Tuesday, February 21, 2012

German Club Karneval 2012 Features Three Bands at O'Connell's Pub

Thanks to the German Club for making this event such a success!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Matt Beck to Teach and Tutor at Jilin Institute of Chemical Technology in China

Note:  After graduating as a German Major, Matt Beck spent a year in Nürnberg as a Fulbright Scholar and Teaching Assistant.  He is continuing his love of cultural explorations in China -- and in the wonderful books he reads. 

Liebe Freunde der CSB|SJU Deutschfakultät
   I'm moving to a new teaching assignment, so I thought I'd send another update on where I am and what I'm doing.
   I'm currently staying at the Maryknoll house in Hong Kong, and I'll be moving to northern China to teach on February 20th.  Maryknoll found a job for me at the Jilin Institute of Chemical Technology. I have no idea what kind of English classes I'll be teaching there, but I've been told I might have the chance to do some German tutoring on the side. There's a Volkswagen factory in the area, so there's a sizable German-speaking population and most likely some Chinese people who want to learn.
   I've been in Hong Kong for about two months.  Chinese universities get a large vacation in January and February for Chinese New Year.  As a result, I've had plenty of time for academic exploration.  I've been working on my German, mostly by reading news articles. In terms of literature, I've been reading more Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak and I'm currently working on an The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  I'd recommend Pamuk's The Museum of Innocence to anyone interested on the influence of the West on modern Turkish culture.  Hidden in the text are a few references to Germany's specific role.  Also highly recommended is Shafak's The Forty Rules of Love, which connects the 13th century poet Rumi and his inspiration, the Shams of Tabriz, to 20th century American culture.
   I'm starting to look for things to do next year, and regardless of where my plans take me, I want German to be involved somehow.
   Liebe Grüsse aus Hong Kong (香港)

Monday, February 13, 2012

35 Students and Faculty Experience Massenet's Werther at the Minnesota Opera

German Club President Chris Pignato gives an introduction to Massenet's Werther
Almost 40 Bennies and Johnnies joined the German Club and German Professors in a fantastic evening at the Ordway Theater in St. Paul. A foggy and cold day set the perfect melancholic mood to associate oneself with one of the greatest love tragedies in literature. Based on Goethe's romantic anti-hero, Jules Massenet's opera brought us back to the 19th century right into a love story rich in passion and full of obstacles. Great emotions on stage, exhilarating music by the orchestra and a love transcending plot certainly had an aesthetic impact on everyone who witnessed this great opera with us! Touched and all senses spoken to, we felt great sympathy for young suffering Werther and the importance of emotions. Let us just hope this inspiration will lead to new energy. The positive feedback from the students indicated so. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Austin Eighan Heads to Munich for His Junior Year

The decision between Schalgobers and Schalgrahm was not an easy one to make. Having already spent a year in Melk, Austria, my decision to study for a year abroad in Munich came primarily through the desire to experience the German way of living. The Junior Year in Munich Program based out of Wayne State University will provide just that. The program provides many different opportunities for students to not only further their German speaking ability, but also their independence. Throughout my duration in the program, the mixture between the support provided by the program and my own pursuit of various classes directly at the Technische Universität München or Ludwig-Maximillians Universität München, I plan to immerse myself completely into the German culture and language. Obwohl St. John’s  mir sehr fehlen wird, freue ich mich schon sehr auf München!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Congratulations to the Salzburg Program Group 2012 -- A Bumper Year!

Congratulations, Rachel, Daniel, Alexander, Matthew, Caitlin, Benjamin, Daniel, Jacob, Colin, Steven, Christopher, Joseph, Ryan, John, Daniel, Emily, Molly, Dana, Joel, Jack, Megan, Joseph, Tyler and Cory!  You have joined a wonderful group of students. We are delighted that you have chosen to further your knowledge of European cultures, especially in Austria and Germany!  We know your worldview will expand in astonishing ways, you will make new friends, and your German will improve by leaps and bounds. Best wishes as you experience the semester of a lifetime!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

We Welcome Fulbright Scholar Martin Leimser to CSB/SJU in 2012-2013

Editor's note:  Each year we are blessed with Fulbright Scholars/ Teaching Assistants who invigorate our German Studies program and classrooms in many ways -- making friends with CSB/SJU students, speaking German with you and teaching you about things European.  The following are Martin Leimser's thoughts about teaching and about his academic path so far.

