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Department of Germanics Summer 2014 Newsletter

From the Outgoing Chair

Dear Friends of Germanics,

I am writing to you today to introduce our new e-news which we hope to send to you twice a year to keep you up to date about the department. This is also my last communication to you as chair as I am retiring from that position this summer and look forward to an entire year of sabbatical, reading and writing about my new passion, the environmental humanities. I also hope to do some traveling. Our new chair is Brigitte Prutti who will be in touch with you again in the fall. Brigitte is a scholar of eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century drama, Austrian literature and culture, and contemporary German-language writing. Originally from near Graz, she is looking forward to accompanying a group of students on our annual Spring in Vienna program in 2015.

When you scroll through the list of topics in this e-news, you will find a wonderful array of stories ranging from introducing our 2014 graduating class and the two recipients of the annual Lufthansa awards, current and former students' accomplishments, news from students who study and research abroad, faculty research, a profile of our annual guest professor in the spring, Joe Voyles's retirement, and new and innovative programming. Read just the stories that appeal to you or read them all--they testify to our strength and vitality as one of the leading language programs on campus and, indeed, nationwide. Please join me in welcoming Brigitte to the community of friends of Germanics.

Wish best wishes,
Sabine Wilke

Sabine Wilke, 2014 convocation


From the Incoming Chair

Dear Alumns and Friends of Germanics,

Summertime and the livin’ is easy, says Porgy and Bess, and I hope you are having a very pleasant summer so far. As the incoming chair of Germanics, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sabine Wilke for her extraordinary leadership and vision for the past thirteen years. Her zest and skill in directing the program are hard to match, her passion and energy have always seemed boundless to me. She has fostered innovative teaching practices and established productive collaborations of all sorts, and we admire her as one of the leading scholars in the interdisciplinary field of the Environmental Humanities today. While Sabine is enjoying her well-deserved time away from departmental tasks, I am starting my term as chair with an inspiring role model to emulate and some very large shoes to fill. What makes the daunting task ahead seem not quite as daunting, alas, is my accomplished team of colleagues and staff here at the UW along with a group of very talented students and a supportive community of alumni and friends. And we are pleased to welcome Dr. Kye Terrasi from UCLA who will join the Germanics faculty as a full-time lecturer in the fall. Dr. Terrasi is a specialist in Viennese modernism and art and an experienced language teacher as well. To my esteemed colleague Sabine Wilke I offer our sincere thanks for sustaining UW Germanics as an exceptionally strong and viable program during her tenure as chair. Thanks to her we are in great shape, and we move confidently into the future, with the goal of fostering excellence in our students and teaching them to become thoughtful citizens of the 21st century’s globalized world.

Best regards,

Brigitte Prutti

Brigitte Prutti, aiming high 2014