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German Studies News

"9 Days in Deutschland: A Documentary Memoir"

Qinza Malik Khan's documentary memoir about traveling in Germany will be on display at the Bundy Museum from 6/7–7/2. Qinza Khan ('24) worked on this project during the Binghamton University Summer Scholars Program 2023, with Prof. Harald Zils providing mentorship and support throughout the process.

Congratulations to Gülden Olgun, Ph.D.!

Gülden Olgun in Ph.D. graduation regalia, holding her diploma
Gülden Olgun, Ph.D.
Congratulations to Gülden Olgun, who defended her dissertation in the Department of Comparative Literature and earned her doctorate! In fall 2024 Gülden will be relocating to Gainesville to start her new job as Lecturer of German in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Florida. Many congratulations, Dr. Olgun! We'll miss you here and wish you all the best in your new job and beyond!

2024 German Studies graduates

Congratulations to this year's graduating class of German Studies majors and minors, John Bieg, Brendon Jaeger, Daniel Karn, Ren Longo, Arielle Moreau, Malcolm Schultz, Nadine Saur, and Allison Zuckermann! Herzlichen Glückwunsch und Alles Beste für die Zukunft!

2024 German Studies awards

Congratulations to Yuna Ahn and Eliana Hansen for receiving this year's Ursula H. Africa Endowment Awards for German Studies; to Arielle Moreau and Malcolm Schultz for receiving this year's Keith Nintzel Awards for Excellence and Commitment in German Studies; and to Wylie Rauschenbach for receiving this year's Larry Wells Scholarship. Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Yuna, Eliana, Arielle, Malcolm, and Wylie!

Dr. Lieselotte Sippel to join GRS in fall 2024

The Department of German & Russian Studies is very excited to announce that a new colleague will be joining us in the fall. Dr. Lieselotte Sippel, currently a Senior Lector II and Associate Research Scholar in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Yale University, will be joining the faculty at Binghamton as Assistant Professor of German Studies and Head of German Language Instruction. Dr. Sippel’s research in applied linguistics explores second language acquisition in the classroom, and seeks to identify effective pedagogical methods; particular areas of focus include peer interaction, corrective feedback, pronunciation, and telecollaboration. Herzlich Willkommen, Liese—we can’t wait to welcome you to the department in the fall!

Symposium on Max Reinhardt's Reigen promptbook (4/17, 1–5 pm)

On Wednesday, April 17, a symposium on Max Reinhardt's Reigen promptbook was held in the library's Special Collections, with talks and roundtables on Reinhardt, the Reinhardt Archive, Arthur Schnitzler, digital philology, and other topics, to mark a transatlantic collaboration between Binghamton University and the University of Freiburg centering on this important cultural artifact.

Carl Gelderloos gives keynote lecture at Yale grad conference

Carl Gelderloos was in New Haven on 4/12–4/13 to give the keynote lecture for the graduate student conference in Yale's Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. The conference was "Making Sense of Experience: Analyses of Sensation after Mach," and Gelderloos' talk was about "Sense perception and the sense of a self from Mach to Plessner."

Alum Michael Lipkin ('08) presents translation of bestseller

Michael Lipkin, whose translation of Walter Kempowski's 1971 Tadellöser & Wolff was published in 2023 by New York Review Books as An Ordinary Youth, returned to Binghamton on Wednesday, 3/27 to give a talk about Kempowski's novel and the intricacies of literary translation. Lipkin is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of German Studies at Hamilton College. 

Christina Feil presenting new research at NeMLA

In early March, Christina Feil traveled to Boston to present at the 55th annual convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association. Part of a session on "Flight Narratives: Making the Individual Visible," Feil presented a paper titled "Refugee Cinema of the Post-Soviet Peripheries."

Laughing, Crying, and Human "Eccentricity"

Carl Gelderloos' essay, "Humans are Nature's Eccentrics: Laughing and Crying Show Why," has been published with Public Books. This essay introduces the work of the Philosophical Anthropologist Helmuth Plessner by looking at how he thinks about the everyday paradoxes of laughing and crying.

Invited lectures by Alexander Sorenson

On Friday, February 8, Alexander Sorenson presented new research at the colloquium of Cornell's Institute for German Cultural Studies; the topic of the day's discussion was Sorenson's paper, "The Heart Left Behind: On Ecstasy and Present Absence in Rilke’s Middle Period."

