The Waterloo Centre for German Studies was founded and approved by Senate for five years in 2004. Most of its operations are based on a privately funded endowment. The original fundraising goal of $3 million was reached in December 2008 as part of the Campaign Waterloo through the tireless efforts of the WCGS Founding Director, David John. The Centre was approved by Senate for a further five years in spring of 2009.
The Centre’s first mandate is research. During the report period 2009-14, the WCGS became an infrastructure for collaborative and transdisciplinary research in German applied linguistics, cultural studies, and history.
- Through the increased involvement of current and former graduate students and collaboration with scholars at other universities, the Centre’s membership of researchers tripled.
- Five research groups were established, which significantly enriched the collaborative research activities of the WCGS.
- We organized two major international and a number of smaller national and international conferences and colloquia and supported the conferences of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German and the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics—especially as part of the Congress 2012 of the Humanities and Social Sciences—and the international Austrian Studies Association.
- We established the WCGS German Studies book series with Wilfrid Laurier University Press. John H. Smith, Diefenbaker Memorial Chair in German Literary Studies, became the series editor, and an international editorial board includes eminent scholars in history, linguistics, and literary studies. Three books were published:
- (2012) Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria. Film and Media Studies Series. Mueller, Gabriele and James M. Skidmore, editors. The book is the outcome of a conference under the Centre’s auspices.
- (2012) Liberty is Dead: A Canadian in Germany, 1938. Wegenast, Franklin Wellington. Derry, Margaret, editor. The book is a first publication of prominent German-Canadian lawyer and writer Wegenast and his analysis of the Third Reich in 1938.
- (2013) Traditions and Transitions. Curricula for German Studies. Schmenk, Barbara and John Plews, editors. This book discusses university curricula in German Studies and came out of a WCGS conference on learning German as a second/foreign language.
- Two volumes—based on recent Centre-hosted conferences on the history of the German Democratic Republic and Austrian Studies—are in preparation.
- In 2013, we began the ambitious Oral History Project (OHP) for which we are recruiting and interviewing German immigrants in Waterloo Region. The OHP involves six professors and 20 graduate students of the Centre. So far, we have completed 40 interviews, and we have over 30 participants waiting to participate. The interviews are being recorded for an electronic text corpus to be used by researchers in applied linguistics, cultural studies, and history. In addition to this research tool, a book depicting and synthesizing the stories of migration and acculturation in the historical context of the twentieth century will be produced.
- Centre members continued to be active researchers: theses and dissertations were completed successfully, publications contributed to the academic discourses in German Studies, and funded research projects were completed or are underway.
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies’ second mandate is the provision of rich educational and cultural programming. We maintained a series of public research seminars and lectures, author readings, theatre performances, and exhibitions to promote the awareness and knowledge of German Studies on campus and in the wider community.
Most notably, the WCGS established the annual Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Lecture. In the four lectures thus far, Germanist scholars of international renown have addressed topics that transcend the boundaries of traditional German Studies and highlight the contributions of German Studies to other academic disciplines:
- history of the ecology and economy of water in central Europe,
- politics of migration and acculturation in Germany,
- social contexts of language change in post-war Austria, and
- history and international context of German film.
We hosted three exhibitions that drew particularly large crowds from both on and off campus: on the two German states and German unification, on the fall of the Berlin Wall, and one commemorating the prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp. The exhibitions were accompanied by illuminating and thought-provoking discussions and lectures. The Centre also supported the staging of two dramatic performances in the Theatre of the Arts and the Registry Theatre by German and Canadian artists as well as an artistic documentary film by a Canadian artist on international issues of repression and mental health.
Fulfilling its third mandate, the Centre continued its engagement with German-Canadian heritage through strong collaboration with Special Collections and Archives in the Dana Porter Library. The collection, transcription, translation, and analysis of documents pertaining to local history continued and researchers from a wide range of disciplines benefited from better and wider access to these research tools. The WCGS director and other Centre members represented the WCGS at and participated in important community events such as Ontario’s German Pioneers Day, the Day of German Unity, the German Volkstrauertag (remembrance day), the Concordia German School convocation, the Germanica Awards, and the Wilfrid L. Bitzer Awards ceremony.
The Centre’s fundraising efforts continued and resulted in substantial donations by Egon Homburger for the WCGS endowment, Cecilia Piller for the Cecilia and the late George Piller Graduate Research Award, the German-Canadian Education Fund for the Oral History Project through the efforts of community member Marga Weigel and German professor emeritus Manfred Richter, as well as a number of smaller donations. The $1.5 million donation by the Stork family was finalized in late 2008 and started being put to use in the Centre’s endowment and through the Fred and Ruth Stork Awards in German Studies beginning in 2009.
Through its many research and programming activities, the Waterloo Centre for German Studies has, over the ten years of its existence, made significant contributions to German Studies research, the academic and cultural life at the University of Waterloo, to the community of Waterloo Region, to the German Studies and German teaching communities in Canada and internationally.
The Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies is currently in the process of hiring a new Rt. Hon. John G. Diefenbaker Memorial Chair in German Literary Studies. As was the case with her/his predecessor, John H. Smith, the Diefenbaker chair will play a leadership role in the research and programming of the WCGS. Research projects—funded by the SSHRC, the University of Waterloo, and the WCGS—are underway; plans for educational and cultural programming well into the coming years are in place. A major international conference on multilingualism and transcultural and translingual competencies is envisaged for 2016. Our future fundraising efforts will be complemented by the continued generation of research income from federal and provincial sources.
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies has the following mandate:
- To conduct research on the language, culture, and civilization of German-speaking peoples, from both historical and contemporary perspectives;
- To provide a wide range of educational and cultural activities for the academy and the broader community;
- To engage with German-Canadian heritage.
The WCGS provides the infrastructure and fosters research collaboration of its professorial, staff, and graduate student members
- From the University of Waterloo, including the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, the Department of History, Conrad Grebel University College, and the Dana Porter Library; and
- From other universities in Canada and the United States: Brock University, University of Guelph, University of Illinois Chicago, McMaster University, Ryerson University, Saskatchewan University, University of Toronto, Western University, Wilfrid Laurier University, and York University.
Through hosting and organizing conferences and seminars, the WCGS supports and disseminates research in German Studies in the broad areas of cultural studies, film and visual studies, history, language education, literary studies, second language acquisition, and sociolinguistics. Centre members work in five research groups: Applied Language Studies, Austrian Studies, Contemporary German Culture and Society, Ecology, and German-Canadian Studies. Graduate student members of the Centre are centrally involved in research groups and projects. Their research and learning is often supported through awards financed by the WCGS endowment:
- Fred and Ruth Stork Awards in German Studies (international opportunities awards),
- Cecilia and the late George Piller Graduate Research Award for excellence in graduate research,
- Herta Brichta Award for German Studies for excellence in graduate studies, and
- the Evelyn Guderian Thesis Prize for the top thesis or dissertation successfully defended.
The WCGS organizes and hosts a wide range of cultural and educational events such as author readings, theatrical performances, documentary and art exhibitions, and invited lectures and seminars. These are open to all colleagues and students at the University of Waterloo and to interested members of the community. The WCGS programming promotes awareness and understanding of issues and discourses in German Studies.
The Centre engages with German-Canadian heritage. Key activities here are
- work of the German-Canadian Studies research group,
- collaboration with and the support of the German holdings of the special collections and archive department in the Dana Porter Library,
- collaboration with the German-Canadian community in Waterloo Region and beyond on projects of mutual interest, and
- specialized programming to increase awareness of the history, culture, and languages of German Canadians.
Most of the operations of the WCGS are supported through a privately funded endowment. Thus, the Centre continues to be involved in the advancement and fundraising efforts of the Faculty of Arts and the University of Waterloo.
Summary of the Plans for 2009-14 from the 2009 WCGS Report
WCGS members continued their research on German literature and film, history, and applied linguistics. Individual SSHRC projects (Liebscher/O’Cain, Schulze/Heift) and internally supported projects (Calogeridis/Forgay, Mavor/Britton/Schulze) as well as other individual research programs and activities were still ongoing and have now been completed successfully. In addition to these areas, the following research themes emerged and/or were based on projects already under way at the time:
- Environment: Germany's particular role and position on environmental issues, their depiction in cultural artefacts and media discourses
- United Germany 25: historical, societal, political issues of modern Germany in an international context and (up to) a quarter century after German Unification
- Learning and teaching of German Studies: university curricula, language teaching, intercultural awareness
- German language and culture in Waterloo Region and Ontario: language use and identity, study of German archive materials, bibliography of German-Canadian materials
The WCGS planned to increase the number of its graduate student members through active recruitment in summer and fall of 2009. The Centre also planned to broaden its base of researchers by inviting colleagues in German Studies at universities in southwestern Ontario to become members and to actively participate in the research and programming activities of the WCGS. The plan targets were exceeded and the WCGS has now a base of 60 active researchers—professors, graduate students, and librarians.
Events envisaged for the 2009-2014 period and which were subsequently realized included these:
- A book resulting from the 2008 conference Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria.
- The conference "Transitions and Traditions: German Curricula" was held August 2010. Barbara Schmenk (WCGS) and John Plews (St Mary’s University, Nova Scotia) were the conference chairs. Centre members were members of the local organizing committee and the program committee.
- The annual conference of the Austrian Studies Association was hosted by the Centre in 2013. Conference organizer was Michael Boehringer.
- An annual flagship lecture series, the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Lecture, began in 2009. This public research lecture is delivered at the University of Waterloo by an outstanding, internationally recognized scholar in German Studies. (Though Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are probably best known for their collection of fairy tales, they were also nineteenth-century university professors, who—thanks to their work in German linguistics, literature, and history—were among the founding fathers of German Studies.) The inaugural lecture was held on 18 November 2009, the anniversary of the day in 1837 on which the Göttingen Seven (the two Grimms and five other professors) submitted their note protesting the abolition of constitutional rights in the Kingdom of Hannover.
In April 2009, the WCGS organized a German Studies Colloquium for its members. We discussed current and emerging directions in research in German Studies. In the course of the discussion, five research themes emerged and subsequently five research groups were established. It was through these research groups and the initiatives of individual WCGS members—both professors and graduate students—that the Centre significantly increased its collaborative research activities and its research output.
The Applied Language Studies research group organizes and hosts the biennial Waterloo Colloquium on Language Learning and Teaching, at which graduate students present their research on foreign language pedagogy and second language acquisition. The colloquium is supported financially by the WCGS. In 2010, research group member Barbara Schmenk—with John Plews, Saint Mary’s University—organized the Centre-hosted, international conference Transitions and Traditions—German Curricula. Members of the Applied Language Studies research group participated in the local organizing committee and contributed papers. The book Plews, J and B. Schmenk (2013) Traditions and Transitions. Curricula for German Studies (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press) was based on this conference and published as the latest volume in the WCGS German Studies Series. The research group organized a number of graduate colloquia, research seminars, and invited lectures in the course of the last five years.
The Austrian Studies research group prepared as its main project the 2013 conference of the Austrian Studies Association. Centre member Michael Boehringer was the conference chair. This association organizes an annual international conference on all aspects of Austrian Studies: history, language, literature, and society. The year 2013 was only the second conference of 14 held in Canada, the previous one having been held in Edmonton. An edited volume of selected papers from the conference is in preparation, with Centre members Boehringer, Kleinhans, and Cattell as the editors. The volume is scheduled to be published as part of the WCGS German Studies series in 2015. This group also hosted a number of research seminars, open graduate classes, and invited lectures.
The research group Contemporary German Culture and Society was less active in the early years of the report period. In 2013, Centre member Gary Bruce organized the conference Herrschaft und Macht in der DDR on East German history and society, which took place at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. A number of eminent scholars on East German history gave presentations and engaged in extended discussions. An edited volume with state-of-the-art research on this subject is in progress and scheduled to be published as part of the Centre’s book series in 2015.
The Ecology research group, initiated and coordinated by WCGS member Alice Kuzniar, has brought together researchers and graduate students from this and neighbouring universities. With their regular research seminars, invited talks, and the organization of small conferences, this has been the most active of the five research groups. Their research focuses on German literary and other cultural discourses on ecology, nature, and the environment and their relevance to today’s society.
The German-Canadian Studies research group had regular discussion meetings and organized a number of lectures, for example by Alexander Freund, the Chair in German-Canadian Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Group members compiled the searchable bibliography of German Canadiana, available on the website of the University of Waterloo Library and were involved in the transcription and translation of German texts of local historical, cultural, and linguistic relevance in the University’s archive. Members of this group are now centrally involved in the Oral History Project (more on that below).
The WCGS has become a major venue for the discussion and dissemination of research in German Studies on campus, Canada-wide, and internationally. The following conferences were organized and hosted between 2009 and 2014:
German Studies Forum - 1949-1989-2009: The Path to German and European Unity – September 29, 2009
The year 2009 marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the opening of the border between East and West Germany, and the 60th anniversary of the German Grundgesetz (Basic Law). Presentations at this multi-disciplinary conference included different aspects of German society and culture by specialists from several disciplines: Anthropology, History, German Studies, Geography, Economics, and Political Science. Presenters comprised a number of professors and graduate students from the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, different departments at the University of Waterloo, and universities in southwestern Ontario. The evening speaker was Paul Heinbecker, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) Distinguished Fellow and formerly the Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minster Mulroney. Conference chair was WCGS director Mat Schulze.
Traditions and Transitions - German Curricula – August 26-28, 2010
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies hosted this international conference at the University of Waterloo. It brought together scholars from North American and European universities whose research investigated various facets of the post-secondary curriculum for teaching and learning German as a foreign and/or second language and culture.
The potential new influences on the discipline of German are many and varied. New digital technologies, the information economy, globalization and multiculturalism, altered international spheres of influence, the changing manner of communication, the internationalization and corporatization of universities, the rise of cultural studies especially in the English-speaking world, second language acquisition research, and critical applied linguistics are just a few of the current external and internal influences. As a result, many traditionally widespread ideas and approaches in German post-secondary curricula have recently been challenged.
German Studies in the 21st century has to acknowledge a very different geo-political situation, a new generation of students with different expectations, and an advanced and far more complex understanding of its subject matter—German language, culture, and history. The conference provided a forum for discussing the challenges of current transitions and their impact on German curricula and made a major contribution to the global discussion about the learning and teaching of German language and culture at university.
The three keynote speakers were
- Claire Kramsch – Professor of German at the University of California, Berkeley,
- Alice Pitt – Dean of the Faculty of Education, York University, Toronto, and
- Dietmar Rösler – Professor of German as a Foreign and Second Language, Justus-Liebig Universität, Gießen, Germany.
