Category Archives: German News

September 26, 2015. 7pm The Music House. A Reading of Gerda Nischan’s “Letters to a Prisoner of War.”

An evening of reading, literature, history and music of World War II. RSVP to John O’Brien at at least 48 hours in advance if you wish to attend this event. This beautiful, old Victorian Music House is located in Downtown Greenville at 408 West 5th Street.

An evening of reading, literature, history and music of World War II
based on Gerda Nischan’s new book LETTERS to a Prisoner of War
Gerda Nischan, reader – Dr. Michael Gross, historian – Jessie Martin, soprano – John O’Brien, piano
The Letters in this book show what happened during World War II not only to the soldiers fighting on the front, but also to those waiting at home, the families. And, once the war was over, the struggle for survival continued, in the prisoner camps, and at home for the starving families, who waited for the prisoners to come home.
Gerda Nischan was born in Frankenthal in the Palatinate in 1940 and attended local schools until she left for Switzerland in 1958. Later she moved to England to attend an International Language School to further her education. In 1967 she left for the United States to work at the German Consulate in Philadelphia.
After her move to North Carolina she started writing seriously, joined the East Carolina University Poetry Forum; she published many of her poems in Poetry Journals, and started giving readings of her work in the US as well as in Germany. She has been a member of the Society for Contemporary Literature in German (SCALG) for many years and was invited to become a member of the P.E.N. Zentrum International in 2013.
Her book “Briefe an einen Kriegsgefangenen” was published in 2010 by August von Goethe Literaturverlag in Frankfurt. Her first novel in German, “Dieses neue Leben,” was published in 2013, also by the August von Goethe Literaturverlag in Frankfurt. In June 2014 she read her work at the 80-year conference of the P.E.N. International Conference in Los Angeles. She is presently working on her new novel.

August 27, 2015. German News

Dear German Studies enthusiasts,

A new semester means it’s time again for our weekly email regarding German events on campus. (Our weekly notice is usually sent out every Monday.) This week’s email includes important information about planned events, the Delta Phi Alpha study abroad scholarship, and a new internship opportunity in Germany related to our UNCEP exchange programs in Baden-Württemberg. If you have questions, I hope you’ll contact me. Danke schön! Prof. Jill Twark ( or 252.328.6536)

Please see the flyer for German Club and the list of upcoming “Filmabende” for this semester.

this week
Monday, August 31st: 3:00-4:00 pm in the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center
(the small brick house called “Bloxton House” located between Mendenhall and Greene Hall — please see building #50 on the ECU campus map. Anyone can join us, no matter what level of German you are in!

This semester we’ll screen the following films (the rooms are TBA, but we’ll tell you soon where they’ll be shown):

1) September 9th 2@ 6pm: Bella Martha (Mostly Martha) by Sandra Nettelbeck, 2001

2) September 30th @ 6pm: Auf der anderen Seite (The Edge of Heaven) by Fatih Akin, 2007

3) October 22nd @ 6pm: Lore by Cate Shortland, 2012

4) November 19th @ 6pm: Oh Boy (A Coffee in Berlin) by Jan Ole Gerster, 2012 with a presentation by Dr. Twark

later in the semester
–SAVE THESE DATES: 26 September and 16 October

1) Spaziergang und Picknick im Wald (Walk and Picknick in the Woods)
Come join the German Club for a walk and picknick on Saturday, September 26th from 2-5pm (location TBA)

2) ECU German Major Alumna Jill Dawkins will speak of her professional career as a lawyer and how studying German has helped her succeed (Friday, October 16)
(location and time TBA)

German 1004 counts toward the German minor, making it all the easier for you to pursue a field of interest (Deutsch!) and get institutional recognition for it.
This change is effective with the fall 2014 semester. Did you start your studies before that? No problem. As a student, you may “choose” a later catalog. If you started ECU in fall 2013, your graduation requirements are dictated by the 2013-2014 catalog, but NOT if you choose a later catalog. That means that any student may take advantage of this curricular change. We just need to make sure the change doesn’t affect your major requirements, which it shouldn’t, and which we can do easily. Want to find out? Please contact the German minors’ advisor, Prof. Susanne Jones, at or Prof. David Smith, German majors’ advisor at
» Here are the requirements

The German major has also been streamlined effective fall 2014. For example, the German history requirement now counts as part of the core. » See here

What does that mean? It means there’s no time like now to complement your course of study with a major in German. And just like I mentioned under “B” above, students that have been here a while can take advantage of this change by “choosing” a later catalog. Please contact me, Prof. David Smith, and let me show you how it’s possible (

Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honor Society, has implemented a new Spring / Summer Study Abroad Scholarship to the German Speaking World!
This one-time award is intended for Sophomore & Junior Delta Phi Alpha Members who are planning to study abroad on an accredited program in a German speaking country during the spring / summer semester of the coming year. The recipient must provide evidence that they will be participating in a study abroad program that will begin either in the spring or summer semester. Preference will be given to support students who are attending programs that promote advanced use of the German language.
*Deadline November 15th*
Full details regarding application for this scholarship are available online.

Please note that there are two additional student scholarships for Delta Phi Alpha members. The deadline for those scholarships is in March.

Want more info?: Please contact Prof. Jones at


Contact Dr. Jill Twark, the German Study Abroad Adviser, at for more information!

Students honored by Phi Beta Kappa Chapter of Eastern NC

PhiBetaKappaThe Eastern Carolina Alumni Association of Phi Beta Kappa honored five students from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the spring recognition ceremony hosted by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. Each student had a grade point average in excess of 3.93:

Erin Cottrell (Psychology and Hispanic Studies)
Sara Kurtz (Fine Arts and Hispanic Studies)
MacKenzie Alyn Mull (Hispanic Studies and Elementary Education)
Jessica Rassau (Classical Civilization)
Sara Sipe (Chemistry and German)



(left Sara Sipe, middle Jessie Rassau, right MacKenzie Mull)

» HCAS News Story

New Books by FLL Faculty

9781137524546.inddBenjamin Fraser, Digital Cities. The Interdisciplinary Future of the Urban Geo-Humanities (Palgrave McMillan 2015). Digital Cities stakes claim to an interdisciplinary terrain where the humanities and social sciences combine with digital methods. Part I: Layers of the Interdisciplinary City converts a century of urban thinking into concise insights destined for digital application. Part II: Disciplinary/Digital Debates and the Urban Phenomenon delves into the bumpy history and uneven present landscape of interdisciplinary collaboration as they relate to digital urban projects. Part III: Toward a Theory of Digital Cities harnesses Henri Lefebvre’s capacious urban thinking and articulation of urban ‘levels’ to showcase where ‘deep maps’ and ‘thick mapping’ might take us. Benjamin Fraser argues that while disciplinary frictions still condition the potential of digital projects, the nature of the urban phenomenon pushes us toward an interdisciplinary and digital future where the primacy of cities is assured.


Dr. Fraser is also author of Toward an Urban Cultural Studies (Palgrave McMillan series in Hispanic Urban Studies 2015). Blending Urban Studies and Cultural Studies, this book grounds readers in the extensive theory of the prolific French philosopher Henri Lefebvre. Appropriate for both beginners and specialists, the first half of this book builds from a general introduction to Lefebvre and his methodological contribution toward a focus on the concept of urban alienation and his underexplored theory of the work of art. The second half merges Lefebvrian urban thought with literary studies, film studies and popular music studies, successively, before turning to the videogame and the digital humanities. Benjamin Fraser’s approach consistently emphasizes the interrelationship between cities, culture, and capital.

Jill Twark, ed., Envisioning Social Justice in Contemporary German Culture (Camden House Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture 2015). Social-injustice dilemmas such as poverty, unemployment, and racism are subjects of continuing debate in European societies and in Germany in particular, as solutions are difficult and progress often comes slowly. Such discussions are not limited to opposing newspaper editorials, position papers, or legislative forums, however; creative works expound on these topics as well, but their contributions to the debate are often marginalized.
This collection of new essays explores how contemporary German-language literary, dramatic, filmic, musical, and street artists are grappling with social-justice issues that affect Germany and the wider world, surveying more than a decade’s worth of works of German literature and art in light of the recent paradigm shift in cultural criticism called the “ethical turn.” Central themes include the legacy of the politically engaged 1968 generation, eastern Germany and the process of unification, widening economic disparity as a result of political policies and recession, and problems of integration and inclusivity for ethnic and religious minorities as migration to Germany has increased.

Contributors: Monika Albrecht, Olaf Berwald, Robert Blankenship, Laurel Cohen-Pfister, Jack Davis, Bastian Heinsohn, Axel Hildebrandt, Deborah Janson, Karolin Machtans, Ralf Remshardt, Alexandra Simon-López, Patricia Anne Simpson, Maria Stehle, Jill E. Twark.

April 14, 2015. German Film: Lola Rennt. Bate 1009, 5-8pm.

Hosted by German 2 students, Emily and Felicia!

Sunday, 19 April, beginning at 5:30 p.m. and then again on Wednesday, 22 April at the same time.
German club members will be meeting at Anthony Razov’s place to make
crafts for sale. All proceeds will go to support German Club
(did I mention we’re planning events already for next year–including OKTOBERFEST)?
Come lend a hand.
Email Anthony for address/directions:

Next Week

–FUNDRAISING (Crafts and German books–for learners of all levels)
Volunteers need to help raise money for German Club by staffing a table featuring
crafts and German-language books for sale.
Thursday, 23 April, 9am-3pm at Wright Plaza
Contact Anthony to volunteer:

Interested in touring a local German-owned and operated company,
in this case PAS GmbH (Providing Appliance Solutions Corporation)?:
Tuesday, April 28th, from 10:15 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The maximum number of participants is six students.
Contact Dr. Jill Twark at if you are interested in going!