And at the end of February, Sorenson presented his paper, "For Love of the World: Rilke's Ecology of Praise and Transience," at Harvard's Mahindra Humanities Center.

Carl Gelderloos joins AFM board

Carl Gelderloos has been elected to a three-year term on the board and to the position of Treasurer of the American Friends of Marbach, an organization that seeks to strengthen ties between scholars and students in the US and the German Literature Archive in Marbach am Neckar, Germany.

German Studies students awarded Rosefsky Scholarships!

Nicco Elie-Pierre and Sydney Werner have each been awarded a Dr. Israel J. Rosefsky Language and Culture Scholarship to support their study abroad semester in Leipzig next year. It was a competitive group this year, which makes this achievement all the more remarkable. Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Sydney and Nicco!

Dr. Jamie Rankin visits Binghamton

Jamie Rankin (Princeton University) returned to Binghamton on September 27 to give a talk titled "'How can I learn all these words?' Research-based strategies for L2 teaching and curriculum development," in which he discussed what we can learn from research on how best to teach vocabulary in the language classroom: what is the best way to select the vocabulary taught at the elementary level, how ought we best teach it, and what might this look like in practice? Rankin illustrated his solution to these questions using the online platform he authored for the elementary German classroom, der | die | das, which the German Studies program at Binghamton is one of a handful of German programs nationwide to use.

New research by Gülden Olgun

Gülden Olgun's chapter, “Homeland Films without Homeland: Examining Homeland in Soleen Yusef's Haus ohne Dach,” is forthcoming in Home and Homeland in Asian Diaspora: Transnational Reflections in Art, Literature, and Film, edited by Jean Amato and Kyunghee Pyun, and published by Palgrave Macmillan.

And in mid-2024, "Challenging Stereotypes and the Liberation of the Middle East Woman from Victimhood" is scheduled to appear in the volume Women Representing Women: A Transnational Perspective (eds. Lidia Radi and Simona Wright), published by Vernon Press.

New work by Carl Gelderloos

Kracauer, Bachofen, and the ‘bedeutungsleere Naturfundament,’” which asks why cultural critic Siegfried Kracauer turned to a theory of archaic matriarchy in order to understand the photographic culture of the 1920s, has been published in The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory (9/2023).

In May, 2023, Gelderloos' article on Paul Scheerbart's 1913 "Asteroid Novel" was published in Modernism/modernity. The article, titled “‘Nowhere an obstacle’: Transparency, Embodied Perception, and Becoming in Paul Scheerbart’s Lesabéndio,” argues that this early science fiction novel imaginatively links an avant-garde fantasy of mobile vision to a monist philosophy that endowed all matter with spirit.


Russian Studies News

Faculty lecture: "Coding National Identity in Ukrainian Ballet Librettos of the 1930s" (Ania Nikulina)

On Thursday, 11/16, Prof. Ania Nikulina gave a lecture about how, in the years following Ukraine’s violent integration into the realm of the Soviet Union, classical ballet emerged as a contested medium between narratives of imperial expansion and national resistance. Early Soviet authorities sought to strike a delicate balance between empowering national identities, while maintaining centralized control over cultural production to prevent re-emergence of Ukrainian nationalism as a political force. However, librettos of nation-themed ballets staged in Soviet Ukraine in the 1930s that were nominally tasked with highlighting only the surface expressions of Ukrainian culture in fact succeeded in extracting a lasting and enduring cultural image of the Ukrainian nation.

Congratulations to the 2023 Russian Studies graduates!

Five Russian Studies majors graduated in spring 2023: Owen Carmody, Lisa Foreman, Lea Frenkel, Gillian Van der Have and Lara Solomon. Two Russian Studies minors graduated: Bryan Bibicheff and Julia Kaplun. Lisa Foreman will attend the London School of Economics this summer and Lea Frenkel is headed to Duke University Law School. Congratulations to all!

Emilio Kershner at the 2023 Olympiada

Emilio Kershner at the 2023 Olympiada
Emilio Kershner at the 2023 Olympiada
On Saturday, April 15, at Hobart and William Smith College, freshman Emilio Kershner took second place for first-year students in the annual New York State Undergraduate Spoken Russian Competition. Emilio competed in poetry recitation, reading, spoken monologue and grammar. Congratulations, Emilio!