Selected papers from this conference have been published with Wilfrid Laurier University Press as part of the WCGS German Studies book series. Centre member Barbara Schmenk, conference co-chair with John Plews, Saint Mary’s University, headed the local organizing team of members of the WCGS Applied Language Studies research group.
Romantic Ecology Symposium - March 19, 2011
Presenters from German and English Studies, Science and Technology, discussed the connections between literature, nature, and eco-criticism. Invited speakers were
- David Clark (Professor of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University),
- Ian Balfour (Professor of English, York University), and
- Joan Steigerwald (Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies, York University).
Centre members David John (German, University of Waterloo), Belinda Kleinhans (German, University of Waterloo), Christine Lehleiter (German, University of Toronto), and Paola Mayer (European Studies, University of Guelph) as well as Shalon Noble (English, Western University), and Morgan Tunzelmann (English, University of Waterloo) gave papers. The symposium was organized by WCGS member Alice Kuzniar and sponsored by the WCGS, the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies, York University, and the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies.
Dream of the Other Europe: Rethinking Germanistik through the Balkans – February 4, 2012
This conference examined how Germanophone writers from the Balkan countries contribute to recent discussions of migration, displacement, impermanence, and what Azade Seyhan calls the “geographies of memory.” The mini-conference was inaugurated the night before by readings in Croatian and German by the Swiss-Croatian poet, Dragica Rajčić, with translations into English offered by Christine Fritze (University of Victoria). WCGS member Alice Kuzniar was the conference chair. The conference was also supported by Croatian Studies at the University of Waterloo.
Waterloo Colloquium on Language Learning and Teaching – April 1, 2013
Centre members Emma Betz and Barbara Schmenk organized this colloquium, where graduate students from the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies discussed a wide variety of topics and issues pertaining to teaching German as a foreign language.
Congress 2012 of the Humanities and Social Sciences – May / June 2012
The WCGS was centrally involved in Congress 2012 at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. Centre member James Skidmore was the Congress co-convener and the local organizer of the annual conference of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German (CAUTG). WCGS director Mat Schulze was the local organizer of the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics. Graduate students and colleagues of the Centre’s research groups were members of these conferences’ organizing teams. The Diefenbaker chair and centre member John H. Smith gave one of the keynote presentations at the CAUTG conference. The WCGS provided substantial financial support for both conferences. The Centre also sponsored a keynote speaker at the CAUTG conferences in 2011 and 2013 and has already committed for the 2014 conference.
Austrian Studies Association Annual Conference – May 2-5, 2013
The ASA held their annual conference at the University of Waterloo, the second time in the conference’s 14-year history that it was held in Canada. The conference focused on Glaubenssysteme/Belief Systems, and received generous support from many organizations:
- Austrian Cultural Forum (Canada),
- Austrian Cultural Forum (New York),
- Austrian Embassy (Ottawa),
- Austrian Studies Association,
- Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies,
- Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo,
- Retail Services University of Waterloo,
- Waterloo Centre for German Studies.
Scholars attended from Austria, Canada, Romania, the United Kingdom, and the United States, representing disciplines such as philosophy, science, history, film studies, architecture, literary studies, linguistics, gender studies, religious studies, comparative studies, and political science. Discussions focused on national belief systems and popular belief systems. Centre member Michael Boehringer, supported by a team of graduate students and colleagues mainly from the Centre’s Austrian Studies research group, was the conference chair.
In the context of the conference, the WCGS hosted the exhibition The Life and Art of Gustav Klimt - Forerunner to Modernism. To commemorate the “Gustav Klimt Year” in Austria and Klimt’s 150th birthday, the Austrian Cultural Forum in cooperation with the Waterloo Centre for German Studies presented a facsimile exhibit of his life and work. Gustav Klimt was one of the central figures of fin-de-siècle Vienna, the epoch that marked the beginning of Modernism. He created some of the most famous Art Nouveau paintings worldwide and was one of the organizers of the “Jugendstil” art movement in Vienna. The Austrian Embassy chose to honour Gustav Klimt by showing a tribute exhibition in Canada, bringing some of his art and his life to the Canadian public.
Power and Daily Life in East Germany – May 26-27, 2013
Gary Bruce, a WCGS member, organized this two-day conference, held at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA). It brought together some of the world’s leading experts on East Germany, including
- Alan MacDougall (University of Guelph),
- Armin Mitter (University of Halle),
- Edith Scheffer (Stanford University),
- Hermann Wentker (Institute for Contemporary History, Berlin),
- Hope Harrison (George Washington University),
- Mark Kramer (Harvard University), and
- Stefan Wolle (Director of the GDR Museum in Berlin).
Topics of discussion included opposition in daily life in East Germany, East German foreign relations, East German sport, memorialization of the Berlin Wall, grassroots involvement in creation of the German-German border, and the role of the East German army in everyday life. The conference was funded in part by the WCGS, the Dean of Arts' office, the BSIA, the Office of Research, and the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies. A publication of the conference proceedings is in preparation and is planned to appear as part of the WCGS German Studies series in 2015. The conference was held in German and English.
We established the WCGS German Studies book series with Wilfrid Laurier University Press. John H. Smith, the former Diefenbaker Memorial Chair in German Literary Studies, became the series editor, and an international editorial board included eminent scholars in history, linguistics, and literary studies. Three books were published with WLU press during the reporting period:
- (2012) Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria. Film and Media Studies Series. Mueller, Gabriele and James M. Skidmore, editors. The book is the outcome of a conference.
- (2012) Liberty is Dead: A Canadian in Germany, 1938. Wegenast, Franklin Wellington. Derry, Margaret, editor. The book is a first publication of prominent German-Canadian lawyer and writer Wegenast and his analysis of the Third Reich in 1938.
- (2013) Traditions and Transitions. Curricula for German Studies. Schmenk, Barbara and John Plews, editors. This book is about university curricula in German Studies and came out of a conference on learning German as a second/foreign language.
- Two volumes—based on recent Centre hosted conference on the history of the German Democratic Republic and Austrian Studies—are in preparation.
A representative list of research publications by Centre members can be found in Appendix A.
The WCGS was very successful in obtaining funding for its research conferences, colloquia, and talks, as detailed in the relevant sections. Centre members Grit Liebscher, Barbara Schmenk, and Mat Schulze prepared a funding application ($300,000) to the Ontario Research Fund—Research Excellence Funding in 2011. Unfortunately, after a re-shuffle of in the Ontario government, this funding line was pulled after the Notice-of-Intent stage. Centre members were successful in obtaining external funding and were able to hire WCGS graduate students as research assistants (see table below).
Funded Research Projects (University of Waterloo Faculty members)
DAAD, LITE Seed Grant
LITE grant and uW SSHRC
Research Talks and Lectures
Annual Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Lecture
For this annual flagship event of the WCGS, a prominent Germanist scholar is invited to the University of Waterloo. The lecture is named after the founding fathers of German Studies, the brothers Grimm, who conducted research on German literature, linguistics, and history. Its goal is to highlight the social relevance of modern German Studies, its interdisciplinary scope, and its contributions to many other areas of academic enquiry.
Nature and Environment in Modern Germany: A Difficult History (November 18, 2010)
- Presenter: David Blackbourn, Germanist historian at Harvard University
- Summary: Blackbourn discussed the history of water—its ecology, economic use, and its place in society—in central Europe.
Citizenship in Germany: From Mono-cultural to Multi-cultural Society (November 10, 2011)
- Presenter: Christiane Lemke, Max Weber Chair in German and European Politics at New York University, Professor of Political Science at the Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany, and co-director of the Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence
- Summary: The German concept of ethno-cultural citizenship has been highly contested in recent years given the increased migration to the country. Lemke addressed the debate about multiculturalism and explored the situation of migrant populations in Germany in the light of new citizenship regulations.
Recent Developments in Post-War Austrian German: A Case Study on Genre-Related Language Change (October 23, 2012)
- Presenter: Ruth Wodak, Distinguished Professor and Chair in Discourse Studies at Lancaster University in England
- Summary: Wodak covered language change in Austrian German in the fields of education, media, and business and how different text genres—business reports, newspaper articles, the Austrian Press Agency’s news reports, and high school students’ German essays—underwent significant change between 1970 and 2010.
The Lives of Others / Das Leben der Anderen (October 25, 2013)
- Presenter: Eric Rentschler, Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
- Summary: The Lives of Others won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2007. Rentschler situated this German film on East German secret service and its interference with cultural production and creativity in the context of German film history and discussed the notion of heritage film in European film.
Individual Lectures and Talks
The list below itemizes research talks and lectures organized and hosted by the Centre to illustrate the rich research culture of the WCGS. All lectures were public and thus open not only to WCGS members, but also colleagues, students, and community members. The attendance ranged from seminar size (~25–50 people) to a large lecture audience (Zayas: ~250 people).
German Language and (Dis-)Unity: German Twenty Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - October 20, 2009
Mat Schulze gave a public presentation at the Kitchener Public Library about the status of the German language in Kitchener-Waterloo and discussed a number of factors that influence the situation of bilingual speakers in English-speaking Canada.
The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Why it Happened, What it Changed - November 9, 2009
WCGS member James Skidmore gave a talk at Kitchener Public Library on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
2010 Diefenbaker Lecture Series - February 1, 2010
In February and March 2010, the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and the Waterloo Centre for German Studies hosted the 2010 Diefenbaker Lecture Series. Six distinguished scholars of German Literary Studies presented and discussed their thoughts on the study of German literature in the 21st century.
Ethnic Cleansing 1945 – 1948 - March 22, 2010
Discussion with Alfred de Zayas (Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations), Dieter Buse (Laurentian University) and Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach (University of Waterloo) on the expulsion of 12 million Germans from their homes in several eastern European countries and regions, including the many who were forced into Soviet labour camps. Alfred de Zayas is a retired senior lawyer with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and a retired Secretary of the United Nations Human Rights Committee; Dieter Buse is Professor Emeritus of History (Laurentian University); and WCGS member Sebastian Siebel Achenbach is Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Waterloo.
Franklin Wellington Wegenast, the Life of a German Canadian and His Impressions of Germany in 1938 - September 21, 2010
As one of very few North Americans, Wegenast visited Germany in 1938 and kept a travel diary which Margaret Derry edited and for which she wrote an extensive commentary/contextualization. The WCGS research group German-Canadian Studies organized the talk.
What Happened to the German Language in Kitchener-Waterloo? - October 14, 2010
Mat Schulze presented at the Kitchener Public Library on the status of the German language in Kitchener-Waterloo and discussed a number of factors that influence the situation of bilingual speakers in English-speaking Canada.
Austrian Immigration to Canada - 1938 to 1970 - September 16, 2011
This talk by the historian Andrea Strutz (Universität Graz, Austria) explored the legal constraints and the practice of post-1945 emigration from Austria to Canada, with special attention given to the individual experiences and the memories of both Jewish and non-Jewish Austrian migrants, collected in a series of oral histories. The event was organized by the Department of History and co-sponsored by the Waterloo Centre for German Studies and the Department of Jewish Studies.
The Anthes Papers - September 29, 2011
Susan Thorne explained and described her challenges in translating letters from 1867-1872 by pastor Jacob Anthes from Kitchener-Waterloo. The letters, mixed systems of the old German scripts, Roman lettering, and borrowed English words, provided insight in to the daily life of a German Evangelical preacher at the time of Confederation. Dr. Geoffrey Hayes, history professor at the University of Waterloo, then placed Jacob Anthes’ importance within German-Ontarian History.
Guttenberg to Google Street View - Germany Today as Seen by its Cartoonists - October 4, 2011
Christophe Fricker, Craig-Kade writer in residence at Rutgers University, combined two seemingly unrelated topics – how plagiarism brought a high-profile politician’s career to an abrupt end, and how hundreds of thousands of Germans objected to their house being photographed by Google Street View – by showcasing humoristic motifs and techniques used by op-ed artists.
Affen, Wölfe und Tanzbären - November 25, 2011
Regine Zeller, University of Mannheim, gave a lecture on animal imagery in Thomas Mann's early works and analyzed the form and function of “the other” as an animal in his earlier stories.
On the Interactional Import of Self-Repair in the Courtroom - November 25, 2011
Tanya Romaniuk and Susan Ehrlich, York University, examined how certain conversational resources are used for specific purposes in institutional talk. They provided insights into the analysis of interaction in the courtroom.
Zukunft der deutschen Sprache - September 10, 2012
Manfred Schröder (Verein Deutsche Sprache) discussed the changes occurring in everyday German language. This talk was organized upon the initiative of Ernst Friedel, community representative on the WCGS Advisory Board.
Classicism and Secular Humanism: The Sanctification of Die Zauberflöte in Goethe's Novelle - September 17, 2012
Presentation by Jane K. Brown, Joff Hanauer Distinguished Professor for Western Civilization Emerita (Germanics and Comparative Literature) in the Department of Germanics at the University of Washington. She offered insights into how Mozart’s opera influenced Goethe’s Novelle.
Salvaging History: Can We Learn Anything from (Really Bad) 1970s Oral History Interviews? - September 21, 2012
Alexander Freund (Professor of History and Chair of German-Canadian Studies, University of Winnipeg) highlighted the challenges but also the advantages of conducting oral history, which included explaining why the oral history interviews conducted in the 1970s are considered “bad,” and how to make the best use of the material we have.
Language Attitudes in Interaction in Narrated Language Biographies - September 28, 2012
Katharina König, visiting researcher from the University of Münster, Germany, discussed language attitudes in interaction in narrated language biographies. Based on a corpus of narrative interviews with people of Vietnamese origin living in Germany, she addressed different linguistic strategies of self- and other-positioning.
Symbolic Competence: New Goal for Global Times - October 20, 2012
Claire Kramsch, Professor of German and Foreign Language Education at UC Berkeley and founding Director of the Berkeley Language Center, illustrated the concept of symbolic competence both in the theory and the practice of foreign language teaching and learning. Given the increasing importance of language in the global economy both as a mode of communication and as the power to make and impose meaning on others, foreign language learners need the ability not just to express conventional meanings and solve communicative tasks but to interpret what is meant by what is said, to understand how people use symbolic systems to construct new meanings, and to imagine how the other languages they know might influence the way they think, speak and write.
History and Forms of Beautiful Ugliness - February 13, 2013
Mark W. Roche, Joyce Professor of German and Concurrent Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, discussed ugliness and its role in our culture: How can ugliness be considered art? How does it manifest itself in cultural history? In what ways has the German tradition contributed distinctive insights to the aesthetics of the ugly?
