Helena Devens Ortlieb

Joint MA in Intercultural German Studies
Helena Ortlieb petting a cow

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

Before coming to the University of Waterloo, I studied History and German with a certificate in Translation at DePaul University.

What are your interests in German Studies?

I have a multitude of interests in German Studies. Mostly surrounding history of thought, society, art, and politics.

Why did you choose the University of Waterloo?

I heard about the program through a professor at DePaul, Dr. Anna Souchuk. I chose this program because not only did it offer a chance to continue my German Studies education, but it also offered an intercultural exchange and perspective.

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

Yes. I’m hoping to write my thesis on the Wiener Secession, a group of artists in turn-of-the-century Vienna who formed their own artistic movement and organization in protest of their work being censored by museums and other artists. 

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

As a kid, I wanted to be an Animal Police Officer. I imagined I would heroically protect animals from anyone who wanted to harm them. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I discovered that position does not, in fact, exist.

What is a fun fact about you?

For five years, the only thing on my bucket list was to hug a cow. Because of this program, I have now hugged a cow.