Austin College and its Department of German will host a lecture, “Energy, Environment, and Germany’s Road Ahead: Lessons from History,” by Dr. Charles Closmann of the University of North Florida on Wednesday, October 3, at 5 p.m. in Wright Campus Center, Room 231. A reception will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Johnson Gallery. Both events are free and open to the public.
Dr. Closmann is an associate professor of history at University of North Florida (UNF), having been a member of its faculty since 2004. Having previously worked as a CPA, he made a change in his career and completed a master’s degree and Ph.D. at in history at the University of Houston, specializing in the history of modern Germany, with a sub-specialty in environmental history. His master’s thesis concerned the conservation movement in Nazi Germany, and his doctoral dissertation explored pollution, water, and wastewater systems in 20th-century Hamburg. After spending a year as a research associate at the German Historical Institute in Washington D.C., he joined the faculty at UNF.
Since then, Dr. Closmann’s research interests have included the environmental history of modern Europe, with special emphasis on conservation and pollution control policies in Nazi Germany and in Great Britain. More recently, his work concerns the relationship between warfare and the environment, at a global and national level. He has written articles on Nazi Germany’s Imperial Nature Protection Law, the impact of Germany’s 1920’s inflation on pollution, recycling in modern Europe, and the global environmental effect of warfare. His current project explores the ecological footprint of large military bases.
The Austin College German Program has once again been invited by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of German in Washington, D.C. to act as a project partner in, and receive funding for, the 2018 Campus Weeks project. The 2018 focus is “Shaping Germany,” and examines internal factors shaping and changing Germany and contributing to what Germany will look like in the future 20 to 50 years. The exploration particularly examines the role of women, the history of immigration, the way Germany remembers its past, and the transition to renewable energy sources.
Events of the Campus Weeks at Austin College also will include two photo competitions—one dealing with women and one with immigrant integration—and a baking contest hosted by the Jordan Family Language House and the German Club.
Wolfgang Lueckel of the Austin College German faculty is coordinator for this year’s Campus Weeks.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.