German Excellence Initiative

Welcome to Rutgers German! Vibrant undergraduate and graduate programs, award-winning teaching, innovative courses, state of the art language instruction, cutting-edge research, a distinguished visiting professorship, an artist in residence program, two premier lecture series, a top-tier study abroad program, professional development opportunities for teachers of German, and outstanding job placement – Rutgers German is committed to creative, interdisciplinary approaches to the teaching and study of all facets of German-speaking culture from the Middle Ages through the twenty-first century.

For more information about the German Excellence Program, please visit our website.

Professional Development Registration

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Personal Information

School Information:

Registration Fee

Registration for this event is $40 per participant. Please send a check made payable to "Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey" to the address below:
German Department, attn: Department Administrator
Rutgers University
172 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Registration deadline: Please submit your registration by April 1, 2015.

Professional Development

Each semester, the German Department hosts Professional Development Conferences for teachers of German. The conferences, open to German instructors from the New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania areas, seek to enhance German curriculum at the middle and high school levels, so as to increase general interest in continued study of German language and literature.

By bringing different groups together, the conference furthers contacts and connections between teachers and curricula. To further promote this communication, teachers are invited to bring colleagues from different disciplines or departments. All attendees are provided with Professional Development certificates at the conclusion of the conference.

Join us on:

Friday, April 10, 2015
9:00am - 2:30pm

 for a blockbuster program featuring:

Andrea Pfeil, Director of Language Courses, Goethe-Institut New York, speaking on "Web-based and Mobile Apps for Teaching German"

Dr. Mohamed Esa, President of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), speaking on "Fairytales in the German Classroom: Creative, Innovative, and Multimedia Approach"

Light breakfast will be served at 9:00 am, and opening remarks will commence at 9:30am. After our morning session, we will break as lunch is served, and reconvene for our afternoon session. The conference is expected to end by 2:30 pm, when certificates for New Jersey Professional Development hours will be distributed to the participants.

This event will be held in Room 107
The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life
12 College Avenue

Parking is available without a permit in Lots 26, 30, and the College Avenue Parking deck. Click here for a map of these parking lots.

Registration for this event is $40 per participant. Please send a check made payable to "Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey" to the address below:

German Department, attn: Department Administrator
Rutgers University
172 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


Click here to register!

Drama and Poetry Declamation Contest

As part of the High School and Community Outreach program, the Department also coordinates an annual Drama and Poetry Declamation Contest for middle and high school students. This event is usually held in April or early May. Click here for more information!

Recent Professional Development Conferences

Spring 2014

Keith Cothrun, Executive Director of the AATG"Connecting German to the Common Core Standards"

Dr. Alexander E. Pichugin
"Digital Technology and Time Management in a Language Classroom"

Professor Azzan Yadin
"German-English Cognates and German Lexical Enrichment"

Spring 2012

Dr. Olga Liamkina
"Beyond the Textbook: Selecting and Using Authentic Materials to Teach Vocabulary, Grammar, and Elements of Culture"

Mareen Fuchs and Veronika Jeltsch
"Language Lab Rediscovered: Creative Ways to Utilize and Integrate the Lab in your Class"

Fall 2011

Dr. Helene Zimmer-Loew
"ProDeutsch: Maintaining and Enhancing German Enrollments!"

Dr. Christophe Fricker "Cartoons in the Classroom"

Fall 2010

Dr. Jamie Rankin
“Nip it in the bud? Dealing with learner errors in the foreign language classroom.”

Dr. Silke Wehner-Franco
“Germans as foreigners/ foreigners in Germany: The dynamics of German immigration in language and culture.”

