Annual Report (2015-2016)

The 13th year of the WCGS has been an eventful and successful one and we've been able to further our reach in the areas covered by our mandate. Below you’ll find a summary of our activities for 2015-2016.  

German Studies Research 

The WCGS held its annual German Studies Forum (GSF) in December. The GSF allows researchers to network, create research groups, and update their peers on the progress of their various projects. The University of Toronto’s Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures co-hosted the event. 

Through the year, we have also supported many research initiatives, including colloquia, conferences, and workshops. In several cases, organizers required the WCGS’s support to apply for and then receive additional support from other funding sources. In addition, two books—one on the history of the German Democratic Republic and one on contemporary Austria—are being edited by Centre members for the WCGS Book Series. 

Educational and Cultural Activities 

We held several events this year, including film screenings, author readings, and lectures. By far our most successful was the 2015 Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Lecture, given by UWaterloo professor Dr. Alice Kuzniar. titled "The Birth of Homeopathy out of the Spirit of 1800: Medicine as Cultural History." There was standing room only in the lecture hall.

Other Events from this year:

  • Headshot of Jon Reinhardt, University of ArizonaLectures covered all matter of subjects this year. A sample: In "Digging up the Doll," Dr. Linda Wharley considered her mother's recollections as a child refugee in 1945. Moving to more modern times, Dr. Jonathon Reinhardt from the University of Arizona gave a lecture on digital gaming and language learning. Centre Director Mat Schulze presented research that examined how students transfer their learning from on-line to on-campus courses.
  • The WCGS research group on Poetics and Nature circa 1800 held two seminars: "Nature and Education circa 1800," and "Spinoza, Goethe, Deleuze: All is Leaf (or Rhizome - Take Your Pick). Both offered a day of short presentations and discussions.
  • On the artistic side, German artist Marc Bauder gave a presentation on his and his brother's art installation "Lichtgrenze," which was created to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the winter semester, two authors visited: Michael Götting, who read from his book Contra Punctus, and Marc Degens, who read excerpts from his novel God's Busted Knee and a few short stories.

Engaging with German-Canadian Heritage 

German family in dirndl and lederhosen.Work on the book for the oral history project is coming along. Tentatively titled The Germans of Waterloo Region, the manuscript was in the second draft stage by the end of the fiscal year. It incorporates all 110 interviews conducted from 2013-2015. 


Thanks to the generous donations of local citizens, the Waterloo Centre for German Studies is able to support students in their pursuit of knowledge about all things German. Go to our scholarships page to learn more about these funds and the students they support.