Associate Professor of German; CML Department Chair
Classical & Modern Languages / Academic
- Caruth Administration 301
B.A. (equivalent) Universität Mainz
M.A., Ph.D., University of Cincinnati
I started teaching at Austin College in 2012. Prior to that, I taught for two years at Earlham College in Indiana. I am thoroughly convinced that classroom interactions in the small liberal arts environment are more meaningful, as teachers and students get to know each other much better. I enjoy teaching at Austin College because my students are intelligent, open-minded, and curious to discover the world.
I teach a wide array of both language and culture classes at all levels. I think that the experience a learner has in the very first introductory class will shape his or her pursuit of a foreign language in the long run. I truly enjoy being asked to cover many centuries of German culture and literature in my classes. It allows me to continue learning about the many areas in my discipline. In the classroom, learning should be a pursuit that is as serious as it is enjoyable. Aside from a highly communicative approach in language teaching, I seek to foster personal confidence in my students and encourage them to build their foreign language experience into their lives in meaningful ways.
One of my main goals as a teacher is to not only expose students to Germany and other German-speaking countries in the classroom but also to take them abroad and facilitate a direct encounter. My January Term to Berlin in 2014 explored modernity and innovation in the German capital. The January Term to Vienna in 2016 will familiarize students with the rich tradition of coffee houses and the celebration of the beverage as a cultural institution.
- German 101 through 202: Beginning & Intermediate German
- German 236: Advanced German
- German 354: History of German Culture and Literature
- German 355: Contemporary Issues in Germany
- German 495: Senior Seminar
- January Term off-campus in Berlin (2014) and Vienna (2016)
My research focuses on catastrophism and the portrayal of modern technology and the sciences in apocalyptic fiction in German literature and film. I explore to what extent 20th-century physics and the discovery of nuclear fission and its implementation in nuclear weaponry have changed our world view and have given rise to new ways to imagine the end of the world in fictional accounts. I also am interested in the Middle Ages, Romanticism, and the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard. I have a strong interest in environmentalism and renewable energies and try to explore how German contributions have impacted our green thinking.