will and causality, entities in the act of becoming, God and world, could be conceived like mathematical differentials, infinitely close to each other even as their difference never becomes zero. Such a representation has great explanatory power because it enables us to visualize possible solutions to abstract paradoxes. And yet, here we encounter a further paradox: While calculus and mathematical representations allow philosophers at times to grasp intuitively and demonstrate the reality of such relationships, nonetheless ideas about infinity challenge visualization. References to the infinitely large and infinitesimally small could serve as vivid “metaphors” to paradoxically grasp unrepresentable philosophical issues. I use the word “metaphor” not in the sense of “mere” figural adornment but the way Aristotle understood it in his poetics and rhetoric when he argued that “through metaphor we gain knowledge.” Although these problems had a venerable history, they gained urgency in the modern German tradition once Leibniz introduced the “ideal concepts” of infinitesimals in order to grasp mathematically a radical view of reality as a continuum of infinite entities. Kant in the late eighteenth century further developed a revolutionizing new approach to both dogmatic metaphysics and empiricism, an approach that, beginning in the 1790s, led to reevaluations by German Idealists and early German Romantics that continue to influence thought to our own time. Central to these reevaluations was the idea of infinity.
Kai Evers Futures of the Past: Or How to Approach Weimar Culture and Politics Differently My current research seeks to work out a general concept of “prospective literature.” In difference to science fiction as well as utopian or dystopian literature, prospective literature Page 5
does not imagine a far future or envision in realist detail the political, technological, or cultural conditions of yet unrealized societies. Instead, prospective literature responds to contemporary fears, anticipates consequences of already emerging risks, and explores the challenges such fears and threats pose to contemporary attempts at risk analysis. Prospective literature outlines how an emerging threat scenario challenges our ability to make sense of and to orient ourselves in the presence of new and emerging risks. Readings of prospective literature do not seek to identify in hindsight literary passages that seem to have prophesized events that actually occurred after the literary texts have been written and published. Readings of prospective literature are more interested in understanding how the uncertainty and the perceived dangers of emerging risks have been explored no matter whether the anticipated threats and catastrophes actually occurred. Its main interest is to investigate how literary works introduce new ways to imagine and represent an open and uncertain future. One could apply this research to popular TV shows from “24”and the fear of a looming terrorist attack to “Mr. Robot” and the power and influence of global corporations and the new risks of cyber surveillance. But my research project moves deeper into the German past. Starting from the interest in a prospective literature, this research project develops a new understanding of the Weimar Republic, one of the most culturally vibrant but politically and economically dangerous moments in German history. Generally speaking, the early years of Weimar culture and politics have been portrayed as never quite escaping the shadow of the First World War while its later years are primarily analyzed to better understand what led to the Nazi movement’s rise to power, the Second World War, and the Holocaust. As necessary and productive as this research focus on the events before and after the Weimar Republic has been, such an approach to the past risks neglecting an entire dimension of Weimar society. My prospective reading intends to add to our understanding of Weimar culture the dimension of its “past future.” What does “past future” mean? Rather than looking first and foremost at the 1920s and 1930s through the prism of historical hindsight, such research asks how writers and artists, politicians and scientists, civil and military society anticipated their own future. What did they hope, fear, and prepare for? How did these different visions of the future impact Weimar society itself? To yield new insights, prospective readings have to consider the future that will become historical reality as well as the wider array of potential
futures that social groups and movements, the mass media as well as writers, artists, and intellectuals anticipated, debated, and prepared for. Of particular interest to me is the most widely anticipated “next war” scenario of the 1920s: quick and decisive victory through surprise aero-chemicals attacks against the enemy’s civilian population. Military strategists and chemical engineers, politicians, intellectuals, as well as the public at large prepared themselves for the seemingly probable scenario that an undeclared aerial attack, coming literally and figuratively out of the blue, could occur at any moment against any European city. Foreign national airplanes, people feared, would release a poison gas that might remain imperceptible until its levels of saturation turn lethal. The attack would kill and maim tens of thousands of civilians, spread panic, and turn the attacked state into chaos. In other words, my current project aims to provide a prospective reading of Weimar culture and society by analyzing the military, scientific, political, literary, and public next war discourses in Germany of the 1920s and 1930s.
