News and Events (current and past)
David Rettig of the Amana Colonies Recognized as “Outstanding Individual Leader”
In April, the Iowa Tourism Office and the Travel Federation of Iowa presented David Rettig, retiring Executive Director of the Amana Colonies Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACCVB), with its Outstanding Individual Leader Award. During his six years at the ACCVB, David worked closely with Amana businesses to actively engage the broader public, particularly during the COVID pandemic.
The photo depicts, from left to right, Bill Leichsenring (owner, Ox Yoke Inn), Jon Childers (ACCVB President), David Rettig, Mary Rettig (Assistant University Librarian for Advancement), and Elise Heitmann (incoming Executive Director, ACCVB). Jon Childers received his M.A. in German at the University of Iowa and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Amana Heritage Society.
Katarina Newcamp Receives 2021-22 Fulbright ETA Award
Katarina Newcamp, who will graduate in May 2021 with a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Spanish and German, has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Kosovo for 2021-22. Click here to read about Ms. Newcamp’s plans.
Postcard Writing Exchange project to connect high school students to college students studying German
The University of Iowa German Department launched the project on March 31, where students studying German in college will write letters to high school German students to stay connected during COVID-19. Access the full Daily Iowan article by clicking here.
Kirsten Kumpf Baele, who is a lecturer in the German department and faculty advisor of the project, said she launched the “Postcard Writing Exchange” project on March 31 with the German Department’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Ambassadors Shelby Tipling and Roman Ebert.
The university is working with German students at Grinnell College and Cornell College to connect with German students at four high schools in the area: Cedar Rapids Prairie High School, Jefferson High School, Urbandale High School, and Waukee High School, Kumpf Baele said.
Professor Ehrstine receives award
Professor Glenn Ehrstine has received the Provost's Investment in Strategic Initiatives Award to finish a book project, Devotional Spectatorship and the Indulgence in Late Medieval Germany.
The book broadens our understanding of how the late medieval laity earned indulgences on the eve of the Protestant Reformation, in this case by engaging in devotional behaviors during religious play performances that were intended to hasten their entrance into heaven. One chapter examines the Passion Play of Alsfeld, first performed in 1501, and the post-play prayer vigils that audience members conducted in the Walpurgiskirche (Church of St. Walburga). just steps away from the performance site on the town’s market square. Prof. Ehrstine conducted research in Alsfeld in June 2019 with support from UI International Programs and the assistance of the Walpurgiskirche’s Pastor Peter Remy, pictured above.
Professor Golz receives two awards
Professor Sabine Gölz was awarded a Summer Scholarship from International Programs for her project "“Architecture as Allegory: A Photo and Video Project about Walter Benjamin’s Arcades" as well as a University of Iowa Career Development Award for work on her book project, "The Subconscious is in the Construction: Gender, Mimesis, and Poetic Architecture in Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Essays."
With this book, Prof. Gölz revises a central assumption about the work of the important 20th-century theorist Walter Benjamin (1892-1940). Benjamin's work has had a vast influence on current cultural and media studies. But scholars tend to read him first and foremost as a philosopher. Gölz shows that Benjamin's strategies are instead quintessentially literary. She demonstrates that his theory of language derives from his three most important literary sources of inspiration: the works of the German Romantics, French poet Charles Baudelaire, and Franz Kafka. From these, he adapts his theory of mimesis, his architectural metaphors in the notion of poetic 'construction,' and most importantly, his strategic use of gender. All of these remain invisible in a philosophical reading. Prof. Gölz's analysis further shows that women writers and theorists, most importantly Austrian poet Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973), have developed a lucid critique and counter-model to the strategies of Benjamin and his literary predecessors.
Department wins Global Research Partnership Award
The Department of German will invite two Professors from institutions of Higher Learning in Freiburg, Germany, and one writer from the region, Alissa Walser. They will give public talks on campus related to the teaching of Human rights. Dr. Nottingham-Spencer will in return visit the University of Freiburg and our friends in the Academic Year in Freiburg Program.
