The German Graduate Student Association of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures will host its inaugural annual conference at The Pennsylvania State University (hybrid or virtual conference format – TBD) from November 4-6, 2021.
For more information: https://sites.psu.edu/soundsofmigration2021/
On Friday, April 30th, Maike Rocker will present her research on the sociolinguistic history of German-Jewish settlers in the Dominican Republic as part of an interdisciplinary workshop at the University of Bamberg on German minorities in Latin America. The workshop begins at 8am ET, more information (including Maike’s abstract) and registration can be found at: https://bit.ly/3dPMVqj
The Palmer Museum of Art will reopen on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021, with Field Language: The Painting and Poetry of Warren and Jane Rohrer. This major loan exhibition celebrates the work of painter Warren Rohrer and poet Jane Rohrer, partners in life who drew from their shared background in Mennonite farm families to create modern art. Warren’s abstract paintings engage the colors and textures of cultivated fields of southcentral Pennsylvania, while Jane’s poems bring a modern perspective to her own experience bridging traditional agricultural life and the art world.
Curated by Joyce Robinson, Assistant Director of the Palmer Museum, in collaboration with guest curators poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Professor of English, and Christopher Reed, Distinguished Professor of English and Visual Culture, the exhibition is accompanied by a multi-author illustrated catalogue available now through Penn State Press or at the Museum Store. The digital companion to the exhibition was developed by Hannah A. Matangos, dual-title PhD candidate in German Literature & Culture and Visual Studies, and features pairings of poetry and paintings plus a mini documentary series about the exhibition.
Generous funding for the exhibition was provided by Penn State’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost as part of the University’s Strategic Arts and Humanities Initiative in 2017. Additional support was provided by the Art Bridges and Terra Foundation Initiative, the Art History department in the College of Arts and Architecture, and the departments of English and of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures in the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State. The George Dewey and Mary J. Krumrine Endowment and the Max Kade German-American Research Institute at Penn State also assisted our efforts.
Field Language is on view from February 10th through June 6th, 2021. Timed ticketed entry is free and bookable online.
German Ph.D. candidate Valérie Keppenne has received a Language Learning Dissertation Grant to fund parts of her dissertation project “When predictions aren’t Perfekt: The joint role of prediction, corrective feedback and prediction error in L2 learning”. The research investigates the complementary roles of prediction, feedback, and prediction error, and their potential to impact L2 grammar learning, as well as the developmental trajectory of how learners process feedback and compute prediction error in real time during learning. The project unites classroom-based research on corrective feedback with psycholinguistic research on predictive processing and has the protentional to advance our understanding of the underlying learning mechanisms in late second language acquisition. In addition, it has implications at the pedagogical level, for instance for designing effective language learning materials.
Dr. Jens-Uwe Guettel has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship for his book project on Radical Democracy in Germany, 1871-1923.
Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day to remember and honor the lives of the 6 million Jewish victims and over 11 million other victims of the Holocaust. In the era of COVID-19, Holocaust memorials, museums, and foundations across the world are offering virtual tours and open houses to explore their collections, in addition to compiling resources for combating Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism. See the links below to find out more.
Online Holocaust Remembrance Events:
10:00 a.m. EST, Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum’s commemoration event: http://auschwitz.org/en/home-page-76/
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST, United Nations, virtual memory ceremony and rouble-table discussion: http://webtv.un.org/
1:00 – 1:30 p.m. EST, 2021 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Remembrance Commemoration:
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. EST, Museum of Jewish Heritage, “18 Voices: A Liberation Day Reading of Young Writers’ Diaries from the Holocaust”:
Virtual Tours and Resources (alphabetical order):
Anne Frank House online visits: https://www.annefrank.org/en/museum/web-and-digital/
Debunking Holocaust denial: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/how-to-refute-holocaust-denial
Jewish Virtual Library’s articles on Anti-Semitism: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/anti-semitism
Jüdisches Museum Berlin’s online showcase: https://www.jmberlin.de/en/online-projects
Stiftung Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas online exhibitions: https://www.stiftung-denkmal.de/en/exhibitions/
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum virtual tour: https://www.ushmm.org/teach/teaching-materials/primary-sources-collections/virtual-field-trip/virtual-tour-for-students
Yad Vashem, online exhibitions: https://www.yadvashem.org/exhibitions.html
Congratulations to Carrie Jackson, Professor of German and Linguistics, is the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award. Dr. Jackson maintains very consistent and excellent ratings in teaching, but perhaps even more impressive are her extensive contributions to undergraduate student success outside the classroom. She has advised four undergraduate honors theses and an undergraduate internship. There are, in addition, the many other undergraduate students whose work she has supervised outside the classroom, including five undergraduates whom she assisted with their funded research projects, and the many research assistants who have worked in her lab. She is fully dedicated to enriching the lives of students.