Dear Students and Professors at Saint Ben's and Saint John's,
   Since I come from the very west of Austria, Vorarlberg, I grew up speaking a very distinctive dialect similar to Swiss-German. The Vorarlberg dialect is not usually intelligible at all to other German-speaking people in Austria or Germany. However, as my mother is from Upper-Austria, I was used to also speaking standard German from early youth on, and because I have many relatives in Upper-Austria I also learned the differences that arise from these different dialects. The fact that I grew up speaking both the Vorarlberg dialect and standard German actually set me apart from my peers. The dialectical diversity is a fact I would definitely like to point out about Austria.
   The different regional cultures and especially dialects might seem surprising due to the country’s size, however after from an historical point of view they are easily explained due to the country's various native inhabitants. A number of different Germanic tribes lived in the different areas of Austria and next to them.

   Being born into a family of teachers, which both my mother and my father teaching at secondary schools and many aunts and uncles in the same profession, my plan had always been to not just follow in their footsteps but to shape my own future and do something different in life. This idea was even reinforced as many of my friends and colleagues at this time told me I would inevitably become a teacher one day as they thought this profession just really suited me.
   However since my early childhood I have been fascinated by nature, the outdoors and particularly animals, so that I soon had a lot of different pets at home, some of which I also started to breed, and to my friends' delight and their parents' displeasure gave to them as pets.
   One of my uncles on my mother's side of the family, who happens to be a veterinary practitioner always strongly encouraged me to follow this passion and upon my particular desire to learn more about animals, let me watch him at work, and once I grew a little older even let me help him sometimes. As one can imagine his work seemed fascinating to me, and I soon came to the conclusion that becoming a vet was my vocation. As a consequence biology was always one of my favorite subjects in secondary school, a fascination that could only be matched by English and maybe Latin.
   After living in Vienna, 500 miles away from my hometown, for a while however, and thus being surrounded by a completely different dialect, my passion for languages, that I had already had in secondary school became renewed again too. As my cousin was studying English at that time, I took advantage of the classes she attended and started reading the books she had to read voluntarily, and in consequence got exposed to many classics of the British literature.
   Soon after, my interest began to shift gradually from veterinary medicine towards English literature and languages in general, however admitting this change of interests to myself was more painful to me than I was able to handle at this time. After all, since I had started to think about possible professions I had been convinced that veterinary medicine was my vocation and future. After two years of studying veterinary medicine I eventually decided to change my careers, as it became obvious to me that i was not meant to be a vet, but that animals and nature should rather remain to me what they had been for so many years: a wonderful hobby and responsibility. So, although I kept breeding tortoises, I moved from Vienna to Innsbruck and only knowing that I wanted to work with languages decided to consult a careers advisory service. There my advisor confirmed to me, what people had always told me already in my past: I was best suited to become a teacher.
   So I enrolled in the college of education in Innsbruck and started by studying English and Latin, as I had already loved these two subjects in secondary school. Although I liked both subjects, I came across multilingual class in the course of my didactic education one year later, and first discovered Spanish. I was immediately fascinated by this language, even more than by Latin and although I still like this language a lot, I changed my career one ore time to English and Spanish one year later. Ever since I have been fascinated by this career, and really appreciate the different fields we study in the course of this program, and the possibility of being fluent in two foreign languages offer. Consequently I have been going abroad and attending different colleges in Spain and America regularly for the last four years.

   As a future teacher I want to make sure that my students feel like individuals in the classroom and that their contribution to classroom activity is appreciated. Judging from my experience while studying abroad, I feel that this is a principle that is already carried out at American universities and I would love to work with professors that share this ideal. Another principle that matters a lot to me in my future career is for students to understand and possibly share the passion for foreign languages and cultures that I have always felt myself, and have them realize the possibilities that each language brings with it. I feel that working as a teaching assistant in my native language would be the best opportunity to convey this sentiment, as I am also a student and thus still a motivated learner myself. However, I can still act as an expert in the students' area of study.
   As I have already completed the last course of my pedagogical training at the University of Innsbruck last semester and have had the opportunity to practice various teaching methods in the course of the different internships, methodology in teaching has become of particular relevance to me.
   Although I have tried out different approaches to teaching, and am still excited to learn about new ones, I still think that one of the best techniques for a teacher to introduce a new topic is direct instruction, or frontal teaching. I feel that this is especially true when it comes to grammatical structure like the passive voice that can sometimes be hard to understand when first introduced. In this situation the best way for students to learn, is to profit from the teacher's knowledge, and have him or her explain the topic. Of course I am also convinced that it is always necessary to encourage the students to ask questions and talk about possible doubts or problems which are likely to arise.
   When it comes to communication on the other hand, I think the students' active involvement in the classroom activity is necessary to make sure that learning and progress takes place. The possibilities I can offer in this area as a native speaker are of course of considerable use, as I would definitely include open discussions with my students about various topics, and they would be exposed to authentic German.
   During my internships, however, I experienced that many students opened up significantly more when working in smaller groups, when they did not have to speak out loud in front of the whole classroom. I have thus become really fond of having my students elaborate and talk about topics in groups while I move from one group to the next one to participate in their discussion and/or listen to them for a while and possibly give them further input before moving to the next one.
   During my last internship I was also exposed to "Open Learning" for the first time, where students are given tasks and work all on their own and the teacher merely acts as a counselor that can be consulted when needed. I would definitely also like to try out this method, as I think it could probably create greater intrinsic motivation to learn on the students' behalf.

