Kaitlyn MacKinnon ’20 receives study abroad scholarship from the German Language & Culture Foundation in Charlotte

Congratulations to CofC Communications major and German minor Kaitlyn MacKinnon, who has received a study abroad scholarship from the German Language & Culture Foundation in Charlotte. The GLCF supports the learning of German at schools and universities in the Charlotte area, with the goal of encouraging students to combine German proficiency with workforce skills in order to provide career opportunities with the over 200 US subsidiaries from German speaking countries in the Charlotte region. This summer, Kaitlyn will participate in the CofC Cultural Vistas Summer Internship in Germany Program, spending the month of May in an intensive language course at the Carl Duisburg Institute in Berlin, and then moving to Frankfurt am Main for two-month internship at Panalis, a company that offers digital solutions for political and public affairs management. A native of Fort Mill, SC, Kaitlyn is grateful for the scholarship and excited about her future: “The support that the German Language & Culture Foundation provides for German learners across the Charlotte area is phenomenal! Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to pursue my plans to intern in Germany and take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to gain experience at a German company while improving my German. My dream is to work in corporate communications for one of the many German companies located in the Carolinas, and the GLCF has given me a launchpad towards that goal!”

Kaitlyn MacKinnon ’20, Communications and German


Kaitlyn (left) with CofC German professor and Summer Internship in Germany Program Coordinator Stephen Della Lana at the 3rd German-American Business Summit in Charleston on February 5, 2019

From Monks Corner to Moscow and Beyond: Tyler Owens’ ’19: Critical Languages Scholarship Award Winner to Russia

It’s a Thursday afternoon in Russia in the Summer of 2018, Tyler Owens ’19 is learning to cook traditional Russian dishes with other international students studying at the Vladimir KORA language institute. The afternoon cooking class comes on the heels of six hours of immersive Russian language instruction, from 8:00am-2pm. On the coming weekend, Tyler and his cohort will travel to St. Petersburg to tour the city there: all a normal work week in the life of a recipient of the Critical Languages Scholarship, a prestigious all-expenses included scholarship from the State Department!

Meanwhile, Tyler’s friends and family in Monks Corner, South Carolina check his Facebook updates and smile with pride: with each step of his journey, from Monks Corner to Trident Tech, to the College of Charleston and then Germany and Russia, Tyler has been steadfast and unflappable in his pursuit of his international dreams. To put it in the words of his high school French teacher Cheryl Pyatt: “Tyler’s insatiable curiosity combined with his love of language made him a joy to teach. I am delighted that he is making his dreams come true!”

Since the fall of 2015, Tyler has been pursuing his international dreams at CofC with a major in German and minors in Russian Studies and French for Business. In the summer of 2017, he enjoyed his first study abroad experience in Stuttgart, Germany as a participant the CofC Cultural Vistas Summer Internship Program in Germany. This, his second, has been equally transformative for his language skills in Russian as the former was for his German. In addition, he has fallen in love with Russia and the Russian people: “There is a big difference between what the government and media shows versus the people in Russia. The Russian people I have met have been just as loving and kind as in any other culture, and it’s been a joy to live here”

Tyler also shares some advice for those wanting to study abroad or study languages. He reminds us that it will not always be easy, but not to give up, especially if you are medically challenged. He notes “A challenge is something meant to be overcome and that’s what I do. Just because I get over something in a different way doesn’t make me disabled.” To students at CofC, he highly recommends studying Russian, since it would be valuable in any workplace and foreign affairs. He also recommends applying for the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) since language skills and opportunities (both professionally and academically) will open up!

Dr. Irina Erman presents at AATSEEL Conference in New Orleans

Dr. Irina Erman, Assistant Professor and Program Director of Russian Studies at CofC, presented this weekend on a panel at the annual conference of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL). Her presentation is entitled “How a Man Killed His Wife: Tolstoy’s “Kreutzer Sonata” and Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Dead House.”

