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Alumni News

Kafka's Amerika
November 5, 2019
A play based on the novel by Franz Kafka and produced by Thalia Theater Hamburg, Germany. You might not like Kafka, but even so, you may want to give his novel, Amerika, a second read.  Today, it might be more relevant than ever before. In his novel, Kafka writes about displacement, social decline in the foreign country, and the longing for Heimat (home).   “As the sixteen-year-old Karl Rossmann, sent to America by his poor parents because a maid had seduced him and had had a child by him, was... 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
Nicole Calian
February 27, 2019
I received my PhD in Germanics in 2008 and worked for many years as a part-time lecturer at both the Bothell and the Seattle campus of the UW, teaching philosophy, literature and intellectual history. As part of the UW summer study abroad program I brought students to Berlin for an experiential course on Jewish Berlin entitled, Berlin Beyond the Wall. Then, last summer, we packed our bags and moved to Berlin! After a year of adjusting to life in Germany (on the one hand, rules and bureaucratic... Read more
Laura Stahman
February 20, 2019
I completed my doctorate in Germanics from the UW in 2005. I focused on German-Jewish philosophy and literature through the lens of dialogic philosophy. Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas were the key influences for my exploration. I began teaching full time as a non-tenure track faculty member at Western Oregon University in the fall of 2003 and worked happily at that institution until 2009. I was able to co-design a German Studies major and develop 11 new courses for the program while working... Read more