Celan's Orientation between the Languages - April 16, 2013
This talk was co-hosted with the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and organized by the Diefenbaker Memorial Chair in German Literary Studies, John Smith. Na'ama Rokem of the University of Chicago (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations) presented her work on the poet Paul Celan (1920-1970) as part of a larger project that deals with German-Jewish and Hebrew literature through the lens of bilingualism and self-translation.
Stefan Heym – November 21, 2013
Historian Armin Mitter (Berlin, Germany) gave a lecture in German on the well-known writer Stefan Heym. Heym grew up in Germany, but had to flee the country at a young age. During his exile he became a writer and wrote a number of novels in English and German. He returned to Germany as a member of the American armed forces during World War II and in later life became the Father of the House of the German federal parliament.
Diefenbaker Lecture Series - March 6 - April 8, 2014
By discussing the issues and problems that are currently central to their research in German Studies, five leading scholars explore how literary studies can fulfill the expectations of an academic discipline and connect with wider society.
The WCGS offers a broad range of educational and cultural events for town and gown. The events listed below are indicative of how the Centre, through initiatives by its members, facilitates knowledge mobilization in German Studies. The expertise of its members and the strong links of the Centre with the German Consulate General in Toronto, the Goethe Institute in Toronto, the German Academic Exchange Service Information Centre in Toronto, the German Embassy in Ottawa, and many community associations in Waterloo Region continue to provide a solid basis for these events, which increase the awareness and knowledge of German history, culture, and contemporary society not only to the academic community but also to interested Canadians. The WCGS brought German authors (Bronsky), filmmakers (Foth), and actors (Markland) to Canada. We supported the production of an artistic documentary (Thauberger), a theatrical performance in the Theatre of the Arts (Markland) and one at the Registry Theatre in Kitchener (Grimm), and a dramatic reading (Voltaire). In particular, the timely exhibitions on the fall of the Berlin Wall, German unification, and remembering the prisoners of the concentration camp in Dachau had hundreds of visitors and helped raise awareness of these historical events. In the context of the Icons of the Wall exhibition, 200 high school students of German and their teachers and parents spend a Saturday in workshops, which were conducted by WCGS graduate student members and colleagues from the Goethe Institute. Rabbi Erwin Schild (Toronto), who was a prisoner in Dachau, visited the University of Waterloo in the context of the exhibition Names instead of Numbers and spoke to a group of 100 University of Waterloo students.
April 8, 2009
Reading by German author Alina Bronsky; in collaboration with the Goethe Institute Toronto and the Munk Centre in Toronto.
Icons of the Wall
September 13 to October 3, 2009
Photographic exhibition of traces of the Berlin Wall in today's Berlin. Supported by the Goethe Institute Toronto.
From Peaceful Revolution to German Unity
October 8 to 29, 2010
An exhibition of posters by the Federal Foundation for the Critical Appraisal of the SED-Dictatorship, in cooperation with the Hertie Foundation.
Jörg Foth: Neues aus der DaDaeR
October 18, 2010
Viewing of the satire film about the GDR followed by discussion with the director.
Jean Snook: Reading from Her Recent Translations
November 21, 2010
Reading by Professor Jean M. Snook, Memorial University, Newfoundland, from her English translations of two Viennese writers.
Photo Exhibition: The Wall: A Border through Germany
November 15 to December 15, 2011
Photo exhibition marking 50 years since the building of the Berlin Wall. In collaboration with the German Consulate General in Toronto.
Tales of the Grimm
February 19 to 20, 2012
A modern retelling of untold Grimms’ fairy tales; theatre for the whole family during the Brothers Grimm Year 2012. Bilingual script by the local writer Maggie Clark; German translation by WCGS member Allison Cattell; production by now WCGS member Lori Straus. With financial support of the WCGS.
Bridge Markland: Faust in the Box
March 27 to March 28, 2012
The Berlin performance and transformation artist Bridge Markland presented her interpretation of Goethe's Faust I as a one-woman show in German and English in the Theatre of the Arts.
Exhibition: Names instead of Numbers
October 1-18, 2012
The international travelling exhibition Names instead of Numbers about prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp.
Voltaire & Frederick: A Life in Letters
November 10, 2012
Commissioned in honour of Frederick II's 300th birthday, Voltaire and Frederick: A Life in Letters was a dramatic reading of the correspondence between the French-European philosopher and the Royal Prince (and later King) of Prussia. In collaboration with the Department of Philosophy and the Department of French.
Exhibition: Althea Thauberger: Marat-Sade-Bohnice
December 15, 2012 - May 5, 2013
The WCGS financially supported a project at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery Toronto by Althea Thauberger. The project was an experimental and documentary record of the performance of German author Peter Weiss' play Marat/Sade at Bohnice, a psychiatric hospital in Prague.
KW German Walk
Students of German produced a mobile app which guides locals and visitors on a tour of the Region to various landmarks of German heritage. Prepared in collaboration with the German Consulate in Toronto.
Film & Discussion: Marat Sade Bohnice
February 7, 2013
Viewing of Canadian artist Althea Thauberger's new project, Marat Sade Bohnice, followed by discussion with Thauberger.
Ask Me More about Brecht
October 22, 2013
Dramatic performance of composer Hans Eisler’s interviews with the Germanist Hans Bunge by Sabine Berendse and Paul Clements (United Kingdom).
Free German Movie Screenings
January 13 - March 24, 2014
Free German-movie screenings, held by WCGS member Dr. Alice Kuzniar.
WCGS members are scholars in German Studies at the University of Waterloo and other universities, graduate students in German Studies, and support staff. Throughout the five years of the report period, both MA and PhD students have been involved in research and programming activities of the Centre. Scholars and graduate students are working in the five research groups (see Research Accomplishments). Below, the current members of the Centre are listed; colleagues who retired in the course of the last five years and graduate students who completed their studies at the University of Waterloo and do not continue their work with the Centre are not listed. All members are active in the WCGS research groups, contribute to and participate in WCGS conferences and colloquia, work with WCGS graduate student members, and/or provide support for the Centre’s operation.
Derek Andrews MA candidate University of Waterloo
Taylor Antoniazzi MA candidate University of Waterloo
Kim Bardwell Director Arts Advancement University of Waterloo
Karin Barton, PhD Contract Academic Staff, German Wilfrid Laurier University
Harald Bauder, PhD Associate Professor of Geography Ryerson University
Ina Bendig MA candidate University of Waterloo
Emma Betz, PhD Assistant Professor of German University of Waterloo
Diane Bielicki, PhD Lecturer in Modern Languages Brock University
Michael Boehringer, PhD Associate Professor of German University of Waterloo
Gary Bruce, PhD Associate Professor of History University of Waterloo
Helena Calogeridis Librarian, Dana Porter Library University of Waterloo
Allison Cattell PhD Candidate University of Waterloo
Stephanie Cooper MA candidate University of Waterloo
Katja Czarnecki Administrative Assistant WCGS / GSS University of Waterloo
Marlene Epp, PhD Associate Professor of History University of Waterloo
Jane Forgay Librarian Dana Porter Library University of Waterloo
Sara Ghaffarian PhD candidate University of Waterloo
Tanya Hagman MA candidate University of Waterloo
Geoffrey Hayes, PhD Associate Professor of History University of Waterloo
David G. John, PhD Professor emeritus of German University of Waterloo
Christine Robinson PhD candidate University of Waterloo
Belinda Kleinhans, PhD Assistant Professor of German Texas Tech University
Alice Kuzniar, PhD Professor of German University of Waterloo
Myriam Léger, PhD General Manager PatTheDog Playwright Centre
Christine Lehleiter Assistant Professor University of Toronto
Katharina Leuner MA candidate University of Waterloo
Grit Liebscher, PhD Associate Professor of German University of Waterloo
Judith Linneweber MA candidate University of Waterloo
Ute Lischke, PhD Professor of English and Film Studies Wilfrid Laurier University
Paul Malone, PhD Associate Professor of German University of Waterloo
Sara Marsh MA candidate University of Waterloo
Paola Mayer, PhD Associate Professor of German University of Guelph
David T. McNab, PhD Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies York University
Gabriele Mueller, PhD Associate Professor of German York University
Maike Müller, PhD MA candidate University of Waterloo
Mareike Mueller, PhD Clinical Assistant Professor of German University of Illinois at Chicago
Nikolai Penner, PhD Assistant Professor of German McMaster University
Jennifer Redler MA candidate University of Waterloo
Tetyana Reichert, PhD Lecturer in German and Russian University of Waterloo
Julia Roitsch MA candidate University of Waterloo
Daniela Roth PhD candidate University of Waterloo
Sam Schirm MA candidate University of Waterloo
Friederike Schlein PhD candidate University of Waterloo
Barbara Schmenk, PhD Associate Professor of German University of Waterloo
Kyle Scholz PhD candidate University of Waterloo
Katharina Schröder PhD candidate University of Waterloo
Mathias Schulze, PhD Associate Professor of German University of Waterloo
Sebastian Siebel, PhD Adjunct Professor of History University of Waterloo
James M. Skidmore, PhD Associate Professor of German University of Waterloo
John Smith, PhD Professor of German UC Irvine (former Diefenbaker chair, uW)
Lori Straus WCGS Administrative Assistant University of Waterloo
Lynne Taylor, PhD Associate Professor of History University of Waterloo
Katharina Unkelbach MA candidate University of Waterloo
Janet Vaughan Administrative Assistant, GSS University of Waterloo
Gerlinde Weimer PhD candidate University of Waterloo
Sara Werthmüller MA candidate University of Waterloo
Jean Wilson, PhD Associate Professor of German McMaster University
Peter Wood, PhD Assistant Professor of German University of Saskatchewan
Michele Zilinski Wage and Salary Analyst
Alexandra Zimmermann, PhD Contract Academic Staff, German Wilfrid Laurier University
Director: Mathias Schulze
Founding Director: David G. John
Assistant: Lori Straus
Alice Kuzniar, Professor of German and English, University of Waterloo
Grit Liebscher, Chair of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, University of Waterloo
Mathias Schulze, Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies
Lynne Taylor, Associate Professor of History, University of Waterloo
Lynne Taylor Associate Professor of History, University of Waterloo
Mathias Schulze Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies
Helene Schramek community representative
Uwe Rau Director Goethe Institute Toronto
Grit Liebscher Chair of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, University of Waterloo
Alice Kuzniar Professor of German and English, University of Waterloo
Christina Kraenzle Director Canadian Centre for German and European Studies
John Paul Kleiner Acting Director, German Academic Exchange Service Information Office, Toronto
David G. John Founding Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies
Jasmin Hofer community representative
Marion Hensel German teacher, Waterloo Collegiate Institute
Ernst Friedel community representative
WCGS German Studies Book Series Editorial Board
John H. Smith former Diefenbaker Chair, University of Waterloo - Series Editor
Frank Finlay Professor of German, University of Leeds
Sabine Hake Professor and Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture, University of Texas, Austin
Bob Moeller Professor of History, University of California, Irvine
Diethelm Prowe Laird Bell Professor Emeritus of Modern European History, Carleton College
Dietmar Rösler Professor of German as a Foreign and Second Language, Justus-Liebig Universität, Gießen
Joseph Salmons Seifert Professor of Germanic Linguistics, University of Wisconsin, Madison
During the report period, Gary Bruce (Associate Professor and Chair of History), Michael Boehringer (Associate Professor of German), and James Skidmore (Associate Professor and former Chair of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies) served on the WCGS Executive Committee. James Skidmore was also the chair of the WCGS Advisory Board. Sonja Griegoschewski (former director of the Goethe Institute Toronto), Alex Hausstein (former director of the German Academic Exchange Service Information Office in Toronto), Peter Isaac (former director of the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies at York University), Ron Rhodes (high school teacher of German), and Mark Webber (Associate Professor of German, York University) served on the WCGS Advisory Board.
Most of the WCGS operations are financed through the annual yield of a privately funded endowment. At the beginning of the current report period, the global recession of financial markets was at its peak. The University of Waterloo ensured that capital investment of the WCGS endowment retained its book value. Interest rates (yield), however, were down from 4% to 1% and have climbed back up in recent years to 3%. This enabled the WCGS—through prudent budgeting in 2009-11—to provide a stable basis for its research and programming activities. In the last five years, the Centre has received a number of smaller, often regular donations and a large donation of $20,000 from Egon Homburger (see the chart and table of the endowment principal below).
The Centre stewards and administers a number of smaller endowments. All remained stable and we were able to support Waterloo undergraduate and graduate students with the endowment-based awards and prizes. The Fred and Ruth Stork Awards in German Studies (endowed with $500,000) have been used in 2012, 2013, and 2014 to support Canadian students in the MA in Intercultural German Studies—a joint program with the University in Mannheim, Germany—and to enable them to travel to Mannheim for their 12-month study period there. The awards also enable(d) 20 students at the University of Waterloo to study in Germany in an accredited university course or program. In 2012, the WCGS—through the fundraising efforts of its Founding Director, David John—received a donation of $62K from Cecilia Piller. These funds are in trust and have been used in 2013 and 2014 to present two Waterloo graduate students in German Studies with the Cecilia and the late George Piller Graduate Research Award. The Evelyn Guderian Thesis Award and the Herta Brichta Award in German Studies were presented to graduate students with the best thesis or dissertation and to an outstanding student in the German graduate programs, respectively. These awards have enabled a number of graduate students over the years to better concentrate on their research and learning and thus achieve better results.
Due the financial uncertainty in 2009/10 and a lower level of programming activity in 2011 (WCGS director on research leave), the overall expenditure in these years decreased. The annual WCGS budget is approved by the Centre’s executive committee and sent to the Dean of Arts for approval.
In the budget, funds are allocated to support
- the work of the five research groups,
- hosted conferences and invited researchers,
- the WCGS German Studies book series with Wilfrid Laurier University Press,
- the programming of the Diefenbaker Memorial Chair in German Literary Studies and other programming activities,
- the Centre’s operation (administrative assistance, public relations, fundraising).
The WCGS has consolidated its day-to-day operations through the hiring of a half-time administrative assistant (Lori Straus) in November 2013. After years of only hiring occasional support for two to five hours a week or often project-based and employing Katja Czarnecki (administrative assistant in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies) for 2.5 hours per week, this new position and hiring has already improved the WCGS administration significantly. It will also result in an increase in expenditure for operating from the financial year 2013/14 onwards.