David T. Pan Representation and Reason in the Work of Heinrich von Kleist This project will investigate the ways in which aesthetic representations provide the framework for rational decision-making within Kleist’s narratives. In “Saint Cecilia,” Protestant iconoclasts, about to destroy a nunnery, suddenly desist from their undertaking when their leaders hear a mass being sung by the nuns and are transformed into devout Catholics. In Prince Friedrich of Homburg, a commander has dreams of glory that so obsess him that he no longer carries out the orders assigned to him for the subsequent battle. In Penthesilea, the title figure, queen of the Amazons, seeks to win Achilles as her lover in battle, but in the moment of victory, she brutally murders and then mutilates him. As bewildering culminations of narrative trajectories, these Kleistian stories function like mysteries in reverse, inciting the reader to go back through the story in order to reconstruct the chain of events that might lead to such an unexpected and irrational turn. The brilliance of Kleist’s work lies in its ability to provide us with an intuition that the seemingly senseless denouements in fact follow a predictable logic. Yet, this logic is not a philosophical one. Kleist’s works demonstrate the triumph of a representational dynamic over rational processes in the structure of human events. Moreover, his stagings of the power of images and representations do not merely serve as warnings against the dangers of irrationalism. Rather, they undermine the very concept of an Enlightenment rationality that would seek to replace superstition with rational Page 7
method and myth with reason. As opposed to linking his work to an Enlightenment project or to seeing in it the expression of an anti-Enlightenment irrationalism, this project will argue that Kleist’s achievement is to have demonstrated the way in which the methods of reason themselves only function according to a representational logic, a logic that Kleist illuminates in his storytelling.
Second Southern California German Day at UCI! In February 2016, UCI German organized and hosted the second southern California German Day for area high school students! Over 500 students from eleven SoCal 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, studying abroad in Germany and Austria, and what it’s like to study German in college. Thanks as well to Southern California chapter of the AATG, the German Information Center, and the Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen. 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, and we’re already looking forward to the next German Day event in early 2017! Page 8
Faculty News Anke Biendarra
continues to be in Berlin where she serves as the Faculty Director for the University of California Education Abroad Programs in Northern Europe for 2015-17. In this capacity she oversees the academic programs in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. Being based in Berlin and the literary center of Germany has been greatly benefiting research for her book project with the working title The European Imaginary in Contemporary German-Language Literature. The study focuses on contemporary prose texts of both ethnic German and
transnational language writers and their configurations of European cultural identity and citizenship. A book chapter on overcoming European trauma in works by Ulrike Draesner and an article on the European memories of the 1990s Balkan Wars are forthcoming in 2017. Anke also presented her work at the GSA in Washington, D.C and gave invited lectures at the University of Münster and Oxford University.
is the director of the German graduate program & the director of the European Studies program. He teaches classes on European culture and history, German modernism, & Weimar cinema among other topics. His research develops a new prospective account of Weimar culture & politics that challenges teleological accounts of German cultural history. Together with Arnd Bauerkämper (FU Berlin), Frank Biess (UCSD), and Anne Schenderlein (GHI), he is convener of German Past Futures in the 20th Century, a conference at the German Historical Institute Washington, February 23-25, 2017.
