German Culture, Digitally

Online German-related activities for this time of social distancing

During these strange and trying times, the Waterloo Centre for German Studies will continue to support research into all aspects of the German-speaking world. Further, we remain committed to supporting German-related cultural programming for the university and our wider communities. To this end, we have gathered a listing of different online activities, events, and courses that may be of interest to those curious about German culture and language.

We may from time to time update this list. The date of the latest update will be noted here: 25 July 2022.

Events by theme:

Live Events

Let us know if there is a live event we should advertise!

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Museums and Galleries

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  • Vom Wind Verweht - The Prissy Edition WDR - The famous novel is being (re)told from the perspective of the Afroamerican figures and has two settings: the historical Tara-Story told and conserved through diaries by Tara-employed Afroamerican Slave Prissie, and a contemporary story of Prissie's latest offspring in 21st century Berlin. Thus it combines actual postcolonial, critical whiteness and immigrational discourses in Germany with the historical fiction and discourses of Mitchell's novel. Listen to it on the WDR website
  • Goethe Institut Toronto: Benita Bailey: #Yellit - Conversations with Black Artists The Goethe-Institut is collaborating with artist Benita Bailey (Berlin/Toronto) on four special editions of her social interview series Yellit, featuring German and Canadian Black artists. From September to December, you will encounter two Canadian and two German black arts leaders. Dates and more information are available here.
  • "In My Experience" is a new and exciting podcast series by the UCD Humanities which aims to explore a wide range of political, social and cultural issues. The series launched in 2020 with a conversation with Her Excellency, Deike Potzel, German Ambassador to Ireland, who will share her experience of 'Thirty Years of German Unity'. Take a listen.
  • Language Revolution Podcast with Cate Hamilton, discussing a number of issues such as transitioning to higher education, inspiring language learners from early years through to further and higher education, studying languages, and particularly German, at university, outreach projects and cross-sector collaborations, and the potential of linguistics in language teaching. You can listen to the podcast here.
  • German Beats Podcast: The Dartmouth University German Department's podcasts feature conversations between German Studies faculty and students (with music) as well as guest speaker interviews and sound pieces relating to German language, literature and culture from their course offerings. Have a listen.

  • Deutschlandfunk Kultur "Hörspiel und Feature": List of pre-recorded audio programs, check them out.

  • Germany: Memories of a Nation: You can download episodes here.

  • Interview with WCGS Book Prize 2018 winner Michael O'Sullivan: Have a listen here.

  • The Connecting Memories Podcast - Episode with guest speaker Prof Bill Niven: Bill discusses Holocaust memorials in Germany and the question of relevance in a talk called 'Reigniting Relevance: Recent Approaches to Memorial Heritage.' The first two episodes (along with a series preview) are available to stream at as well as on Spotify (here) and Apple podcasts (here). Links to the podcast on Breaker, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic and Google podcasts can all be found here

  • Literature in Lockdown: Liechtenstein Podcast feat. Benjamin Quaderer - Listen to literature here.

  • Babble on, Berlin: A Podcast to talk about Berlin and the movies, literature, and culture surrounding the metropolis. Listen here.

  • Switzerland and the Art of Shutdown: The British cultural critic Seán Williams, acclaimed Swiss novelist Tabea Steiner, and former Swiss-Mobility student and teacher Raphael Zimmermann come together with readings and reflections on culture and coronavirus, Switzerland and the art of shutdown. At the centre of this creative soundscape are paradoxes of the pandemic. Take a listen.

