Joint MA in Intercultural German Studies

Picture of Alexander Held

Where and what did you study before you came to Germanic and Slavic Studies at University of Waterloo?

I studied German Studies and Philosophy at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität in Frankfurt a.M.

What are your interests in German Studies?

I am very interested in the literary studies part of German Studies, more specifically in narratology, which was also the main area of research of my bachelor thesis. The fact that the difference between a good read and a bad read is often not the underlying plot or themes, but how they are told, is fascinating to me. But many other parts of literary studies and some parts of linguistics are interesting to me aswell.

Why did you choose University of Waterloo?

The University of Waterloo chose me, I had no choice. Honestly though, both the University of Waterloo and Universität Mannheim are well-respected universities in their countries and having the possibility to join a joint masters program like this one was a dream come true to me.

Why did you choose this program?

When I committed to German Studies at the start of my university “career” I feared that this would be the nail in the coffin for my chances at getting out of Germany for the foreseeable future outside of vacations. Yet, testing and improving my English, especially after it got better after my horrendous highschool English, was something I wanted to do. This program gave me the opportunity for that and I did not want to let that slide.

Do you already know what you want to write your thesis on?

No. If possible I would like to continue in the direction of my bachelor thesis, but realistically I have no clue as of yet. Time will tell.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

At first I wanted to be an inventor. I did not know what I wanted to invent, but that I want to invent something was a definite goal, probably inspired by Gyro Gearloose. Later on I obviously wanted to become an author, unsurprisingly.

What is something people wouldn’t guess about you?

I actually really like Slice-of-Life(-Romance) shows (e.g. Nisekoi or Non Non Biyori), but since nothing really happens in them I talk about action, drama or comedy instead so nobody knows. Except everyone reading this I suppose.

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo

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