ASC German Students Present Current Research Projects

As the end of the semester approaches, a couple of German students will present the results of their research projects. Two of these projects will be presented at SpARC, the third one will result in a longer paper. Here are some brief summaries that might inspire more projects in the future.

German Studies major Charlotte Kubicz has developed a strong interest in German film history during her time at Agnes Scott. This semester she focused on the representation of female actresses in films by Austro-American director Josef von Sternberg, specifically on the roles played by famous German actress Marlene Dietrich. Sternberg moved back and forth across the Atlantic in the 1920s and 1930s, shaping developments both in German and American cinematic genres. Marlene Dietrich’s ascendancy to stardom began when Sternberg cast her as Lola in the famous and notorious 1930 German film “The Blue Angel.” After Dietrich’s emigration to Hollywood, she made six more films under the directorship of Sternberg: Morocco (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), Blonde Venus (1932), The Scarlet Empress (1934), and The Devil is a Woman (1935). In her SpARC project, Charlotte will concentrate on the representation of the femme fatale in The Blue Angel and Shanghai Express. Specficially, she will investigate to what degree Dietrich’s two roles converge and differ on the representation of a “dangerous” woman and if the different national, cultural, and ethnic contexts of the films’ production and plots influences the idea of the femme fatale.

Not-yet-declared German Studies and International Relations double major Kaija Lazda will present on the similarities and differences between political campaign-financing in Germany and the United States. Being a keen observer of national and international politics, Kaija’s research project was sparked by the high concentration of very wealthy people in the US Congress. She dug deeper into the matter and began to compare the financing systems on different levels. Kaija will share her results during her SpARC presentation on Thursday, April 26.

Finally, Taran Lundgren, German minor and Bioengineering major, is currently working on a paper about how German biological research conducted during the National Socialist period continues to shape debates about ethics and science in contemporary Germany. Taran has done a lot of reading about the historical background and will do a close analysis of literary texts and newspaper reports from the postwar period to test her thesis. Since Taran is a senior, this will be her last project for the ASC German Studies program, but we will proudly watch when she crosses the stage during the graduation on May 12!


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