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Endings and Beginnings In this issue, we celebrate our undergraduate students, who have persisted in learning during a very unusual year. We're especially proud of our graduating German majors! For this issue, we've also interviewed some of our German 101 students, who've just started their language-learning journey, on their experiences in the program. Download Duke German Newsletter Spring 2021 (pdf - 8.25 MB) read more about Duke German Spring Newsletter »

With best wishes from the German Studies Department at Duke and the Duke in Berlin Program Corinne Crane, Ph.D. Associate Professor of the Practice of German Kristen Dolan, Ph.D. Instructor of German Stefani Engelstein, Ph.D. Professor of German and Department Chair Susanne Freytag, M.A. Lecturing Fellow in German and Director, Duke in Berlin Summer Program Kata Gellen, Ph.D. Associate… read more about Congratulations to the Extraordinary Class of 2021 »

As part of its event series tgiFHI, the Franklin Humanities Institute is conducting interviews with its faculty speakers in order to familiarize broader audiences with the diversity of research approaches in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences at Duke University. Henry W. Pickford is Professor of German and Philosophy. In this edited and condensed interview, he describes Adorno's role as a public intellectual; how Adorno's approach to reading philosophical arguments and artworks always included their… read more about Meet Your Humanities Faculty: Henry Pickford »

This story was first published by the University of North Carolina. Carolina and Duke may have a heated rivalry on the court, but there’s more collaboration than competition when it comes to academics. The Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies utilizes the strengths of the two universities — one public and one private — to offer graduate students at both institutions an unparalleled experience. The program grew out of the collegiality that has long existed between the German studies programs at both… read more about The Language Studies Program That United Carolina and Duke »

After joining forces in 2009, the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies has risen to become one of the most respected German studies programs in North America. read more about The language studies program that united Carolina and Duke »

As part of its event series tgiFHI, the Franklin Humanities Institute is conducting interviews with its faculty speakers in order to familiarize broader audiences with the diversity of research approaches in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences at Duke University. Dr. Laura Lieber is Professor of Religious Studies, Classical Studies, German Studies, and Divinity, and director of the Duke Center for Jewish Studies. In this edited and condensed interview, she describes why she's interested in the texts… read more about Meet Your Humanities Faculty: Laura Lieber »

What’s going on in Berlin? Get the latest news and learn more about the program. Nobody can paint a better picture of the Berlin experience that we offer than our former students.  Get to know Katja!  She will tell you about her favorite places and best memories. Download The Blue Bear - Duke In Berlin Newsletter (pdf - 1.02 MB) read more about The Blue Bear - Duke in Berlin Newsletter »

"Sie werden schon sehen, daß jede Epoche die Epidemie hat, die sie verdient. Jeder Zeit ihre Pest." – Ödön von Horváth (1901-1938) Download UPDATED Fall 2020 Newsletter (pdf - 2.9 MB) read more about Duke German Fall 2020 Newletter »

Fairy tales and virtual reality, green tech and cinematic masterpieces: Germany has them all. This spring semester, you can fulfill your core requirements while exploring this fascinating culture. These four courses are just a few of the subjects you can choose from. Virtual Realities: Collective Dreams from Plato to Cyberspace GER 266S / ROMST 266S / LIT 265S | Taught in English, Online Instructor: Sarah Pourciau Tues. / Thurs. 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. What… read more about Featured Spring Courses »

Take a look at some of the cool courses German Studies will be offering in Spring 2021!  Classes will be offered as Hybrid, online & on-campus classes! Enroll now!   Download Virtual Realities (pdf - 2.38 MB) Download Fairy Tales (pdf - 105.41 KB) Download Green Germany (pdf - 244.04 KB… read more about Cool Course Offerings for Spring 2021! »

