2013 Colloquium Participants


Mary Boldt received her B.A. from Wilson College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Brown University.  For twelve years she taught in the Modern and Classical Languages Department at Hartwick College, where she co-authored the book Learning Interdependence: A Case Study of the International/Intercultural Education of First-Year College Students.  She currently is Associate Professor of German at York College of Pennsylvania, teaching courses in German language, literature, and culture.  Her most recent publication was the jointly authored “Text Translation:  Approaching Otherness” in Language in the Real World.  She has delivered talks in the United States and Austria on special-needs learners in the second-language classroom and is also engaged in research on translation of Brecht as well as of screen translation.  Additionally, she maintains an ongoing interest in Foreign Language across the Curriculum.  Email: mboldt@ycp.edu

“Interdisciplinarity at the Intermediate German Level”
Within the field of German Studies, successful initiatives such as the University of Rhode Island’s International Engineering program attest to both the ingenuity of the program’s founders and the need to think outside of traditional parameters in order to attract students to German.  As has been noted in much literature pertaining to Culture and Literature Across the Curriculum programs – among whose founders is host Binghamton University – interdisciplinary outreach can increase student motivation by allowing students to use their language skills to talk about subjects of interest to them outside the field of language and culture study.  Additionally, it can foster a sense of cohesiveness as well as broaden horizons as students bond around a common language and culture to examine a given topic from a non-Anglophone perspective.
Even without the formal ties engendered by such institutionally-sponsored, discipline-specific programs such as International Engineering, students of German can wed their language skills to their interests in other disciplines within traditional language and culture classroom settings such as that of Intermediate German.    As a case in point, this presentation will examine the advantages and challenges of an interdisciplinary oral presentation assigned as a final project for Intermediate German I at York College.  Since the project’s inception in fall 2006, Intermediate German students have researched and presented orally on fields including Accounting, Anthropology, Business, Engineering, History, Literature, Music, Pediatric Nursing, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and Writing.  Questions engendered by these presentations include:  1) the relative advantages versus drawbacks of this type of final project within an intermediate German curriculum; 2) the possibility of expanding upon and transposing this project into a German course in its own right; and 3) the viability of expanding upon this idea and carrying it over into a primarily English-language course in order to infuse German into the academic experience of students who would not otherwise encounter it. 

Andrea Dortmann is Senior Language Lecturer at New York University’s German Department, where she teaches all levels of German from Elementary to Advanced Writing, Translation, and Culture courses. She received her Ph.D. in German from NYU in 2003 and holds a Master’s degree in Comparative and French Literature from the Freie Universität. She has been Director of the German Language Program for the past nine years and as such she trains, mentors and supervises Graduate Student Instructors. She has twice received the NYU GoldenDozen Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she continues to translate mostly scholarly work from English to German. Her translation of John Hamilton’s book Music, Madness, and the Unworking of Language (Musik, Wahnsinn und das Außerkraftsetzen der Sprache) appeared with Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen in 2011. Email: ad132@nyu.edu

Lee Forester
is Professor of German at Hope College in Holland, MI. Trained as an historical linguist (UC Berkeley, 1992), his research now focuses on computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and curricular models that rebalance emphasis from psycholinguistic to sociocultural and ecological modes in language teaching. His curricular projects include Auf geht's! (beginning college German), Weiter geht's! (intermediate college German) and Ritmos (beginning college Spanish). He is particularly interested in reshaping lower-division textbook-like curricula to emphasize more practical learning outcomes, with a special view to the 2007 MLA report, intercultural communicative competence, and content-based instruction. Email: forester@hope.edu

“Textbooks in the German Studies Curriculum: Problems and Possibilities”
While traditional textbooks have played a crucial role in lower division German courses for many decades, their core purpose and content have not changed significantly for nearly as long. Kontakte, the herald of the communicative movement in German, is nearly 30 years old. Publisher-hosted "companion websites" now fill the role of paper workbook and language lab programs, but they have not transformed the nature and purpose of the textbook. In contrast, the field of German studies has seen tremendous upheaval during this same period, perhaps best expressed in the 2007 MLA report calling for a complete restructuring of language departments to enable a thorough integration of content into all levels of instruction with the purpose of greatly expanding the possibilities for graduates beyond further graduate studies in German.
In this presentation, I will outline the role (both explicit and implicit) that textbooks play in the typical first and second year language courses, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of this genre (or medium). I will consider economic forces that mold textbook design and distribution. We will look at few alternate models, such as open access (Deutsch im Blick) and true multimedia course packages (Tesoros in Spanish, Auf geht's! and Weiter geht's! in German). I will conclude with my list of features we should require of our course materials in view of our new purpose and realities in German studies, and offer some thoughts on helping the textbook publishers to manage our changing educational environment.