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies has the following mandate:
- To conduct research on the language, culture, and civilization of German-speaking peoples, from both historical and contemporary perspectives;
- To provide a wide range of educational and cultural activities for the academy and the broader community;
- To engage with German-Canadian heritage.
The Strategic Plan of the University of Waterloo identifies eight areas of strength; five of them pertaining to research institutes like the Waterloo Centre for German Studies. These will be outlined in the subsequent sections. Each section is preceded by a central quote from the website Strategic Plan: A distinguished past—A distinctive future (https://uwaterloo.ca/strategic-plan/).
“Waterloo’s Faculty of Arts is changing the landscape of social sciences and humanities research by harnessing new technologies and methodologies to traditional modes of analysis. This will generate new insights into the human condition in areas including finance and accounting, clinical and social psychology, digital media, science and technology studies, languages, literatures and culture, international governance and public policy.”
This is the foremost area of Waterloo’s strengths in which the WCGS can make a significant contribution. Over the next five years, the five WCGS research groups and individual researchers will continue to investigate and reflect upon
- Processes of cultural production, creativity, and knowledge making in the (German) arts and their place in the societies of the 21st century;
- The nature and role of (German) language use and language learning in multilingual societies and for plurilingual individuals;
- The cultural, economic, political, and social systems in German-speaking countries and communities in their historical contexts.
More concretely, the WCGS will complete its Oral History Project successfully with the creation of an electronic text corpus for researchers in applied linguistics, cultural studies, and history, and the publication of a book detailing the stories of German immigrants to the region. The research groups, having matured in the last five years, will increase their collaborative research. The WCGS is planning to implement a funding line for its researchers, which will fund work on the creation of research tools and aspects of research activities that are currently not funded by federal and provincial funding agencies.
“Waterloo will offer more opportunities for international exchange, service learning, field programs and co-op employment. The university will grow its global research network and be recognized internationally for excellence in education, research and scholarship. Waterloo will embrace global viewpoints and experience, attracting a diverse and growing group of the best and brightest international students and faculty to its campuses.”
This is one of the strengths of the WCGS. It funds a wide variety of academic exchange and study abroad opportunities with universities in German-speaking countries through its awards for Waterloo students and will continue to do so and widen the scope of the awards to make them accessible to all Canadian students. The Centre will continue to bring researchers and creative artists and thinkers to the University of Waterloo and Canada. In the next five years, the WCGS will expand its cooperation and collaboration with similar centres and institutes in Canada, the United States, Ireland, Austria, and Germany by building on existing contacts and collaborative projects. Through the organization of two major international conferences (2016 and 2018), the WCGS will attract researchers of international renown to Waterloo and make a significant contribution to international discourses in German Studies.
We believe that research in foreign language education—and foreign language education itself—and the raising of transcultural competence are core components of the internationalization of a university. The WCGS—in collaboration with all language-based departments at the University of Waterloo—will continue to make significant contributions in this area.
“Waterloo’s unique brand of education will reshape lifelong learning for students on and beyond its campuses. Recognizing the value of broad experiences in a global economy, Waterloo will increase opportunities for international work-terms, exchanges and research opportunities.”
The WCGS will continue to involve undergraduate and graduate students in the conceptualization, preparation, organization, and the execution of its research and programming activities. Students will gain valuable experience participating in ongoing research projects of high social relevance, such as the Oral History Project, in the organization of knowledge mobilization through international conferences, research seminars and workshops, and public discussion as well as through educational and cultural events for high school students and interested members of the community. They will actively participate in the collaboration with cultural, political, and social organizations and institutions such as the Goethe Institute, the diplomatic offices of the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Academic Exchange Service, and local community associations. The WCGS will continue to strengthen its existing links with the local German-Canadian Business and Professional Association and the German-Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Toronto to provide students with experience in transcultural economic and social contexts. For aspects of international experiential education see under Internationalization.
“... increase opportunities for entrepreneurial learning and activity. Waterloo’s innovative approaches to technology, social innovation and social entrepreneurship will create recognizable impact — fuelling economic growth and improving the human condition.”
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies will introduce more Canadians to academic and public discourses about technology, social innovation, and social entrepreneurship in German-speaking central Europe, thus creating a higher awareness of such issues through critical, transcultural reflection. In our annual Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Lecture, we showcase leading research in German Studies that makes important contributions to other areas of academic enquiry, our views of the entrepreneurial subject, society, and economy. The WCGS will continue to bring German leaders, researchers, and entrepreneurs and political leaders to Waterloo. We are planning a series of talks and discussions with prominent politicians, entrepreneurs, and leaders society from German-speaking central Europe.
Vibrant Student Experience
“The university will expand the range of experiences, programs and supports designed to develop student potential, and build a stronger sense of community connection for students both on and off campus.”
The WCGS has made many contributions to a more enjoyable and fulfilling life on campus through its educational and cultural programming activities and will continue to do so. Through the involvement of undergraduate and graduate students in its various activities and projects, the WCGS will continue the building of a community of students and colleagues in German Studies and those interested in German language, culture, history, and society. Based on its strong connection with organisations and institutions in the community, the WCGS will continue to foster a community of town and gown.
Possible External Assessors
Christina Kraenzle (Director of the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies at York University) serves on our Advisory Board and could be approached for an assessment. Alexander Freund (Professor of History and Chair of German-Canadian Studies, University of Winnipeg), Peter Gölz (Associate Professor of German, University of Victoria), Karin Bauer (Associate Professor of German and Chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, McGill University), and Joseph Salmons (Seifert Professor of Germanic Linguistics, University of Wisconsin, Madison) are also suitable external assessors. Upon request, we can also submit further names of members of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German as well as of Germanist historians.
This report was prepared by the Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, Mat Schulze, and Lori Straus, the WCGS Administrative Assistant, using Centre files and texts from the website of the WCGS (http://wcgs.ca), where more detailed information can be found. A penultimate draft of this document has been discussed with the membership, the Executive Committee, and the Advisory Board and feedback and comments were solicited and worked into the final version. The final report will be sent to the same three groups for information. The draft document was also sent to the Associate Dean of Arts (Research), Tim Kenyon, and the chairs of Germanic and Slavic Studies (Grit Liebscher) and History (Gary Bruce).
Appendix A: Selected Publications by WCGS Members 2009-2014
Amstutz,Nina. (2013) (University of Toronto. As of Fall 2013, post-doc, Yale University, Yale Center for British Art). Caspar David Friedrich and the Science of Landscape. PhD dissertation.
Amstutz,Nina. (forthcoming in 2014) "Caspar David Friedrich and the Anatomy of Nature.” in Art History.
Bauder, Harald and Lujan, O. (2013) “Immigrant Integration in Ontario, Canada.” Integrationspolitik im internationalen Vergleich: Beiträge zum internationalen Symposium des Ministeriums für Integration Baden-Württemberg an der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 4.12.2012. Stuttgart, Germany: Ministerium für Integration Baden-Württemberg: 20-22.
Bauder, Harald. (2011) Immigration Dialectic: Imagining Community, Economy and Nation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press: 305 pages.
Bauder, Harald. (2011) “The Regulation of Labor Markets Through Migration.” In Phillips, N. ed., Migration in the Global Political Economy. International Political Economy Yearbook Series, Vol. 17. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers: 41–60.
Bauder, Harald. (2011) “Towards a Critical Geography of the Border: Engaging the Dialectic of Practice and Meaning.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 101(5): 1126–1139.
Bauder, Harald and Semmelroggen, J. (2009) “Immigration and Imagination of Nationhood in German Parliament.” Nationalism & Ethnic Politics 15(1): 1–26.
Boehringer, Michael, Belinda Kleinhans, and Allison Cattell (eds.) (To be published by Wilfrid Laurier UP in 2015) Glaubenssysteme/Belief-Systems in Austrian Literature and Culture.
Boehringer, Michael, and S. Hochreiter (eds.) (2011) Zeitenwende: Österreichische Literatur seit dem Millennium 2000-2010. Vienna: Praesens Verlag. 506pp.
Boehringer, Michael. (2011) “Fantasies of White Masculinity in Arthur Schnitzler’s ‘Andreas Thameyers letzter Brief’ (1900).” The German Quarterly 84(1), 80-96.
Borchert, Angela. (forthcoming in May 2014)(Western University) “Arabeskgroteske »Zimmerverzierung« in der Raumästhetik des Interieurs um 1800.” Interieur und Bildtapete. Narrative des Wohnens um 1800. Ed. Katharina Eck, Astrid Silvia Schönhagen. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.
Bruce, Gary. (2010) The Firm: The Inside Story of the Stasi. New York: Oxford University Press.
Cattell, Alison. (2013) "Reflective Curriculum Construction in the Postmethod Era: Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations." Transitions and Traditions: German Curricula. Eds. John L. Plews and Barbara Schmenk. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier UP.
Caws, Catherine, Marie-Josée Hamel, and Mathias Schulze (eds.). (2011) Computer-Assisted Language Learning in Canada. Special Issue of the Calico Journal.
Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer and Grit Liebscher. (2011) “Germans from different places: constructing a German space in urban Canada.” Journal of Germanic Linguistics 23/4 (special issue on Germanic languages and migration in North America, Kristine Horner, ed.), 315-345.
Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer and Grit Liebscher. (2011) “Language attitudes, migrant identities, and space.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 212, 91-133.
Heift, Trude and Mathias Schulze. (2009) “The Past and the Future.” In Hubbard, P. (ed.) Computer Assisted Language Learning, Volume IV, Present Trends and Future Directions in CALL. Critical Concepts in Linguistics. New York: Routledge. 337-356.
Hubbard, Philip, Mathias Schulze, and Bryan Smith (eds.). (2013) Learner-Computer Interaction in Language Education. A Festschrift in Honor of Robert Fischer. San Marcos, TX: CALICO.
John, David G. (Aug. 2013) “Faust-Aufführungen im Vergleich.” Co-authored with Martina Maria Sam. Das Goetheanum. Wochenschrift für Anthroposophie, 33-34, 10-12.
John, David G. (2013) “The Duality of Goethe’s Materialism.” Lumen. Selected Proceedings from the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Vol. 32. Peter Walmsley and Emily West, eds. Montreal: Université de Montréal Press. Pp. 57-71.
John, David G. (2013) “Kahn, Engelmann, and Eichner: Autobiography, Memory, and Identity.” Romanticism, Humanism, Judaism: The Legacy of Hans Eichner / Romantik, Humanismus, Judentum: Hans Eichners Vermächtnis. Eds. Hartwig Mayer, Paola Mayer and Jean Wilson. Kanadische Studien zur deutschen Sprache und Literatur / Canadian Studies in German Language and Literature, vol 52. Ed. Rodney Symington. Bern, Berlin, etc.: Peter Lang. 239-62.
John, David G. (2012) Bennewitz, Goethe, Faust. German and Intercultural Stagings. German and European Studies 12. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. XII + 343 pp. + 16 photo illustrations.
Kleinhans, Belinda. (University of Waterloo. As of July 2014, tenure track at Texas Tech) Dissertation, defended 2013. “Die anthropologische Maschine zum Halt bringen: Zu einer Poetologie des Offenen bei Ilse Aichinger, Günter Eich und Wolfdietrich Schnurre.”
Kleinhans, Belinda. (2011) “Jenseits der Grenze zwischen Mensch und Tier. ‚Becoming‘ in Günter Eichs Hörspiel Sabeth.” Orbis Litterarum. 66(5). 361-387.
Kuzniar, Alice. (forthcoming) “The Competing Structures of Signification in Samuel Hahnemann’s Homeopathy: Between 18th-century Semiosis and Romantic Hermeneutics.” In Fact and Fiction: German Literature and Science in the German and European Context. Christine Lehleiter, ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Kuzniar, Alice. (2012) “Similia similibus curentur: Homeopathy and its Magic Wand of Analogy.” Literary Studies and the Pursuit of Reading. Eric Downing, Jonathan Hess, and Richard Benson, eds. Rochester, NY: Camden House. 130-47.
Lehleiter, Christine. (University of Toronto) (forthcoming in 2014). Origins Matter: The History of Heredity in Romanticism. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP.
Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2013) Language, Space, and Identity in Migration. England: Palgrave Macmillan.
Liebscher, Grit. (2013) “Multilinguals in the language classroom and curricular consequences.” In: Traditions and Transitions. John Plews and Barbara Schmenk, eds. Wilfrid Laurier UP. 125-141.
Liebscher, Grit and Mathias Schulze. (2012) Language Use and Identity: Analysing Language Behaviour of German-Speaking Immigrants in Kitchener-Waterloo. In: Freund, Alexander (ed.) Beyond the Nation?: Immigrants' Local Lives in Transnational Cultures. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 249-267.
Liebscher, Grit. (2011) “Fremdsprachenlernen mit der Ausgangssprache: Mehrsprachiger oder monolingualer Sprachenlerner?” In: Drei Schritte vor und manchmal auch sechs zurück. Internationale Perspektiven auf Entwicklungslinien im Bereich Deutsch als Fremdsprache. Festschrift für Dietmar Rösler zum 60. Geburtstag. Barbara Schmenk und Nicola Würffel, eds. Tübingen: Narr Verlag.171-179.
Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain, Mareike Mueller, and Tetyana Reichert. (2010) “Negotiating identities through pronouns of address in an immigrant community.” Pragmatics 20(3): 375-400.
Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2009) “Dialect use and discursive identities of migrants from the west in Eastern Germany.” In: Language, Discourse, and Identity in Central Europe. Patrick Stevenson and Jenny Carl, eds. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 185-202.
Malone, Paul. (2013) “Hybrides Spielfeld Manga: Adaption und Transformation japanischer Comics in Deutschland.” Nipponspiration: Japonismus und japanische Populärkultur im deutschsprachigen Raum. Michiko Mae and Elisabeth Scherer, eds. Global Manga Studies 2. Cologne: Böhlau Verlag. 233-58.
Malone, Paul. (2012) “Transcultural Hybridization in Home-Grown German Manga.” Intercultural Crossovers, Transcultural Flows: Manga/Comics. Jaqueline Berndt, ed. Global Manga Studies 2. Kyoto: Kyoto Seika University International Manga Research Center. 49-60.
Malone, Paul. (2010) "Mangascape Germany: Comics as Intercultural Neutral Ground." Comics as a Nexus of Cultures: Essays on the Interplay of Media, Disciplines and International Perspectives. Mark Berninger, Jochen Ecke and Gideon Haberkorn, eds. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. 223-34.