April Henry was explaining German phrases for dining in a recent session of her “German 101” class when she stopped and enunciated the word “mädchen,” which translates to “girl.”   Henry, who was wearing a transparent face mask, pointed to her mouth as she pronounced the vowel "a" in mädchen as an “e." “If students cannot see exactly what my mouth is doing, they cannot reproduce the sound,” said Henry, lecturing fellow of German Studies. “The clear mask has made a huge difference.”  read more about April Henry leads class discussion using See-Through Face Mask »

Ich habe den Bau eingerichtet und er scheint wohlgelungen. “I have completed the construction of my burrow and it seems to be successful.” The first line of Franz Kafka’s 1923 story “The Burrow” feels so final – especially in the original German. So what kind of a story begins at the ending? And who is this protagonist that is so fixated on security and safety? German Studies Associate Professor and Kafka scholar Kata Gellen led a group of Duke undergraduates in a discussion of these and other elements of the… read more about Gellen leads discussion on ‘Exploring the Solitude of Others’ »

Oh, the Places You’ll Go (with a Duke German education!) “German was one of the most rewarding and surprising and unexpected – but amazing! – experiences I had at Duke” – Katja Kochvar (pictured at right, in Berlin) In our second interview, Carlo Lindner (Mechanical Engineering, ‘20) and Katja Kochvar (Biology and German, minor Environmental Science, ‘20) detail their experience in a two-person philosophy class with Dr. Henry Pickford in Spring 2020. Currently, they are working on a translation project that… read more about From Reading Moral Philosophy to Translating GDR Literature »

Graduate student Amy Jones interviewed Jill Jones (‘20), who completed an independent study with Dr. Stefani Engelstein, focusing on historical and contemporary German metaphors for cancer. (Photo at right, from left-right, Jill's friend Hannah, Jill Jones, Jill's host sister, and Hannah's host sister watching Germany win the 2014 World Cup.) *** Amy: Tell us about your independent study! What was a question (or questions) that you wanted to answer? How did you come up… read more about The Power of Language: German Cancer Metaphors »

This fall semester, Duke Kunshan University lecturer Ashton Merck will be communicating with her students more than usual.   She plans to check in with her students early and often through WeChat messages, email, and virtual office hours. Merck hopes that by staying in contact, students will feel more connected to the course and to each other, no matter where they are in the world.    “I think that especially in this stressful time, instructors have a responsibility to open up lines of communication that students feel… read more about How Duke Faculty Prepared for the Fall Semester »

The signs of change were all around: Students walking around campus wearing face masks, talking to new friends in distanced circles.  Socializing tents scattered around campus. Seminars in large rooms with seats spaced out. But the first day of classes also had much that was familiar. Students strolled along pathways with coffee and food-for-later in hand. Groundskeepers zipped past on riding mowers while joggers circled the East Campus loop, albeit giving each other plenty of room. Most importantly, there was excitement in… read more about The First Day of Classes Start With Masks, Distancing and Vigorous Classrooms »

Duke Ph.D. candidates Lea Greenberg (German Studies), Bill Sharman (History), and Anna Tybinko (Romance Studies) have received the prestigious Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year. A total of 64 fellowships were awarded out of more than 1,000 applicants. The fellowship, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, provides a $35,000 stipend and up to $8,000 in research funds and university fees to advanced graduate students in their final year of… read more about 3 Receive Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships for 2020-2021 »

With best wishes from the German Studies Department at Duke and the Duke in Berlin Program Corinne Crane, Ph.D. Associate Professor of the Practice of German and Language Program Director Kristen Dolan, Ph.D. Instructor of German Stefani Engelstein, Ph.D. Professor of German and Department Chair Susanne Freytag, M.A. Lecturing Fellow in German and Director, Duke in Berlin Summer Program Kata Gellen, Ph.D. Associate Professor of German and… read more about Congratulations to the Extraordinary Class of 2020 »

