Tag Archives: Featured

Professor Sally Poor wins the prize for the best article in German Studies Review for 2017-2018

Please congratulate Prof. Poor on her award for “The Curious Multilingual Prehistory of French and German Monolingualism,” voted the best article in the journal German Studies Review in 2017-2018!
The laudation for the award, which was presented at the conference of the German Studies Association this weekend, reads as follows:

“Sara Poor’s article reinterprets the significance of the 842 Strasbourg oaths sworn by Louis the German and Charles the Bald. These oaths have commonly been understood as a foundational event that signaled the dawn of monolingual German and French nations. Poor’s article argues instead that this narrative of historical origin is a myth produced following the rise of print and reinforced by nineteenth-century nationalist interests. Poor shows that all parties to the oath, the leaders and their followers alike, operated in a multilingual environment where “mother tongue” and “native language” were not necessarily one and the same. Poor suggests that the concept of “customary language” can help overcome this difficulty and restore our understanding of the Strasbourg oaths to its multilingual context.

Our committee finds Sara Poor’s article to be outstanding in terms of content, scope, innovation, and style. Poor’s complex argument, based as it is on close readings of historical and linguistic records, scrutiny of sources and secondary materials, and examinations of terminologies associated with discourses on monolingualism and nationhood, is conveyed with exceptional clarity. What is more, Poor manages to draw out very clearly what is at stake in her reading, namely the question of how we position ourselves vis-a-vis narratives about native languages and cultural identities, monolingualism and nations, national literatures, and the practice of the discipline of Germanistik. Such questions of course become all the more urgent because of the need to interrogate our disciplinary assumptions and practices at a time when academia in general and the humanities in particular are experiencing a crisis; and especially because of the fraught political moment in which we live. Poor urges us to work against a kind of Geschichtsvergessenheit, and to replace whatever mythical assumptions we––and the discipline of Germanistik––may make about monolingualism, nation, and language with a renewed dedication to the study of political, linguistic, and literary history. As Sara Poor so elegantly shows us, in the current historical moment, which is marked not least by mass migrations caused by wars, poverty, and climate change, and which therefore forces us to rethink notions of nation, belonging, and language, it behooves us to examine once more our multilingual origins.”

Music From Theresienstadt [Terezín]

Date: November 9th, 2019
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Chancellor Green Rotunda

Student playing violin and reading music

The Department of German and Princeton Chamber Music Society presents an evening of string quartet.
Light reception to follow.
Open to public.

Pizzapause and Kaffeestunde!


Tuesdays 12pm – 1pm
East Pyne 207
There will be Pizzapause with free pizza.

Wednesdays 12pm – 1pm
East Pyne 207
There will be Kaffeestunde, with free coffee and donuts.

Both events are open to everyone, including undergraduate/graduate students of all disciplines, who wants to speak German outside the classroom setting.
Please come by and claim your loot including free pizza, donuts, and coffee, and speak German! And plunder the treasures of the German department.
For more information or to be on the mailing list, e-mail: gkong@princeton.edu

Storyworlds: Open-ended Story Universes Across Time, Cultures, and Media

Date: November 16th, 2019
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Location: Julis Romo Rabinowitz 399

The German Department is pleased to announce that Ann Marie Rasmussen, the Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker Memorial Chair in German Literary Studies at the University of Waterloo, will spend the 2019-20 academic year in Princeton as the Stanley Kelley Jr. Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Department of German.

The workshop topic, Storyworlds, has been a focus of Professor Ann Marie Rasmussen’s teaching and research for the past five years. This is a collection of essays on the topic that is structured around interdisciplinary exchange across cultures and time (especially medieval and modern), and disciplines (especially literary studies and social science). The workshop will bring together the contributors to the volume to share chapter drafts.


Laura Beard, Associate Vice-President (Research) and Professor, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta, Canada.

Ingrid Bennewitz, Professor, University of Bamberg, Germany.

Eileen C. Chow, Visiting Associate Professor, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Duke University, North Carolina, USA.

Kate Elliott, Author of Young Adult and Fantasy Literature, Hawaii, USA.