Mayer, Hartwig, Paola Mayer, and Jean Wilson, eds. (2013) Romanticism, Humanism, Judaism: The Legacy of Hans Eichner. Bern: Peter Lang.
Mayer, Paola. (University of Guelph). Finishing a book entitled Spectral Realities: The Aesthetics of Fear in German Romanticism.
Mayer, Paola. (2013). "Jean Paul, E.T.A. Hoffmann, and the Definition of the Romantic." Romanticism, Humanism, Judaism: The Legacy of Hans Eichner. Hartwig Mayer, Paola Mayer, & Jean Wilson, eds. Bern: Lang. 115-138.
McNab, David T., Patsy Lou McArthur and Paul-Emile A. McNab. (2013) Historic Saugeen Metis, A Heritage Atlas. Southampton: Essence Publishing for Historic Saugeen Metis Council. 252 pp.
McNab, David T. and Olive Patricia Dickason. (2009) Fourth Edition, Canada’s First Nations, A History of Founding Peoples from Earliest Times, Toronto: Oxford University Press. 589 pp.
McNab, David T. and Ute Lischke. (2009) “Introduction to Sacred Landscapes”, Sacred Landscapes, Rick Riewe and Jill Oakes, et al., (eds.), Winnipeg: Aboriginal Issues Press. vii-viii.
Mueller, Gabriele and James M. Skidmore, eds. (2012) Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria. Film and Media Studies Series. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP.
Penner, Nikolai and Mathias Schulze. (2010) “Group Work in a Technology-Rich Environment.” Journal of Interactive Learning Research 21(1).111-137.
Reichert, Tetyana and Grit Liebscher. (2012) “Positioning the expert: word searches, expertise, and learning opportunities in peer interaction.” Modern Language Journal 96(4), 595-605.
Schmenk, Barbara and John Plews, eds. (2013) Traditions and Transitions. Curricula for German Studies. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier UP. 404 pp.
Schmenk, Barbara. (2012) “Die Selbstkonstruktion von Lehrenden im Spannungsfeld zwischen Mehrsprachigkeit und dem Ideal der native speaker Kompetenz. ” [“Self-Construction of Instructors Between Multilingualism and the Ideal of the Native Speaker. ”] In Grünewald, Andreas et al. (eds.). Globalisierung, Migration, Fremdsprachenunterricht. Hohengehren: Schneider. 101-112.
Schmenk, Barbara and Nicola Würffel, eds. (2011) Drei Schritte vor und manchmal auch sechs zurück. Internationale Perspektiven auf Entwicklungslinien im Bereich Deutsch als Fremdsprache. [Three Steps Forward and Sometimes Six Backwards. International Perspectives of the Development of German as a Foreign Language.] Tübingen: Narr. 354 pp.
Schmenk, Barbara. (2010) “Bildungsphilosophischer Idealismus, erfahrungsgesättigte Praxisorientierung, didaktischer Hiphop? Eine kleine Geschichte der Lernerautonomie.” Profil, 2. 11-26.
Schmenk, Barbara. (2010) “Challenging the language – literature continuum.” Forum Sprache, 2(1). 35-44.
Schmenk, Barbara. (2009) Geschlechtsspezifisches Fremdsprachenlernen? Zur Konstruktion geschlechtstypischer Lerner- und Lernbilder in der Fremdsprachenforschung. [Sex-Specific Language Learning? On the Construction of Gendered Images of Learners and Learning in Second Language Research.] 2nd ed. Tübingen: Stauffenburg. 286 pp.
Schmidt, Martin and Mathias Schulze. (2009) “Neologismen der 90er Jahre – Kenntnis, Verwendung und Einstellungen.” In: Henn-Memesheimer, Beate and Joachim Franz (eds.) Die Ordnung des Standard und die Differenzierung der Diskurse. Akten des 41. Linguistischen Kolloquiums in Mannheim 2006. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang. 541-554.
Schulze, Mathias and Grit Liebscher. (2010) “Going in Cycles: Courseware and Material Development for Written Communication.” Calico Journal 27(3). 554-563.
Schulze, Mathias. (2013) “Computers and Language Learning in German Studies.” In: Plews, John and Barbara Schmenk (eds.) Traditions and Transitions: Curricula for German Studies. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier UP. 279-294.
Schulze, Mathias, Barbara Schmenk, and Allison Cattell. (2011) “Estila: Engaging Students through Increased Language Awareness.” In: Simmons, Nicola (ed.) Opportunities and New Directions. Waterloo: Centre for Teaching Excellence.
Skidmore, James M. (2010) “W. Günter Plaut – Ein Rabbi für ganz Kanada.” (“W. Günter Plaut: A Rabbi for All of Canada.”) Deutsche Exilliteratur seit 1933. Band III: USA, Teil 5. Ed. John M. Spalek. Berlin: de Gruyter Saur, 2010. 232-48.
Smith, John H. (2013) “Leibniz Reception around 1800: Monadic Vitalism and Harmony in Schleiermacher’s Reden über die Religion and Schlegel’s Lucinde.” Religion, Reason, and Culture in the Age of Goethe. Elizabeth Kimmerer and Patricia Simpson, eds.. Camden House.
Smith, John H. (forthcoming 2014) “Friedrich Schlegel’s Calculus: Reflections on the Mathematical Infinite around 1800.” The Relevance of Romanticism. Dalia Nasser, ed. Oxford: Oxford UP.
In its first five years, the Waterloo Centre for German Studies has reached its initial fundraising goal. It also conducted, organized, supported, and facilitated a large number of activities which engaged the academy and the broader community with the culture, history, language of societies of German cultural and linguistic background from central Europe as well as here in Canada. The Centre
- conducted, disseminated, supported, and facilitated research on these societies,
- organized two international conferences—one on cultural, historical, and linguistic aspects of German-speaking minorities worldwide and one on contemporary film in Germany and Austria and social change,
- published two books,
- obtained external (SSHRC, DAAD) and internal funding for the two conferences and the Kinofest, and
- conducted and coordinated a number research projects.
In all three areas—fundraising, cultural and educational programming, and research—the Waterloo Centre for German Studies has fulfilled its mandate.
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies (WCGS) was proposed to Senate in April 2004 and approved in June 2004. The proposal was prepared and submitted by David G. John, Full Professor of German in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies (GSS) at the University of Waterloo. He was the Director of WCGS from its inception to 31 December 2008 and is now its Founding Director. Mat Schulze, Associate Professor of German in GSS, has been the Director since 1 January 2009.
The WCGS has been and continues to be active in conducting and disseminating research in German Studies, offering programming for both the academy and the broader community as well as in fundraising to support these activities. Fundraising in the private sector, particularly in the German-Canadian community in the Region of Waterloo, combined with the development of strong links with interested people in the Kitchener-Waterloo area was very high on the list of priorities in the initial years of the WCGS. The Centre achieved recognition from colleagues in German Studies at Canadian universities and, through its international conferences and publications, from German Studies researchers worldwide. It fostered links with relevant institutes and peer groups such as the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German, the Endowed Chair of German-Canadian Studies at the University of Winnipeg, the Canadian Centre of German and European Studies at York University, the Goethe Institute Toronto, and the Max Kade Foundation and the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA.
The WCGS has brought a wide variety of activities such as readings by authors from Austria, Germany and Switzerland, theatre performances of plays by German-language authors, music performances, and educational and academic lectures and discussions to the campus of the University of Waterloo and invited interested members of the community of the Region of Waterloo and beyond.
The members of the WCGS have engaged in the research of different aspects of German-speaking societies in central Europe and in Canada mainly in the following broad areas:
- Applied Linguistics: societal and individual German-English bilingualism in the Region of Waterloo and beyond; foreign-language teaching pedagogy and second language acquisition theories; application and integration of information and communication technologies in the learning and teaching of German language and culture;
- History: local and regional history of German-Canadians and other groups; immigration and acculturation of individuals and groups of German descent; history of German-speaking peoples in central Europe with a particular focus on twentieth-century history; the role of Germany and its neighbours in Europe and their contribution to global society and economy;
- Literature and Film: German literature from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century; contemporary German-language film and film by authors of German descent; current popular culture in German-speaking central Europe.
In its preparatory and inception phases, the Waterloo Centre for German Studies had a Steering Committee which advised the Centre Director on the conceptualization and the initial running of the Centre and participated actively in the successful, original fundraising efforts. Later, the WCGS had an Advisory Board on which several community supporters of the Centre and representatives of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies served. During the Director’s, David John, two six-month research leaves, Centre members James M. Skidmore and Grit Liebscher served one term each as Acting Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies. The Centre’s members met twice a year in meetings of the Research Advisory Group.
The supporters of the Centre and members of the Steering Committee and the Advisory Board were thanked for their commitment and work at a gala event in December 2008. At the German Studies Workshop in April 2009, the Research Advisory Group, which consisted of the Centre members, terminated its practice of having two business meetings a year and decided to organize further German Studies Workshops in their stead, which focus on the presentation and discussion of research ideas, projects, achievements which fall under the mandate of the WCGS.
Under the coordination of Mathias Schulze, the current Director of WCGS, and upon request by the Dean of Arts, Ken Coates, a new administrative structure of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies has been implemented. The Director is supported by an Executive Committee and by a new Advisory Board.
Members of the Executive Committee are Michael Boehringer (Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies), Gary Bruce (Department of History), Mathias Schulze (WCGS Director), and James M. Skidmore (Chair of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies).
The Terms of Reference for the Executive Committee are as follows:
The Executive Committee
- makes strategic and medium-term decisions for the WCGS regarding the WCGS research agenda, its management structure, major programming and fundraising activities
- meets regularly, at least four times a year
- is coordinated by the director,
- provides advice to the Dean and the director,
- reviews the annual budget and provides a recommendation to the Dean.
The Executive Committee is functioning well and has met three times since January 2009.
Members of the Advisory Board are Ken Coates (Dean of Arts), Ernst Friedel (Friend of the Centre), Sonja Griegoschewski, (Director of the Goethe Institute Toronto), Alexandra Hausstein, (Director German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Toronto and Department of German University of Toronto), Jasmin Hofer (Friend of the Centre, UW alumna), David G. John (Founding Director WCGS), Ronald Rhodes (Waterloo Regional District School Board German teacher), Mark Webber (The Canadian Centre for German and European Studies, York University) as well as the four members of the Executive Committee. At its first meeting James M. Skidmore was elected Chair of the Advisory Board. One seat on the Advisory Board for a Friend of the Centre is vacant.
The Terms of Reference of the Advisory Board are as follows:
The Advisory Board:
- elects a chair from its membership,
- includes the director, the other members of the executive committee, a faculty member from another Ontario university (preferably with an affiliation to a comparable research centre), and two to three members of the local community with an interest in German Studies,
- meets at least twice a year, normally in the spring and the fall,
- receives reports from the executive committee at each of its meetings,
- is advisory, providing advice on the general and financial management of the Centre, its scientific direction, its programming and fundraising activities,
- establishes a nominating committee consisting of three members who will solicit and evaluate nominations for the post of the WCGS director six months before the expiry of the term of the current director.
The Advisory Board has constituted itself at its first meeting in May 2009 and has started to conduct its business.
In the original proposal to Senate Graduate and Research Council, the WCGS mandate was stated as follows:
To preserve and celebrate German-Canadian heritage, and to provide a wide range of exciting educational and cultural activities with a modern perspective, as well as business links to German-speaking countries.
Heritage Management, Youth Education and Involvement, and Community Involvement were given as the three focal points under this mandate.
In the first five years of its existence, the Centre has clearly met its objectives as described in the mandate. The research activities of its membership and the research accomplishments will be described in some detail in the next section. Programming the Centre organized will be described under Programming. The original fundraising goal has been achieved and some details will be provided in Finances).
After five years and now that the Centre can build on a solid financial basis as well as on an established network of researchers and members and good links with the academic and the local communities, the WCGS has reviewed its mandate at a German Studies Workshop, which was open to all its members, in April 2009. The proposed modifications resulted in a broadened and strengthened mandate, which was subsequently discussed and edited by the WCGS Advisory Board:
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies has the following mandate: To conduct and disseminate research on the German-speaking world, including its languages, cultures, and diasporic manifestations, from both historical and contemporary perspectives; to provide a wide range of activities for the academy and the broader community; and to engage with German-Canadian heritage.
We believe that the new mandate will serve us well in the next five years and beyond in that it strengthens the focus on research in German Studies (broadly conceived), maintains a strong emphasis on activities for both ‘town and gown’, and continues its engagement with German-Canadian heritage, particularly with a local and regional focus. The function and context of the new mandate as an important pillar in our plans for the future of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies will be discussed in section c).
The researchers at the WCGS (see section on current membership) are based in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, in the Department of History (including members from Conrad Grebel University College and St Jerome’s University), in the Dana Porter Library, and at Wilfrid Laurier University and York University. In addition to the research programs and achievements of its members individually, the Centre has been engaged in conducting and disseminating German Studies research as a whole group as well as in smaller groups. A list of selected publications by individual members can be found in
The research achievements of the WCGS can be grouped under the following rubrics: International Conferences, WCGS Publications, Externally Funded Research Projects, Internally Supported Research Projects, Public Research Talks.
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies organized and hosted the international conference Diaspora Experiences: German-Speaking Immigrants and their Descendants in August 2006. With its about 200 participants, three invited keynote speakers from Germany, the USA, and Ireland, 50 paper presentations by presenters from 18 countries about German minorities in 27 countries, which were selected from well over 100 conference proposals by a panel of international reviewers representing the different academic disciplines (Literature and Film, History, Applied Linguistics), this was the largest German Studies conference the University of Waterloo ever hosted. The high quality of the papers and the lively discussions, in which professors, researchers, graduate students, and interested members of the communities in south-west Ontario participated, are reflected in the edited volume German Diasporic Experiences: Identity, Migration, and Loss (Schulze, Skidmore, John, Liebscher, and Siebel-Achenbach 2008). The conference was coordinated by the Centre Director David John and during his sabbatical by the Acting Director Grit Liebscher. The conference program chair was Centre member Mathias Schulze. All WCGS members and a large number of graduate students from the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies participated in the organization and running of the conference as members of the local organizing committee, presenters, session chairs, and conference assistants. This conference was supported through an SSHRC conference grant ($ 16,000; John and Schulze), Eddie Koch (a local citizen of German heritage), the Goethe Institute in Toronto, German-Canadian Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Toronto, the German-Canadian Congress in Ontario, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ottawa, the Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Toronto, the Consulate General of Switzerland in Toronto, the Austrian Embassy in Ottawa, the University of Waterloo, Vice-President of Research, Dean of Graduate Studies, Associate Vice-President Academic, Dean of Arts, Departments of Germanic and Slavic Studies, History and Sociology, the Chair of Jewish Studies, and local citizen and UW German doctoral graduate Marga Weigel.
