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German Studies News

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, will be joining the Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Colorado Boulder as a Visiting Assistant Professor. 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 will be 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."

2020 Awards in German Studies

Congratulations to Vera Wahlquist and Spenser Charles for receiving this year's Ursula H. Africa Endowment Awards for German Studies! Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Vera und Spenser!

Remembering Professor Gisela Brinker-Gabler

Gisela Brinker-Gabler, retired professor of comparative literature, died Thursday, June 6, 2019, in New York City. Throughout her career in academia, she touched the lives of hundreds of colleagues, students and friends, leaving a lasting impression that will not be forgotten. More info.

Congratulations to graduating German Studies majors and minors!

Congratulations to all graduating students in German Studies! To German majors and double majors Charlotte Crinnin, Courtney Fitzgerald, and William Ungewitter, we thank you for your excellent work and wish you all the best for the future! Glückwunsch!

2019 Awards in German Studies

Congratulations to this year's winners of endowed awards in German Studies:

  • Michael Krawec—Paul R. Ewald Scholarship in German Studies
  • David Caspi and Liam Shanley—Ursula H. Africa Endowment Award
  • Maximilian Gerozissis and Ivanka Juran—Keith Nintzel Award for Excellence and Commitment in German Studies
Congratulations to German Studies Students in ΦΒΚ!

Congratulations to Charlotte Crinnin and Bethany Maloney, who became members of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society at the induction ceremony on May 12, 2019!

Congratulations to Anna Pfeifer!

Congratulations to DAAD Language Assistant Anna Pfeifer, who is leaving Binghamton to pursue a Ph.D. in the Department of German Studies at Cornell University beginning in fall, 2019. Congratulations Anna, and good luck!

Congratulations to Bethany Maloney!

Bethany Maloney has been selected to participate in AATG's "Mit Deutsch in die Zukunft!", an intensive, 3-week pedagogical training seminar that will take place in Leipzig this summer. Bethany has also been chosen as the recipient of the 2019 Claudia L. Bernardo Award for Excellence in the Humanities, an award given annually by Harpur College. Congratulations, Bethany!

Congratulations to Alexandra Feingold!

Alexandra Feingold has been selected for the Fulbright Austria US Teaching Assistantship program. In the fall she'll be heading to Linz, Austria, to teach English. Congratulations, Alexandra!

BUGSC X (4/5–4/6)

The tenth annual Binghamton University German Studies Colloquium convened scholars from North America and Europe in early April. This year's topic was "Violence," and our keynote speaker and workshop leader was Prof. Jochen Hellbeck (Rutgers). For information see here.

Frank Mischke receives SUNY Chancellor's Award

On October 9, 2018, Frank Mischke, his family, and members of the German Studies program attended the annual Excellence Awards Dinner in the Mandela Room, where Frank was officially awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching. As the laudatory text read at the award ceremony puts it, "Frank K. Mischke is an extraordinarily talented and inspired teacher who is an outstanding pedagogue, dedicated mentor and generous colleague," who is "an invaluable and irreplaceable part of the German language program." Mischke demonstrates "a finely-honed gut feeling for what works in the classroom and a deep knowledge of current pedagogy in foreign language acquisition. He knows his students as individuals and they respond with broad participation in an atmosphere that is both relaxed and rigorous at the same time." Congratulations, Frank!

Russian Studies News

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

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.

Congratulations to Lesia Hrycyna!

Lesia Hrycyna ('19) has accepted a position teaching English at Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv for the 2019-2020 academic year. Congratulations Lesia!

Jack Strosser at a conference in Budapest

Jack Strosser ('19) is presenting a paper on how the Putinist model and social media influence far-right populism in post-Communist Hungary and Poland at the "1989 - We Could Be Heroes - 30 years after" undergraduate conference at Central European University in Budapest, August 21–23.

Alexander Resnick and Fulbright Prism

Alexander Resnick ('19) recently contributed to the launch of Fulbright Prism, a resource for LGBTQ+ students pursuing a fellowship or academic program abroad. Nice work, Alexander!

Ran Zhuo studying in Moscow

Russian major Ran Zhuo ('20) will spend fall '19 studying at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Congratulations, Ran, and enjoy!

Linda Zheng's summer research

Linda Zheng spent the summer of 2019 pursuing her research project on commemorating the Armenian Genocide both here in Binghamton and in Yerevan. Her work is supported by several programs, including a fellowship with the Summer Scholars and Artists Program.

Congratulations to graduating Russian Studies majors!

Congratulations to all graduating students in Russian Studies! To Russian majors and double majors Maria Dubina, Lesia Hrycyna, Jacob Sandman and Jack Strosser, we thank you for your excellent work and wish you all the best for the future!

2019 Olympiada

On April 6, Binghamton hosted the annual New York Undergraduate Spoken Russian Competition, in which students  from five colleges – BU, Hobart/William Smith, Union, Vassar, U.S. Military Academy – competed in poetry recitation, speaking, reading and grammar. Four first-year students represented Binghamton: Julia DeMola, Katie McCarthy, Alexandra Reksten and Christina Thompson. All placed well and Alexandra Reksten placed first at first-year level. Congratulations to all!

Congratulations to Ran Zhuo!

Ran Zhuo won Bronze Medal at the Annual ACTR National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest. In this year's contest, there were 1366 essays submitted from 61 universities, colleges, and institutions across the country. Congratulations!

Explore the new Russian Studies major!

The new Russian major, inaugurated last year as the only one of its kind in the SUNY system, has quickly grown into a vibrant course of study for students at Binghamton. The program offers a range of superb interdisciplinary experiences for students who want to major in Russian and for all those curious about Russian culture and Russia's place in the world. Courses for spring 2019 include an examination of genocide and mass atrocity in the Soviet context (RUSS 480S with Professor DeHaan), to a look at the image of Russians in Soviet cinema (RUSS 281A with Professor Zalesski) and an introduction to the rich traditions of literature in Russia (RUSS 210 with Professor Tittler). In addition to these examples, other courses in spring 2019 allow students to delve into the complexities of Russian politics in an international context, to learn about Slavic folklore and to gain language and cultural competencies in Russian in a program that is unparalleled in New York State.

Alumni News 

Russian students pursuing graduate studies
  • Masha Morozov, a 2020 double major in Integrative 
    Neuroscience and Russian Studies, will begin 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) will begin a two-year MA in International Relations at Central European University in Vienna this coming fall (September 2021).
  • Congratulations, Masha and Jack! Best of luck in your graduate studies!
German students pursuing graduate studies
  • Bradley Cisternino ('21, double major in History and PPL, minor in German Studies) will join the MBA program at Binghamton University in fall, 2021.
  • Karaleigh Saar ('21, double major in French and German Studies) is heading to Boston University in fall, 2021 to begin a Ph.D. in French Studies.
  • Michael Krawec ('21, double major in German Studies and History) is joining 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) will be heading 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 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."