Gail K. Hart
is on sabbatical this Fall, while editing a special issue of Colloquia Germanica on sisters & sisterhood. She is also completing an essay on popular culture in the US, focusing on 1938 bubble gum cards & the US reaction to the second Sino-Japanese War & developing an article on Fat Studies & Schiller’s “Anmut und Würde.” She will retire at the end of Winter Quarter 2017, but will teach a graduate course in Spring as an emerita. After that, she will hike, travel, teach occasionally, frequent concerts & plays, & write on German & other topics.
is the German language program director, responsible for coordinating the lower-division curriculum & working with the teaching assistants and lecturers teaching 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. Forthcoming publications include “Das komplexe System des Fremdsprachenunterrichts: Ein ökologischer Ansatz zur Fremdsprachendidaktik” to appear in the Zeitschrift für Fremdsprachenforschung, “A View to Other Side of the University: Engineering Pedagogy and Its Implications for Teaching German for Science and Technology” to appear in the volume, Deutsch als Fremdsprache in für MINT-Fächer, edited by In 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, to appear in the volume, The Interconnected Language Curriculum: Critical Transitions and Interfaces in Articulated K-16 Contexts, edited by Johanna Watzinger-Tharp and Per Urlaub (Boston: Cengage). In teaching, the highlights of the year included the School-of-Humanities-wide graduate language teaching methods seminar as well as a graduate-level introduction to secondlanguage acquisition. This summer, Professor Levine also had the honor and pleasure of teaching again at the Middlebury College German Summer 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 Flucht und Migration aus, nach und innerhalb von Deutschland.
David T. Pan
In the past year David Pan edited & introduced an English translation of Ernst Jünger’s Sturm, which appeared at the end of 2015 with Telos Press. He published an online essay entitled “Europe after Brexit” in Telosscope & presented the Barber Lecture at the University of Minnesota, Morris, in November 2015 on “Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister and Political Representation.” He also presented the following lectures: “Origin of Language and the Incest Taboo in Herder and Rousseau” at the 2015 German Studies Association Annual meeting and at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; “Against an Academic Boycott of
Israel” and “The Constitution as Composition: Carl Schmitt and Walter Benjamin on the Representational Nature of Political Order” at the 2016 MLA Annual Convention in Austin; “The Ethical Life of the State: Sovereignty as the Apotheosis of Self-Consciousness in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” at the 2016 Telos Institute Annual Conference; “Sacrifice and Sovereignty: Europe’s Long War” at a symposium on sacrifice at the Humboldt University in Berlin in June 2016; and “Naturalizing the Capitalist Subject: The European Denial of the Political in Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister” at the MLA in Europe conference in Düsseldorf. He continues as Chair of the Department of European Languages and Studies, as book review editor at Telos, and serves as the Executive Director of the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute. He also began in January 2016 as a member of the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association. He taught a graduate seminar on “Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Nineteenth-Century German Literature” last year and will teach a graduate course in spring 2017 on research methods, with a thematic focus on early twentieth-century German literature.
has had another busy year. Most activities were organized around issues in the late 18th and early 19th century. He attended a conference organized by Charlotte Lee (Murray Edwards College, Cambridge) on “Embodied Cognition in the Goethezeit.” His paper on Kant, Schopenhauer, and the new sciences of reading emotions on human faces (like affective computing) will appear in German Life and Letters. Together with Charlotte, he organized two panels at the MLA in Austin, TX, and delivered a paper in a third. At the GSA in
Washington, DC, he co-organized (with Fred Amrine and Astria Tantillo) a thrilling (really!) seminar on “Nature, Art, and Science in the Age of Goethe and Beyond.” He was fortunate to be able to spend five months visiting at the National Humanities Center, where he completed work on four book chapters exploring the metaphors and paradoxes of the infinite in German literature and thought from 1675 to 1830. He plans on finishing his monograph on that topic (How the Infinite Came to Be at Home in the World) this coming year.
