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Alumni News

Isaiah Back-Gaal
November 20, 2019
As a means of student outreach and facilitating discussion on supporting diversity in study abroad programs, the Department of Germanics has been inviting former students to present their perspectives on the Spring in Vienna program.  On October 25th, University of Washington alumnus Isaiah Back-Gaal spoke about his experience as a queer, Jewish American studying abroad in Vienna.  In his talk he focused on the pleasures and challenges of living in a different country and ways in which one’s... Read more
Berlin Wall
November 19, 2019
Do you remember what you did November 9, 1989?  The speakers at the Zeitzeugen Panel & Discussion sure did. To mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, former residents of East Germany, academic experts and members of the German public shared their stories with the audience in the Petersen Room at UW’s Suzallo and Allen Libraries last Friday, November 8th. Thank you to everyone who joined our lively discussion and community. A special thank you goes out to our partners, the... Read more
Thalia Theater, Hamburg: Amerika
November 5, 2019
Have you been missing the boundary-pushing theater scene of Germany? Fortunately, Thalia Theater Hamburg recently visited the great Nature Theatre of Cascadia! Their production of Franz Kafka's Amerika came to the stage in Seattle on November 16. Our esteemed colleague, Ellwood Wiggins, likes the preeminent theater of Hamburg so much that one of his daughters shares its name: Thalia. On the night of the show, Ellwood booked... Read more
Isiaih Back-Gaal
October 23, 2019
Isaiah Back-Gaal will talk about his experience as a queer, Jewish American studying abroad in Vienna.  While at a Voguing ball, someone described Austria to him as "the Bible Belt of Europe."  Reflecting on this characterization, Isaiah will explore Vienna as a city of contradictions: home to a young, queer subculture in a deeply traditional, catholic country.  His talk will focus on the importance of centering discussions of travel and study abroad on our particular identities, precisely as... Read more
Heather Sullivan
June 10, 2019
UW Germanics alumna Heather Sullivan is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Trinity University in Texas, USA. Sullivan began teaching at Trinity in 1995 after completing the Ph.D. in comparative literature with an emphasis on German at the University of Washington. Her dissertation advisor was the esteemed Diana Behler. In April of 2018Sullivan offered a remarkable lecture "The Dark Green: Plants Run Amok in the Anthropocene” at the invitation of UW Germanics... Read more
UW Germanics Alumna: Heidi Tilghman (PhD 1989)
June 6, 2019
I received my Ph.D. from UW Germanics in August 1989, having written, under the guidance of Jens Rieckmann, on the early works of Viennese satirist Karl Kraus.  I finished the degree just in time to start a position at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where I stayed for 12 years, earning tenure and expanding my teaching and research into International Studies while also giving birth to two wonderful daughters.  Eventually, my husband and I decided we wanted to raise our children in a more... Read more
Ryan Maves
June 5, 2019
I studied German in middle school and through high school, including spending a summer in Bavaria as an exchange student. When I came to the University of Washington as a freshman in 1991, I had already planned on a career in medicine, but I wanted to continue my language studies. I changed my major to German as a freshman when I realized that this period of my life might the last time that I could explore the humanities in any kind of comprehensive way. (Thankfully, this turned out to be wrong... Read more
Morgan in full neoliberal performance costume
May 29, 2019
Greetings from the College of Charleston, South Carolina, where I have been working as an Assistant and now Associate Professor of German since I graduated with a PhD in Germanics at the University of Washington in 2007. It was very difficult to leave the fabulous city of Seattle, but over the years Charleston has grown a great deal on me and I am proud to say I can now appreciate the difference between 80, 90, and 100 degrees Fahrenheit--for the first 5-6 years it felt all exactly the same to... Read more
mentoring lunch
March 18, 2019
We are very happy to announce another enjoyable “mentoring lunch” with current UW German majors. On February 25, 2019, Alex Minami (UW class of 2010) and Arabelle Liepold (Managing Director, Goethe Pop-Up, Seattle) joined five students to... Read more
Sam Hylton
March 11, 2019
You may remember Sam Hylton, one of our recent graduates. You may not know that he and his jazz band, Ark Noir, are making a splash in the Munich jazz scene.   We asked Sam a few questions about life after graduation:       Why do you live in Munich?         I moved here for a Master's degree in Jazz Piano (performance) at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, or University of Music and Performing Arts Munich as... Read more