New research by Prof. Nikulina

Prof. Ania Nikulina’s newest research on ballet in Ukraine and other topics will appear in multiple venues this year, including a forthcoming essay in Dance Research Journal, a Cambridge University Press publication. Moreover, her recent research has been supported by awards, including a Mellon Foundation Council on Library and Information Resources Travel Grant and a Council on Library and Information Resources Editor Award.

Prof. Nikulina’s article, “Ballet in Ukraine: from Confusion to Defiance and Independence” will be appearing in the April 2023 issue of Dance Research Journal. Other peer-reviewed essays, based on her research in Kyiv, Ukraine, explore the multiple cultural dimensions of ballet performances and dance training in state theaters and academies of Ukraine and their multifaceted relationships to political forces of nationalism and imperialism. While the DRJ article draws on Nikulina's ethnographic research and deep interviews with Kyiv-based artists, teachers, and choreographers, essays published by Council on Library and Information Resources reflect on her archival analysis and current dilemmas faced by scholars today.

Congratulations to Lea Frenkel!

Lea Frenkel, a Russian major at Binghamton University, has won the Marina Ledkovsky Prize for "best short-form paper submitted by a student at either the undergraduate or the Master's level," for her essay, "Depictions of Estrangement in Soviet Society in 20th-Century Russian Literature." This competitive award is administered by REEESNe (Russian, East European and Eurasian Northeast; for more information, see here. Congratulations, Lea!

Congratulations to Owen Carmody!

Congratulations to Owen Carmody for winning third place in the Saint Petersburg State University Olympiad of Russian as a Foreign Language in the USA. The competition included 160 participants from 34 American universities. What an amazing achievement, Owen!

And on June 30th, 2022, Owen Carmody began the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program, organized by Hobart and William Smith Colleges and sponsored by the U.S.Department of Education. An advanced Russian language seminar based out of the city of Daugavpils in eastern Latvia, this program spans six weeks of intensive language study, encompassing language classes, a homestay, regional excursions, and two weekend trips to Estonia and Lithuania. Classes are held in cooperation with Daugavpils University and LatInSoft, an I.T. management and language services company in Latvia. 

Sidney Dement at the Swarthmore Disinformation Symposium

Sidney Dement will be participating in the Swarthmore Disinformation Symposium on April 1–2, 2022. His paper explores the theoretical dimensions of disinformation through analysis of literary modes of narration that intentionally mislead readers for profit.

Russian Studies Program's statement on the invasion of Ukraine

The Russian Studies faculty in the Department of German and Russian Studies supports the statements about Russia's invasion of Ukraine that have been made recently by major associations in the field. The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasion Studies has posted a concise statement that reflects scholarly consensus in the field with regard to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the "historical distortions and cynical lies" that Putin has used to justify it:

The Board of Directors of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies condemns Russia’s military assault on Ukraine and President Putin’s use of historical distortions and cynical lies to justify Russia’s attack on Ukrainian sovereignty. We stand with all the people of Ukraine and Russia who oppose this war.

See also ASEEES’s list of resources to help displaced scholars from Ukraine, and the resources available at the Ukrainian Research Institute.

Alina Young heading to law school

Alina Young (Russian Studies major, '21) has been accepted to University at Buffalo School of Law, with a merit scholarship. Here's what she says about Russian Studies at Binghamton:

"I am forever grateful for the top-notch education I have received in your classes. The Russian Studies program is a small but powerful program that encouraged me to think critically, consider various viewpoints, and draw independent conclusions from large volumes of information. I know these skills will be so necessary for my success as a law student and as a future attorney. Thank you for giving me a strong head start in life, always supporting me, and nurturing me into who I am today. I will be forever grateful for the amazing experiences offered to me in the Binghamton Russian Studies program!"

Congratulations, Alina!

