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Recent News

Rewriting Trauma
February 27, 2020
In the wake of #MeToo or #Survivor, we find ourselves confronted with a set of new imperatives: Talk about your trauma! Share your personal story! Make it known! Break the silence! Yet, while these campaigns suggest condensing individual or shared history into 240 characters, we should not forget that literature has always provided a platform for speaking the unspeakable. Writing about traumatic experiences is as old as writing itself. War and pain, loss and grief, wounds and scars, violence,... Read more
Annegret Oehme: new faculty publication
February 3, 2020
The Construction of Women’s Roles in German and Yiddish Pre-modern 'Wigalois' Adaptations This publication uncovers two previously dismissed pre-modern adaptations of the Middle High German Wigalois (1215) by exploring their different approaches to female agency in comparison with the original Wigalois, the Yiddish Viduvilt (14th ct.) and the German Wigoleis (15th ct.). Traditionally, scholarship often concentrated on the Yiddish text presenting female... Read more
Stammtisch and Kaffeestunde
January 22, 2020
The University of Washington’s German Club is organizing weekly meetups (Stammtisch) for students to hang out, practice their language skills, and play some German board games. Recently, they facilitated a ‘Study Slam’ to help prepare 100 and 200 level language students for their final exams.  German Club will continue to meet for Stammtisch every Wednesdays from 4:30-6:00pm, starting the second week of the winter quarter in the upstairs section of Cafe Allegro. Come and join... Read more
Summer in Berlin
January 22, 2020
City of the Past and Future: Film, Media and Diversity No German required    The Department of Germanics' Summer in Berlin provides students with an immersive way to experience the German language and culture in the diverse and exciting metropolis Berlin. Utilizing the city as our classroom, we will explore the culture, politics and history of Berlin from WWI to the present day. Students will receive a broad overview of Berlin's socio-historical landscape,... Read more
Sabine Wilke
December 10, 2019
As part of the alumni engagement initiative, American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Board and staff have been visiting alumni across the United States. Professor Sabine Wilke discusses her Humboldt experience and its impact on her subsequent career as well as the importance of Alexander von Humboldt to her current work. On her time in Germany as a Humboldt Research Fellow “My initial experience with the... Read more
December 2, 2019
 As part of the Hanauer seminar this quarter, our group arranged for a tour of the recently re-opened Burke museum with their resident arachnid expert, Rod Crawford. Rod took us behind the scenes for a fascinating look at their extensive archive of spider specimens. Having personally captured about two-thirds of the spiders currently preserved at the Burke, he proved to be a vast repository of arachnid-related facts as well as a passionate debunker of... Read more
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
Yoko Tawada
November 19, 2019
Yoko Tawada’s transnational narratives often place a Japanese narrator into a German-speaking environment where the reader is forced to view German culture through a Japanese lens. Several of her early short stories included elements of Japanese mythology retold in an international space. Originally written in Japanese, Yoko Tawada’s short story “Fersenlos” (English: Missing Heels) is a quirky, feminist retelling of a Japanese ghost story. In the original ghost story, the ghost bride appears... 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
Katja Petrowskaja
November 18, 2019
On October 7-8, the Kyiv-born and Berlin-based writer Katja Petrowskaja visited the University of Washington to read from her novel, Vielleicht Esther, which won the prestigious Bachmann prize in Germany in 2013, and which was translated into English in 2018. Audience members from across the university and the region crowded into the standing-room only reading, which was preceded by a riveting conversation with Sasha Senderovich (Slavic Languages and Literatures and Jewish Studies). On... Read more