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

If you encounter any problems while registering, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note: if you do not receive an email confirmation upon clicking "submit" below, we may not have received your application. If this happens, 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 February 12, 2014.

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.



After a brief hiatus, this series will be back in full force in Winter 2014. Join us on 

Friday, February 21, 2014
9am - 2:30pm

(rescheduled from November 8, 2013)

for a blockbuster program featuring:

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

Alexander E. Pichugin, Director of German Language and Cultural Studies, Rutgers University, speaking on "Digital Technology and Time Management in a Language Classroom"

Azzan Yadin, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Rutgers University, speaking on "German-English Cognates and German Lexical Enrichment"

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!



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. 


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 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.”



Delta Phi Alpha - Rutgers University
Drama and Poetry Declamation Competition

The 84th Annual Declamation Contest for local middle and high school students of German will be held on

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 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 two other important end of year department events: The Delta Phi Alpha National German Honor Society Initation Ceremony, and the Department End of Year Awards Ceremony.

Please make sure to register by April 29, 2014! 

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 2014 Conference, Intermediality and Intermedial Narratives in the German-Speaking World, will be held on Friday, April 18, 2014. The keynote address will be given by Prof. Henry Sussman, Yale University.

In the last decades “intermediality” has become a commonly used term in the humanities, generating various theoretical discussions and publications. Intermediality can be described as a process in which different media are fused or related to one another. It is a way of understanding the relations between two or more media and, in some cases, the transgression of their boundaries. As a result of the increased use and the accelerated multiplication of media, a great number of academic fields have drawn attention to the term, highlighting the “in-between” (“inter-“) between two or more media. The theory of intermediality comprises the study of literary adaptations, media borders, and the interrelationships between various art forms and media.

The planned conference seeks to discern the ways in which intermediality is applicable and fruitful in looking at newer works of art from the German-speaking world. Which German literary sources have been adapted to another medium such as graphic novels, movies, or even computer games (e.g. the work of Franz Kafka, which has been adapted to multiple media such as comic books, anime, movies etc.)? What are the main differences between those media and what influence do they have on the content of the main (literary) source? Is intermediality less useful, perhaps, than the more restricted term of “transmedia storytelling,” which seeks to categorize complex forms of storytelling by using diverse media to cover aspects of the same narrative? What forms of transmedia storytelling are currently present in Germany (such as the TV series Tatort, for instance)?

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • the heuristic value of the term “intermediality”
  • various forms of movement between media
  • intermedial relations between new and old media
  • intermedial differences in regard to the recipient
  • the increasing hybridity of media
  • interdependences and influences on communication
  • adaptations and remakes i.e. the transfer of a source from one semiotic system into another
  • historical and cultural differences in remakes (e.g. Nosferatu by F.W. Murnau and Werner Herzog respectively)
  • the “literary” adaptation of film narratives (e.g. Peter Handke’s use of John Ford)
  • the use of fine art as a “predecessor” text for film narratives (e.g. Wim Wender’s and Gustav Deutsch’s interest in Edward Hopper)

Please send your 250-300 word abstracts, a short bio blurb, and contact information including your institutional affiliation to Sascha Hosters and Damianos Grammatikopoulos at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by January 30th, 2014. Include your abstract as an attachment and in the body of the e-mail. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions at the e-mail address mentioned above.


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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