Emeritus Professor Ruth Kluger Emma Lazarus, "Der neue Koloss" FLÜCHTLINGSPOLITIK Diese Verse stehen am Sockel der Freiheitsstatue im Hafen von New York. Sie ist so groß -- etwa 33 Meter -- wie die Statue des Sonnengotts Helios, die im Altertum den Hafen von Rhodos beherrschte und auf die sich die ersten beiden Zeilen des Gedichts beziehen. Ihr Bildhauer was Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, und sie kam als Geschenk Frankreichs nach Amerika, wo sie im Oktober 1886 eingeweiht wurde, nach komplizierten und teuren Vorbereitungen. Nachdem sie nämlich in Stücken nach New York verfrachtet worden war, musste sie erst wieder zusammengebaut und aufgestellt werden. Man sammelte Geld für ein Pedestal und beauftragte die junge Lyrikerin Emma Lazarus ein Gedicht beizutragen, das bei der Werbung helfen könnte. Sie war eine begabte, wenn auch konventionelle Dichterin und war angeblich zuerst wenig angetan von dem Gedanken, eine Statue zu besingen. Sie konnte nicht wissen, dass ein paar Verse aus einem einzigen Sonnett sie unsterblich machen würden. Das Gedicht beginnt mit dem Hinweis auf die antike Parallelfigur und hält dem kriegerisch triumphierenden Riesen eine einladende Gestalt entgegen, die leuchtturmartig zwei Städte, Brooklyn und New York, verbindet und alle Emigranten in der eleganten Sprache der Gebildeten willkommen heißt. In der zweiten Hälfte des Sonnets erfolgt ein Durchbruch: Die umständliche Symbolik des Anfangs macht einen Sprung in ein intensiv wahrgenommenes, realistisches Bild von Flüchtlingselend und Flüchtlingshoffnung. Diese Verse haben es in sich, mit ihrem hautnahen pessimistischen Vokabular, das von materiellem Elend und geistiger Verzweiflung ungeschminkt spricht und vor den stärksten Ausdrücken, wie "Abschaum eurer übervölkerten Küsten" ("the wretched refuse of your teeming shore") nicht zurückscheut. Die gehäufte Beschreibung von äußerster Verwahrlosung mischt sich mit dem Jubelton und der Zuversicht des Willkommens, die die Statue, von der Dichterin kühn umgetauft in "Mutter der Exilanten", ausstrahlt. Ihr ist niemand zu schmutzig, zu heruntergekommen. Emma Lazarus stammte aus einer wohlhabenden, lang eingesessenen jüdischen Familie in New York, war hochgebildet und belesen, konnte übrigens gut deutsch und hat mehrere Gedichte von Heinrich Heine ins Englische übersetzt. Sie war tätig in der Flüchtlingshilfe, und
setzte sich besonders für den Strom jüdischer Emigranten ein, die in den frühen 1880er Jahren aus osteuropäischen Ländern in Amerika einwanderten und durch die sie erfuhr, wie die Armen leben. Heute kennen nur wenige den Namen der Dichterin, und der Anfang des Gedichts ist kaum einprägsam. Doch die sechs letzten Verse sind in Amerika zurecht berühmt und werden oft zitiert, manchmal mit Begeisterung, dann wieder ironisch, oder zumindest kritisch, denn sie sind ja keine private Glosse, sondern Inschrift auf einem öffentlichen Denkmal. Die Geschichte der Vereinigten Staaten hat, wie die anderer westlichen Länder, eine Welle von Fremdenfeindlichkeit nach der anderen zu verzeichnen, und gerade die im Gedicht angeführten Neuankömmlinge sind solche, die man am wenigsten hereinlassen möchte. Und gleichzeitig hat Amerika eben auch eine Welle von Flüchtlingen nach der anderen aufgenommen, die in New York, und nachher oft innerhalb des Landes, Fuss fassen konnten. Das Gedicht drückt beides aus, die Not und die Rettung. In Franz Kafkas erstem Romans "Amerika" (oder "Der Verschollene") sieht der junge Einwanderer Karl Rossmann im New Yorker Hafen eine Statue, die statt einer Fackel ein Schwert hält. Fehler oder Absicht des Autors? Wohl das letztere, aber gerade in diesem Kontrast wird deutlich, warum das Gedicht heutzutage womöglich noch aktueller ist als vor 130 Jahren. Es stellt in unserer, von Flüchtlingen überschwemmten Welt alle wohlhabenden Länder vor die Wahl: Geballte Faust oder ausgestreckte Hand, Schwert oder Fackel?
