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Belvedere, August 2020
October 29, 2020
In the spirit of the times, I wrote a long and bleak essay on Grillparzer’s bleakest political play while sketching another, more hopeful essay on the literary phenomenology of summer with its multifarious sounds, sights, and Sommerfrische delights. The former will be published later this fall, the latter remains unwritten to date. Two editing projects are in the works as well as a short book on Portraits of the Artist as an Old Man in late 19th century Vienna... Read more
Oregon highway, 9:11:36 AM
October 28, 2020
This past summer I had the singular pleasure of taking my first ride down to Southern California. In the picture above, one sees the last feeble rays of sunshine as they give way to a long evening to be spent speeding down an Oregon highway. Except, the picture above was taken at 9:11:36 am. The glow was that of nearby fires and not of celestial rays fanning out from the center of our solar system. What one witnesses in this picture was the result of the raging wildfires that struck up and down... Read more
Brehms Tierleben
October 27, 2020
In addition to language instruction at UW this quarter, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to design and teach a new upper-level course for German majors at the University of Puget Sound entitled: “The Lives of Animals”. From ancient cave paintings in France to Voyager’s interstellar whale song, many of our greatest achievements in the arts and sciences have involved representations of non-human animals. The course offered students the chance to collectively explore how, why, and for whom... Read more
Marshall Brown: Goethe and the Yo-Yo
October 26, 2020
Last December, when I was looking through early issues of Modern Language Quarterly, I came across an essay by Richard j. Browne and M. C. Davis, "Goethe and the Yo-Yo," Modern Language Quarterly (1953) 14 (1): 98–101.  It's quite brief and delightfully informative.  The word yo-yo is a deformation of the French joujou... Read more
New Ecological Realisms: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and Contemporary Theory
October 20, 2020
What is the singular reality of humanistic objects of study? To appreciate this, New Ecological Realisms argues, we need a new concept of the real that hinges on, instead of denying, organization and form. Advocating for a new contextual realism of complex and embedded wholes, actor-networks, and ecologies, New Ecological Realisms brings together four groups of theories/theorists that have never been considered together before, and who formulate such... Read more
Teaching German in Prison
October 15, 2020
In September 2019 the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound (FEPPS), a nonprofit organization designed to offer college courses to students at Washington Correction Center for Women (WCCW), was looking for instructors to teach a German 121 course in their program. We volunteered. Since the Department of Corrections was prohibited by law to offer and pay for a program of higher education for incarcerated people serving a sentence of more than seven years, FEPPS (privately funded) with students... Read more
Diversity in Germany Film Series
October 14, 2020
This year, the German Department Film Series will be a little different—in response to social distancing and shelter-in-place guidelines and with generous support of the German Embassy's campus weeks program, we have decided to transition to an online streaming model with three unique options for students. First, we have a series of thematically linked movies available on our website, all centering around the experience of diversity in Germany. Second, students will have the option of... Read more
"Proto-Indo-European Word Stress: Its Lithuanian Reflex"
October 13, 2020
This year Joe Voyles and Charles Barrack--with essential editorial assistance from daughter Christina Voyles and husband Robert Hubble--finished a book, "Proto-Indo-European Word Stress: Its Lithuanian Reflex" (LINCOM Studies in Indo-European Linguistics 53. 246 pages. 2020). The development of Lithuanian word stress has long lent itself to misinterpretation.  Many have considered... Read more
Alum Alex Estes, BA 2013
October 7, 2020
After graduating with my BA in German in 2013, I immediately began my graduate studies in the German department at UC Berkeley. Having worked closely with Chuck Barrack and Joe Voyles at UW, I was well prepared to continue studying the history of the Germanic languages. I spent five great years in Berkeley, where I had the opportunity to teach German for three years, present at conferences, travel abroad to study medieval manuscripts, and enjoy the wonderful Bay Area weather. Although my... Read more
Heiner Müller, Georg Büchner: The Task/Danton's Death
September 21, 2020
Incoming Freshmen in Early Fall Start studied Revolutions and their Art (Aug-Sept 2020).  Students were located across the world in this remote learning course taught by Germanics professor, Ellwood Wiggins. In class, they discussed representations of revolutions from the 18th century to today, including the American Revolution (Hamilton: a Broadway musical in which people... Read more