German Studies

This tag is associated with 22 posts

Visit by German Activist/Writer Sharon Otoo

In May of 2016 our ASC in Germany group met with activist and writer Sharon Otoo in Berlin, Germany, and was let in on a secret: Sharon Otoo told us that she had been nominated to participate in the competition for the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, likely the most prestigious award for contemporary German-language fiction. We were not allowed to tell anyone yet, but we joked around that she had to visit Agnes Scott College should she win.

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When Early German Settlers met Native Americans

Please join us for Prof. Katie Faull’s lecture, Stories of the Susquehanna, on Monday, March 28, 2016, 3:30-4:30pm, in Bullock Science Center/Teasley Lecture Hall (open to the public).

Prof. Faull has received several large NEH grants to translate and digitize documents from the Moravian archives in Bethlehem, PA. The Moravian community was founded by 18th-century German-speaking immigrants who in turn descended from Protestant communities in today’s Czech Republic.

The Stories of the Susquehanna project examines how these early settlers interacted with Native American communities, with the environment in the upper branches of the Susquehanna river, and forms a showcase project for digital undergraduate research. The lecture is open to the public, please direct any questions to ggraml@agnesscott.edu.

German Expressionism and its influence on Tim Burton

Director Tim Burton’s films have shaped American cinema, from Edward Scissorhands to Alice in Wonderland and, most recently, Inside Out. ASC German film students who have watched and discussed Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Murnau’s Nosferatu, and Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari will not be surprised by this great video clip that actually compares Burton’s drawing on German Expressionism shot by shot:

ASC in Germany 2014

On May 11 another group of Scotties will depart for Germany to study aspects of history, culture, and environmental regulation on location. The two-week study trip will be co-lead by Profs. Gundolf Graml (German Studies, also the main author of this blog) and Katherine Smith (Art History). We will spend our first week in Berlin where we will meet with representatives from government and from cultural organizations. The second week will lead us from Berlin to Dresden, Leipzig, and Weimar, where we will visit historical sites such as the former concentration camp of Buchenwald near Weimar, meet with leaders of the Dresden city government, and learn about the philosophy behind the Volkswagen company’s architectural design of a car manufacturing plant in the heart of Dresden. And, of course, we will try to meet as many former Scotties as we can while in Germany (I’m talking to you, Lucy Nga Than). We will try to post frequent updates on this blog and invite you to follow and ask questions.

“Hanna’s Journey” at Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

Today afternoon I’ll have the honor to introduce the German-Israeli co-production “Hanna’s Journey” at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival at Atlantic Regal Theater (2:35pm).

“Hanna’s Journey” is the story of a young German student, Hanna, who begins to question her sole focus on a desired career as jet-setting consultant during a volunteer internship in Israel. Hanna’s initial attitude is typical for many in Germany’s millennial generation: While she feels that it is still a good idea to engage in Holocaust remembrance work in some formal way, she also thinks that her generation is too far removed to really address the question of guilt and responsibility. However, as the film shows, what seems to be distant history might be closer to one’s personal and family story than one might think.

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Studying/Researching Abroad in Germany: Info Session @agnesscott

Join us for an info session on studying and researching in German-speaking countries. Our expert panel will feature Andrea Harris and Katherine Robinson, two ASC German students who have recently returned from studying abroad in Germany and Switzerland, respectively. Sarah Harris is currently studying abroad in Germany and Nga Than, an ASC alumna, is researching the situation of Vietnamese immigrants with the Max Planck institute in Germany. Sarah and Nga Than will join us via skype to provide their advise.

Refreshments will be provided by the Faust Club.

When: Thursday, November 7, 1-2pm
Where: Buttrick Hall 211

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Indian-German Writer Anant Kumar @ Agnes Scott College

Anant Kumar, a German author of Indian descent, is currently traveling in the US and will be at ASC this week to visit classes and read from his work (in English) on August 29, 6pm, in the Luchsinger Fireplace Lounge (see the poster to the right).

The event is free and open to the public. A reception with refreshments will follow the reading.

Here’s some more information on Anant Kumar.

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Music and Emotions in Postwar German Film

Courses and finals are over, the grading continues. What makes it fun are examples of creative and inspiring student work. Here’s an example from the final projects in German 330 “Postwar German Cinema”:

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In Memoriam: Hans Jürgen Massaquoi, January 19, 1926 – January 19, 2013

Another important voice has passed away: Hans Jürgen Massaquoi died on January 19, 2013. ASC German students will remember Massaquoi as author of the memoir Neger, Neger, Schornsteinfeger [Destined to Witness] in which the author described his experiences as a black young man in Weimar and later Nazi Germany. Massaquoi, son of a Liberian diplomat and a white German woman, survived World War II in Germany, later emigrated to the United States and went on to become a journalist and eventually the managing editor of Ebony.

Here’s a short video from the German internet project Gedächtnis der Nation [Memory of the Nation] in which Massaquoi describes his disappointment of being rejected from the Hitler Youth:

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Oktober 26: Austrian National Holiday

Today, Austria celebrates its “Staatsfeiertag”, the Austrian National Holiday. Officially, the day commemorates Austria’s declaration of “immerwährende Neutralität” [eternal neutrality]. This meant that Austria would stay out of any military pacts such as NATO or the former Warsaw pact and would not engage in any military actions other than self-defense.

It was that condition, which finally led to the signing of the so-called State Treaty of 1955. From 1945 to 1955, Austria had been occupied by the US, British, French, and Soviet armies as a consequence of World War II. While the Western Allied had more or less handed over sovereignty to the Austrian government, the Soviet Union used the Eastern parts of Austria as a pawn in the Cold War. Many feared that Austria would be partitioned similar to Germany, where the Soviet Union did not give up control over the Eastern zone, which eventually became the GDR.

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