The New Colossus
Der neue Koloss
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Nicht wie der Griechen eherner Koloss die Feinde mit der Waffe unterdrückt: An unser meerumspültes Tor gerückt steht eine mächt'ge Frau,die Mutter der Migranten, den Blitz als Fackel in der starken Hand, ein Leuchtturm, der zwei Städte überbrückt. Sie ruft: "Behaltet den berühmten Tand und euren Pomp an euren alten Küsten. Schickt mir stattdessen eure Mittellosen, die Heimatlosen,hoffnungslos Zerlumpten, vom Sturm Gebeutelten, die Abgestumpften, die Müden, die trotzdem nach Freiheit dürsten. Den Abschaum schickt vom übervollen Strand. Am Goldnen Tor erheb ich meine Hand." (aus dem Amerikanischen von Ruth Klüger)
German Graduate Students Kierstin H. Brehm Second year graduate student, Kierstin H. Brehm, recently received her M.A. degree in German Studies from UC Irvine; her essay focuses on an ecological reading of German drama in the long 18th century. In addition to traditional literary pursuits, Brehm studies the use of video games in second language acquisition. Specifically, her research looks at the use of established computer games like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy and their online communities as opportunities for virtual language immersion in foreign languagE (V-LIFe). She was awarded a Multidisciplinary Design Program (MDP) grant for "Project V-LIFe" and preliminary findings will be presented this fall at two national conferences: AATG/ACTFL (copresented w/ Dr. Glenn S. Levine) and at the Digital Media and Learning Conference (DML, co-presented w/ Mindy Tauberg and Matt Cooper). Brehm was awarded the Elvira Schumacher Memorial Fellowship (2016) from the School of Humanities and was selected by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) to participate in the professional development course STEM / MINT – Fortbildungskurs mit Schwerpunkt Forschung und Lehre, sponsored by AATG and the Transatlantik-Programm der Bundesrepublik Deutschland and facilitated by the Herder Institute at the University Leipzig. She serves as an Assistant Book Review Editor for Telos Press and Brehm and fellow German graduate students are responsible for reviving “Kino Abend,” a fall film series at UCI. Her college radio program, "The German Radio Broadcast" is currently in its fourth year on-air at KUCI 88.9FM. “Frau Brehm” is thrilled to have had the privilege to teach her first series of undergraduate German language courses to the extraordinary students at UCI and is looking forward to teaching a second series in the fall.
Matthew Cooper Matt received his MA, with a thesis entitled “Straw as Sound and Figure in Kleist’s ‘Das Bettelweib von Locarno’” and also received the German TA of the year award. He was granted the Elvira Schumacher Endowed Memorial Scholarship as well as a summer language fellowship to continue working on German during a second summer at Middlebury College. He also spent a Page 14
month over summer working on German as well as reading and writing in Berlin. He was involved with helping the undergraduate students in the classroom for Kierstin Brehm’s WoW project and will be helping present it with her at the DML2016 Tech Showcase on campus in early October. Here is a picture of him and a classmate setting up a class exhibition in the Middlebury library titled "Als ich weg musste: 100 Jahre Flüchtlingsgeschichten Deutschlands"
David Lamme David 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 FriedrichSchiller-Universität Jena. After graduating, he participated in several anthropological studies, chiefly in Central America, and returned to Germany for nearly two years before deciding to move on to grad school. He received his MA at New York University in the Humanities and Social Thought in 2011. Specializing in German philosophy and its connections to modern cultural theory and media studies, much of his graduate work thus far has sought to put 19th and 20th century continental philosophy in conversation with contemporary, everyday 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 current research continues to delve into these issues and, of late, into German cinema. His dissertation involves critiquing and developing Henri Lefebvre's work on Rhythmanalysis, hoping to show how it might broaden our understanding post-war German film and keep our use of theory both critical and vital.