Fall 2009

Professor Richard Alan Korb
"Berlin: 20 Years after the Wall"

Michael Stavarič
"Experiences with the End of Communism from a Czech-Austrian Perspective"

Spring 2009

Dr. Irene Motyl-Mudretzkyj
"Teaching Cultural Awareness through the Integration of the Arts"

Professor Christopher M. Clark
"Gegen/Kulturen: Teaching German Culture against the Grain"

Fall 2008

Dr. Andrea Dortmann
"Get Started and Keep Going"

Professor Fatima Naqvi
"Multicultural Europe on Film"

Spring 2008

Alfredo Franco, Curator
"Art for Language Teachers: How Art Can Improve Writing Skills and Language Acquisition"

Professor Michael G. Levine
"Kafka for Beginners"

Fall 2007

Professor Eckhard Kuhn-Osius
"Grammar Without Tears: Part II"

Professor Azzan Yaddin
"Intuitive German: English Cognates and German Vocabulary Enhancement"

Spring 2007

Professor Eckhard Kuhn-Osius
"Grammar Without Tears: Part I"

Fall 2006

Thomas Meinecke
"Popular Music in Germany"

Federica Franze and Juljana Gjata
"World Cup 2006 in Germany"

Spring 2006

Professor Ingeborg Walther
"Drama in the German Language Classroom"

Professor Lynne Tatlock
" 'Iconoclasm and Memory' in relation to monuments and memorials in Germany today"

Fall 2005

Dr. Daniela Strigl
"Von Thomas Bernhard bis Elfriede Jelinek: Streiflichter auf die oesterreichische Gegenwartsliteratur”

Kai Diers
“Die Parteien: woher sie kommen, wohin sie gehen.”



Drama and Poetry Declamation Competition

The 85th Annual Declamation Contest for local middle and high school students of German will be held on

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at 4pm in rooms A&B at Brower Dining Hall on our College Avenue Campus (directly across the street from the Student Center). Parking will be available without a permit in the College Avenue Deck or Lots 26 and 30.

This year, the Declamation Contest will take place in conjunction with the Department End of Year Graduation Ceremony.

Please make sure to register by April 28, 2015! 

Click here for the registration form.


Contest Guidelines:

  1. Students are encouraged to recite a poetry or prose selection OR to perform a dramatic scene or song.
  2. Selections should be appropriate for the student’s interest and ability.
  3. All selections must be delivered in German.
  4. For group performances, each participant must have a speaking role.
  5. No amplification is allowed.
  6. Each performance is allotted a maximum of ten minutes. Time will be kept.
  7. No student who has had more than three years of German-language schooling in a German-speaking country should compete.

Each teacher is allowed to register up to two performances in each competition category:

BEGINNER: students in their first year of German study
ADVANCED: students in their second year or higher of German study


Judges will score the performances in the following three categories: memorization and preparation; clarity and pronunciation; and feeling and presence.

For each category, the performance may receive a maximum of 10 points and a minimum of 1 point. The maximum total number of points a performance may receive from one judge is 30 points. The maximum total number of points a performance may receive overall is 90 points.



Click here to see photos from previous years' Declamation Contests!

Graduate Student Conference

Each year, the graduate students of the German Department organize a conference on a topic relevant to German Studies. Graduate students and scholars from across the U.S. and Germany attend these conferences and present their work.  

The 2015 Conference, Economic Hi$tories, will be held on April 24-25, 2015. The keynote address will be given by Prof. Fritz Breithaupt, Chair of the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. Prof. Henry Sussman, Charlotte M. Craig Distinguished Visiting Professor at Rutgers University and professor of German at Yale University, will deliver a guest lecture.

Groundbreaking work by provocative economists of recent decades, including Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff, and Robert Skidelsky, continues to stress the importance of historical analysis. Amidst the catastrophic effects engendered by the 2008 financial crisis on the global economy, we similarly wish to reconsider the value of conventional approaches to market behavior and economic forecasting.

