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German Day 2017 set for 5 April at the HUB

The Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Penn State University will be hosting middle school and high school German students at University Park for German Day 2017. It will be a fun-filled day of German language activities, including a poster and movie competition, a spelling bee, poetry recitation, German trivia game, and presentation of a one-act play by fifth-semester PSU students. Students will also have the opportunity to practice their German (and earn prizes!), learn more about studying German at Penn State, visit a German language or culture class, and get a tour of campus.


The event is co-sponsored by the School for Global Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the Center for Global Studies, the Center for Language Studies, the Program in Linguistics, and AFS-USA.

For further information, visit the event website.

Adam Toth Defends Dissertation on Orientalist Writings of Franz Kafka

On 28 February 2017, Adam Toth successfully defended his dissertation for the Ph.D. in German under the direction of Drs. Bettina Brandt and Daniel Purdy. Adam's dissertation, titled "Kafka’s Mei Lanfangs: Race Theory, Performativity, and the Undoing of German Orientalisms," analyzed Orientalist writings of Franz Kafka as deconstructions of 19th-century German race theory.

German Professor Emeritus Gerhard Strasser featured on an episode of Codebreaker

Dr. Gerhard F. Strasser's internationally recognized expertise in cryptography brought him a transatlantic telephone call from NPR Marketplace. NPR conducted a 31-minute interview at the end of November 2016, which was edited and inserted as a feature in the  Marketplace Codebreaker series:  On Dec. 21, 2016, it was turned into a kind of dialogue on Vergennes' method.  Broadcast Episode No. 6, "Cryptography," can be accessed at . 

Summer Internships Available in Pforzheim, Germany

The German program announces a new summer 2017 internship possibility for this summer in Pforzheim, Germany, for students who have completed four semesters or more of German and who also have a background in either business or engineering. This program may be of special interest to Engineering and Business students who are also minoring or majoring in German. Students will receive 3 credits of German language (GER X99) and 6 credits of GER 495. Some or all of these credits may be applied toward a German major or minor depending upon what courses students have or have not already taken.

Further information can be found at the Global Programs website. Interested students should also contact .

Liese Sippel Defends Dissertation on Peer Interaction and Correction in the Language Classroom

On 5 December 2016, Liese Sippel successfully defended her dissertation for the Ph.D. in German under the direction of Dr. Richard Page. Liese's dissertation, titled "The effects of peer interaction, form-focused instruction, and peer corrective feedback on the acquisition of grammar and vocabulary in L2 German." investigated the effectiveness of peer interaction and peer corrective feedback in third-semester German language classrooms.

New Internships for German Majors Summer '17

1. Summer 2017 Libra Internship Program, which has international placements, as well as domestic locations.

The Libra Internship Program offers a paid opportunity for undergraduate students to intern with the Libra Group and its' 30 subsidiaries in locations, including with Lomar Shipping in Bremen. Internship roles are available in finance, marketing, social responsibility, accounting, human resources, policy & government affairs, communications, hotel operations, culinary and more.

Some of the program features include:

*Paid Placement – All interns are placed on the local payroll. Libra will directly book and pay for flight/train(s) to and from orientation, the hotel for orientation week and the flight/train(s) to and from each internship location.

*Mentor and Buddy Program – A senior executive (mentor) and a junior colleague (buddy) are assigned to interns to provide guidance on navigating through the internship, local area and personal career track.

*Training – To enhance employability and professional development, Libra offers ongoing group and one-on-one training through workshops, coaching and mentorship.

• Be at least 18 years of age
• Currently enrolled undergraduate student
• Fluency in English
• Minimum Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 (USA) or equivalent
• Must be available for mandatory program dates: June 5 – August 11, 2017

For further details, please review the website at You will be able to search for all available vacancies based on focus area of internship and location.


2. HR Marketing/Recruiting Global Internship (Summer 2017)

SCHOTT is a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass and glass-ceramics. To support our HR department at our headquarters in Mainz, Germany (approx. 20 minutes from Frankfurt) we are looking for an intern beginning in June 2017 for at least 3 to 4 months. The intern will support the application process for the Heinrich J. Klein Foundation 2017 Scholarship, handled by SCHOTT AG. The objective of the Foundation is to sponsor international exchange by granting scholarships to students for a stay abroad.

Apply online at 


German and Slavic Co-Hosts Poetry Without Borders 2016

Presented by the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, "Poetry Without Borders" was held at 6 p.m. on November 8 in Foster Auditorium.

"Poetry Without Borders" is an annual, student-run literature reading forum where students and faculty present poetry from different languages and cultures to the audience.

Moderated this year by Ines Martin, a Ph.D. candidate in German Applied Linguistics and Language Science, a total of 30 participants took turns reciting their chosen poems — in the poem’s original language — in front of a crowd. A variety of Slavic and Germanic languages were among the selections.

In the background of each reading, a PowerPoint was presented showing the poem in the original language alongside an English translation for the audience to interpret the poem.

Some participants recited poems written by published poets, while John Henry Riccardi recited a poem he wrote himself in German titled "Arbeit."

Proficiency Exam in Russian to be given September 28 and November 2

The Proficiency Examination in Russian, which can give successful candidates from 4 to 12 credits on their transcripts and fulfill part or all of their language requirement (if any), will be administered on 28 September and 02 November from 10:00-12:00 in 235 Burrowes Bldg. on the University Park campus. For more details, please contact <>.

New Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees with School of International Affairs

Penn State undergraduate students majoring in German or Russian can now earn a master's degree in International Affairs with only one additional year of study beyond their bachelor's through the integrated undergraduate-graduate (IUG) degree program offered by the School of International Affairs (SIA) and the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Penn State. Those interested should write to for further information.

Samuel Frederick Promoted to Associate Professor

Samuel Frederick Promoted to Associate Professor

Samuel Frederick

Dr. Samuel Frederick has received tenure and been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of German. Congratulations, Sam!

Dr. Frederick has written on various topics in German literature from the Early Modern period to the present with a primary focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially the Swiss and Austrian traditions. His areas of expertise include narratology and the history of the novel; philosophical approaches to literature and film; thing theory; lyric poetry; experimental fiction; international modernism; and the narrative prose of Biedermeier and Poetic Realism. In his teaching and research he aims to bring together close reading with rigorous theoretical and philosophical inquiry.