Fritz Mayer, Dean of the Korbel School of International Relations, University of Denver, Colorado, USA.

Adam Oberlin, Senior Lecturer, Department of German, Princeton University.

Ann Marie Rasmussen, Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker Memorial Chair in German Literary Studies, University of Waterloo, Canada.

Carlos Rojas, Professor, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Duke University, North Carolina, USA.

Markus Stock, Associate Professor of German and Principal , University College, University of Toronto, Canada.

Clare Woods, Associate Professor of Classics and Director, Thompson Writing Program, Duke University, North Carolina, USA.


Map of nassau inn to campus with path to EPYNE and Rabinowitz highlighted

Open to interested Princeton students and faculty

Welcome Juliane Rebentisch, our new Permanent Visiting Professor

The German Department is delighted to announce that the philosopher Juliane Rebentisch will join our faculty as a Permanent Visiting Professor starting in the Fall of 2019. A specialist in aesthetics, critical theory, ethics, political philosophy and contemporary art, Prof. Rebentisch is author of three books, Aesthetics of Installation Art (Suhrkamp/Sternberg, 2003), The Art of Freedom (Suhrkamp/Polity, 2012), and Theorien der Gegenwartskunst (Junius, 2013). In addition, she has edited countless volumes on subjects that range from queer subculture and the philosophy of language to negativity and the affects of capitalism. From 2015 to 2018 Rebentisch served as President of the German Society for Aesthetics. For more information on her work and projects…

New info about the Certificate in German Language and Culture

The Department of German offers students an opportunity to do sustained work in German language, literature, philosophy, art, and media while majoring in another department, leading to a Certificate in German Language and Culture. Certificate students can choose from the broad range of course offerings taught in both English and German. Classes extend from the Middle Ages to the contemporary moment, introduce diverse disciplinary perspectives including art history and philosophy, and engage with multiple critical paradigms, such as gender and media studies. Through vibrant classroom discussions and close advising relationships, the certificate program engages students who wish to advance their command of the German language and deepen their understanding of German culture.

The certificate program is open to undergraduates in all departments. Students are encouraged to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies as early as in their freshmen or sophomore year to plan a program of study, but should not hesitate to contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies about joining the certificate program at a later date.

Course Requirements:

1. Four courses at the 200 level or higher, at least two of which must be at the 300 level or higher. All courses must be taken for a grade (not PDF).

2. Evidence of substantial upper-level coursework in German. This requirement will be satisfied if three of the four courses taken for the certificate were conducted in German, or if two were taught in German and one was conducted in English with a substantial German-language component. This option is available for all courses taught in the German Department as well as courses in other departments cross-listed with German. Students should consult with the instructor regarding the German-language component at the beginning of the semester and submit the agreed-upon plan to the German Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval by the end of the second week of classes.

Independent Work Requirement:

There are three ways to fulfill the Independent Work Requirement:

  • (1) A substantial paper (15-20 pages if in English, 10-15 pages if in German; may be a revised version of a paper written for one of the four required courses);
  • (2) a chapter from the senior thesis principally devoted to a German-related topic;
  • (3) an additional 300-level class taught in German.

If you are interested in completing the certificate, you are encouraged to contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. Thomas Y. Levin, tylevin@princeton.edu Also see the form page to apply!

Welcome Ann Marie Rasmussen, 2019-20 Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching

The German Department is pleased to announce that Ann Marie Rasmussen, the Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker Memorial Chair in German Literary Studies at the University of Waterloo, will spend the 2019-20 academic year in Princeton as the Stanley Kelley Jr. Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Department of German.

A leader in the field of Medieval Studies in North America and Germany, Professor Rasmussen is the author of the path-breaking book Mothers and Daughters in Medieval German Literature (1997), one of the first monographs on canonical medieval German literature to focus on gender. Professor Rasmussen is also the editor of several influential volumes on Medieval gender studies, including Medieval Woman’s Song: Cross-Cultural Approaches (with Anne Klinck) (2002); Ladies, Whores, and Holy Women: A Sourcebook in Courtly, Religious, and Urban Cultures of Late Medieval Germany (with Sarah Westphal-Wihl) (2010); Visuality and Materiality in the Story of Tristan and Isolde (with Jutta Eming and Kathryn Starkey (2012)); and Rivalrous Masculinities (2018). In addition, she has authored numerous articles on these and other topics. Her current research focuses on medieval badges and their cultural meaning in a variety of contexts.