Seniors Focus on Capstone Research Projects

Sean Lynch

Medienauswirkungen der antitürkische Rhetorik der Merkelregierung
     Seit der Erfindung des Wortes “Gastarbeiter” und ihr Kommen nach Deutschland, gibt es eine Spannung zwischen den deutschen Bürgern und den Immigranten. Das Problem hatte sich weiter mit der Entwicklung der Sozialprogramme des Staates erweitert, weil die Gastarbeiter nicht deutsche Bürger sind und deswegen nicht die gewöhnlichen Steuern bezahlen müssen. Auch gibt es das Problem der Arbeitslosigkeit, das schlechter mit dem Groβen Wirtschaftsrückgang geworden ist, und Probleme wegen der neuen Anti-Islamistischen Rhetorik von den Rechtradikalen.
     Dieses Paper stellt die Frage, ob es eine Veränderung im Bildnis von den Türken im deutschen Medien gibt während der Regierung von Angela Merkel. Deutsche Filme und Zeitschriften werden untersucht um festzustellen, ob die politische Rhetorik einen Einfluß auf die Darstellung der Türken übt. Wenn es eine Verӓnderung gibt, wird die Rhetorik des Filmregisseurs oder des Politikers untersucht, um ein gemeinsamesThema zu finden.

Tim Marzik

Die Selbstständigkeit der Musik in unserer heutigen Gesellschaft
     Als junger Musiker, spielt die Musik die allerwichtigste Rolle in meinem Leben. Ich schreibe meine eigenen Texte und werde immer von anderen Bands und ihren Ideen begeistert. Die Musik wirkt als eine selbständige Quelle für meine Entwicklung.
     Durch meinen Aufsatz will ich Änderungen in der Musik zeigen. Geschichtlich angesehen, war Deutschland sehr wichtig für Musik. Für manche Komponisten war die Musik ein Zusatz der Kirche. Bach komponierte das wundervolles Weihnachtsoratorium und die Johannespassion, aber seine Musik und Texte wurden für eine Christliche Ausstattung gemeint. Spätere Komponisten wie zum Beispiel Wagner haben Musik als Kunst für das Theater komponiert.
     Aber heute kann man tatsächlich von Musik allein eine tiefere Bedeutung finden. Bands von heute wie zum Beispiel „Hundredth“ und „Misery Signals“ schreiben sehr philosophische Lieder. Ich habe selber erlebt, wie Bands aus meiner Heimat philosophische Liedertexte schreiben. Bei einem Konzert, erlebt man einen Anstoß auf höheres Denken. Durch deutsche Komponisten und berühmte Musiker von heute will ich zeigen, dass der Raum der Musik eine selbständige Quelle der hohe Kunst und Intelligenz geworden ist.
  1. Burkardt Anthologie (Musik Werke)
  2. Dalai Lama. The Art of Happiness
  3. Interview mit Hans Bernhard Hoch
  4. Interview mit „Hundredth“
  5. Interview mit „Letlive“
  6. Nietzsche. Der Fall Wagner
  7. Levetin, Daniel. This is Your Brain on Music
  8. Wagner, Richard. Die Kunst und die Revolution