Russian Studies cultural events in Fall 2020

During the fall semester, the Russian Studies program hosted a number of cultural presentations via Zoom. Prof. Marina Zalesski organized a series, "My Beginnings in Russian" that featured faculty discussing their early travels and how they got into the field of Russian and East European studies. History Prof. Heather DeHaan presented on her study abroad in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia in the early 1990s, just after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Prof. Nancy Tittler took us back to Leningrad in 1973, and Prof. Sidney Dement revisited his student journeys to Albania and Nizhny Novgorod in the early 2000s. Two of our Russian-born undergraduates, Maria Ovsepian and Polina Nikhamova, discussed contemporary Russian life on Nov. 18 and on Dec. 1, alumnus
Alex Resnick talked about "The Queer Experience in Moldova," referencing his Fulbright Scholarship year of teaching English in that country. On Nov. 12 our students were treated to a Zoom performance of Chekhov's farce, "The Bear," performed by actors from the John DeSotelle Studio in New York. Each event prompted lively discussion that continued in our classes and helped to maintain our Russian Studies community during this distanced semester.

Congratulations to Linda Zheng ('20)!

Zheng was selected for the Edward H. Prentice Award, which honors "a graduating senior who has demonstrated distinguished character, scholarship and contribution to the academic and extracurricular life of the University." Her many contributions include "Stone, Wood, Fire," a podcast that Zheng researched, hosted, and produced in connection to her work in Russian Studies and Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention.

Russian Studies student publications

The latest issue of the UC Undergraduate Journal of Slavic and East/Central European Studies features articles by Briana Comuniello ('18) and Jacob Sandman ('19). Briana's article, "Doctors, NGOs, and the HIV Epidemic in Russia," can be found here, while Jacob's "Mothers, War, and State in Twenty-First-Century Russia: The Issue of Reform and Accountability" can be found here. Congratulations, Briana and Jacob!

Join our Russian Program for "Stories from Russia's Near Abroad"! (10/23)

Marina Zalesski will tell us about her recent studies in Kiev and Tbilisi and how they have shaped her understanding of Russian Studies. October 23, 7 to 8pm, LN 1106 (IASH).

Film screening: Meeting Gorbachev (11/11)

Please join us for a screening of Werner Herzog's newest documentary, Meeting Gorbachev, a conversation with Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, which formally dissolved in 1991. There will be a short introduction before the film about Gorbachev and his complex legacy as a reformer. This event is free and open to the public and is jointly hosted by the REEP, Political Science, and History departments. The screening will take place on Monday, November 11 at 6:15PM in LH002. Any questions can be sent to Dr. Chelsea Gibson at cgibson2@binghamton.edu.

Sidney Dement, Pushkin's Monument and Allusion

Congratulations to Prof. Sidney Dement on his new book! Pushkin's Monument and Allusion: Poem, Statue, Performance, the first aesthetic analysis of Russia's most famous monument to her greatest Romantic poet, has been published by the University of Toronto Press.

In August of 1836 Alexander Pushkin wrote a poem now popularly known simply as "Monument." He died a few months later in January of 1837. In the decades following his death, the poem "Monument" was transformed into a statue in central Moscow: the Pushkin Monument. At its dedication in 1880, the interaction between the verbal text and the visual monument established a creative dynamic that subsequent generations of artists and thinkers amplified through the use of allusion, the aesthetic device by which writers reference select elements of cultural history to enrich the meaning of their new creation and invite their reader into the shared experience of a tradition.

The history of the Pushkin Monument reveals how allusive practice becomes more complex over time. By the twentieth century, both writers and readers negotiated increasingly complex allusions not only to Pushkin's poem, but to its statuesque form in Moscow and the many performances that took place around it. As the population of newly literate Russians grew throughout the twentieth century, images of the future poet and the naive reader became crucial signifiers of the most meaningful allusions to the Pushkin Monument. Because of this, the story of Pushkin's Monument is also the story of cultural memory and the aesthetic problems that accompany a cultural history that grows ever longer as it moves into the future.


Alumni News 

From a German double major to a DVM

In May, 2024, Ivanka Juran ('20, double major in German Studies and biology) earned a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Dr. Juran!

Binghamton German Studies alum publishes first English translation of best-selling German novel

New York Review Books has published Binghamton German Studies alum Michael Lipkin’s translation of Walter Kempowski’s 1971 best-selling novel Tadellöser & Wolff. Lipkin's translation, titled An Ordinary Youth, makes this important work of German literature available to Anglophone readers for the first time. The book follows a Rostock family through the history of the Nazi period and offers an intimate glimpse into everyday life under fascism. Lipkin is currently a visiting assistant professor of German at Hamilton College.

Russian alum participates in Teach for America

Liam Kerrigan ('21) will join Teach for America to teach English Language Arts in grades 7–8 in Philadelphia.

