German Studies in the Era of Trump

When we teach the 20th-century history and culture of Germany and Austria, we repeatedly caution students against drawing all-too quick parallels between National Socialism and other anti-democratic developments. This is mainly to avoid the re-categorization of Hitler’s Third Reich as yet another manifestation of a kind of universal “evil.” National Socialism, we emphasize, originated in…

SUMMIT, the Liberal Arts, and the German Prison System

“What can I do with a German Studies Major?” — It’s not atypical at this time of the year to receive  e-mails that either implicitly or directly ask this question. And to those of you who are asking, thank you! You initiate an important dialogue about the benefits of liberal-arts learning and the role of…

German-speaking News Headlines On Obama’s Reelection

Europeans have closely followed the developments during this election. Here’s a brief overview of this morning’s headlines of online media outlets in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard leads with Obama’s victory, “Obama reelected, President emphasizes the country’s unity.” In its overview, the newspaper also highlights the difficulties the president has to overcome…

The Euro and German Democracy

Yesterday, Germany’s Supreme Court decided that the “European Stability Mechanism [EMS]” did not violate Germany’s constitution, the Grundgesetz [Basic Law]. It also stated however, that Germany’s current liability stops at the level of the 190 Billion Euros the country had so far contributed to the so-called “Euro rescue umbrella” financed by all European Union members. Any…

Austrian Architects Design Expo 2012 Building

If it looks like a giant stranded fish, that’s intended: The Austrian architecture office “soma” designed the building to illustrate the Expo’s theme “The Living Ocean and Coast.”