Faculty Present at German Studies Association Conference

Posted September 20, 2022

Four members of the German program faculty presented their research at the German Studies Association Conference, held from Sept. 15–18, 2022, in Houston.

Hyoun-A Joo, director of the German program and assistant professor of German, shared her co-authored research “Exploring Matters of Sustainability Through a Linguistic Lens.” In the paper, the co-authors address migration and communication aspects of sustainability. They also share two teaching modules using linguistics to teach migration and cultural diversification and intercultural communication. The first uses speech or real-life encounters between German native speakers and American German speakers, and analizes misunderstandings through group discussion. The second uses an analysis of a contemporary memoir of a Syrian migrant in Germany to illustrate how linguistic expressions create and mark identity and reveal social challenges that arise in the context of migration. 

Britta Kallin, associate professor of German and director of graduate studies, gave a presentation titled “Ethnic Tensions in a Fairytale Fantasy: Intersectionality and Cornelia Funke’s Reckless: The Petrified Flesh.” Her paper examines gender, race, and ethnicity in the world that Cornelia Funke creates in Reckless: The Petrified Flesh, which rewrites and modernizes parts of several of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales. In the paper, Kallin illustrates some of Funke’s changes to characters and locations and examines her approach to creating speculative fiction in the worldbuilding of Reckless.

Annika Orich, assistant professor of German, presented as part of the seminar “The Medical Humanities in German Studies: Intersections of Health, Medicine, and Culture in German Studies.” She discussed the relationship between assisted reproductive technology, its depiction in film, and reproductive justice. Specifically, her research analizes how cinematic depictions of infertile bodies, babies, egg and sperm cells, blastocysts and embryos, fertility doctors, and lab technicians contribute to German medical, legal, and social discussions on fertility treatments.

Jan Uelzmann, associate chair and associate professor of German, presented “A Filmic Calling Card: West German Self-Representation to International Audiences through the Deutschlandspiegel Newsreel During the 1950s and 1960s.” The Federal Press Office of the Konrad Adenauer administration (1949–1963) produced the international newsreel, Deutschlandspiegel, beginning in 1954. In the presentation, Uelzmann provides an overview of the rationale, production, and distribution practices behind the newsreel. He analizes the newsreel’s first episode and its mix of politics, technology, and culture to advertise the country’s successes and developments during the West German nation-building process, as well as its role in West German national identity during the escalating Cold War.

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Cassidy Chreene Whittle