Russian students pursuing graduate studies
  • Gillian van der Have will study at the London School of Economics for an MS in International Social and Public Policy.
  • Lisa Foreman will attend the London School of Economics in summer, 2023.
  • Lea Frenkel is headed to Durham to attend Duke University Law School in fall, 2023.
  • Masha Morozov, a 2020 double major in Integrative Neuroscience and Russian Studies, began a Masters in Public Health program with concentrations in Global Health and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania in fall, 2021.
  • Jack Strosser (Russian Major, '19) began a two-year MA in International Relations at Central European University in Vienna this coming fall (September 2021).
  • Congratulations Gillian, Lisa, Lea, Masha, and Jack! Best of luck in your graduate studies!
German students pursuing graduate studies

 Students who have majored or minored in German at Binghamton have gone on to graduate study at universities including Northwestern, UNC, Boston University, Stony Brook, New Paltz, Georgetown, Temple, Cornell, Columbia, and others. To read more about how studying German at Binghamton helped these students pursue their diverse career goals, check out our "Why Study German?" page.

  • Bethany Maloney ('20, double major in French language & linguistics and German Studies) is headed to the University at Albany to pursue a Masters of Science in Information Science in the department of Information Sciences and Technology.
  • Ren Sahlman ('18, double major in English/Creative Writing and German Studies) started work on an MFT in the Couple and Family Therapy program at Thomas Jefferson University in fall, 2023.
  • Sean Gordon ('20, double major in German Studies and Linguistics) headed to Evanston in fall, 2023 to pursue a Ph.D. in German at Northwestern University.
  • Liam Shanley ('21, double major in Biology and German Studies) joined the graduate program in genetics at Stony Brook University in order to pursue a Ph.D. in genetics.
  • Alex Russell ('22, double major in German Studies and Political Science) headed to Chapel Hill in fall, 2022 to join the Transatlantic Masters program at the University of North Carolina.
  • Gabriel Steinberg ('21) moved to Karlsruhe in Baden-Württemberg in fall, 2021 to pursue his M.Sc. in Computer Science at Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie (KIT).
  • Bradley Cisternino ('21, double major in History and PPL, minor in German Studies) joined the MBA program at Binghamton University in fall, 2021.
  • Karaleigh Saar ('21, double major in French and German Studies) headed to Boston University in fall, 2021 to begin a Ph.D. in French Studies.
  • Michael Krawec ('21, double major in German Studies and History) joined the School of Education at New Paltz to pursue a Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT), specializing in Adolescence Education: Social Studies.
  • Joe Vitale ('20, double major in History and German Studies) headed to Georgetown University in fall, 2021 to begin a Master's in German and European Studies.
  • Zhiqing (Sasha) Chen ('20, double major in Geology and German Studies) pursued a Master's Degree in Journalism at Georgetown University.
  • Matthew Dagele ('18, double major in Economics and German Studies) earned a Masters of Communication in Digital Media at the University of Washington.
  • Annemarie Maag-Tanchak ('19, Art History major, minor in German Studies) also headed to Temple University in fall, 2020 to begin a Master's program in Art History and Arts Administration.
  • Ivanka Juran ('20, double major in German Studies and biology) headed to Cornell University in fall, 2020 to pursue a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.
  • Hannah Sheridan ('18, double major in German Studies and linguistics) headed to Temple University in fall, 2020 to begin a Master's program in Speech, Language and Hearing Science in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders in the College of Public Health.
  • Congratulations Bethany, Ren, Sean, Liam, Alex, Gabriel, Bradley, Karaleigh, Michael, Joe, Sasha, Matt, Annemarie, Ivanka, and Hannah! Best of luck in your graduate studies!
Why study Russian?

John Tilden ('91) recently visited his Alma Mater, and described his experiences studying Russian, and what he was able to do with it, in this way: "I studied Russian as an undergraduate because I wanted to learn a language that I knew would have global impact and serve as a gateway to a culture I knew very little about... As a part of my degree in English/Literature & Rhetoric, I earned a minor in Russian Language and Literature, studying Russian fiction and then-contemporary journalism in both English and Russian. My skill in the spoken language after three years of language study was enough to pass a State Department oral interview and be offered an entry-level contracted job at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow."