German Studies NewsRussian Studies News
German Studies News
2023 German Studies graduates
Congratulations to this year's graduating class of German Studies majors and minors, Spenser Charles, Leo Cohen, Henri Fessel, Kieran Gaffney, and Valerie Staab! Herzlichen Glückwunsch und Alles Beste für die Zukunft!
2023 German Studies awards
Congratulations to Arielle Moreau and Tobias Warnes for receiving this year's Ursula H. Africa Endowment Awards for German Studies, and to Nicco Elie-Pierre for receiving this year's Keith Nintzel Award for Excellence and Commitment in German Studies. Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Arielle, Tobias und Nicco!
New research by Prof. Gelderloos
Carl Gelderloos' article on Paul Scheerbart's 1913 "Asteroid Novel" has been 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.
Tim Schmidt participating in Musil conference
On Thursday, 13. April, Ph.D. student Tim Schmidt participated remotely in an international conference on the relationship between literature and education in the work of Austrian modernist writer, Robert Musil. The conference was titled "'Das Unglück von Gymnasiasten'? Robert Musil in Didaktik und Pädagogik," and Tim presented a paper called "Distanz schafft Nähe – Über Metaphern und Gefühlswelten in Robert Musils Die Vollendung der Liebe."
Prof. Gelderloos presents at IASH
On Wednesday, March 29, Carl Gelderloos presented new research at Binghamton's Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH): "Modernization, Modernism, and Science Fiction in Bernhard Kellermann's The Tunnel (1913)."
Celebrating Prof. Rosmarie Morewedge
On Wednesday, December 7, members of the Binghamton University community turned out in droves for Rosmarie Morewedge's retirement reception. President, Provost, Dean, and dozens of colleagues gathered in the IASH room to celebrate Prof. Morewedge's 50+ year career at Binghamton University, remembering fondly her unflappable persistence, her tireless advocacy on behalf of German, language programs, study abroad, student experience, and medieval and early modern studies, and her generosity, kindness, and good humor. Many, many congratulations on a long and successful career, Rosmarie—we hope you enjoy your well-deserved retirement!
Allison Zuckermann receives Rosefsky Scholarship to study abroad
Allison Zuckermann has been awarded a Dr. Israel J. Rosefsky Language and Culture Scholarship to study abroad in Leipzig, Germany in the spring semester, 2023. Congratulations, Allison!
Jan Hohenstein appointed Lecturer at Texas Tech University
Jan Hohenstein will join the Department of Classical & Modern Languages and Literatures at Texas Tech as a Lecturer in fall, 2022. Hearty congratulations, Jan!
2022 Awards in German Studies
Congratulations to Allie Radin and Allison Zuckermann for receiving this year's Paul Ewald Scholarships; to Kieran Gaffney and Ren Longo for receiving this year's Keith Nintzel Awards for Academic Excellence; and to Ayden Jacov and Sophia Mederer for receiving this year's Ursula H. Africa Endowment Awards for German Studies! Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Allie, Allison, Kieran, Ren, Ayden, and Sophia!
Celebrating Frank Mischke
After fourteen years teaching at Binghamton, Frank Mischke will be retiring, and we will miss him dearly. Accordingly, please join us between 4 and 5:30 on Wednesday, April 27 to help us celebrate Herr Mischke and his contributions to Binghamton’s German Studies program. This event is open to students and faculty in the Department of German and Russian Studies, and to any current or former students of Herr Mischke. It will be held in the IASH conference room (LN 1106), which is just to the left of the elevators on the first floor of Library Tower; refreshments will be served. Feel free to stop by anytime between 4–5:30 and stay for as long as you like, as short as you need.
"Designing Democracy" with Gernot Waldner
To mark the publication of a recent volume on Otto Neurath that includes contributions by Binghamton faculty, the editor of the volume, Gernot Waldner (University of Vienna) gave a talk on Wednesday, 3/30 on Otto Neurath titled "Designing Democracy: Possible Lessons from Otto Neurath's Museum of the Future (1925–1934)." Waldner's talk was followed by short talks and a roundtable with Binghamton faculty Gökhan Ersan and Pamela Smart, who contributed to the volume, based on their own design and pedagogy work with the "Materials Matter" initiative.
Jan Hohenstein at the Austrian Studies Association
Jan Hohenstein presented his paper, "Adalbert Stifter and the Voting Machine," at the 2022 Austrian Studies Association annual meeting in New Orleans, April 12–15.
Gülden Olgun at NEMLA, Kentucky Foreign Language Conference
In March, 2022, Gülden Olgun participated in the annual convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Baltimore with a paper on "The Brave Women of Kurdish Cinema." In April, she will be at the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference with a presentation on "German as the Emotional Language of Kurdish Immigrants in Haus ohne Dach."