Yao Pei Yao Pei’s scholarly interests include folk tales, political theory, the interpretation of aesthetic experiences, 18th century GermanChinese cultural comparison, and adult second-language learning and teaching.
Jacob Schaubs Having closely examined the efficacy of Titus Hoffmann's German translation of the 2012 Broadway musical Next to Normal, he is interested in storytelling in translation and the possible permutations in understanding and meaning wrought by the inability of any one language to map itself onto another perfectly. He is particularly drawn to examining how the theatre works to shape the world and how various languages and cultures understand it.
Xuxu Song Xuxu Song is interested in the history of the First and Second World Wars and her research interests mainly focuses on German anti-war literature during and after the wars including “die Trümmerliteratur” (“ the rubble literature”) in the 20th century, and the German people’s reflections and introspections on the war. Her bachelor’s thesis, which was entitled “Analyse des Antikriegsthemas Remarques Romans Im Westen nichts Neues,” explored anti-war themes and thoughts in this novel. Given her background in Public Administration, she is also interested in exploring political and economic development in modern German society after WWII. Secondary interests include the German linguistics and international cultural exchange.
German Program Alumni Jonathan Fine Jonathan Fine concluded his term as a Volkswagen Stiftung and Mellon Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin by organizing an international and interdisciplinary workshop on the topic “Nefarious Heathens: The Threat of Irreligion in the German Enlightenment.” In Fall 2016, he will join the faculty of Pacific Lutheran University as a Visiting Assistant Professor of German.
Charles Hammond His article, "Not a Room, but a Womb: The Birth Metaphors of Kafka's ‘Das Urteil’" was published this past year in the Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift.
Jaime Roots Jaime Roots recently completed and defended her dissertation entitled “(Re)Constructions of German Culture: How Folktales (Re)Create the Past through Oral Storytelling, Text, and Fan Fiction,” which focuses on questions of authenticity, collective memory, and constructed cultural narratives from the nineteenth century to the present. In October and November she presented the following papers: “’Märchen mal anders’: The Importance of Blood-Relation in the Sister Relationship” (GSA), “(Re)Constructing the Past: How the Stories We Tell Change the World” (RMMLA), and “Orality and the Middle Ages: Teaching the Nibelungenlied in the Intermediate-level German Classroom” (ACTFL). In February she led a workshop for area high school students at UCI’s second annual German Day. In March she was invited to deliver the presentation “Autorität und Page 17
Authentizität: Frauen als Märchensammlerinnen am Beispiel von Laura Gonzenbach” at the Freie Universität Berlin and has a chapter of the same title in the forthcoming book Hörendes Lesen und Sehen von Märchen: Kommunikationsebenen zwischen Mündlichkeit und Schriftlichkeit. In June she received an award for excellence in undergraduate teaching for serving as a Pedagogical Fellow in UCI’s Center for Engaged Instruction. She also has a forthcoming publication in Colloquia Germanica entitled “’Märchen mal anders’: Blood and Family in Fan Fiction Versions of Classic Folktales.”
Rebecca Schuman After taking some time off to welcome and accommodate a miniature sentient Will to Power, a.k.a. my daughter Halina Zofia, I am back working as a freelance writer and author. I maintain a regular column at Slate and the Chronicle of Higher Education, and am eagerly awaiting the February 7, 2017 publication of my first book of commercial nonfiction, Schadenfreude, A Love Story: Me, the Germans, and Twenty Years of Attempted Transformations, Awkward Miscommunications, and Humiliating Situations That Only They Have Words For. It is a comic memoir about one young woman's journey from angstridden Kafka-obsessed high schooler to German PhD. I hope to visit some German departments to discuss “crossover” writing during my publicity tour—which, given that the miniature sentient Will to Power gets to come along, should mean a memorable time for all.
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