Such a shift from quantitative to more qualitative modes of thinking about economics indeed represents both a call and a challenge to the humanities. Money has historically preoccupied artists and scholars in the humanities, from bourgeois dramas of the Enlightenment to the elusiveness of money in the romantic cultural imaginary, to the hustle and bustle of the Weimar film industry, to most recently a panel on "money" at the 2010 German Studies Association conference. Nevertheless, economic praxis and work being done in the humanities today remains divisive.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Pierre Bourdieu and the sociology of taste
  • debt and morality in the philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger
  • Homo Economics, or how the self became tied up with money around 1800
  • John Locke's theory of ownership and its consequences for modernity
  • Marxism today
  • exchange value and psychoanalysis
  • money and bourgeois dramas of the Enlightenment
  • naturalism and economics in the Romantic imaginary
  • technologies and economics of literary distribution from 1450 to present
  • the Weimar film industry and allegories of the German collective unconscious

Papers that discuss the following texts are especially encouraged:

  • Fritz Breithaupt's Der Ich-Effekt des Geldes: Zur Geschichte einer Legitimationsfigur (2008)
  • Daniel Fulda's Schau-Spiele des Geldes (2012)
  • Richard Gray's Money Matters: Economics and the German Cultural Imagination (2008)
  • Joseph Vogl's Kalkül und Leidenschaft (2004)

Please send your 250 word abstracts for a 20-30 minute presentation to both organizers Stefanie Populorum (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Carlos Gasperi (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) directly with the subject heading "2015 Rutgers Economic Histories." 

The 2014 Conference, Intermediality and Intermedial Narratives in the German-Speaking World, was held on Friday, April 18, 2014 and coordinated by Damianos Grammatikopoulos and Sascha Hosters. Professor Henry Sussman from Yale University was the keynote speaker.

The 2013 Conference, Representing Women in the Cinema of Josef von Sternberg, was held on Friday, May 3, 2013 and coordinated by Christina Mandt and Susan Doose. Professor Barbara Kosta from the University of Arizona, Tucson, spoke, and the event was supported by the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies.

The 2012 Conference, A Quiet Powerful Presence: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Role of Silence In and Beyond Literature, Art and Film, was held on March 30, 2012. It was coordinated by Sascha Hosters and Veronika Jeltsch.

The 2011 Conference, Die Stadt: The Writing of Urban Spaces in the German Speaking Context, was held on Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 10:00 am at German House. It was coordinated by Katrin Polak-Springer and Simona Sivkoff.

The 2009 Conference, Minority – Identity: Selfhood and Nationhood in the Hapsburg Empire and Beyond was held on Friday, February 27, 2009. It was coordinated by Devin O'Neal and Rebecca Steele.

The 2008 Forum, (Un)ruly Pleasures in German Culture, was held on Friday, March 28, 2008. It was coordinated by Christophe Kone, Mareen Fuchs and Shambhavi Prakash.

The 2007 Conference was entitled Violence: A Necessary Evil? Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Means and Ends of Violence in German Film, Literature, and Fine Arts. It was coordinated by Juljana Gjata and Katrin Polak-Springer.

The 2006 Conference, entitled Heimat: Utopia or Reality? Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Search for Heimat and National Identity was held on March 3, 2006. It was coordinated by Rebecca Steele and Julia Feldhaus.

The  2005 Conference was a bit different. Members of the German Studies community from Rutgers and other universities gathered for a multidisciplinary conference entitled Ostalgie: Commemorating the Past or Evading the Present? Cultural Representations of Post-Communist Europe and The Politics of Remembering the Good Old East. The conference opened with a presentation by Professor McFalls of the University of Montreal and also featured guest writer Ingo Schramm, who read one of his stories and spoke about his experiences in divided Germany. Graduate students and scholars from Rutgers and other universities in the U.S. and Germany took part in three panel discussions. The commentators for the panels were Rutgers Professors Fatima Naqvi, Belinda Davis, and Stephen Bronner. Federica Franze, a Rutgers graduate student in German, was the conference coordinator.

The 2004 Conference was entitled "Beyond Oedipus: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Father," and coordinated by graduate student Kai Diers.

Contact Us


German House
172 College Ave.
New Brunswick,
NJ 08901

P  732-932-7201
F  732-932-1111 
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