FALL 2020 General Education Courses to Focus on Central European Culture, History, and Politics
Course #: 29580
GER 190, Section 1: Twentieth Century German Literature in Translation
Narratives of Injustice
Historically, the twentieth century was a very turbulent century for Germany. It was a century of extreme violence, as witnessed by the years 1914 and 1939 with the outbreak of the First World War and the unleashing of the Second World War and the Holocaust. It was also a century of revolutions: the revolutionary autumn in 1918 and the establishment of Germany’s first democracy, the Weimar Republic; and the peaceful revolution of the late 1980s that led to the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of a country that had been divided into East and West as a result of its defeat during WWII.
In this class, we seek to understand those complex histories through the lens of major works of literature and film that feature social injustice, e.g., racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression. Sadly, and unjustifiably, some of these works, e.g., Vicki Baum’s Grand Hotel, a bestseller in the 1930s that not only made it to the screen, but won the Academy Award in 1932; or Verena Stefan’s Shedding, which became arguably the most influential novel for the German feminist movement of the 1970s/1980s, fell into oblivion. Yet, all of the works offer not only an intriguing and important perspective on the time of their origin, but a relevant lesson for readers/viewers in the present.
We will examine the uniquely German experience of the 20th century by situating these works into their socio-political context, but we will show their relevance and use them to discuss social injustice as a global and timeless phenomenon by tying them to political debates of the 21st century.
Course #: 19764
For his translation of an excerpt from Dilek Güngör’s Ich bin Özlem (Verbrecher Verlag, 2019), the winner of the tenth annual Gutekunst Prize of the Friends of Goethe New York is Duncan Lien. Congratulations!
The jury, comprised of Tess Lewis, book critic and translator, Alta Price, Translator, and Jeremy Davies, editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, stated:
Duncan Lien’s supple translation not only persuasively captures Özlem’s voice but also the contradictory and complementary emotions and tones that shift throughout the narrative. There is a sense of shame pervading her account but also one of pride, impatience with her heritage and nostalgia for it, genuine affection for her family and a longing to shed what they represent. Sometimes these emotions alternate, sometimes they overlap. His accomplishment in these eleven pages is having found the register, vocabulary, and rhythm to make them tangible.
This year the 34 entries were particularly strong but Duncan Lien’s stood out for its inventiveness and sprezzatura.”
Lien wrote the following on his experience of translating Güngör’s text:
Although references to Turkish culture and the incorporation of Turkish words into the text is quite striking, this is only one of many aspects which demand the translator’s attention. The real challenge was to capture the range of emotions and registers of speech in the text, particularly in flashbacks to Özlem’s childhood. One such example is conveying the narrator’s perplexment at the place settings and stern enforcement of table manners when eating Vesper (the Swabian term for a light evening meal) at a friend’s house. An encounter with middle school bullies hinges on ethnic slurs with no obvious English equivalent and is a crucial scene in establishing Özlem’s obsession with how she smells. Happily, I found that understanding of the place of these passages in the narrative helped open up solutions to the translation problems I faced in the text.”
You can read Duncan Lien’s prizewinning translation of an excerpt from Dilek Güngör’s Ich bin Özlem here:
ABOUT DUNCAN LIEN
© Özge Şat-LienDuncan Lien is a third year Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature who specializes in transnational German literature with a focus on German-Turkish literary relations. His dissertation project examines the intersection of Cold War-era labor and political migration in the genesis of Turkish-German literature. The project considers authors’ engagement with transnational debates over realism and the plurilingual strategies employed by writers, asking how these issues inflect the various conceptions of political and artistic collectivity found in the Turkish-German archive. Additionally, Duncan has published on Turkish-Albanian literary encounters and his article “Rehearsing Better Worlds: Poetry as A Way of Happening in the Works of Tomlinson and MacDiarmid” appeared in Philosophy and Literature. Other teaching and research interests include translation, visual narratives and the relationship of history and literature.
ABOUT THE GUTEKUNST PRIZE OF THE FRIENDS OF GOETHE NEW YORK
In 2010, the Goethe-Institut New York received a generous donation in memory of Frederick and Grace Gutekunst. A prize was created to identify outstanding young translators of German literature into English and assist them in establishing contact with the translation and publishing communities. As of 2017, the prize is supported by the Friends of Goethe New York.
The Gutekunst Prize of the Friends of Goethe New York is open to college students and to all translators under the age of 35 who, at the time the prize is awarded, have not yet published, nor are under contract for, a book-length translation.
German and Russian majors, minors, and outstanding students will be honored at an online ceremony to be held on 22 April, from 5-7p.m. For information, updates, and the eventual link, bookmark:https://sites.psu.edu/awardsandgraduation2020/