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Events and Activities

Newsletter of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

October 2011

Upcoming Events

AIEP 40th-Anniversary Conference

The Austria Illinois Exchange Program is hosting a conference, “Change through Exchange: Promoting Global Leadership via Academic Exchange,” on Thursday and Friday, 27- 28 October 2011.

Thursday’s sessions include “Academic Exchange: A Transatlantic Perspective” with Austrian Consul General Thomas Schnöll in the afternoon and an evening Gesprächskonzert with Professor William Kinderman. Friday’s sessions include “Global Issues and the Role of Humanities,” with Austrian author Josef Haslinger, “The Business of Environmental Sustainability and Academic Exchange” with Professors Don Fullerton (Illinois) and Sigrid Stagl (WU Wien), and “Academic Exchange and Global Leadership: Visions for the Future” with the Executive Director of the Austrian-American Educational Commission (Fulbright), Dr. Lonnie Johnson, and administrators from AIEP partner institutions.

We encourage you to incorporate these events into your courses and to share information about the conference with your students.

Please consult this site for more details and the registration link:

If you have specific questions, please contact one of the following:

Robert Jenkins:
Bruce Murray:
Mara Wade:

Nordic Film Nights

“Tillsammans” (“Together”)
Wed. Oct. 19th – 7:00 PM
Lukas Moodyson (2000) - Comedy - Swedish language
It’s 1975 and Göran lives in a commune called “Together,” where experimental collective living is pushed to the limits.

Wed. Nov. 9th – 7:00 PM
Petter Naess (2001) - Comedy - Norwegian language
Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet in his forties is sent to a state institution, where he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and female-obsessed virgin. When the men are released and provided with a state-funded apartment and stipend, the simple act of going out for groceries is a challenge. As their courage grows, the two strike up the most peculiar friendships in the most unlikely places.

Other Upcoming Events

Study Abroad Fair – Wed. Oct. 12th
Illini Union Rooms A, B, C, and South Lounge
Come learn about opportunities to study in Scandinavia. Representative from the department will be available between 2-4 PM.

Julfest – Dec. 4th, 5:00 PM
Annual department Julfest and Lucia Procession. This involves a traditional Luciatåg (candlelight concert performed by the Swedish classes and Scandinavian Club members) followed by a potluck-style Christmas smörgåsbord. At McKinley Center in Westminster Hall. More details to follow.


Every Thursday from 2:00 – 3:00 PM Swedish Conversation Group and Coffee Hour.
This takes place Sept. 1 – Dec. 1 at Espresso Royale on the corner of Goodwin & Oregon. Both students of Swedish and native speakers are welcome! Välkomna!

Sweden – U of I Partnership. We are proud to announce a campus-wide partnership between the U of I and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm University, and the Karolinska Institute, all in Stockholm, Sweden. Leading this partnership are Professors Harry Dankowicz (Mechanical Sciences and Engineering), and Anna Stenport (Department of Germanic Lang. & Lit., and our Scandinavian Studies). For further information on INSPIRE (The Illinois-Sweden Program for Educational and Research Exchange), please visit

Summer 2012 class planned to be offered in Stockholm!! – “Environment and Society in a Changing Arctic.” Students from Illinois and KTH will spend 5 weeks together in Stockholm taking an interdisciplinary course on the Arctic, followed by a week-long excursion to Svalbard, north of the Arctic Circle. Stay tuned for details as this course develops!!


Anna Westerståhl Stenport has been promoted to Associate Professor at the University of Illinois. During the academic year 2011-12, she is a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Helen Corley Petit Scholar and a Visiting Associate Professor and Anna Lindh Fellow in the Europe Center, Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies, at Stanford University. During summer 2011, Anna was a Visiting Scholar at Gothenburg University's SOM-institute. Anna recently gave two invited talks, one at Copenhagen University and one at Gothenburg University, and both on the topic of Scandinavian and Comparative Literature. She recently published the article "Scandinavian Comparative Modernisms" in English Language Notes, 2011:3.

Professor Mara R. Wade has been asked to serve on the Consultation Committee of the History of Ideas Research Center, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.

Professor Mara R. Wade participated in a grant writing workshop for early modern "Cosmopolitanisms" held at the Royal Library, Stockholm, September 29-October 1, 2011.

Professor Mara R. Wade is a member of the editorial board and reviews book-length manuscripts for publication in Spektrum, the series of the German Studies Association, published by Berghahn books: Spektrum publishes both scholarly monographs and collections of papers. Please feel free to contact her if you have a manuscript you would like to discuss.


Professor Mara Wade has been awarded a three-month fellowship as "Senior Fellow des Landes Niedersachsen" for research at the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany.


Professor Stephanie Hilger presented the paper "Radical Gender and Genre: The Intersex Autobiographical Subject in 'Aus eines Mannes Mädchenjahren' (1907)" at the 35th Annual Conference of the German Studies Association in Louisville, KY, Sept. 22-25, 2011.

Laurie Johnson gave a talk entitled "Nationalism and German Idealism: Fichte and Humboldt on the University" at the German Studies Association conference in September 2011. She also served as respondent on a panel entitled "Radical Reality."

At the GSA Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, Carl Niekerk talked about 'Reinventing the History of Nature in Christoph Ransmayr's "Die Schrecken des Eises und der Finsternis"'.

Editorial Note

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