Christopher Pignato

Die drei Literaturepochen Goethes
     Ich habe den Kurs „Age of Goethe“ belegt. In diesem Semester habe ich mich in die Epoche der Empfindsamkeit, Sturm und Drang, und Neo-Klassizismus eingearbeitet. Die Gedichte, die wir gelesen haben, waren Erlkönig, Prometheus, Ganymed, Wanderers Nachtlied und andere. Ich möchte eine Analyse über die drei Literaturepochen der Goethezeit durchführen. 
  • Was sind die charakteristischen Merkmale des Sturm und Drang, des Neo-Klassizismus, und der Empfindsamkeit?
  • Wie äuβern sich die Literaturepochen in Goethes Gedichten?
  • Welche Gedichte Goethes passen zu den vorher erwähnten Literaturepochen?
  • Gibt es Gedichte von Goethe, die zwei Literaturepochen repräsentieren?
  • Um diese Fragen zu beantworten, würde ich weitere Bücher und Artikel über Goethe, Sturm und Drang, Empfindsamkeit, Neo-Klassizismus, und Gedichtstile untersuchen. Dann könnte ich die Stile Goethes vergleichen und kontrastieren, und schließlich in dem Kontext der Goethezeit einbetten.
Working Bibliography
  1. Boyle, Nicholas. Goethe: the Poet and the Age. Oxford [England: Clarendon, 1991.
  2. Friedenthal, Richard. Goethe: His Life and Times. Cleveland: World Pub., 1965.  
  3. Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von, and Edgar Alfred Bowring. The Poems of Goethe. London: G. Bell, 1908.   
  4. Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von, Christopher Middleton, and Michael Hamburger. Selected Poems. [Cambridge, Mass.]: Shuhrkamp/Insel Boston, 1983.   
  5. Hennig, John. "Perception and Deception in Goethe's "Erlkoenig" and Its Sources." Modern Language Quarterly 17.3 (1956): 227-35. EBSCOhost. Web. 20 Oct. 2011. http://http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=5&hid=104&sid=fab12496-f314-4ec5-973b-45dd5301a662%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3 d%3d#db=aph&AN=10029160 .  
  6. Sharpe, Lesley. The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002.  
  7. Viëtor, Karl, and Moses Hadas. Goethe the Poet. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1949.  
  8. Williams, John R. The Life of Goethe: a Critical Biography. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1998. 

John Chambers
Die Schöne Müllerin:  Die Leben und Kunst von Franz Schubert und Wilhelm Müller
     Die Studie und Praxis von Musik und Dichtung kann oft zusammen leben. Als Romantiker Franz Schubert die Text von Wilhelm Müller vertont, es hat die Beziehung zwischen die Künste erläuterte. Diese Studie wird die Leben dieser Artisten und ihrer Werken vergleichen und konstrastieren. Es wird auch die musikalische, wörtliche, und historische Beziehung um Müllers Wörter und Schuberts Liederkreis erforschen. Dieses Projekt wird eine Aufführung von Sätze von Schuberts geliebte Liedkreis.  
• Historische Information über Musik und Dichtung in der Klassik.
• Biographische Information über den Artisten während der Zeit, in der die diese Werke geschrieben haben.
• Historische Information über der Dichtung
   o Kulturelle, soziale, und/oder politische Implikationen von der Erzählung
• Information über Schuberts musikalische Ausführung
• Beziehung von dem Text im Zusammenhang des Liedkreis
   o Einstellung des Gedichtes im Liedkreis
   o Musikalische Ausführung
         Wie vertont Schubert die Texte?
         Wie ergänzt die Begleitung und Melodie der Texte?

  1. Baumann, C. Wilhelm Müller, the poet of the Schubert song cycles: his life and works. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1981.
  2. Cottrell, A.P. Wilhelm Müller’s lyrical song-cycles: interpretations and texts; Appendix: Die schöne Müllerin, Winterreise, Frühlingskranz. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970.
  3. Deutsch, O.E. Schubert: Die Dokumente seines Lebens. Kassel; New York: Bärenreiter, 1964.
  4. Einstein, A. Schubert; A Musical Portrait. New York: Oxford University Press, 1951.
  5. Feil, A., Vollmann, R. Franz Schubert: “Die Schöne Müllerin”, “Winterreise”. Stuttgart: P Reclam Jr., 1975.
  6. Hardin, J.N., Schweitzer, C.E. German writers in the age of Goethe, 1789-1832. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989.
  7. Klaus, K.B. The romantic period in music. Boston, Allyn and Bacon, 1970.
  8. Müller, A. Nachträge zu den Schriften von Wilhelm Müller, Grabbe, Goethe, dem Maler Müller, Jean Paul und Hölderlin. Berlin: Gumprecht, 1845.
  9. Müller, W. Die Winterreise und Die Schöne Müllerin. Zürich: Diogenes, 1984.
  10. Schubert – Die Schöne Müllerin. Online posting. Youtube, 1. June 2007. Web.
  11. Theimer, Axel. Personal interview.