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Ines Martin defends Ph.D. dissertation

On Monday, 4 December, Ines Martin successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Bridging the Gap between L2 Pronunciation Research and Teaching: Using iCPRs to Improve Novice German Learners’ Pronunciation in Distance and Face-to-Face Classrooms.” This dissertation investigated the effectiveness of a homework-based, computer-delivered method of pronunciation instruction, called iCPR. Results revealed that foreign language pronunciation can be taught via homework-assignments and can be included in distance learning environments. 

Congratulations, Dr. Martin!

Beate Brunow (Ph.D. German 2011) accepts new position at University of Georgia

Ph.D. alumna Beate Brunow has been named director of Student Affairs, academic partnerships and initiatives at the University of Georgia. Currently, Brunow is a tenured assistant professor of German at Wofford College and serves as coordinator for the German Program and Gender Studies Program, as well as interim dean of the Center for Innovation and Learning.

Brunow’s appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2018. In this role, she will provide consultation and support Student Affairs in the creation and enhancement of academic partnerships. She will work to create educational experiences connecting academic courses, clubs and organizations, instructional initiatives, civic engagement and other experiences, as well as advance Student Affairs as a principal laboratory for research and experiential learning opportunities.

Congratulations, Beate!

Trafika Europe Offers Internships at Penn State University

Trafika Europe is an exciting and innovative project at Penn State, showcasing new European literature in English translation, offering internships for full course credit in Spring 2018 semester.

The project includes an online literary journal as a publication of Penn State University Libraries, a literary events calendar, online bookshop, audio interviews and literary animated videos, and preparing to launch Trafika Europe Radio – Europe’s literary radio station, online.

Based in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, TE internships give selected students (at any level) experience with publishing and the literary/creative sector, new media and communications. Interns can establish career contacts, explore cultures, and depending on qualifications, may learn skills related to non-profit management, literary translation and editing, outreach and promotion, events organizing, cultural journalism, database
management, audio recording, website development and so on. Possibility exists to grow with the project. The internship combines tasks to be carried out independently with regular on-campus meetings and supervision.

For more information about TE internshipts, please contact Andrew Singer at .

Trafika Europe Literary Project

Trafika Europe Literary Project

The Trafika Europe literary project is affiliated with the Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures Department at Penn State, showcasing new literature in English translation from across Europe. We maintain a prestigious online literary quarterly, as a Library of Congress-indexed series publication of Penn State University Libraries, publish annual print anthologies with Penn State University Press, and have been developing additional project features in support of contemporary European literature, including a literary events calendar, a virtual online bookshop, and preparing to launch Trafika Europe Radio – Europe’s literary radio station. Internships are suitable for students seeking to gain experience in publishing and the literary sector generally, new media and communications. Qualified students may learn skills related to non-profit management, literary translation and editing, outreach and promotion, events organizing, cultural journalism, database management, audio recording, website management and so on. For more information, please contact director Andrew Singer:


Jake Van der Kolk defends Ph.D. dissertation on Austrian writer Hermann Broch

On August 16, 2017, Ph.D. candidate Jake Van der Kolk successfully defended his thesis, entitled "The Self-Destructing Text: Hermann Broch's Der Tod des Vergil and the Limits of Avant-Garde Narrative." The thesis examines how the notoriously difficult novel The Death of Virgil (1945) by Hermann Broch -- written largely in the US where Broch was in exile during WWII -- engages the reader in literary and existential self-inquiry, and in so doing demonstrates the impossibility of avant-garde narrative. Congratulations, Jake!

25th Anniversary of Ukraine's Independence Celebrated at University Park

Tuesday, 4 April saw a celebration of 25 years of Ukrainian independence. At the Hintz Alumni Center, Helen Woskob gave introductory remarks before Michael Bernosky read from her newly published memoirs, Freedom & Beyond: My Journey from Ukraine to a New Life in America, and from Dr. Michael Naydan's novel set in Lviv, Seven Signs of the Lion. Dr. Markian Dobczansky, Jacyk Fellow at the University of Toronto, gave a lecture outlining the origins of the current Ukraine-Russia conflict. A reception followed as attendees admired a display of woodcarvings by Serhiy Karpenko. The festivities were capped by a performance at Schwab Audiorium by the renowned Ukrainian folk quartet Dakha Brakha.

Besides Ukrainian independence, the day also celebrated 25 years of Ukrainian Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, with remarks by the Deans of Agricultural Sciences and Liberal Arts at PSU, and the Rector of the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Kyiv.

The event was sponsored by the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Liberal Arts, the Woskob Family Foundation, and the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures.

GSLL Prepares Four Beginning Language Offerings for Fall 2017

The Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures Announces its

Fall 2017 beginning language classes: 

German (GER1) - multiple sections

Polish (POL197) - M  W 2:30-3:45; F 2:30-3:20;  Course #18981 & 18982

Russian (RUS1) - multiple sections

Ukrainian (UKR1) - M F 10:10-11:00; T R 10:35-11:25; Course # 24677 & 24678

Russian for heritage speakers (Rus410) - - T R 3:05-4:20; Course #14520* 

*RUS410 provides 12th-credit proficiency in one semester. Available to students on all campuses via distance technology.




GSLL Salutes its May Graduates!

17 of our undergraduate majors received their Bachelor's degrees at the Penn State May commencement.

Russian major Brian Zdancewicz (to right of banner in photo) was honored as Student Marshal for the Department, accompanied by Dr. Irina Mikalien, Senior Lecturer in Russian, as Faculty Marshal (to left of banner). In addition, Dr. Sabine Doran (in center of right-hand panel), Associate Professor of German, was chosen as Faculty Marshal for Global and International Studies, accompanying Student Marshal Ava Doery.

We congratulate all our:

Anna Blyth Katrina Hartman
Ian Cameron Daniel Kiefer
Jacob Cordell Maria Kravets
Jack DiMidio Robert Vorhees
Kendra Hepler Brian Zdancewicz
Justin Kilner
John Kozorra
Megan Krause
Hannah Lasure
Mark Milutonovic
Kelly Morrow
Olivia Raub


Congratulations also go to three graduate students who received their Ph.D.s in May: Katherine Anderson; Liese Sippel; and Adam Toth.

Zertifikat Deutsch examination administered to German majors at Penn State

On March 18, two examiners from the Goethe Institute in New York, Steffi Krause and Andrea Pfeil, visited the University Park campus to administer the Zertifikat Deutsch exam to seven German majors and one German graduate student. (Four of the test-takers are shown at right completing the listening portion of the exam.) The ZD exam, which tests all four skills in German, is recognized everywhere in the world as a certification of German skills, and is a foundational document for employment with a German company or university study.

Katherine Anderson defends dissertation on contemporary authors who adopt German as their literary language

On 15 March, Katherine Anderson successfully defended her dissertation for the German Ph.D., "Foreign Writing Agency: Maria Cecilia Barbetta & Abbas Khider Rewriting Identity after Trauma in German as a Foreign Language." Ms. Anderson compares the two authors on the basis of the traumatic events that underlie their writing, and of their working through trauma through the adoption of German as a language and through the use of a variety of distancing techniques. Congratulations, Kate!