Allison Steger Awarded 2020 Gilman Award
Allison Steger is a fourth-year history major (minor in German and certificate in museum studies) from Dubuque, Iowa.
"I want to work in the museum field, specifically in collections management. I have a passion for studying Cold War German history, especially the social and economic impacts of life in divided Berlin and life after reunification. Germany seemed like a great fit because I would be experiencing and seeing Berlin rather than just reading about it in a book. I also decided to intern in Germany because they have a lot of museums, so I can get hands-on learning with a subject I’m interested in and I could improve my German skills when I’m there. Studying abroad is important to me because it helps expand one’s awareness of other cultures than your own. It also provides you an opportunity for independence and building your skills, which in turn will help one build their future. I have never gone outside the United States so I was really excited to use my German skills there, learn more about the culture, and experience what I want to do for a career, but unfortunately, my internship was canceled because of COVID-19."
Professor Maierhofer awarded Developmental Sciences Hybridoma Bank (DSHB) Award
Professor Waltraud Maierhofer of the Department of German will use the award to travel to Palermo, Italy, for the 2020 conference of the International Association of Germanic Studies. She will present on the representation of disabilities in German writing and film as part of a workshop that she has co-organized, and will edit a selection of the workshop's presentations into a book. Her presentation analyzes two recent German TV series where a woman with a disability is the protagonist: Dr. Klein, about a pediatrician who has dwarfism, and Heiland - We Are Attorney, about an attorney who was born blind. Both have been applauded by critics for their depiction of contemporary German society as diverse and inclusive, and Maierhofer will interview the writers for the programs. Her research and presentation will help shape the curriculum of her course "Disabilities in Global Writing and Film."
Opera Forum Lecture on Alban Berg's Wozzeck
Professor Waltraud Maierhofer of the Department of German and the Global Health Studies Program talks about the original play, its unfortunate author, and how Berg's Wozzeck changed opera.
Wednesday, December 11th, 5:30 pm in UCC 2520-D
The Berlin Wall: Then and Now
November 9th marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Join us for a Podium Discussion with Iowans who experienced the event's and have explored the Wall's legacy:
Janice Weiner –Foreign Service Officer, retired, US Dept of State Ulrike Carlson –UI Department of German & Iowa Early Language, LLC Jim Throgmorton –Mayor, City of Iowa
Wednesday, November 6, 3:30-4:30
Meeting Room A, Iowa City Public Library
Rabbit à la Berlin
A FilmScene screening of the Academy Award-nominated Rabbit a la Berlin, a story of the thousands of wild rabbits that lived in the green belt of the Berlin Wall.
Wednesday, November 6th, 8 pm
Meet a German
In honor of Germany's national day of unity on October 3rd, Professor Kirsten Kumpf Baele and CLAS student ambassador Cassandra Bertolini visited Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids to conduct an interactive workshop on aspects of German youth culture. The event was sponsored by Fulbright Germany in cooperation with the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG).
Resurgent Antisemitism and the Importance of Historical Remembering
A reading and panel discussion on March 14, 2019 at the Iowa City Public Library with panel discussion participants: Esther Dischereit, German-Jewish poet, author, performer, International Writing Program Fall Resident 2017, Berlin, Germany Elizabeth Heineman, History and Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies, University of Iowa Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz, Agudas Achim Congregation, Iowa City Elke Heckner, Department of German, University of Iowa
German Iowa and the Global Midwest Symposium
Since 2014, UI students and faculty have been researching the history of German immigration to Iowa. This project culminated in Fall 2016 with an exhibit in the Old Capitol Museum, the Obermann Humanities Symposium on “German Iowa and the Global Midwest" , and an International Programs Conference on “Doing Global History Locally”. In 2017, the German Iowa traveling exhibit visited over 25 communities throughout the state.
A lasting result of the project is a Digital Archive featuring German-Iowan documents and images researched by UI students.
University of Iowa students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public are invited to view a traveling exhibit commemorating the heroism of a German student movement that urged nonviolent resistance to the Nazi government in 1942-43. The exhibit was hosted by the College of Public Health May 2-30, 2014