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  • Archives of Migration: The Power of Fiction in Times of Fake News - In spring 2021, Professors Deniz Göktürk and Elisabeth Krimmer (University of California, Davis) hosted a series of Zoom conversations with contemporary writers entitled “Archives of Migration: The Power of Fiction in Times of Fake News.” This series, which continues into fall 2021, engages with writers who bring diverse perspectives to questions of societal polarization and the power of poetic imagination, and presents opportunities to experience contemporary literature in action and think about questions of truth in fiction. Access the recordings here.
  • Das Bild Der Anderen (Goethe Institut) - „Das Bild der Anderen“ ist ein internationales E-Mail-Projekt für jugendliche Deutschanfänger, das schon seit 20 Jahren für DaF-LernerInnen auf der ganzen Welt zugänglich ist. Sein Ziel ist es, die Lernenden schon nach den ersten Deutschstunden dazu zu motivieren, in der Fremdsprache Briefe (E-Mails) zu schreiben. Learn more here.
  • Asian-German Filmography: A Teaching Guide curated by Qinna Shen, w/ Qingyang Zhou & Zach Ramon Fitzpatrick and hosted on Berkeley’s Multicultural Germany Project (MGP) website
  • RUN LOLA RUN interactive modules for film education in English and German:
  • So German!: The staff at So German have curated a list of online resources for learning German in this time of physical distancing.
  • Laurier Lifelong Learning at Home: A free weekly series with pre-recorded lectures from some well-known Laurier faculty and community experts.
    • Check out the lecture by WCGS Director James Skidmore on May 26 2020: Good Art. Bad Artists: Admiring the Work of Artists We Despise - Is it right to admire works created by artists we despise? In this lecture, James Skidmore explores whether it’s possible to separate art from the artists. Using three case studies from German culture – Leni Riefenstahl (filmmaker), Emil Nolde (painter), and Peter Handke (writer) – Skidmore will discuss the thorny issues surrounding the appreciation and study of creative works by creators whose political or social views we find abhorrent. To find out more about James' lecture and the other lectures in the series visit the Laurier Lifelong Learning at Home website.
  • Goethe-Institut (Canada) - Webinar series for German teachers: How can we make our virtual teaching even more learner-centric, motivating and activating? This is an important and urgent question for all teachers in the current situation. This webinar series will show you how you can plan, conduct and follow up on exciting lessons with added value even in times of Corona. Dates and registration can be found here.

  • Virtual Research in Germany (DAAD Canada)

  • Institute for Modern Languages Research at the University of London: List of open access resources for modern languages researchers.

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WCGS Diversity & Inclusion Grant Webinars

  • Disability Myths and Rhetorics talk with Jay Dolmage (UW) - In this discussion, Professor Dolmage will work through an overview of myths that offer a shorthand for the ways that disability is narrowly represented or depicted across cultures. Watch the recording here.
  • A life worthy of living: Kolmar's Susanna by Alec Cattell (Texas Tech U) - an interactive virtual discussion about Gertrud Kolmar's last surviving literary work, the novella Susanna. Watch the recording here.

  • Public Reading & Discussion on Authorship & Disability with Austrian author Mercedes Spannagel - reading and discussion of Spannagel's prize-winning short story "Wie es klingt, wenn es quietscht." Reading and discussion in German. Watch the recording here.

  • Ziegler Lecture: Dr. Renae Watchman, “Trans-Atlantic Indigeneity” - This presentation will examine how active Indigenous presence from Turtle Island has been depicted in novels, short stories, film, autobiography, and literary criticism by contemporary Indigenous authors and filmmakers across the pond. Watch the recording here.

  • “Winnetou, White Innocence, and Settler Time” by Dr. Maureen Gallagher - In this virtual event, Dr. Maureen Gallagher (Australian National University) critically examines cinematic adaptations of Karl May’s original 1893 trilogy Winnetou. Watch the recording on the UBC CENES website.

  • Ziegler Lecture: Dr. Lars Richter, “A German Board Game & the Need for New Stories” - In this virtual Ziegler Lecture, Dr. Lars Richter (University of Manitoba ) explores a 2018 release German board game 'Manitoba', a strategy game where players take the role of “different clans of the Cree Indians” (Pranzo and Conzadori 14). Watch the recording here.

  • Olivia Wenzel in Conversation - artist Olivia Wenzel speaks about her work as a dramaturge, musician, performer, and author of the recent German-language novel 1000 Serpentinen der Angst (Fischer, 2020). Wenzel is joined by Dr. Jamele Watkins (University of Minnesota) and hosted by Drs. Rosemarie Peña (President, Black German Historical Research Association) and Angelica Fenner (University of Toronto). Watch the recording here.
  • Film Screening with Director Ines Johnson-Spain in Attendance: "Becoming Black" (2019) - Watch the recording here.

