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Russian Language Summer School 2019, Yerevan, Armenia

ASPIRANTUM Armenian School of Languages and Cultures in Yerevan organizes International Russian Language Summer School in Yerevan, Armenia to take place from July 07 to August 17 (6 weeks) or July 07 to July 27 (3 weeks), 2019.

For more information on Application and Scholarship:

This 42 or 21 days summer school offers participants to master skills in written and oral modern Russian, reading and interpreting Russian texts from different periods as well as rapidly deepening their knowledge in colloquial Russian.

During the summer school several cultural trips will be offered, which will transform your stay in Armenia into an unforgettable, academically oriented endeavour.

On the first day (July 07, Sunday) the program will be launched in Garni, built by king Tiridates I in the first century AD as a temple to the god Mithra/Mihr. In the evening the group will travel to Yerevan for an opening dinner.

Classes will start on July 8th and will include lectures, seminars and presentations.

German Ph.D. Alumna Ines Martin wins Award for Her Dissertation Research

The Emma Marie Birkmaier Award was established in 1980 to recognize an author of doctoral dissertation research in foreign language education that contributes significantly to the advancement of the profession.

Dr. Martin’s 2018 dissertation was titled: “Bridging The Gap Between L2 Pronunciation Research and Teaching : Using iCPRs to Improve Novice German Learners' Pronunciation in Distance and Face-to-Face Classrooms”

She is currently an Assistant Professor of German at the US Naval Academy.

Hyoun-A Joo defends Ph.D. dissertation on the German spoken by Korean immigrants

On June 5th Hyoun-A Joo successfully defended her dissertation, titled "Clausal architecture in naturally acquired German: Korean immigrants in Germany." The dissertation investigates the acquisition of the clausal structure of L2 German by Korean native speakers who emigrated to Germany for work purposes in the 1970s and have resided there since then. The results show that the development of L2 grammars by adults happens in stages, leading to possible missing abstract representations for lower proficient L2 speakers. Non-target-like utterances by more proficient speakers, on the other hand, are more likely due to computational difficulties in mapping abstract syntactic features to lexical items rather than to representational deficits.

Dr. Joo, pictured here with committee members (l. to r.) Carrie Jackson, Michael Putnam, and Richard Page, will begin a post-doc at Georgia Institute of Tehcnology in the Fall.

Congratulations, Hyoun-A!

Catherine Babecki, Emily Kohlman and Stuart McLaughlin win Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships

Catherine Babecki, who graduated in May 2017 with a major in Math and a minor in German, has received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Germany for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Emily Kohlman, who will graduate in May 2018 with majors in journalism and Russian and minors in media studies and political science, has received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English in the Czech Republic for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Stuart McLaughlin, who will graduate in May 2018 with majors in Russian and Spanish and a minor in Arabic, has received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Azerbaijan for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Congratulations, Catherine, Emily and Stuart!


2018 a Banner year for job placements of current and recent Ph.D. students Nick Henry (Ph.D. 2015), Hyoun-A Joo (Ph.D. expected 2018), Ines Martin (Ph.D. 2018), Janice McGregor (Ph.D. 2012), Liese Sippel (Ph.D. 2017), and Don Vosburg (Ph.D. 2015).

GSLL congratulations the following current and recent Ph.D. students who have accepted tenure-track and multi-year contract positions at a number of top institutions across the United States during the 2017-2018 job cycle:

Nick Henry (Ph.D. 2015, in German Applied Linguistics with a dual title in Language Science) has accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, to begin in Fall 2018.

Hyoun-A Joo (Ph.D. expected 2018, in German Applied Linguistics with a dual title in Language Science) has accepted a multi-year postdoctoral position in the Department of Modern Languages (German Division) at Georgia Tech University, to begin in Fall 2018.

Ines Martin (Ph.D. 2018, in German Applied Linguistics with a dual title in Language Science) has accepted a tenure-track position in the Languages and Cultures Department (German Division) at the United States Naval Academy, to begin in Fall 2018.

Janice McGregor (Ph.D. 2013, in German Applied Linguistics) has accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of German Studies, with a part-time appointment in the Global Initiatives Program, at the University of Arizona, to begin in Fall 2018. 

Liese Sippel (Ph.D. 2017, in German Applied Linguistics with a dual title in Language Science) has accepted a lector and language coordinator position in the German Department at Yale University, to begin Fall 2018. 

Don Vosburg (Ph.D. 2015, in German Applied Linguistics with a dual title in Language Science) has accepted a position as the Director of the Language Center at Carleton College, to begin Fall 2018.


Lauren Brooks defends Ph.D. dissertation comparing Kafka with Seinfeld

On Friday, 16 March, Lauren Brooks (front row, center in photo at right) successfully defended her doctoral dissertation entitled: "Kafka Goes to New York: Reading Kafka in Seinfeld's America." The dissertation examines authority, respect and their absurd and meaningless nature as demonstrated through the works of Austrian writer Franz Kafka and the U.S. situation-comedy Seinfeld. Congratulations, Lauren!

Poetry Without Borders Event March 21 6-7 p.m. in Foster Auditorium

Once again this year students, faculty, and community members will come together to read world poetry in its original languages in Foster Auditorium. English translations are projected in the background during the readings. In commemoration of the 1968 student protests, the poems will be on themes of protest and resistance.

More information about the event can be found at the Poetry Without Borders website:


Penn State Now an Official Testing Center for the Zertifikat Deutsch Examination

Penn State German has contracted with the Goethe Institute to become the only official testing center for the Zertifikat Deutsch German examination in the state of Pennsylvania. It will be offering the exams in Burrowes Building on the University Park campus once in Fall and once in Spring. The next exam date will be 14 April 2018.

The ZD exam is open to anyone upon payment of the examination fee. The fee is heavily discounted for graduate students and undergraduate majors and minors in the Penn State German program.

The six levels of the ZD exam, A1 through C2, are recognized worldwide as accurate assessments of German language competence. The higher levels are important certifications for gaining access to employment and higher education in German-speaking countries.

Those interest in taking the exam should contact the department head, Thomas Beebee (; 814-863-4935)

GSLL Hosts Noted Russian Translator Alexander Cigale

Alexander Cigale of Queens College, the CUNY system, New York City, visited the University Park campus from 28 to 31 January. On Monday he gave a talk in the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series, "On the Evolution of an Absurdist Proto-Existentialist: the Physical, Mental, and Spiritual in the Art of Daniil Kharms (1905-1942)," gave that afternoon, together with Andrew Singer, a reading from his translations for the forthcoming Russian Ballet edition of Trafika Europe, and on Tuesday was a guest in the translation seminar of Dr. Adrian Wanner.

Alex Cigale’s first full book is Russian Absurd: Daniil Kharms, Selected Writings, which appeared in 2017 in the Northwestern World Classics series, is . In 2015, he was awarded an NEA Fellowship in Literary Translation, for his work on the poet of the St. Petersburg philological school, Mikhail Eremin, and guest edited the Spring 2015 Russia Issue of the Atlanta Review, blogging about it for one week on Best American Poetry. His own poems in English have appeared in the Colorado Review, The Common Online, and The Literary Review, and his translations of classic, Silver Age, and contemporary Russian poetry in Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, New England Review, PEN America, TriQuarterly, The Hopkins Review, Two Lines, Words Without Borders, and World Literature in Today. He is the guest editor of the Penn State affiliated Trafika Europe Russian Ballet issue. 

Cigale's visit was sponsored by the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Department of Comparative Literature

Russian Writer Linor Goralik to Present Her New Book, Found Life, on 16 February

One of the first Russian writers to make a name for herself on the Internet, Linor Goralik writes conversational short works that conjure the absurd in all its forms, reflecting post- Soviet life and daily universals. Her mastery of the minimal, including a wide range of experiments in different forms of micro-prose, is on full display in this collection of poems, stories, comics, a play, and an interview, here translated for the first time.

Ms. Goralik will present and read from Found Life on 16 February, from 3:30-5:00 p.m., in Foster Auditorium on the University Park campus. Her visit is sponsored by the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, Penn State Students in Russian, and the Woskob Family Endowment in Ukrainian Studies.