Congratulations to Baker Garland ’22, CofC German and Exercise Science double major, who just received the prestigious Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) Fellowship to Germany for next year! As part of the program, she will receive two months of intensive German training starting in August, attend a semester of classes in Exercise Science at University, and then complete a 5 month internship in her field! This August, she will be joining a select list of CofC German majors who have been accepted over the years, along with Senior Instructor of German and 1989-90 Fellow Stephen Della Lana, pictured with Baker below
Congratulations to Russian Studies Program director Dr. Irina Erman, whose article “Nation and Vampiric Narration in Aleksey Tolstoy’s “The Family of the Vourdalak” from January 2020 received the inaugural Levin Prize for best article in The Russian Review. Dr. Erman went on the SRB Podcast recently to discuss the article and her work. Check out the podcast here: https://srbpodcast.org/2021/10/08/the-vampires-of-a-k-tolstoy/?fbclid=IwAR1sWitYsumAMAVNalTFzXMESoq_q-bBevOxCDorQRmzsMyiqcr9OhsrCCM
Congratulations to German and Business Administration double major Taylor Kerr ’22, who has received a scholarship from the German Language and Culture Foundation (GLCF) in Charlotte to participate in this summer’s virtual iteration of CofC’s Cultural Vistas Internship to Germany Program. 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, Taylor participated in a one month intensive virtual German language course at the Carl Duisburg Centrum and is now in the middle of a two month internship with the Fields Institute in Berlin. The Fields Institute is a sustainability and corporate responsibility company that focuses on creating initiatives to educate their community about sustainability issues. In her role, Taylor has been focused on a social media survey project with questions relating to potential future outcomes of people’s daily lives. Specifically, She has been working on researching and writing the questions, writing summaries for the privacy policies for various social media platforms, creating a timeline and project plan for the project overall, posting the questions on social media, and then analyzing and interpreting the responses. The goal of the project is to examine the imagined future of people in different societal developments in order to gain insight into possible futures and share those with the community.
Taylor, a native of Charlotte, NC, is grateful for the support and enthusiastic about the program and her work: “This has been a really amazing experience so far, as it is my first time working with a German company. I meet with my direct supervisor every morning and then once a week with the entire team to brainstorm ideas and talk about the next steps, all in German! I am so grateful to the GLCF for helping make this immersive cultural and work experience possible for me this summer!”
Feeling like you need a good, meaningful laugh at the end of the most taxing academic year ever? If so, you’re in luck: on May 13th and 14th, CofC’s Russian Studies Program Director Dr. Irina Erman is co-organizing and co-hosting an academic conference on “Funny Dostoevsky,” held virtually at Dartmouth University. You can register for the conference here and it is free: https://russian.dartmouth.edu/news/2021/04/funny-dostoevsky-conference
Dr. Erman will also present on her own work at the conference on Saturday at 1:45pm EST: ““Shooting Blanks: Laughter, Misfire, and Performance in Crime and Punishment” The abstract of her presentation is below:
The ancient Greeks compared laughter to a dagger. As arsenals evolved, theorists of laughter came to foreground its explosive potentiality. This paper focuses on the figure of the explosive and ridiculous Lt. Gunpowder in Crime and Punishment. An insecure petty tyrant, Lt. Gunpowder functions as Raskolnikov’s comic double and plays an outsize role in Raskolnikov’s failure as an “extraordinary” criminal. I trace Lt. Gunpowder’s emergence from the vaudeville and read him as the nexus for Dostoevsky’s theorization of the interrelations between laughter, violence, and performance.
This Wednesday at 12:45pm, Visiting Assistant Professor of German Dr. Cara Tovey will present at CofC’s annual Teaching, Learning, and Technology Conference on “Teaching Digital Literacy with a Video Essay Assignment.” For a sample of what she will be discussing, check out the below PodCast interview:
Congratulations to Graduating Russian Studies Minor and International Studies and Economics double major Kelly Lifchez ’21, who has received a prestigious Critical Languages Scholarship to study advanced Russian remotely this summer!
An Honors College Student and International Scholars Program participant, Kelly studied abroad at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration in the summer of 2019, studied abroad in Ghana in May 2018, was an LCWA Global Ambassador, and served as the CofC Student Government Association Vice President in 2019-20, along with a long list of other accomplishments. This is the second time she has received a CLS Scholarship, having been awarded one for advanced language study in Russia for summer 2020 only to have it cancelled due to COVID. Congratulations to Kelly on all of her successes and best wishes for the future!
In yet another accolade, 2020 CofC Adjunct Teaching Award winning Russian Professor Maggie Miltcheva has been recognized for Outstanding Service to First-Year Students in the 2020-2021 Academic Year: https://fye.cofc.edu/fye-awards/index.php?fbclid=IwAR0U3gIWYsJf7IkNEqapq8yegGEqtZLr8Dfm_Vw_peSxYKq73IO7F1YVEX4
Congratulations and best wishes to Professor Miltcheva after this further recognition of her excellent in teaching, under very difficult conditions in this past academic year no less!
Outstanding German Major Awards
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Sam Spinner (JHU)
Jeanette Ehrmann (U of Giessen)
Mark Thompson (JHU)
Nancy Nenno (College of Charleston)
Adrienne Merritt (Washington & Lee U)