In early May 2008 two events celebrating German-language cinema took place in Waterloo: the Conference on Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria, and the film festival KinoFest: New Films from Germany and Austria. Both were organized by WCGS members Gabriele Mueller (York University) and James M. Skidmore (University of Waterloo) with support from the Susan Ingram and Markus Reisenleitner (both of York University). The conference (May 1-3) attracted an average daily attendance of 58 academics, students, and community visitors. 32 speakers from universities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, and Israel presented papers on a variety of contemporary topics and filmmakers. Keynote speakers Barbara Pichler (Director of Diagonale, The Festival of Austrian Film) and Paul Cooke (University of Leeds, United Kingdom) outlined some of the key issues facing the critics and interpreters of recent German-language cinema, namely whether Austrian film has any distinguishing features that can only be found in Austrian film, and how German cinema today, with its greater emphasis on contemporary social issues, is finding new ways of representing German history. Delegates and attendees alike commented on the high quality of the papers and the engaged intellectual atmosphere that attended the working sessions and social events (two lunches and a dinner banquet). Publication of an edited, refereed volume based on the conference presentations by Wilfrid Laurier University Press as part of their Film and Media Studies are under way (Mueller and Skidmore forthcoming). The organizers are grateful for the generous support of the events’ sponsors: the Canadian Centre of German and European Studies, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (conference grant; Skidmore and Mueller), the German Academic Exchange Service, the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation, the Musagetes Foundation, the Goethe-Institute Toronto, the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Toronto, and the University of Waterloo. The KinoFest will be described in more detail in section iii).
Under the leadership of the Founding Director, David G. John, the WCGS established the Waterloo Centre for German Studies series. Volume 1 appeared with the V&R unipress in 2007:
Löchte, Anne (2007) Das Berliner Journal (1859-1918). Eine deutschsprachige Zeitung in Kanada [The Berliner Journal (1859-1918). A German-Language Newspaper in Canada]. Göttingen, Germany: V&R unipress, 228pp.
Anne Löchte worked as a visiting researcher at the WCGS and the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Waterloo during the academic year 2005/06 after completing her PhD in German literature at the Technische Universität Berlin. She conducted her study of the Berliner Journal, a German-language newspaper from Berlin, Ontario, (today Kitchener) in the University of Waterloo Library's Special Collections Department which is housed in the Doris Lewis Rare Book Room in the Dana Porter Library. Her book is the first comprehensive description and discussion of one of the most important German-Canadian newspapers. The publication of the book was supported by the Waterloo Centre for German Studies.
Volume 2 of the WCGS series was co-published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press and the Waterloo Centre for German Studies:
Schulze, Mathias, James M. Skidmore, David G. John, Grit Liebscher, and Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach (2008) German Diasporic Experiences: Identity, Immigration, and Loss. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 540pp.
The book contains an introduction and an edited selection of 38 chapters by 40 authors, which were based on presentations given at the Diaspora Experiences conference described above. It provides a comprehensive and detailed discussion of important aspects of German linguistic and cultural minorities in North and South America, Africa, Australia and Austronesia, and Europe. This enormous scope is covered by a multi-disciplinary group of scholars of history, linguistics and literature and film.
It is planned to continue the Waterloo Centre for German Studies book series and to have the books published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
A third book is in the final stages of the editing process and contracted to appear in the Film and Media Studies series of WLU Press. It is based on selected papers given at the Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria conference:
Mueller, Gabriele and James M. Skidmore (forthcoming) Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
The WCGS also supported the editing and translation from German into English of Ullrich Frisse’s doctoral dissertation “Berlin, Ontario (1800-1916). Historische Identitäten von ‘Kanadas Deutscher Hauptstadt’. Ein Beitrag zur Deutsch-Kanadischen Migratitions-, Akkulturations- und Perzeptionsgeschichte des 19.und frühen 20. Jahrhunderts.” (Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany) 2002), but this project has not been completed yet.
The WCGS has also published nine issues of a biennial newsletter, which is also available from its website http://www.wcgs.ca and is circulated in print and electronically among the Friends of the Centre. The website http://www.wcgs.ca had been maintained by Peter Wood (PhD Candidate in German, ABD). In addition to information about the Centre, it contains an archive of past research and programming activities.
Externally Funded Research Projects
In addition to the funding obtained for the two conferences, a number of WCGS members held SSHRC Standard Research Grants:
- Grit Liebscher (WCGS) and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain (U of Alberta), 2007-2010, SSHRC Standard Research Grant, German Identity in Urban Canada: A Qualitative and Quantitative Study of Language and Discourse;
- Mathias Schulze (WCGS) and Trude Heift (SFU), 2007-2010, SSHRC Standard Research Grant, Learner Variability and Student Modeling;
- Paul M. Malone (WCGS), 2004-2008, SSHRC Standard Research Grant, The Fiction and Films of Doris Dörrie;
- Grit Liebscher (WCGS) and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain (U of Alberta), 2003-2006, SSHRC Standard Research Grant, (Inter)acting Identities in Dialect and Discourse: Migrant Western Germans in Eastern Germany.
Internally Supported Research Projects
The research by WCGS members has been supported through a variety of small grants such as the UW SSHRC Seed Grants and Travel Grants as well as the Learning and Program Innovation Funds, Instructional Development Grants of the Centre for Teaching Excellence.
Over the last four years, the Centre has supported one part-time research assistant for the transcription and translation of hand-written (Sütterlin), nineteenth-century documents (diaries and letters) of the Breithaupt collection of papers which are part of the German-language text archive of the Dana Porter Library at the University of Waterloo. This project continues in close association with Special Collections of UW’s Porter Library and its head Susan Mavor (WCGS).
The Subject Librarians for History (Forgay) and German Studies (Calogeridis) dedicated their research time to the creation of a unique research resource. This is continuing and both have received special leave from the library to concentrate on it.
Calogeridis, Helena and Jane Forgay. German Canadiana in Ontario: Bibliography. Waterloo ON: University of Waterloo Library, 2007-. Available from: http://gcobiblio.uwaterloo.ca/advSearch.cfm.
Public Research Talks
The Centre has organized, sponsored, and held a wide variety of research talks. Some of them were given by individual speakers, others were part of a mini-conference. A list of such activities is given below:
§ March 2009: Canadian Undergraduate Colloquium on German Studies, organized by Barbara Schmenk (WCGS) in cooperation with and with support from the Goethe Institute in Toronto.
§ March 2009: Martin Düspohl (Curator Kreuzberg Museum Berlin): Public lecture “Berlin Kreuzberg 1982 and Today”, discussing a photography exhibition of the Kreuzberg section of the Berlin Wall;
§ September 2008: Barbara Schmenk (WCGS): Public lecture “Internationalization, autonomy, globalization … Some thoughts on weasel words in German language education”, based on her recent book: Schmenk, Barbara (2008) Lernerautonomie. Tübingen, Germany: Gunter Narr Verlag, 448pp.
§ March 2008: Erol Boran (University of Toronto): Public lecture: „Identität / Ethnizität / Authentizität: Fragen der Selbstdarstellung im türkisch-deutschen Kabarett über deutsch-türkisches Theater und kulturelle Assimilation“
§ September 2007: Ambassador’s Conference: Ambassador of Germany to Canada Matthias Höpfner and professors Veronica M. Kitchen (WLU/CIGI), Donald M.Bruce (Dean of Arts, University of Guelph), and James M. Skidmore (WCGS) spoke on current affairs aspects of Germany in Europe and the world.
§ March 2006 : Anne Löchte (WCGS): Public lecture “Deutschland und die Deutschen im Berliner Journal.“
§ January 2006: Steve Crawshaw, English author and journalist, spoke on his book Easier Fatherland. Germany and the Twenty-First Century.
§ November 2005: Nicola Würffel (Universität Gießen, Germany): Lecture on German language learning online.
§ October 2005: Mini-conference on “15 Years of United Germany: The Effects of Unification” organized by WCGS member James M. Skidmore and with keynoter Acting Ambassador of Germany, Sabine Sparwasser, presentations by Gary Bruce (WCGS), Ute Lischke (WCGS), Gabriele Mueller (WCGS), Mathias Schulze (WCGS), and Lynn Taylor (University of Waterloo).
§ October 2005: Mathias Schulze (WCGS): Public lecture “Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Status und Veränderung des Deutschen in der Gegenwart.”
§ February 2005: Christiane Harzig (University of Erfurt, Germany / Diefenbaker Awardee 2005 at the University of Winnipeg): Public lecture on German immigration to Toronto and south west Ontario in the 1950s.
§ November 2004: Karl-Heinz Bausch (Institut für deutsche Sprache, Mannheim): Public lecture “Was ist Deutsch?”
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies strives to develop strong links with the interested faculty, staff, and students at the University of Waterloo and at neighbouring universities as well as with interested people in the community of the Region of Waterloo and beyond. The WCGS cooperated for these programming activities with other Departments at the University of Waterloo, colleagues at other universities, the German, Swiss and Austrian consulates in Toronto, and, most importantly, with the Goethe Institute in Toronto.
Out of the many events put on by the WCGS Founding Director David John, two deserve special mention (all are listed below): the LessingFest and the BrechtFest. Both were organized around the staging of a play by these two well known German authors and poets and complemented these performances by introductory lectures and discussion as well as a meal in MacKirdy Hall in St Paul’s College. Both evenings drew a considerable audience of interested members of the community, students, and faculty.
One further event stands out in terms of quality: KinoFest (30 April – 4 May 2008). It was held in Uptown Waterloo at the Princess Cinema, a local commercial repertory cinema. Five films related to the theme of the conference were shown: Auf der anderen Seite/Edge of Heaven (dir. Fatih Akin), Schröders Wunderbare Welt/Schroeder’s Wonderful World (dir. Michael Schorr), Fallen/Falling (dir. Barbara Albert), Yella (dir. Christian Petzold) and Netto (dir. Robert Thalheim). Director Michael Schorr was in attendance at the North American premiere of his film and answered questions from the audience afterward, and was also present at the gala opening reception for the festival held at Hannah’s Tapas Bar. 472 people in total attended the five screenings, approximately triple the average attendance at the Princess Cinema. Those attending were a mixture of conference participants, local university students, the usual Princess Cinema moviegoers, and members of the local German-Canadian community. Enthusiasm for the films was widespread, and many of the moviegoers have encouraged the organizers to make KinoFest an annual event.
A list of programming activities is given below:
§ April 2009: Goethe-Munk Writer-in-Residence Alina Bronsky (Germany) read from her first novel Scherbenpark. (supported by the Goethe Institute in Toronto)
§ December 2008 and 2006: German Language Didactics Colloquium, organized and coordinated by B Schmenk, presentations given by graduate students of the Department, sponsored by the WCGS. Local German teachers invited.
§ November 2008: Lessingfest, including introductory lecture on Lessing by Rüdiger Müller, (University of Guelph), trip to Stratford for the performance of Emilia Galotti by a group of the Deutsches Theater Berlin, banquet and discussion (70 attendees).
§ October-November 2008: Co-production with Shadow Puppet Theatre and Wilfrid Laurier German Players of Goethe’s Faust I, in German and English, with nine performances at both universities, the Kitchener Public Library, Schwaben Club, Richmond Hill, Kitchener and Hamilton German Language Schools (800 attendees).
§ May 2008: German and Austrian film festival: Kinofest (700 attendees from university and community)
§ March 2008: Goethe-Munk Writer-in-Residence Jagoda Marinić (Germany) read from her novel Die Namenlose. (supported by the Goethe Institute in Toronto)
§ February 2008: Professional development workshop for Region of Waterloo German teachers.
§ February 2008: German Rap language workshop with students and German teachers, co-sponsored by the Goethe Institute.
§ 2008, 2006 Co-ordination and publication of statistics on German language learning in regional schools.
§ February 2008: Theatre excursion to Toronto to see Schiller’s Robbers. Discussion with director and cast.
§ 2004-08: Professors James M. Skidmore’s and Paul Malone’s UW evening courses on German culture and film are open to the general public.
§ December 2007: Deutsches Weihnachtsfest [German Christmas evening]
§ November 2007: Book Launch of the English translation of Zweimal verfolgt by Johanna Krause, Carolyn Gammon, Christiane Hemker with a documentary film on the same subject by Freya Klier
§ October 2007: Theatre excursion to Toronto to see Schiller’s Mary Stuart
§ June 2007: Deutscher Liederabend with four soloists (students of the Conrad Grebel music program) sing compositions by Brahms, Schumann, Schubert, Wolff and others, introduced by Waldemar Scholtes (University of Guelph).
§ March 2007: Brecht-Fest for university and community: introductory lecture by Sigfrid Hoefert (UW Professor Emeritus), cabaret acts by students of the Drama Department, evening meal, and the performance of Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle by the UW Drama Department in the Theatre of the Arts.
§ March 2007: German Rapper CLUESO visits and introduces language learning through rap music. Local teachers invited.
§ November 2006: German-language author Galsan Tschinag from Mongolia read from his works.
§ February 2006: UW hosts regional German language contest for 15th consecutive year.
§ February 2006: Goethe-Munk Writer-in-Residence Lena Gorlik (Germany) read from her new novel Meine weißen Nächte. (supported by the Goethe Institute in Toronto)
§ January 2006 English author and journalist Steve Crawshaw spoke on his book Easier Fatherland. Germany and the Twenty-First Century.
§ November 2005: Hugo Loetscher (Switzerland) read from his works.
§ March 2005: Anant Kumar (Germany) read from his works.
§ 2005: Support of the German heritage project at Walkerton – project became finalist for Governor General’s Award.
§ December 2004: Centre sponsors visit of German language teacher/entertainer Uwe Kind. 28 teachers and 900 students attended.
Michael Boehringer, German, UW: PhD (Queens), MIchael Boehringer's research interests lie mainly in the 19th century, with a special focus on narrative theory and gender studies. He has also published in the areas of intercultural communication and applied language teaching, and has developed the department's Business German program.
Gary Bruce, History, UW: Ph D (McGill), since 2003 Assistant Professor of History at the University of Waterloo. Undergraduate teaching in modern German History and contemporary East European History. Graduate teaching and supervision of 20th century German history. Monograph on resistance in East Germany, articles on the East German secret police, the revolution of 1989 in East Germany, and the June 1953 uprising.
