German Program announces 2021 Graduating German Major Award Recipients

Outstanding German Major Awards

Jonathan Dattilio  

Jonathan Dattilio is a double major in German and History in the Honors College with a Minor in German Studies. In the Spring of 2019 he participated in a semester-long exchange to the University of Bamberg and during his four years at CofC, he completed 41 credits of upper level German courses, 14 more than required. This April, he presented on his Honors Bachelor’s thesis in History: “Phasmatagorical Pages: Der Orchideengarten in Weimar popular culture.” Jonathan completed the Goethe Institute’s C1 exams this March. He plans to begin study in a graduate program in History in Germany or the US next year.

Mikaela Franco

Mikaela Franco is an A.B in German with minors in Classics and English who will be graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Having self-taught herself German via study of the Lutherbibel, Mikaela started at a high level in our program 3 years ago and has spent the past three years bringing her German into the 21st century, with much success! In the spring of 2020, she spent a semester abroad at the University of Bamberg and elected to stay even after the pandemic started, moving in with a German host family and successfully completing upper level German philology seminars, including one on “Das Nibelungenlied und seine Rezeption.” In addition to reaching the C1 level of Modern German and learning to read Middle High German for her class on the Nibelungenlied, Mikaela also took three years of Latin to fulfill the A.B. requirements. She is currently interviewing for teaching jobs in the state.

Cyril Langston

A double major in German and Arts Management with a Minor in Economics, Cyril came to CofC from Summerville after several years of high school German with CofC German alumna Kelsey Cater ’09. During her time in the program, Cyril has been a fabulous student and leader in our courses with a talent for creative writing, as she displayed as an actor, writer, director and editor in the 2020 production of “2Faust2Furious: Das Unzulängliche / Hier wird’s Ereignis.” For her work in the Bonner Leadership program at CofC, Cyril received the 2021 Stephen C. Osborne and George P. Watt Jr. Bonner Leader of the Year Award at the CofC Excel Awards this spring. In 2019, she participated in the CofC Summer Study Abroad to Florence Italy, and after graduation, Cyril will continue her global journey by pursuing a Global Masters of Science in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, the first year of which will be held at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Josef Mozelewski Memorial Award.

The Josef Mojelewski Memorial Award was established to honor the late Josef Mojelewski, Professor of German.  Dr. Modzelewski served as the first co-chair for the new Department of Classics and German in the mid-1990’s.  This award was presented for the first time last year and will continue to be presented annually for special recognition of outstanding work done by a student of German language and culture. This year, we have two recipients of the award:

Ruthie Foster

A double major in German and International Business with minors in International Studies and German Studies, Ruthie began in German 101 in her first year, participated in the summer internship to Germany in 2019, and completed the Goethe Institute’s B1 exams this past March. During her journey at CofC, she served for several years as an RA and for two years as the student worker for the German and Russian Studies Department. Throughout, Ruthie has been a constant positive force in our program and as student worker was critical in a number of poster campaigns and events held by the German program, in particular the annual German-American Business Summit. This April, she received a job offer for a position in Inside Sales with the local German company ZAPP Precision Wire, which she will begin after graduation.

Jonathan Dattilio 

In addition to his excellence in the classroom (see above), Jonathan co-organized the weekly German language Stammtisch for two years, participated in two outreach events to High School German learners to talk about his experiences in Bamberg, and has been a tremendous team player in our program.





Ally Salyers (German and Spanish double major) receives LCWA Graeser Award

Congratulations to graduating German and Spanish double major Ally Salyers, recipient of the 2021 LCWA Graeser Memorial Award. The Graeser Award is given in honor of the late Professor Clarence Augustus Graeser, an alumnus of the College of Charleston and the first honor graduate in the class of 1888. He served for many years as Chairman of the Department of Modern Languages at the College. The award was established by the Alumni Association in 1954 in memory of this exceptional teacher, a distinguished scholar and an especially loyal alumnus. It is awarded annually to a graduating senior and foreign language major who excelled at multiple foreign languages.