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  • Altes Land: Event-Zweiteiler nach dem Bestseller von Dörte Hansen - Ankommen und Bleiben: Drei Frauen, drei Generationen, ein Haus wie ein Schiff und eine Art von Familie. Ein Hof im Alten Land wird zum Schauplatz einer Erzählung über das Deutschland unserer Mütter und Großmütter, über Flüchtlinge, wurzellose Stadtmenschen und darüber, wie verlassene Seelen unversehens eine Heimat finden können. Watch it here.
  • Radio-Frauen aus dem Regenwald|Mit Mikro und Rekorder gegen Ausbeutung:  Documentary about indigenous ecofeminist protests against drilling for oil in Ecuador’s rainforest (German ZDF, August 2, 2020). Plus you can listen to an interview with the director of the film, Siegmund Thies, and the fight of the indigenous women against the military in Sarayaku (die Entwaffnung der Soldaten durch die Frauen aus Sarayaku) (summary by Dorothee Ostmeier).
  • Filmmuseum
  • Deutsches Filminstitut Filmmuseum: Find a number of links to online films, exhibitions, and videos curated by DFF staff. Have a look!

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For Kids

  • Culture for Kids
  • Vienna Jungle (Dschungel Wien)
  • LOGO! Nachrichten (German news for children and young adults)
  • Zukunftsvisionen junger Autor:innen Schreibwettbewerb »ICH HABE EINEN TRAUM ‒ I HAVE A DREAM« Der Aufbau Verlag ist bereits zum fünften Mal Partner des Schreibwettbewerbs des Auswärtigen Amts. Der diesjährige Schreibwettbewerb unter dem Motto »ICH HABE EINEN TRAUM – I HAVE A DREAM« knüpft an die Erfolge der vorherigen Wettbewerbe an: »Ein Planet, viele Welten« (2016), »Du, ich – wir sind Europa« (2017), »Eine Welt für dich und mich« (2018) und »Freunde ohne Grenzen – Friends without frontiers« (2019). Hier weiterlesen.

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  • Collaborative Works-in-Progress: Bawdy Medieval Badges: In this special event, University of Waterloo Professor Ann Marie Rasmussen, author of Medieval Badges: Their Wearers and Their Worlds (forthcoming, 2021), and multidisciplinary artist Melanie Jackson discussed the world of bawdy medieval badges. This event featured Melanie Jackson’s recent reimagining of these bawdy badges in her artistic project, “Spekying Rybawdy,” where she brings these infamous badges to new life. Their conversation was moderated by Professor Steven Bednarski (History, St. Jerome’s University). View the recording here.

  • Neuer Wortschatz rund um die Coronapandemie
  • AfroPolitan Berlin ist ein 2016 ins Leben gerufenes Schwarzes Community Projekt in Berlin Kreuzberg. ,Without community there is no liberation', ohne Gemeinschaft gibt es keine Befreiung, das wusste bereits Audre Lorde. Schwarze und afrodiasporische Communities sind für ihre Angehörigen zentrale Orte der Gemeinschaft und Selbstentfaltung, des Empowerment und gemeinsamen Lernens. AfroPolitan Berlin möchte einer dieser Orte sein. Check out their online events here.
  • Goethe Institut USA: Queer as German Folk has now been converted into a compact, digital experience. This new format allows visitors to experience the queer movement past and present from anywhere in the world – furthering the project’s goals of maximum accessibility. Audiovisual, moving, and interactive forms of presentation provide visitors with an exciting, structureless experience that is simple to navigate and is accessible across a range of devices in both English and German. The exhibition will be accessible on starting August 9th, 2020. Learn more here.

  • Chancellor Angela Merkel's Speech on March 18, 2020.

  • Lori Wolf-Heffner (Kitchener-Waterloo author)

  • Rear Windowflick: Berlin's DIY film screenings – in pictures

  • Austrian Society for Literature:

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