Helena Calogeridis, German liaison, Porter Library: MLS (McGill), since 1994 Liaison Librarian for Germanic and Slavic Studies, University of Waterloo. She ensures that the Library resources for German match the teaching, learning, and research needs; works with faculty to design and offer research instruction to classes; meets with students and faculty members individually to help them with research; produces reference publications. As bibliographer for the MLA International Bibliography since 1996, provides annual indexing for six journals devoted to German language and literature.
Marlene Epp, History and Peace & Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel University College, PhD (University of Toronto): Primary areas of teaching and research are in Mennonite history, gender studies, the history of immigration and ethnicity in Canada, and the history of peace. Publications include numerous articles, especially on the history of women and gender in Mennonite communities, and two monographs: Women without Men: Mennonite Refugees of the Second World War (University of Toronto Press, 2000) and Mennonite Women in Canada: A History (University of Manitoba Press, 2008). She was also chief editor (with Franca Iacovetta and Frances Swyripa) of the essay collection, Sisters or Strangers? Immigrant, Ethnic, and Racialized Women in Canadian History (University of Toronto Press, 2004).
Jane Forgay, History liaison, Porter Library: MA (McMaster); MLIS (University of Western Ontario), since 1992, Librarian at the University of Waterloo Library. Currently Liaison Librarian for History, Independent Studies, and Political Science for which she collects materials and provides library instruction. Activities relating to German studies include co-creator of the UW Library's web-based Subject Guide for the Waterloo Centre for German Studies (with Helena Calogeridis and Susan Saunders Bellingham); translator of the L.J. Breithaupt diaries (German into English), 1991-2; co-author of Waterloo County to 1972: an Annotated Bibliography of Regional History (with Elizabeth Bloomfield and Linda Foster), 1993; and instructor at the German Saturday School, Regina, Saskatchewan, 1985-86.
Geoffrey Hayes, History, UW: His interests centre on local history and aspects of Canada's military history. His work on the county of Waterloo has led to further research into how history can create or modify a community's collective memory. In addition, he is interested in exploring the historical basis of local government reform in the province of Ontario. My other area of research – Canadian military history – centres on the development of the Canadian army officer corps during the Second World War. How were commissioned officers chosen and trained for the wartime army? How well were they prepared for the trial of battle?
David G. John, German, UW: PhD (Toronto), since 1974 Professor of German, University of Waterloo, currently Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies. Undergraduate teaching in German language and literature at all levels. Graduate teaching and supervision on enlightenment and classical German literature, theatre, Goethe, Schiller, intercultural performance, scholarly methods and critical approaches. Monographs on Johann Christian Krüger, the German Nachspiel, Goethe and Schiller's Egmont, three edited collections, articles on German literature and drama from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, and on German language.
Alice Kuzniar, German, UW: PhD Princeton, A scholar in cinema, literary and cultural theory, and women and gender studies, Dr. Kuzniar's research and teaching interests range from German Romanticism to German Cinema. She has published books on subjects ranging from German Romanticism to The Queer German Cinema. Her recent turn to environmental and animal studies can be seen in Melancholia's Dog: Reflections on Our Animal Kinship. She teaches a variety of classes in cinema, literary and cultural theory, women and gender studies, and Romanticism.
Grit Liebscher, German, UW: Ph.D. (University of Texas at Austin), Associate Professor of German at the University of Waterloo, teaches German language and linguistics to undergraduates at all levels. She supervises and teaches graduate students in discourse analysis (esp. conversation analysis and interactional sociolinguistics), computer-mediated communication and bilingualism. Her current research includes a research project on language and migration in post-unification Germany, together with Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. She has published on language practices among East and West Germans, code-switching in the classroom, narrative structure, language use of German-Canadians and learners' online communication.
Ute Lischke, German, WLU: Associate Professor, Ute Lischke teaches English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She researches in the area of German Film Studies and Native American Literature.
Paul Malone, German, UW: Associate Professor of German in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He holds a Ph.D in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia and is a certified translator. In addition to his book, Franz Kafka's The Trial: Four Stage Adaptations (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2003), he has published on literature, film, theatre/performance theory, and virtual reality computer technology, and is currently the editor of Germano-Slavica: A Canadian Journal of Germanic and Slavic Comparative and Interdisciplinary Studies. He is also a member of the World Languages Editorial Board of MERLOT, the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching.
Susan Mavor, Special Collections, Porter Library: MLS (UWO) has been Head of Special Collections in the Dana Porter Library of the University of Waterloo since 1976. Collections and collecting activity in the department include early editions and rare books, collections of archives and manuscripts, and other material which requires special care and handling because of its early publication date, association interest, physical condition, aesthetic value, or unusual format. Now numbering over 50,000 volumes, the rare book collections have particular subject strengths in the following areas: women's studies, local history, the history of mathematics (especially Euclid's Elements of Geometry), architecture, dance and ballet, fine printing, and urban planning. Historical and literary archives are maintained in a variety of subject areas which, for the most part, complement the book collections. The collections are considered working collections which have been developed systematically around subjects that reflect the goals of the University of Waterloo's major teaching and research programmes.
Kenneth McLaughlin, History, UW/SJC: Ph.D. Toronto, Professor Emeritus; Kenneth McLaughlin's interests combine areas of Public History and the presentation of historical research. He is also interested in the connection between genealogy and family history and in explanations for its popularity and its relationship to the academic study of history. His current research is on the role and place of universities in Canada, especially those universities established in the latter part of the 20th century. He most recently completed a book on the history of the University of Waterloo for the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1957.
David T. McNab, Native Studies, York U: Métis historian who has worked for more than a quarter century on Aboriginal land and treaty rights issues in Canada. David teaches in the School of Arts and Letters in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies at York University in Toronto where he is Associate Professor of Native Studies. He has also been a claims advisor for Nin.Da.Waab.Jig., Walpole Island Heritage Center, Bkejwanong First Nations since 1992. In addition to more than sixty published articles, David has published seven books including Earth, Water, Air and Fire: Studies in Canadian Ethnohistory (editor) (1998); Circles of Time: Aboriginal Land Rights and Resistance in Ontario (1999) as well as the co-edited Blockades and Resistance: Studies in Actions of Peace and the Temagami Blockades of 1988-89 (2003), Walking a Tightrope: Aboriginal People and their Representations (2005), all with WLU Press. His latest co-edited book (with Ute Lischke) The Long Journey of Canada's Forgotten People: Métis Identities and Family Histories will be published early in 2007 with WLU Press.
Gabriele Müller, German, York U: PhD (University of the West of England, Bristol) since 2006 Assistant Professor of German, York University. Undergraduate teaching in German language and culture at all levels. Graduate teaching on German cinema in 2004 at the University of Waterloo. Articles on German cinema and censorship. Main areas of research interest include German cinema, film history, cultural studies, discourses in contemporary Germany on East German identity, family, adolescence and childhood. Monograph on constructions of adolescence and childhood in East German film in preparation.
Barbara Schmenk, German, UW: joined the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Waterloo in 2004. She received her PhD in Applied Linguistics from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in 2000. Before coming to UW, she has held appointments at Ruhr-Universität Bochum/Germany, Trinity College Dublin/Ireland, and Clemson University, SC/USA. Her research interests include language education, Gender Studies, and cultural theory.
Mathias Schulze, German, UW: PhD (UMIST/Manchester), Associate Professor of German, University of Waterloo. Undergraduate teaching in German language and linguistics at all levels. Graduate teaching and supervision in German linguistics, second language acquisition and computer-assisted language learning (CALL). Monograph on the application of artificial intelligence techniques in CALL (2007), four edited collections on CALL, one edited book on German-speaking minorities worldwide, articles on German morphology and syntax, German in the Waterloo region, and CALL.
Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach (History, UW): Adjunct Professor, D.Phil. (Oxon.) in 1988, sessional instructor 1989-1999 teaching on modern European and world history in universities across Canada. Dissertation edited into monograph, Lower Silesia from Nazi Germany to communist Poland, 1942-1949, published simultaneously in London and New York, 1994. Translated version of English edition to be published in German in 2006. Research interests on national identities and interrelationships in central and east-central Europe. M.B.A. (Wilfrid Laurier University) in 1999 with focus on organisational behaviour, management, and marketing.
James M. Skidmore, German, UW: PhD Princeton, James Skidmore is interested in the representation of cultural identity in literature and film. His main areas of inquiry are recent German film, comparative literature (German and Canadian), and the culture of the Weimar Republic. He has also done work on curriculum development and the integration of information literacy in online learning environments.
Current graduate student members: Anne Bundssei (MA German), Myriam Fleischer (PhD German), Peter Wood (PhD German).
Development and fundraising activities: Nancy Mattes
Occasional administrative support: Janet Vaughan
Accounting Advice: Michele Zilinski
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies received its income from private donations, support for special research and programming activities from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Goethe Institute in Toronto, the German, Swiss, and Austrian Consulates in Toronto, the German and Austrian Embassies in Ottawa, the Canadian Centre of German and European Studies, the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation, the Musagetes Foundation, and the Austrian Cultural Forum.
The moneys were spent to support programming, fundraising and publicity, and research activities. David John also paid for one course release per year with Centre funds, employed a graduate student as an administrative assistant and paid a monthly stipend to an accountant. All expenses have been checked by the accountant and are backed up by relevant invoices, receipts and memoranda. The WCGS budget is prepared by the Director, requires approval by the Executive Committee, and is submitted to the Dean of Arts.
Through the tireless work of its Founding Director, David G. John, the help of the University President, David Johnston, and the Dean of Arts, Ken Coates, as well as the Arts Advance Team, in particular Nancy Mattes, and the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, and last but not least through the generous support and dedication of private donors, the WCGS has achieved a solid financial basis for its research and programming operations, although the current global financial situation has brought about considerable, but temporary, uncertainty for the WCGS endowment.
Major donors for the Waterloo Centre for German Studies were:
- Innovators: Fred and Ruth Stork
- Builder: Paul Tuerr
- Stewards: E.H.Koch Family Trust, George and Cecilia Piller
- Leaders: Ernst and Ruth Friedel, Walter and Evelyn Guderian, Henry and Margaret Heidt, Wilhelm and Juliana Huber, Dorle Sauter, Karl and Gertrud Sauter, Sherwa Investments Inc., Joerg and Renate Stieber, Marga I. Weigel
The budget for this financial year has seen some cuts in administration cost (the stipend for the accountant has been discontinued, the pay for a Centre administrative assistant has been reduced to a mere volume of 15 hours per year for occasional jobs). The Director receives funds (equivalent to one course buy-out) for a research assistant in order to compensate him for some of the time invested in WCGS administration. Funds are set aside to continue the research and programming activities: a Small Events Fund, a Conference Fund (to support conference organisation), a fund to support the annual Jacob-and-Wilhelm Grimm Lecture, and a Diefenbaker Chair Programming Fund (for the latter two see next section) have been set up.
Although the University of Waterloo does not provide funding for the Waterloo Centre for German Studies directly, it has supported German Studies at Waterloo extraordinarily well. In 2008, the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies received an incremental position at the Full Professor level (Kuzniar). The WCGS was a successful co-applicant—together with the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies—for an endowed chair in German Literary Studies. A private foundation had invited all Canadian universities with graduate programs in German Studies to apply for this endowment. The Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and the Waterloo Centre for German Studies were successful and received the endowment. At the time of writing this report, the hiring process for The Rt. Hon. John G. Diefenbaker Memorial Chair in German Literary Studies at the University of Waterloo is ongoing.
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies has the following mandate: To conduct and disseminate research on the German-speaking world, including its languages, cultures, and diasporic manifestations, from both historical and contemporary perspectives; to provide a wide range of activities for the academy and the broader community; and to engage with German-Canadian heritage.
In the five years of its existence, the Centre has carried out activities in three areas: fund raising, programming, research. It is understandable that priorities were set in the order of occurrence in the previous sentence. Now that the Centre is matured and that it has a solid infrastructural basis, the priorities will be more in line with general expectations of university research centres: (1) research, (2) programming, (3) fundraising. However, all three activities will be pursued further.
The WCGS started off with a heavy emphasis on German-Canadian Studies, but has always conducted research in German Studies broadly conceived. The new mandate is therefore more in line with the research programs of the WCGS members. Researchers continue their work in the areas—literature and film, history, and applied linguistics—described above. Individual SSHRC projects (Liebscher/O’Cain, Schulze/Heift) and internally supported projects (Calogeridis/Forgay, Mavor/Britton/Schulze) as well as other individual research programs and activities are, of course, ongoing. In addition to these areas, the following research themes are emerging and/or are based on projects already under way:
- Environment (Germany's particular role and take on environmental issues, their depiction in cultural artefacts and media discourses...),
- United Germany 25 (historical, societal, political issues of modern Germany in an international context and (up to) a quarter century after German Unification...),
- Learning and teaching of German Studies (university curricula, language teaching, intercultural awareness...)
- German language and culture in Waterloo Region and Ontario (language use and identity, study of German archive materials, bibliography of German-Canadian materials...).
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies will provide a suitable venue for such collaborative research programs and projects. Progress in these thematic areas will be discussed in future German Studies Workshops. With an interesting diversity of research interests, methodologies and theoretical approaches among its membership and the common denominator of general research on the German-speaking world, the WCGS is in a position to foster academic exchange, research collaboration, and multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity.
The WCGS is also planning to increase the number of its graduate student members through active recruitment in summer and fall of 2009. The Centre will also broaden its base of researchers by inviting colleagues in German Studies at universities in south west Ontario to become members and to actively participate in the research and programming activities of the WCGS.
Milestones of the research program of the Centre have so far been and continue to be the international conferences ("Diaspora Experiences: German-Speaking Immigrants and their Descendants" (2006), "Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria" (2008), which WCGS teams organized. These activities are set to continue. The conference "Transitions and Traditions: German Curricula" has been planned for August 2010. Barbara Schmenk (WCGS) and John Plews (St Mary’s University) are the conference chairs, Centre members are members of the local organizing committee and the program committee.
It is planned that the annual conference of the Modern Austrian Literature and Culture Association (MALCA) will be hosted by the Centre in 2013. These plans are developed by Michael Boehringer.
The Centre sees this dissemination of research achievements as one of its important roles and will continue to support such plans by its members because it is very important that German Studies in Waterloo in particular and Arts in Waterloo are given a higher visibility in North America, something that to which the organisation of these conferences will contribute.