Before joining the faculty at the University of Waterloo, Professor Rasmussen taught at Duke University for twenty-five years, where she received the Graduate School Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring. The PhD students she has mentored over the years are now working at the following institutions: Princeton University, Lewis & Clark College, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, UC Davis, Michigan State University, Dartmouth College, University of Notre Dame, Ohio Wesleyan, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

At Princeton, Professor Rasmussen will be teaching two undergraduate classes, one focused on gender and material culture called “Rivalrous Masculinities,” which will involve student projects connected to objects and works of art in Princeton’s Art Museum, and one on gender and German literature, which will be a survey of female authors in the German literary tradition. In addition, she will be holding graduate workshops on a variety of topics related to professionalization.

For more information on Professor Rasmussen’s visit, please contact Professor Sara S. Poor.

Topic Announced for the 2019 Summer School for Media Studies

The Technologization of Cultural Techniques.
What Happens When Practices Become Algorithmic Technologies?

Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar)
German Department (Princeton University)
Weimar, Germany, June 22–29, 2019

The Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies – a collaboration between Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, IKKM) and Princeton University (German Department) – returns to Weimar in 2019 for its ninth installment. At an historical moment marked by a shift from mass media to what could be described as the implementation of cultural techniques, the 2019 session will be devoted to the question what happens to concepts derived from cultural techniques – like writing, erasure, image, number, not to mention the concept of culture itself – when implemented by algorithmic routines that run on computers or mobile media and thus effectively become digitized cultural technologies.

The 2019 Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies – which will be directed by Thomas Y. Levin (Princeton) and Bernhard Siegert (Weimar) – will attempt to map out approaches to media as networks of cultural technologies. We invite applications from outstanding doctoral students throughout the world in media studies and related fields such as film studies, literary studies, philosophy, art history, architecture, sociology, politics, the history of science and visual culture.

All application materials should be sent via email to: ikkm-conference@uni-weimar.de and must be received no later than December 16th, 2018.

Katharina Rein (Weimar), Elias Pitegoff (Princeton)
Please submit all inquiries to: ikkm-conference@uni-weimar.de

Further information regarding this year’s theme

Image credit:
Trevor Paglen
A Prison Without Guards (Corpus: Eye-Machines)
Adversarially Evolved Hallucination, 2017
Dye sublimation metal print
32 x 40 inches

The German Department is happy to announce a new book publication from Emeritus Stanley Corngold

Walter Kaufmann was a charismatic philosopher, critic, translator, and poet who taught with great success at Princeton from 1947 until his untimely death in 1980. He is mainly noted for his first book on Friedrich Nietzsche, whom he put under the head of “Dionysian Enlightenment” and set in motion a continuing, decades-long preoccupation with Nietzsche by American philosophers. Kaufmann declared that he had put his life and soul in the pages of his many books; in this intellectual biography, which Kirkus Reviews calls “luminous,” Stanley Corngold aims to preserve Kaufmann’s legacy.

Jacket Cover Walter Kaufmann Philospoher, Humanist, Heretic by Stanley Corngold

Summer Work Program

Want to spend your summer working and traveling in Germany? SWP places first-, second-, and third-year students in internships with leading German companies and institutions. SWP is your ticket to improve your German language skills, build your resumé and professional network, and discover Europe!
Attend our Fall Information Session for an overview of the program and application process, and to hear from returning SWP alums about their internships in…

Arts & Culture
Banking, Finance & Economics
Energy & Environment
Government & Public Policy
Medicine & Healthcare
STEM Research & Industry …and more.

November 1st, 2018 – Online Application due
December 1st, 2018 – Interview and Supporting Materials due

For details and online application: How to apply
Or contact swp@princeton.edu

SWP Program Cover Artwork