The Austin College German Program is happy to announce that Austin College has been invited by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington D.C. to be a project partner and receive funding for this year’s Campus Weeks during the fall semester 2018. The topic is Shaping Germany.
Germany is continuously undergoing changes. This year’s campus weeks focus mostly on the internal factors that are currently shaping and changing Germany and contribute to what Germany will look like in twenty, thirty or fifty years. Particular attention is given to the role of women in Germany; to the history of immigration in Germany; to Germany’s remembrance culture, the way Germany remembers the past; to the German Energiewende, the transitioning away from fossil fuel powered energy production towards cleaner, renewable energy sources.
2018 marks the centenary of women’s suffrage in Germany, compared to 2020 for the United States. In spite of many advances in areas such as family life, employment, and education there are still significant imparities such as the gender pay gap, the lack of women in leadership positions, cultural norms around child care, and persisting discrimination. Efforts to achieve equality continue as the Women’s March in 2017 which attracted more than five million people in more than 80 countries around the world showed. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War when Germany’s monarchy ended. One of the big challenges Germany has faced since the beginning of the 1950s when millions of foreign nationals (known as “guest workers”) came from southern Europe, including Turkey, is the integration of immigrants into Germany society. In recent years, the arrival of thousands of refugees in Germany fleeing from civil war and individual persecution, has created an even greater need to find more complex models for the successful integration of immigrants.
Ruth Cape, Austin College German faculty and coordinator for the campus events:
“In today’s world that is characterized by large-scale migration and immigration, numerous countries face similar challenges. According to current statistics, the percentage of Germans with at least one parent born abroad is approximately the same as in the United States, with similar opportunities and challenges on both sides of the Atlantic. Thus we all are asked to build inclusive societies that preserve or restore the dignity of all their people, societies that create human bridges instead of walls and distrust.”
Wolfgang Lüeckel, Austin College German faculty and coordinator for the campus events:
“Germany has long been considered a green nation and has been at the forefront of global environmental efforts. Germans are ambitious innovators and have developed a broad array of technology that enables us to become independent from fossil fuels. The grant from the German Embassy allows us to invite Charles Closmann, an expert on Germany’s environmental history, from the University of North Florida to give a talk at Austin College about Germany’s important green contributions and how they might help us in the future.”
Shaping Germany Events
Events of the Campus Weeks at Austin College will also include two photo competitions, one on “Opportunities and Barriers Women are Facing Today,” and one on “Integrating Immigrants,” as well as a baking contest in the Jordan Family Language House, hosted by the students of the JFLH German House and the German Club. Top bakers and winners of the photo competitions will receive attractive prizes.