Chuck Hammond is an Associate Professor of German at the University of Tennessee at Martin, where he has taught since 2004. He holds a B.S in the Language Arts from Georgetown University and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. He has recently published two articles: one on Kafka’s first novel Der Verschollene, which appeared in the Pacific Coast Philology and another on Hofmannsthal’s Das Märchen der 672. Nacht, which was published in Orbis Litterarum. Email: hammond@utm.edu

“Turning the One-Professor German Program to Your Advantage”
Teaching German in the U.S. means, more often than not, facing a number of challenges simultaneously. At many institutions, offerings in German have been reduced due to (perceived) lack of interest. Moreover, German is often forced to justify its utility vis-à-vis Spanish, which is effectively, if not officially, a second national language. To make matters worse, German programs are typically just that: a program offered within a larger department, and represented, more often than not, by one professor. Has the time come to declare the death of German studies on this continent?
            Not by a longshot, argues Chuck Hammond. Drawing on his experience as the leader of a successful, growing and vibrant German program within a larger department, he will show that – far from being a sign of impending doom – the single-professor German program can be exploited to one’s advantage. He asserts, among other things, that such a program allows for an unprecedented degree of flexibility, allowing the German colleague to circumvent bureaucracy and swiftly implement changes. These changes, in turn, increase the visibility (and popularity) of German by making use of the unique advantages associated with the language.
A successful exchange program, for example, is critical to the success of any foreign language and Germans have proven themselves very willing to host American students. The single-professor program enables one to cultivate personal contacts with colleagues in Germany in order to develop an exchange program rather than having to outsource. Such a strategy radically reduces the cost to the student and makes German especially appealing to students who dream of taking part in an exchange but are unable to do so for financial reasons. Similarly, German consulates around the country are able to support programs in many ways that the foreign missions of other countries are not. Hammond will discuss these and other advantages, as well as ways to dramatically increase student interest (and enrollment) in German within a single semester.

Axel Hildebrandt is an Assistant Professor of German at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His research interests include East German literature, culture and politics, questions of memory, ethics and transnational studies. He is currently co-editing (with Jill Twark) the volume Envisioning Social Justice in Contemporary German Culture (Camden House).

Arne Koch
is Associate Professor of German and Chair of the German and Russian Department at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. He teaches a full range of courses from beginning language classes through general education courses on the fairy tale or multicultural Germany to senior seminars on identity and ideology. His research focuses on human-animal relations and the representation of cats in German culture. Among his publications are monographs and editions on identity formation in nineteenth-century German (2006), Ernst Moritz Arndt (2007) and Reinhold Solger (2009) as well as articles on collaborative research, transnational zoographies, the Road Movie, German Krautrock, and Michael Haneke. At present he is nearing the completion of two monographs: Fritz Reuter (Wehrhahn Verlag) and the tentatively titled Furry Friends and Feline Demons: Toward a German Cultural History of Cats. Email: akoch@colby.edu

“Two steps forward, one step back…– Program Building between Risk Taking and Damage Control”
This presentation discusses the challenges and opportunities of programmatic risk taking as a way to go beyond merely slowing the certain demise of German departments. A program that has gone from riches to near devastating faculty reductions and even the threat of elimination of its major, German at Colby College will serve as an example of how strategically diversified programmatic initiatives could first stabilize and subsequently expand the program to a point that German has been described within the institution as a model with increasing major/minor/enrollment numbers as well as the possibility of regaining lost faculty lines.
By showing concrete examples of how the reorganization of major and minor requirements has contributed to tangible growth and student interest through working in tandem with faculty-designed extracurricular (a mix of old and new) and academic forms of student engagement (faculty-student collaborative scholarship; internship creation; Business German testing center; Goethe Institute testing center; post-graduation paths), this presentation offers a number of ideas for programmatic modifications with broad applicability. Although the successful curricular restructuring with both a program and college-wide focus intends to highlight chances for growth, the presentation will also consider what challenges and pitfalls arise from such a proactive and risk-oriented programmatic design. Aside from providing specific examples, this presentation intends to engage panel participants to reflect on the need to challenge old institutional and student perceptions of what a given program’s past contributions and future role may look like in order to articulate visions that generate necessary spaces for programmatic development.

Eckhard Kuhn-Osius studied in Germany, Great Britain, and the United States and obtained a Ph.D. in German from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1978 with a dissertation on the topic “On Understanding Narrative Texts: Epistemological and Semiological Prolegomena for a Methodology of LiteraryScholarship.” He taught at the University of Colorado, Vassar College, Princeton University, Columbia University before coming to Hunter College in 1984.  At Hunter he has been involved in various grant-related activities to reconfigure the German program along proficiency principles to make the study of German accessible to non-heritage students. From 1990 till 2012 he served as the Chair of the National German Examination Commission of the American Association of Teachers of German and has worked in various capacities on the German Advanced Placement Test and other standardized tests.  In addition to his responsibility in publishing three annual levels of the National German Examination taken by over 20,000 students every year, he has published numerous articles and reviews on literary and pedagogical topics. He has written an introductory textbook series which has been used at Hunter and other universities for over fifteen years. His literary research focuses mainly on the right-wing response to the experience of World War I and questions of hermeneutics and epistemology. He has been involved in study abroad programs since 1975 and presently directs the Hunter College summer program in Kassel.  Email: ekuhnos@hunter.cuny.edu

“Don’t Give Up Your Day Job (just yet) - or Progress and Risk in Language Teaching”
For centuries (if not millennia), beginning with the Romans’ study of Greek, language teaching was one of the cornerstones of education. This is still true today, except in the Anglophone world. Traditionally, people in the Western tradition studied Latin because they revered the contents that were transported in that language. Living in the new ‘Rome’, we should reflect on the role of foreign languages in U.S. society as being mostly associated with recent immigration, lack of economic success, importation of talent. What reasons can we give for learning German -or any other language - when everyone is enthusiastically embracing English? Should we just dump language learning? The chance is great that Germanists will soon be replaced by philosophers, political scientists, literature specialists, theorists. We have to think about the role of language teaching in our professional lives.
Since the 1950s the language profession embraced the practicality of practical language learning. In the process, language learning became progressively dumbed down and the goals have been reduced to practical matters, which for many students will never materialize. We must position languages in the academy not as a way to ask for the train station in Timbuktu, but as one of the most rigorous ways of teaching and learning higher-order thinking abilities and critical thinking. The first step in this process is to realize that language study is always a higher-order thinking activity, speaking a `language is not necessarily one. Many heritage speakers are quite fluent, but intellectually helpless in both their heritage language and often in English as well.
We must take a critical look at models of language acquisition that move the learning process into a black box. We know that when we look at the hours spent, students with good instruction learn much faster and better than students who have only been immersed. We know that most of our students who are sent abroad are lucky if they return with an “Advanced” rating, from which they never recover. The presentation will give some examples of  how to teach language in a way that neither insults nor over-challenges students’ intelligence. Oddly enough, such an approach to language study would not only meet the calls by the MLA for renewed language emphasis, but could also fit much of the national standards. We have reformed our language and literature sequences at Hunter College in the last thirty years or so, and we know it can be done.

Julia Ludewig works as a teaching assistant for the Department of German and Russian Studies at Binghamton University where she teaches German to beginners. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature. She holds a B.A. degree in Cultural Studies (University of Frankfurt/Oder, Germany) and an M.A. degree in European Linguistics (University of Freiburg, Germany). Her research interests include literature and linguistics. She is currently working on her dissertation, which looks at schoolsofliterary criticism astypes of textual practice. Email: jludewi1@binghamton.edu

Risiko und Fortschritt im DaF-Unterricht – ein Erfahrungsbericht
In meinem Vortrag reflektiere ich über Erfahrungen und Ideen zum Thema „Fortschritt und Risiko im DaF-Unterricht“. Ich frage danach, welche Fortschritte sich bei unseren Studierenden idealerweise und realistischerweise einstellen und welche Probleme auftreten. Ein weiterer Aspekt beschäftigt sich damit, welche Risiken unsere StudentInnen eingehen, wenn sie sich für Deutsch als Fremdsprache und nicht für andere Kurse entscheiden. Abschließend lege ich dar, welche „Risiken“ im Sinne von Experimenten ich im Sprachunterricht gerne eingehen würde und wie Fortschritt im DaF-Unterricht generell aussehen kann. In diesem Sinne präsentiert mein Beitrag kein Theoriegebäude, sondern Diskussionsanstöße, die bei der Alltagspraxis des Sprachenlernens ansetzen.

Ingeborg Majer-O’Sickey teaches German Studies at Binghamton University. Areas of scholarship are German film (from Weimar through the New German Cinema) and contemporary feminist film theory. Her publications include the edited volumes Triangulated Visions (with Ingeborg von Zadow); Subversive Subjects: Reading Marguerite Yourcenar (with Judith Holland Sarnecki); Riefenstahl Screened: An Anthology of New Criticism (with Neil Christian Pages and Mary Rhiel); and European Cinema: Experiment, Mainstream and Praxis as well as numerous articles on German film and filmmakers (Percy Adlon, R.W. Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, and Tom Tykwer). Email: imos@binghamton.edu

“Where the Rubber Meets the Autobahn: Undergraduate Teaching Assistants in German Studies Courses”
During the economic downturn, the pressure to implement “disruptive innovation” (Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen’s 1997 prescription to U.S. industry) spilled into higher education.  The perceived need for disruptive innovation in academia is driven by a meteoric rise in cost and a dive in financial support. The mandate is: deliver lower cost education to more people, using fewer faculty.  Increasingly, the answer sought and found is MOOCS (massive, open, online courses). 
German Studies faculty at Binghamton University do not see MOOCS as an answer to the fiscal cul-de-sac the University finds itself in. At BU we have sought risky solutions that, at first glance, seem to turn the clock back in time, yet with increased awareness of students’ futures: More face time with professors; strong mentoring; no canned lectures; student-centered learning in brick and mortar settings; and diversified interdisciplinary course offerings that anticipate the needs of our student population. One way we have addressed students’ needs is to implement an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant training problem. This program teaches students to teach themselves to learn/teach. In this presentation, a group of undergraduate student speakers will present reflections on student-centered-learning principles  in the context of the “Practicum in College Teaching,” which they experience in German Studies courses, here two specific examples from “German Culture through Film” and “Film Art or Propaganda: The Case of Leni Riefenstahl.”

Frank Mischke teaches German at Binghamton University and at Newark Valley High School.

Rosmarie T. Morewedge
teaches German language, literature and cultural studies at Binghamton University. Deeply interested in problems of narration, she works with both medieval historical “minstrel” epics, but also the modern short story and Märchen. Other scholarly interests are poetry and pedagogy. She has published on Wolfram von Eschenbach, medieval poetry, medieval folktales, Märchen and on a number of modern authors, most recently on Ruth Klüger. Her publications in pedagogy include a textbook for students of German onintermediate and advanced levels that develops integrated language/culture skills as well as close reading and literary interpretation. Email: rmorewed@binghamton.edu

Neil Christian Pages
teaches at Binghamton University. His research interests include Austrian, German and Scandinavian cultural productions, commemorative practices, translation and the history of criticism. Publications include essays on Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Georg Brandes, W.G. Sebald, Adalbert Stifter, on Rachel Whiteread’s Shoah memorial in Vienna and Michael Haneke’s film Caché. He is co-editor (with Mary Rhiel and Ingeborg Majer-O’Sickey) of Riefenstahl Screened: An Anthology of New Criticism. Email: npages@binghamton.edu

Kerstin Petersen
teaches Elementary German at Binghamton University. She earned an M.A. in English Literature, History, and Philosophy from the Philipps-Universität in Marburg and an M.A. in German as a Foreign Language. She is currently working on her PhD in Comparative Literature. Email: kpeters7@binghamton.edu

Heidi Schlipphacke
is Associate Professor of German and Director of the B.A. in International Studies at Old Dominion University. She has published widely on issues of kinship and gender in the European Enlightenment, in Critical Theory, and in post-war German and Austrian literature and film. Her book, Nostalgia after Nazism: History, Home, and Affect in German and Austrian Literature and Film appeared with Bucknell University Press in 2010. A special issue of the Journal of Austrian Studies on “Habsburg Nostalgia” will appear under her editorship in 2014. She is currently working on a book project on polygamy in the German Enlightenment. Email: hschlipp@odu.edu

Oliver C. Speck
teaches Film Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, School of World Studies. His 2010 book Funny Frames: The Filmic Concepts of Michael Haneke explores how a political thinking manifests itself in the oeuvre of the Austrian director, suggesting that the constant shifting of frames of reference in his films is needed to open up ethical perspectives. In addition to numerous essays on German and European cinema, Speck is co-editor (with Robert von Dassanowsky) of the 2011 anthology, New Austrian Film.  Email: ocspeck@vcu.edu

"Hybrid/Blended teaching: is it worth the risk?"
Blended courses (aka “hybrid courses”) are classes where a percentage of the traditional “face-to-face” instruction is replaced by online learning through web-based exercises, tests, video tutorials and assignments. The general consensus (see links below) in the profession seems to be that a class where more than 50% of the workload is delivered via the internet can be called “hybrid.” A class where the instructor delivers a lecture, screens a film, or provides hands-on activities in the classroom and practically all exercises and discussions take place via the web (in synchronous and asynchronous form) are known as a “Flipped Classroom.”

Kate Stewart has been teaching German levels 1-5AP at Fayetteville-Manlius for 11 years. Her teaching experiences include New Hartford Central Schools where she also was a French instructor and Kent School in Connecticut. She studied at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich and received an undergraduate degree in German from Hamilton College, and her M.A. in German Language and Literature from Syracuse University, where she had her first teaching experience as a T.A. Kate was awarded the NYSAFLT Ruth E. Wasley Teacher of the Year for 2010 and in 2012, the students in Frau Stewart's German Club won the Goethe Institute's Step into German Madison Music Video Contest with a trip for two to Germany for 5 days last summer.

Tessa Wegener
is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the German Department at Colgate University. She completed her Ph.D. in German Studies at Georgetown University. Prior to arriving at Colgate, she spent nine months on a Fulbright Grant in Vienna, where she conducted research for her dissertation, which examines representations of Egypt in contemporary Austrian travelogues by Barbara Frischmuth, Ingeborg Bachmann and Ruth Beckermann.  Her research interests also include multiculturalism in Austria at the turn of the millennium. She contributes to a blog sponsored by the Ingeborg Bachmann Centre for Austrian Literature in London.  Email: twegener@colgate.edu

“Taking Roads Less Traveled: German Studies, Women’s Studies and Travel Literature”
With this presentation, I seek to explore the risks and rewards I have encountered in designing and teaching a new German course entitled “Innocents Abroad? Women Travelers of the German-speaking World”. The course is in English translation, counts toward credit in the Women’s Studies Program and is designated as a Global Engagements cross-listing. I am currently teaching this course for the first time this semester at Colgate University. I will begin the presentation with a brief explanation of how I conceptualized the theme and framework of the course, which is born out of my own research interest in women’s travel literature. I will then provide details on course content, selected readings and assessment tasks, before proceeding to a consideration of the rewards and risks I have encountered in teaching the course.
Specific rewards I will discuss are high enrollment due to the cross-listings and concerted advertising efforts, exposure for non-German majors or minors to German-speaking cultures, opportunity to transfer my own research interests to my teaching and the ability to form stronger interdisciplinary ties to other programs on campus. In many ways, the course has strengthened the diversity of our small department’s profile and has garnered a significant amount of interest in German culture among students. Moreover, it has been a remarkable experience for me, as I have been able to more fully embrace my dual role as a professor of Gender Studies and German Studies.
Nevertheless, this project has not been without certain risks. As a new faculty member, I have confronted several challenges with this course—not in the least being the workload that accompanies any new course design. Secondly, the course will likely not yield to higher enrollment in languages courses as initially hoped, since most of the enrolled students are seniors. I also find myself grappling with the use of translations in the course, having never taught a course in English before. Yet the perhaps largest risk I am undertaking is with the final group project conceived as a digital map that will visualize various travel narratives we have read in the course of the semester. This project is risky in the sense that this is my first attempt to implement tools of the Digital Humanities into the classroom. I will conclude with a brief description of my collaboration with our campus’ ITS staff on this project and a projection of the anticipated outcome.
Ultimately I hope to contribute to the exploration of questions pertaining to risk/progress at the BUGSC by sharing my own experience in this rewarding, yet sometimes risky, journey in interdisciplinary course design that brings together my interest in both German Studies and Women’s Studies.

Astrid Weigert,
Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of German at Georgetown University since 1999, has been actively involved in her department’s multi-year redesign of its undergraduate curriculum entitled “Developing Multiple Literacies.”  She teaches courses on all undergraduate levels at from Basic German to German Business Culture and advanced-level courses on German literature and culture. Her research interests include issues of gender and genre, particularly in German Romanticism. She is currently preparing a monograph on Dorothea Veit-Schlegel’s contributions to German Romantic theory and practice. She is the Book Review Editor forThe German Quarterlyand the German Area Director for the Northeast Modern Language Association. Email: weigerta@georgetown.edu

“Assessing the Contribution of Foreign Language Learning to the Humanities: Preliminary Report on the ongoing ‘Humanities Assessment Project’ at the Department of German at Georgetown University”
The devaluing of the humanities has become a cliché not only in public discourse but also in academic fields outside of the humanities. As such, the humanities have been challenged to explicate and defend their value within society and within academia. Within the humanities, in turn, foreign language learning has similarly been devalued as the closure of many foreign language departments, among them also German Departments, has shown.  Given this context, the Department of German at Georgetown University embarked on a project (the “Humanities Assessment Project”) which would attempt to “assess” what contributions the Department’s German curriculum makes to students’ learning in the humanities at GU. This internal assessment, so our hope, might let us make a strong case for the value of FL learning on the college level.
One of the main challenges was to develop criteria for assessing learning in the humanities via the foreign language classroom. The clichéd claim that the humanities train students to become “critical thinkers” was simply not quantifiable enough to constitute a workable assessment criterion.  As a result of many group deliberations, review of teaching materials currently in use in the department, and some background reading, Department members agreed on three key criteria to measure the contribution of the Department’s German curriculum to student learning in the humanities. Ideally, each instructional unit would reflect the following three criteria: convey content that is culturally specific to the German-speaking world; 2. offer multiple perspectives on a particular topic; and 3. encourage self-reflection in students on their attitudes or current understanding of the topic under discussion.
In a first step, we took a critical look at our current units and materials, and really each specific text in the second and third year of instruction, with the goal to see if and how our materials selection corresponded to these criteria. We developed a template for this internal assessment which guided our decisions on keeping or eliminating/replacing certain materials. My presentation focuses on the three criteria in the context of an instructional unit on “Heimat” in the 2nd year.

Harald Zils earned a Dr. phil. from the Albert-Ludwigs Universität in Freiburg and teaches in the German Studies program at Binghamton University. His research interests include anthropological perspectives on literature, the German essay and aesthetic theories of production and reception.  His book Tradition und Autonomie. Innovativer Konservatismus bei Rudolf Borchardt, Harold Bloom und Botho Strauß appeared in 2009. He is currently working on a study of Ernst Jünger.  Email: hzils@binghamton.edu

“The Oral History Project at Binghamton University: Possibilities and Predicaments”
The Oral History Project was begun by the Binghamton University Department of German and Russian Studies as part of a focus on undergraduate research in the Humanities. In the project students conduct interviews with first- and second-generation immigrants and record “immigration stories” that represent the successes and frustrations that arise from encounters of cultural spheres. Among the topics of these oral history interviews are education, family life, financial success and life’s frustrations, but also food and festivities.
This presentation reflects on the possibilities and predicaments of the project in its fall 2012 incarnation, namely in a course called “Germans and Russians in New York.” My analysis of this course and its learning outcomes is an occasion to share experiences about an experiential off-campus project and its relation to today's academic environment.

Markus Zisselsberger is Assistant Professor of German at the University of Miami, Florida. He has published articles on Musil, Heidegger, W.G. Sebald, Kafka, and Jean Améry. He is the editor of The Undiscover’d Country: W. G. Sebald and the Poetics of Travel (Camden House, 2010) and the co-editor (with Gisela Brinker-Gabler) of “If we had the word.” Ingeborg Bachmann. Views and Reviews (Ariadne Press, 2004). He is currently working on a book manuscript that examines the relationship between reading, literary criticism, and literature in the work of W.G. Sebald. Email: mzisselsberger@miami.edu