Craig Young Scholars Series

The Rutgers German Department is excited to introduce a lecture series devoted to young scholars of German!

Generously funded by Dr. Charlotte M. Craig and her husband, Bob Craig, the Craig Young Scholar Series aims to provide advanced graduate students, lecturers, and junior professors of German with the opportunity and venue to present their research to the public. Each semester, the German Department will invite young scholars of German from around the country to present a public lecture at the university.

Spring 2016

For the inaugural year of this series, the department is pleased to welcome:

Barbara Natalie Nagel, Princeton University

"Coquettish Sovereigns - Flirtation and Gender Inversion in German Realism (Storm, Fontane)"
January 27, 2016, 12pm-1:30pm

"In saying no and saying yes, in surrendering and refusing to surrender themselves, women are the masters," Georg Simmel marvels in his seminal essay On Flirtation (1909). According to Simmel, this female empowerment is the result of a queer role-switch occurring in heterosexually-structured scenes of flirtation: the woman "takes on his decision, even if only in a symbolic and approximate fashion." The talk on Coquettish Sovereigns traces the literaray-historical emergences of this complex constellation in realist German language writers and shows that to some men these role-switches can be quite unsettling if also erotically intriguing.

Barbara NagelBarbara Natalie Nagel is an Assistant Professor at Princeton's German Department. At the moment, Barbara is working on a monograph Ambiguous Aggression. Flirtation, Passive Aggression, and Domestic Violence in Realism and beyond. She has published articles, book chapters, and handbook entries on authors including Tacitus, Luther, Jean Paul, Büchner, Melville, Fontane, Jensen, Kafka, Stifter, Hauptmann, and Robert Walser. Her book publications include Der Skandal des Literalen. Barocke Literalisienungen in Gryphius, Kleist, Büchner (2012) and Flirtations: Rhetoric and Aesthetics This Side of Seducation (2015).

Gabriel Trop, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Attraction, Individuation, Indifference in Goethe and Schelling
March 23, 2016, 12pm-1:30pm

Schelling's Naturphilosophie construes nature as a system characterized by localized physical-semiotic operations: movement, resistance, attraction, repulsion, expansion, contraction, binding, dissolution, permeability, and passage through zones of indifferentiation that make possible state changes or changes of identity. This talk proposes that some key works by Goethe—above all, Die Wahlverwandtschaften and Faust II—aestheticize and existentialize the representational strategies of Schelling's Naturphilosophie. Identities become consolidated—and in certain cases, suspended or transformed—through a series of naturphilosophical operations that transcend subjectivity and that nevertheless become constitutive for a subject's sense of self.

Gabriel TropGabriel Trop is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In addition to articles about Hölderlin, Goethe, Wieland, and other authors, he has written a book entitled Poetry as a Way of Life: Aesthetics and Askesis in the German Eighteenth Century, published by Northwestern University Press (2015).


Annie Pfeifer, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Talking Trash: A Genealogy of the Ragpicker
April 6, 2016, 12-1:30pm

In her 2001 film, The Gleaners and I, Agnès Varda redefines "gleaner"—a person who collects leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested—to include anyone who thrives off something others leave behind. Varda herself proclaims to be a gleaner, inserting herself into a rich artistic tradition of ragpicking or junk collecting which already begins with Walter Benjamin and Charles Baudelaire. Analyzing the ragpicker as an important critical and creative force, the talk makes a case for gleaning as a practice of redeploying waste with transformative aesthetic and political implications.

1-Annie PfeiferAnnie Pfeifer is a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Germanic, Russian, and East European Languages and Literatures at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Her research focuses on twentieth-century German and comparative literature, with a special interest in the areas of literary theory, aesthetics, visual and materials culture, new materialism, and museum studies. She is currently completing her book manuscript on modernist practices of collecting. In 2014-2015, she was a lecturer in German Studies and Comparative Ltierature at the University of Bern, Switzerland. She has forthcoming articles in The New German Critique, as well as in the edited volume Que(e)rying Consent.

Kristina Mendicino, Brown University

Undoing—Creating—Anew: One Else Lasker-Schüler's Der Siebente Tag and the Neue Gemeinschaft
April 20, 2016, 12pm-1:30pm

Before the avant-garde movements with which Else Lasker-Schüler would be associated during and after her collaboration with Herwarth Walden on Der Sturm, she participated in the Neue Gemeinschaft, a collective that should have been, as its members repeatedly proclaimed, at the vanguard of a new life, and at a nigh-immeasurable distance from the political and physical spaces of contemporary Wilhelmine Germany. Unlike her contemporaries Gustav Landauer and Martin Buber, Else Lasker-Schüler never presented a programmatic statement for the Neue Gemeinschaft, nor did she share its participants' emphatic insistence upon the new. But in Der siebente Tag, the cycle of poems she published one year after the collective had dissolved, she poetically engages some of the main preoccupations of the group, setting the collection under the auspices of the second book of Genesis, which beings on the seventh day, when Creation would have been complete and set to rest—only to be told yet again, differently, and to become profoundly troubled. Through close readings, the talk will trace how Lasker-Schüler's poems expose alternative ways of thinking through the aporias of the former avant-garde movement and impart some of the most radical articulations of the problems of creation and novelty at the turn of the century.

1-Kristina MendicinoKristina Mendicino is an Assistant Professor for German Studies at Brown University and former Assistant Editor for The German Quarterly. She has published articles on Brecht, Hegel, Celan, Nietzsche, and Hölderlin. Most recently, she completed a monograph on the rhetoric of prophecy in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German writing entitled Prophecies of Language: The Confusion of Tongues in German Romanticism, which will appear with Fordham University Press.




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.

Drama and Poetry Declamation Competition

The 86th Annual Declamation Contest for local middle and high school students of German will be held on

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 4:30pm in Hageman Hall at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary (93 College Avenue) on the College Avenue Campus. Parking will be available without a permit in Lots 26, 30, and the College Avenue deck.

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

Please make sure to register by April 22, 2016! 

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!

Professional Development Registration

If you encounter any problems while registering, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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 22, 2016
9:00am - 2:30pm

 for a blockbuster program featuring:

Eckhard Kuhn-Osius, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Hunter College, CUNY, presenting on "Language Teaching as a Higher Order Thinking Activity"

Olga Liamkina, Ph.D., Educational Liaison, Goethe-Institut New York, presenting on "Learning German in a 'Community': Goethe-Institut projects, apps, and materials to reach students in the classroom and beyond"

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

If your institutions is paying for your registration and requires an invoice, please contact Anna Sandberg (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Click here to register!

Registration is due by Tuesday, April 12th.

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 2015

Andrea Pfeil, Director of Language Courses, Goethe-Institut New York
"Web0based and Mobile Apps for Teaching German"

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

Spring 2014

Keith Cothrun, Executive Director of the American Association of Teachers of German (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.”



Contact Us


German House
172 College Ave.
New Brunswick,
NJ 08901

P  732-932-7201
F  732-932-1111 
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