Translation Company Ivannovation to attend 3rd German-American Business Summit as Gold Sponsor

The South Carolina based localization and translation company Ivannovation has just announced that they will be attending the job and internship expo of the 3rd CofC German-American Business Summit on February 5th, 2019 at the Gaillard Conference Center in Charleston. For more information about the company and careers in translation, listen to Ivannovation owner and CEO Yuri Ivanov’s Interview on ETV Radio’s South Carolina Business Review

Dr. Steven Lee to lecture on “Russian and Soviet Lessons for American Multiculturaism” on January 14th, 2019

Steven Lee, Associate Professor of Englsh at UC Berkley and the author of the prize-winning book The Ethnic Avant-Garde: Minority Cultures and World Revolution (Columbia UP), is visiting CofC for a public lecture on Monday, January 14th.
“Beyond Interference: Soviet and Russian Lessons for American Multiculturalism”
Monday Jan 14th, 5:30pm, Rita Hollings Auditorium

In the wake of the Russian interference in the 2016 election, Dr. Steven Lee’s talk will explore avenues for cross-cultural dialogue between the U.S. and Russia, and lessons we can draw from history. Russian interference included the manipulation of U.S. identity politics via fake social media accounts and propaganda. During the Cold War, Soviet propaganda about Jim Crow indirectly helped lead to U.S. civil rights reform. So, what can we learn from Russia today? Dr. Lee will focus on how Soviet and Russian discourses on race, ethnicity, and nationality might open new ways of conceptualizing multiculturalism here in the U.S, and offer a useful complement to contemporary U.S. discourses of “otherness” and “intersectionality.”

Dr. Irina Erman presents at annual conference of the Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)

This weekend, Russian Studies program director and Assistant Professor of Russian Dr. Irina Erman is presenting at the annual conference of the Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) in Boston. Her paper is entitled ““Diminution, Repetition, and Decomposition in Dostoevsky’s ‘Poor Folk’ and ‘Bobok’”

Mercedes-Benz U.S. Senior Manager Torsten Scheffler confirmed as keynote for 3rd German-American Business Summit

The 3rd CofC German-American Business Summit is elated to announce this year’s keynote speaker:Torsten Scheffler, Senior Manager, Development Engineering, Purchasing, Cost Planning and Material Engineering for Mercedes Benz U.S. International Inc., the production location for the GLE-, GL-and the GLE Coupe sport utility vehicles as well as the C- Class for the U.S. and Canadian market.

The 3rd German-American Business Summit will take place on February 5th, 2019 in the Gaillard Conference Center from 11am-6pm. Organized by the College of Charleston’s German Program, Career Center, School of Languages Cultures and World Affairs, and School of Business, in this year partnership with the Citadel, Trident Technical College, the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeastern US, and the German Embassy’s Deutschlandjahr 2018/19, the summit will consist of a job and internship expo from 11-1, followed by a conference with Inga von Seelen’s keynote and panel discussions on Leadership in Sustainability in German-American Industry and Futures of German-American Industry.

Dr. Nancy Nenno’s article “Black Austrian Studies: Here to Stay” appears in “Rethinking Black German Studies”

Congratulations to Dr. Nancy Nenno, whose article “Black Austrian Studies: Here to Stay” just appeared in the book Rethinking Black German Studies. Approaches, interventions and Histories. with Peter Lang press.

The volume’s editors, Tiffany N. Florvil and Vanessa D. Plumly, summarize her article in their introduction: “Nancy P. Nenno uses her chapter to probe Black German Studies as strictly limited to the confines of Germany’s national borders. In her piece, she brings the oft-overlooked Black Austrian Diaspora into the broader picture and reinserts Black Austrian individuals, their bodies and voices into historical narratives in the process. Nenno traces the lineage of Black Austrians in the Habsburg Empire to the present day, providing a cohesive introduction to their activism that has intently sought to bring Blackness in the Austrian context to light and to counter existing historical narratives that have all but erased their presence. She articulates thta while the predominance of source text on and the visibility of Black Germans has been positive, there remains a dearth of scholarship and a silence surrounding Black Austrians. In connecting two temporally disjointed moments, Nenno signifies the overlapping layers of what it means to be Black in Austria in the past and present. She also helps to restore Black Austrians’ agential voice, demonstrating their significant legacy, presence, and political engagement in this predominantly white country” (23).

Dr. Nancy Nenno appointed co-organizer of the Black Diaspora Network of the German Studies Association

Dr. Nancy Nenno, Professor of German at the College of Charleston, has been appointed co-organizer of the Black Diaspora Network of the German Studies Association from 2019 to 2021. A scholar of 20th century German literature and cinema, Dr. Nenno specializes in Black German and Austrian Studies; recent publications by Dr. Nenno include “Elective Paternities: Germans and African Americans in Hugo Bettauer’s Das blaue Mal (1922),” German Studies Review 39.2: 259-77, and “Reading the Schwarz in the Schwarz-Rot-Gold: Black German Studies in the 21st Century.” Transit 10.2 Special Topic: The Future of the Past, guest eds. Susanne Baackmann and Nancy P. Nenno.