During her time at CofC, Ally complimented her German and Spanish double major with minors in Linguistics and German Studies, studied abroad in Spain for a summer, and severed as a foreign language tutor and a Spanish conversation course teacher. She is currently completing a graduate certificate in German Translation and Spanish Translation and Interpreting at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.

Dr. Nancy Nenno participates in panel discussion on Decolonizing Knowledge at Johns Hopkins University

This Thursday, April 29th at 3pm ECT, Dr. Nancy Nenno, CofC Professor of German, will participate in the virtual panel discussion “Decolonizing Knowledge: German Studies and Beyond” hosted by Johns Hopkins University. See below for the panel description and write for the zoom link and password if you’re interested!

Decolonizing Knowledge: German Studies and Beyond

Thursday, April 29th: 3-5pm

A Roundtable sponsored by the German Section of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Johns Hopkins University

The 21st century can be characterized by efforts to address systemic racism, increasingly taken up in academic scholarship and praxis. Nevertheless, systems of secondary education continue to be a major participant in the reproduction of privilege, specifically vis-à-vis race. Literature on critical pedagogy tends to focus on certain fields, and in particular, on the study of education. Contemporary scholars of decolonization argue that most university classrooms today remain mired in hierarchical models of education, which, largely inadvertently, privilege those students already privileged in terms of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and more.

In a recent article, Achille Mbembe argues that universities must decolonize their practices through removal of colonial leftovers on campuses and inside classrooms. While Mbembe has worked extensively in European and American contexts, his discussion is situated in South Africa. What would/does the practice of decolonizing knowledge look like in your institutions and classrooms? What would it mean to decolonize epistemology in languages, literatures, philosophy, media and other fields across the humanities? Does this require an interdisciplinary or a transdisciplinary approach?

Format: Katrin Pahl will introduce the event. We invite each speaker to offer a short 5-10 minute contribution on the topic. Then Maya Nitis will comment briefly and facilitate a dialogue between the panelists, before inviting audience participation for the remainder of the 2 hour panel.

Confirmed Speakers:

Sam Spinner (JHU)

Jeanette Ehrmann (U of Giessen)

Mark Thompson (JHU)

Nancy Nenno (College of Charleston)

Adrienne Merritt (Washington & Lee U)

Sarah Dinning ’20 receives DAAD fellowship for study in Germany

Congratulations to Class of 2020 German and Marketing Major Sarah Dinning just received a year-long fellowship from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange) to complete the second year of her masters degree International Business Studies at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg! Despite the pandemic and lockdown conditions in Germany, Sarah has had a great first year in the program and is looking forward to the second–see her summary below!

“I graduated from College of Charleston in 2020 with a B.S. in Marketing and a B.A. in German, and decided that I’d like to use knowledge from both of those subject areas for my graduate education, so I applied for my Master studies in Germany. I’m currently working towards an M.Sc. in International Business Studies at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and living very close to the old city of Nürnberg. Although it was an interesting start with all the lockdowns and quarantines, it’s been such a good experience so far meeting other people from all over the world in my program, and getting to immerse myself in the German language and culture. I’ve also started a working student position in UX Communication at Siemens Healthineers and it’s such great practice for my business german skills! While I’m really enjoying the coursework here, I think living and working abroad will be a great experience and really help develop my work skills. Even though Germany has been under a hard lockdown for a few months, it’s still amazing to live in such a beautiful city and really interesting to learn about the history of Nürnberg. Despite only grocery stores being open right now, I’ve still managed to find some great cafes (to go!) and discover nice hiking trails, castle ruins, and breweries, although there is so much more to Germany to discover. Fingers crossed for a better 2021!”

Professor Maggie Miltcheva wins CofC 2020 Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award

Congratulations to CofC Instructor of Russian, Professor Maggie Miltcheva, on receiving the College of Charleston 2020 Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award!

In the words of the Awards Committee: “The College of Charleston’s Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award was established in 2014 and honors those adjunct faculty members who are outstanding among the College’s many exceptional teachers. This year’s award recipient is Meglena Miltcheva from the Department of German and Russian Studies. Maggie has been a dedicated adjunct teacher in Russian Studies since 2002.

Maggie is a teacher leader in the Russian Studies Program. She has developed several courses, including a Russian Folktales course that is consistently a student favorite. She has also been a leader in teaching online courses since 2014 and participates in intensive online professional development in language acquisition, modeling for students and colleagues her commitment to continued excellence in content and pedagogy. Maggie’s commitment to excellent teaching is also exemplified in her outstanding Course-Instructor Evaluation feedback.

We are pleased to recognize Meglena Miltcheva, a stellar teacher and colleague, with the 2020 Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award.”

German 468 performs “2Faust2Furious” on April 22nd at 7pm in livestream

On Wednesday, April 22nd at 7pm, the participants of GRMN 468 will stage their reactions to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s magnum opus Faust in a live one-hour performance entitled 2Faust2Furious: Das Unzulängliche, Hier wird’s Ereignis” The performance will be streamed here on youtube live! English subtitles will be provided! For more on the performance, check out the College Today article:

GRMN 468 performs live zoom performance in German as final project

Dr. Sarah Koellner presents at panel on Artistic Scandals at Northeastern Modern Language Association Conference

This weekend, Dr. Sarah Koellner moderated and presented at the annual conference of the Northeastern Modern Language Association at the panel “Skandal! Artistic Scandals around the Turn of the Century.” Her paper: “”#Babykatzengate: On Stefanie Sargnagel and the Dramaturgy of a Media Scandal”

Dr. Koellner's panel "Skandal! Artistic Scandals around the turn of the century"

Globally Connected: Professor Della Lana’s German Business Translation Course links up with Editing Class in Amsterdam

This semester, Professor Stephen Della Lana’s GRMN 390-01 Business Translation course is linking up with CofC French and German alumna and professional translator Kristen Gehrman’s English Text Editing Course at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Professor Gehrman’s students will work in tandem with Professor Della Lana’s and Professor Gehrman will also videoconference in to GRMN 390-01 to discuss careers in translations with our students! With the completion of the Global Education Initiative’s International Lab on the 4th floor of JC Long this month, Professor DL’s students will be able to communicate simultaneously with their tandem partners at four different work stations. Exciting times for global connection possibilities here at CofC!

Professor Della Lana’s GRMN 390 Business Translation course

Professor Gehrman’s English Text Editing course in Amsterdam

Dr. Irina Erman’s article “Nation and Vampiric Narration” appears in The Russian Review

Congratulations to Dr. Irina Erman on her new article in the top tier Russian Studies journal The Russian Review, Nation and Vampiric Narration in Aleksey Tolstoy’s “The Family of the Vourdalak”! The article is accessible online here

Dr. Erman’s summary of the article: “In this article, I examine the narrative and intertextual complexity of A. K. Tolstoy’s “The Family of the Vourdalak,” while taking note of Tolstoy’s extensive historical references and thus situating Tolstoy’s vampire story in its literary and historical context. I argue that Tolstoy’s emphatic historical references point to the story’s central focus on Russia’s relationship with Western Europe and the concomitant Russian anxieties about national identity and literary imitation. By putting forward the concept of vampiric narration to explain Tolstoy’s mode of undermining his West European narrator’s control, this article demonstrates the way this story comments on, and ultimately subverts, the discourse about imitation and influence that infiltrated Russian letters from West European constructs about its East. Ultimately, Tolstoy’s “The Family of the Vourdalak” offers a meditation on the power of parody and creative appropriation that anticipates important literary‐philosophical concepts that emerge in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth century.”