Tim Schmidt at NEMLA, Kentucky Foreign Language Conference
In March, 2022, Tim Schmidt participated in the annual convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Baltimore with his paper, "Confounding Nature and Society – Adorno: On Epic Naiveté." In April, he will be at the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference with a presentation titled "Love and Silence in Robert Musil's “Die Vervollständigung der Liebe."
Carl Gelderloos presenting new research at Cornell's Institute for German Cultural Studies
On April 15, 2022, Carl Gelderloos presented his paper, "Kracauer, Bachofen, and the 'ungesichtete Naturfundament,'" as part of the IGCS's colloquium series at Cornell University.
Nadia Schuman appointed Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder
Nadia Schuman, who defended her dissertation in the Department of Comparative Literature in May, 2021, joined the Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Colorado Boulder as a Visiting Assistant Professor in fall, 2021. Many heartfelt congratulations, Nadia!
Jan Hohenstein awarded Dissertation Year Fellowship
Jan Hohenstein has been awarded a Dissertation Year Fellowship by the Department of Comparative Literature; this competitive fellowship will support his work on his dissertation, “‘Man Has Limits’: Adalbert Stifter and the End of Enlightenment.” Congratulations, Jan!
2021 Awards in German Studies
Congratulations to Spenser Charles for receiving this year's Paul Ewald Scholarship; to Alex Russell for receiving this year's Keith Nintzel Award for Academic Excellence; and to Alex Russell and Dylan Henson for receiving this year's Ursula H. Africa Endowment Awards for German Studies! Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Spenser, Alex, and Dylan!
Alex Russell as DAAD Young Ambassador at Binghamton
In 2021–22, Alex Russell is participating in the DAAD Young Ambassador program at Binghamton University—as part of this program, Alex will be able to share his experiences studying in Leipzig in order to promote studying and researching in Germany among students at Binghamton. Congratulations on joining this program, Alex!
New faculty publication: Colloquia Germanica special issue, "News from Nature"
Profs. Zils and Gelderloos are the guest editors of a recent issue of the peer-reviewed journal Colloquia Germanica (52.3–4). This issue, based on the theme, “News from Nature,” features eight articles by scholars in the US and Europe who participated in the ninth annual Binghamton University German Studies Colloquium, held on campus in 2018. The articles explore topics ranging from the Enlightenment to the present day, and all concern ways in which nature impinges upon, or is pressed into the service of, human realms ranging from aesthetics to city planning.
Tim Schmidt at Johns Hopkins, ACLA
At a conference at Johns Hopkins University (Feb. 12–13) on "Dust and Distraction // Staub und Zerstreuung," Tim Schmidt presented his paper, "Sich ein Bild machen von – Dustraction and the role of photography in W.G. Sebalds Emigrants and Austerlitz." In April, Tim participated in the annual conference of the American Comparative Literature Association with his paper, "Nothing to remember -The representation of memory in W.G. Sebald's Emigrants," as part of the seminar called "Snapshots of the Past - Memory and Photography in Literature."
Jan Hohenstein at the 2021 MLA Convention
Jan Hohenstein presented his research at the upcoming annual convention of the Modern Language Association (Jan. 7–10); his paper, "'The Order of Reason': Adalbert Stifter’s Concept of Education" was part of a panel on "Conservative Counter-Revolutions."
Biological Modernism awarded Honorable Mention at GSA
Carl Gelderloos' book, Biological Modernism: The New Human in Weimar Culture, received an Honorable Mention for the DAAD/GSA book prize at the 2020 conference of the German Studies Association. The prize committee writes that Biological Modernism (Northwestern University Press, 2019) "is an erudite, meticulously researched scholarly contribution that sheds new light on the history of ideas surrounding biology, organic life, and nature as formative forces in modernist projects, right and left. The study contributes truly innovative perspectives to our understanding of Weimar literature and culture by way of masterful close readings of individual texts that simultaneously weave an impressive web of connections: larger conceptual questions about aesthetics, media, and genre are sutured to the history of science, disciplinarity, and the life sciences. Gelderloos maps this fraught historical terrain in a sophisticated way that complexifies – but does not muddle – straightforward political distinctions, as it facilitates a rethinking, in particular, of the traditional association of biological thought with fascist antimodernity in German studies. The book focuses on the Weimar culture of the early twentieth century, tracing how biology as an emergent discipline opened up new ways of conceptualizing form, development, and history. Gelderloos draws on and interweaves bodies of knowledge from a wide range of fields such as biology, philosophy, photography, and literature to explore constructions of the ‘new human’ in concert with the significance of aesthetics and technology and thereby offers a deeper cultural understanding of a tumultuous period in German history."
Russian Studies News
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
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!"
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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, 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.
- Sean Gordon ('20, double major in German Studies and Linguistics) will be heading 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) is pursuing a Master's Degree in Journalism at Georgetown University.
- Matthew Dagele ('18, double major in Economics and German Studies) is working on his 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.
- 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 Sean, Liam, Alex, Gabriel, Bradley, Karaleigh, Michael, Joe, Sasha, Matt, Annemarie, 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."