The WCGS is planning an annual Jacob-and-Wilhelm Grimm Lecture. This public research lecture will be delivered by an outstanding, internationally recognized scholar in German Studies at the University of Waterloo. Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm are probably best known for their collection of fairy tales, they are also nineteenth-century university professors, who are—with their work in German linguistics, literature, and history—among the founding fathers of Germanistik. The inaugural lecture will be held on 18 November 2009, the anniversary of the day on which the Göttingen Seven, the Grimms and five other professors, submitted their note protesting the abolition of constitutional rights in the Kingdom of Hannover in 1837.
Fundraising efforts continue. They focus on the increase of the WCGS endowment in general, but are also targeted at specific projects such as the student exchange with German-speaking countries, permanent cultural programming such as a writer-in-residence program for German-language authors, the annual Jacob-and-Wilhelm Grimm Lecture, a high-quality, high impact annual German Studies lecture at the University of Waterloo, and the financial support for a visiting researcher program.
In addition to support from private donors, the Waterloo Centre for German Studies has to seek funding from the Research Councils such as Canada Foundation for Innovation for infrastructure and the SSHRC International Opportunities Fund. The Centre plans to encourage and facilitate the founding of research groups, whose core will be made up of its members, who will then be in a good position to pursue these and similar funding opportunities with public institutions in Ontario, in Canada, and internationally.
The Endowed Chair in German Literary Studies—the Diefenbaker Chair—is unique in Canadian German Studies in that it requires the chair holder not only to conduct her/his research and to contribute to the teaching and the service in the Department and at the University, but the chair holder will also be an advocate for the discipline. The position will enable the chair holder to communicate interest in German-language literary works to as wide and diverse an audience as possible. The WCGS will support these programming activities to promote interest in and the appreciation of German-language literary works in the Anglophone world through the Diefenbaker Programming Fund.
Waterloo, 25 May 2009
This report was prepared by the Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, Mat Schulze, using Centre files and texts from the website of the WCGS and other relevant websites hosted at the University of Waterloo. Important parts of this document were discussed with the membership, the Executive Committee, and the Advisory Board before the first draft of this report. Then, a draft document was circulated among the membership, the Executive Committee, and the Advisory Board, who then provided comments and suggested changes. The final report was sent to the same three groups for information.
Appendix A: Selected Publications by WCGS Members 2004-2009
Bold printed names are Centre members.
Boehringer, Michael (2006) Einleitung. In Boehringer, M. (ed.) Ferdinand von Saar: Richtungen der Forschung/Directions in Research. Vienna: Praesens Verlag, 2006. pp. 7-20.
Boehringer, Michael (2006) Gender, Identity, and the Function of Violence in Ferdinand von Saar’s Die Troglodytin. In Chamber, H (ed.) Violence, Culture and Identity: Essays on German and Austrian Literature, Politics and Society. Oxford: Lang, 2006. pp. 165-184.
Boehringer, Michael (2006) Of Washed-up Warriors and Bourgeois Brutes: Representations of Masculinity in Ferdinand von Saar’s Leutnant Burda. In Boehringer, M. (ed.) Ferdinand von Saar: Richtungen der Forschung/Directions in Research. Vienna: Praesens Verlag, 2006. pp.125-37.
Boehringer, Michael (ed.) (2006) Ferdinand von Saar: Richtungen der Forschung/Directions in Research. Vienna: Praesens Verlag..
Boehringer, Michael (2007) Der Dichter des Übergangs: Ferdinand von Saar. In Ritter, M. (ed.) Praesent: Das österreichische Literaturjahrbuch. Vienna: Praesens Verlag, pp. 23-31.
Boehringer, Michael (2008) Introduction. In Boehringer, M. (ed.) Discourses on Masculinity in German Literature and Film. Special issue of Seminar. 44.1 (2008): 1-5
Boehringer, Michael (ed.) (2008) Masculinities in German Literature and Film. Special issue of Seminar. 44.1 (2008).
Boehringer, Michael, Christiane Bongartz, and Anne-Katrin Gramberg (2004) Language Learning and Intercultural Training: The Impact of Cultural Primers on Learners and Nonlearners of German. The Journal of Language for International Business 15.2 (2004), pp.1-18.
Boehringer, Michael and Stephen Preece (2006). From Juggernaut to Symphony, or ‚How we feel about Germans’. In Krause and Scheck (eds.) Emotions and Cultural Change—Gefühle und kultureller Wandel. Tübingen: Stauffenburg, 2006. pp. 249-261.
Bruce, Gary (2005) ‘In our District, the State is Secure:’ The East German Secret Police Response to the Events of 1989 in Perleberg District, Contemporary European History 14, 2, pp. 219-244.
Bruce, Gary (2005) Die Sowjetunion und die ostdeutschen Krisen 1953 bis 1961 In Torsten Diedrich ed, Staatsgründung auf Raten? Zu den Auswirkungen des Volksaufstandes 1953 und des Mauerbaus 1961 auf Staat, Militär und Gesellschaft in der DDR. Berlin: Ch. Links, pp. 39-64.
Bruce, Gary (2006) Aufklärung und Abwehr: The Lasting Legacy of the Stasi under Ernst Wollweber Intelligence and National Security 21, 3, pp. 364-393.
Bruce, Gary (2007) ‘Wir haben den Kontakt zu den Massen nie verloren’: Das Verhältnis zwischen Stasi und Gesellschaft am Beispiel der Kreise Gransee und Perleberg In Jens Gieseke ed., Staatssicherheit und Gesellschaft: Studien zum Herrschaftsalltag in der DDR. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht, pp. 365-379.
Bruce, Gary (2008) Access to Secret Police Files, Justice and Vetting in East Germany since 1989 German Politics and Society 25, 4, pp. 82-111. Reprinted as East Germany In Lavinia Stan, ed. Transitional Justice in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (London: Routledge, 2009), pp. 15-36.
Calogeridis, Helena and Jane Forgay (2009). German Canadiana in Ontario: Bibliography. Waterloo ON: University of Waterloo Library, 2007-. Available from: http://gcobiblio.uwaterloo.ca/advSearch.cfm.
Duxa, Susanne, Adelhaid Hu, and Barbara Schmenk (2005) Vorwort. In Duxa, S, A Hu, and B Schmenk (eds.) Grenzüberschreitungen. Menschen, Sprachen, Kulturen. Festschrift für Inge Christine Schwerdtfeger zum 60. Geburtstag. Tübingen: Gunter Narr, pp. ix-xv.
Duxa, Susanne, Adelheid Hu, and Barbara Schmenk (eds.) (2005) Grenzüberschreitungen. Menschen, Sprachen, Kulturen. Festschrift für Inge Christine Schwerdtfeger zum 60. Geburtstag. Tübingen: Narr, 337 pp.
Ezeiza, Nerea, Montse Maritxalar, and Mathias Schulze (eds.) (2007) International Workshop on NLP for Educational Resources held in conjunction with RANLP-2007, September 26, 2007, Borovetz, Bulgaria. Proceedings. Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Franz, Julia, Alexandra Möckl, and Barbara Schmenk (2005) Das Ruhrgebiet im DaF-Unterricht. In Wolff, A, C Riemer, and F Neubauer (eds.): Sprache lehren – Sprache lernen. Regensburg: FaDaF, pp. 593-610.
Heift, Trude and Mathias Schulze (2007) Errors and Intelligence in Computer-Assisted Language Learning. Parsers and Pedagogues. New York: Routledge.
John, David G. (2004) History of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Waterloo. CAUTG/APAUC Bulletin 33.1, pp. 7-12.
John, David G. (2005) Fritz Bennewitz in India: A Co-operative Research Project? In Chaturvedi, R and B Singleton (eds.) Ethnicity and Identity. Global Performance. Jaipur, New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai: Rawat Publications, pp. 280-87.
John, David G. (2005) Goethe’s Venus: Aesthetics and Reality. Neophilologus. 89 (2005), pp. 261-76
John, David G. (2007) The Partnership [Schiller and Goethe]. Friedrich Schiller. Playwright, Poet, Philosopher, Historian. In Kerry, P E (ed.) British and Irish Studies in German Language and Literature 38. Oxford: Lang, pp. 181-201.
John, David G. (2008) Goethe’s Faust in India: The Kathakali Adaptation. In Fitzsimmons, L (ed.) International Faust Studies Adaptation, Reception, Translation. London, New York: Continuum, pp. 161-76.
John, David G. (2008) Stage Productions of Goethe’s Faust in India. In Golz J and A Hsia (eds.) Orient und Okzident. Zur Faustrezeption in nicht-christlichen Kulturen. Köln, Weimar, Wien: Böhlau, pp. 129-51.
Kuzniar, Alice (2006) Melancholia’s Dog: Reflections on Our Animal Kinship. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 216 pp.
Kuzniar, Alice (2007) ’It’s not often that I want a man’: Reading for a Queer Marlene. In Gemünden, G and M Desjardins (eds.) Dietrich Icon. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, pp. 239-58.
Kuzniar, Alice (2007) The New Media Artist and the Matrix: Telemediation and the Virtual World of Bjørn Melhus. In Schindler, S K and L Koepnick (eds.). The Cosmopolitan Screen: German Cinema and the Global Imaginary. 1945 to the Present. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 269-85.
Kuzniar, Alice (2008) ‘I Married My Dog’: On Queer Canine Literature, In Giffney, N and M Hird (eds.) Queering the Non/Human Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2008. 205-26.
Kuzniar, Alice (2008) The Post-Pop Hauntings of Bjørn Melhus. Halle, R and R Steingröver (eds.) After the Avant-Garde. Rochester, NY: Camden House, pp. 181-203. Translated into Spanish for MEACVAD, Muestra Euroamericana de Cine, Video y Arte Digital.
Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain (2005) West Germans Moving East: Place, Political Space, and Positioning in Conversational Narratives. In Baynham, M and A de Fina (eds.) .Dislocations/relocations: narratives of displacement. Manchester, UK: St. Jerome, pp. 61-85.
Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain (2007) Identity and Positioning in Interactive Knowledge Displays. In Auer, P (ed.) Style and Social Identities. Alternative Approaches to Linguistic Heterogeneity. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 247-278
Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain (2008) Mixing Languages: Canadian German in Kitchener-Waterloo and Edmonton. In Schulze, M et al. (eds.) German Diasporic Experiences: Identity, Migration, and Loss, Waterloo, ON: Wilfred Laurier Press, pp. 73-82.
Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain (2009) Dialect use and Discursive Identities of Migrants from the West in Eastern Germany. In Stevenson, P and J Carl (eds.) Language, Discourse, and Identity in Central Europe London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 185-202.
Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain (2007) Interculturality and Code-Switching in the German Language Classroom. In Lorey, C, J L Plews and C Rieger (eds) Interkulturelle Kompetenzen im Fremdsprachenunterricht. Intercultural Literacies and German in the Classroom. Festschrift für Manfred Prokop. Gunter Narr Verlag Tübingen, pp. 49-67.
Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain (2007) Sprachattitüde und Wissensdarstellung in Nach-Wende-Interaktionen und die verbale Konstitution von Gruppenzugehörigkeit. In Valentin, J-M and B Scherbacher-Posé (eds.) Akten des XI. Internationalen Germanistenkongresses Paris 2005—Germanistik im Konflikt der Kulturen. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, pp. 347-350.
Mueller, Gabriele (2006) ’Welcome to Reality’. Constructions of German Identity in ‘Lichter’ (Distant Lights, Schmid, 2003) and ‘Halbe Treppe’ (Grill Point, Dresen, 2002). New Cinemas. Journal of Contemporary Film. 4:2, pp. 117-127.
Mueller, Gabriele (2006) Committing to ‘Third Space’: Teaching Film in the International Classroom. In Cecchetto, V and M Stroinska (eds.) The International Classroom: Challenging the Notion. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag, pp. 161-170.
Mueller, Gabriele (2008) Going East, Looking West: Border Crossings in Recent German Cinema. Seminar. A Journal of Germanic Studies. 44:4, pp. 453-469.
Mueller, Gabriele (2008) Imagining the RAF from an East German Perspective: ‘Vater, Mutter, Mörderkind’ (Carow, 1993) and ‘Raus aus der Haut’ (Dresen, 1997). In Berendse, G-J and J Cornils (eds.) History and Cultural Memory of German Left-Wing Terrorism, 1968-1998. German Monitor. Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp. 269-284.
Mueller, Gabriele (2009) The Aged Traveler: Cinematic Representations of Post-Retirement Masculinity. in Hartung, H and R Maierhofer (eds) Narratives of Life: Mediating Age. Aging Studies in Europe. Münster: Lit-Verlag, pp. 149-165.
Schmelter, Lars and Barbara Schmenk (2009) Die kleine Freiheit – Expansives Fremdsprachenlernen. Theoretische und praktische Konsequenzen einer konzeptuellen Alternative. In Arntz, R and B Kühn (eds.) Autonomes Fremdsprachenlernen in Hochschule und Erwachsenenbildung. Erträge des 1. Bremer Symposions zum autonomen Fremdsprachenlernen. Bochum: AKS, pp. 211–222.
Schmenk Barbara (2008) Lernerautonomie. Karriere und Sloganisierung des Autonomiebegriffs. Tübingen: Narr, 448 pp.
Schmenk, Barbara (2004) Drama in the Margins? The Common European Framework of Reference and its Implications for Drama Pedagogy in the Foreign Language Classroom. GFL (German as a Foreign Language) 4/1, pp. 7-23.
Schmenk, Barbara (2004) Interkulturelles Lernen versus Autonomie? In Börner, W and K Vogel (eds.): Emotion und Kognition im Fremdsprachenunterricht.Tübingen: Narr, pp. 66-86.
Schmenk, Barbara (2004) Language Learning – A Feminine Domain? The Role of Stereotyping in Constructing Gendered Learner Identities. TESOL Quarterly 38/3, pp. 514-524.
Schmenk, Barbara (2005) Globalizing Autonomy? TESOL Quarterly 39/1, pp. 107-118.
Schmenk, Barbara (2005) Information overkill. Zur Inflation des Informationsbegriffs in der Fremdsprachenforschung. In Duxa, S, A Hu, and B Schmenk (eds.) Grenzüberschreitungen. Menschen, Sprachen, Kulturen. Festschrift für Inge Christine Schwerdtfeger zum 60. Geburtstag. Tübingen: Gunter Narr, pp. 115-133.
Schmenk, Barbara (2005) Mode, Mythos, Möglichkeiten. Das Lernziel Kommunikative Kompetenz heute. Zeitschrift für Fremdsprachenforschung 16/1, pp. 57-87.
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