DURHAM, N.C. -- Eighteen Duke students and alumni have been awarded Fulbright placements to teach English, study and do research abroad during the 2020-2021 academic year. The Fulbright US Student Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering opportunities in over 140 countries. The Fulbright award is designed to facilitate cultural exchange and increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. The awards are announced on a… read more about Eighteen Duke Students And Alumni Awarded Fulbright Scholarships »

We are excited to announce that Dr. Sarah Pourciau joins the faculty at Duke in Spring 2020! Coming to us from the Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung Berlin, where she worked on the book project “The Broken Medium. An Austrian Modernist Theory of the Event,” Dr. Pourciau has previously held positions at the Technische Universität Berlin, Princeton University, and Stanford University. Her first book, The Writing of Spirit: Soul, System, and the Roots of Language Science (Fordham, 2017), tells a story spanning… read more about Q&A with New Professor Dr. Sarah Pourciau »

November 9, 1989 marked the fall of the Berlin Wall that divided East and West Berlin for 28 years. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of this momentous event in Germany history, the German Department invited students, faculty and staff to share their thoughts – in any language – about what walls mean to them. An entrance-way to the German Department was covered with paper to capture these comments. Additional images of our wall and comments can be found on our Facebook page.   read more about What Do Walls Mean to You? »

November 9 marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Most people over 50 remember where they were that day. Yet its meaning is still shrouded in historical fog. For me as a 25-year-old Berliner in 1984, living a stone’s throw away, the Wall seemed immovable, and eternal. Despite the wall-enclosed death strip slicing through the heart of my beloved city, life seemed normal. I had close friends, freely discussed politics in street cafés in Kreuzberg, played Frisbee in the city’s verdant Tiergarten park, and… read more about (Mis)Reading the Berlin Wall — 30 years later »

Prof. Dr. Iwan D’Aprile, literary historian and chair of the professorship “Kulturen der Aufklärung” at the Universität Potsdam, visited us at Duke for a week in late September. He presented his latest book, Fontane. Ein Jahrhundert in Bewegung, talking about his goal of describing Fontane in the context of his cultural-historical background as well as the specific challenges and pleasures of writing in the genre of biography for a general audience. Prof. Dr. D’Aprile was also generous enough to guest lecture in Dr.… read more about Professor Dr. Iwan D'Aprile Visits From Uni Potsdam »

New research from global recruitment site Indeed uncovered that German has overtaken French as the language most sought-after by employers in Britain. According to the study, the number of jobs requiring German language skills rose by more than 10% over the last three years. In comparison, the number of positions requiring French speakers increased by just 1%. Read the full article on CNBC.com. read more about Here Are the Top Foreign Languages that UK Employers Want You to Have »

Dr. Ingeborg Walther is pleased to announce her retirement from a very satisfying and rewarding career teaching German language, literature, and culture in various contexts over the past 40+ years. For the past 25 years, she has felt privileged to serve at Duke University as Professor of the Practice of Germanic Languages and Literature, and Associate Dean of Curriculum and Course Development for Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. Professor Walther also served the German Department at various times as Language Program… read more about Walther Announces Retirement »

As we endure the long wait for Game of Thrones’ winter to return on April 14, we may consider what the show has in common with our other current national obsession — politics. Even fantasy says something about real-world ethics, after all. If we have mixed feelings about the series on this score, that is due to the deep contradiction between its two primary commitments: to inclusivity and quasi-democracy, on the one hand, and to bloodline or lineage, on the other. The problem here is that the logic of blood in the… read more about Is Game of Thrones Racist? »

In late June, during the final week of the Duke-in-Berlin summer program, students, faculty, and local Berliners spilled out onto the sidewalk outside of the gallery tête, an innovative art space in the Prenzlauer Berg district of the city. Inside, a pop-up exhibition by eight undergraduates in a documentary photography course featured prints of their projects from the six-week program. Offered for the first time in summer 2016, the course DOCST 271S — Capturing the City: Documentary Photography in Berlin — pushed students… read more about Duke Undergrads Exhibit Documentary Photographs in Berlin »