Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Belinda Carstens-Wickham, PhD, professor of German in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, attended the 2018 Notre Dame Berlin Seminar. The nine-day seminar was held in July at the Berlin Literature House, one of Germany’s most distinguished centers for contemporary literature.
It focused on key aspects of German literary institutions, including print and digital production, and brought together American scholars with experts and leading figures from Germany’s literary scene.
“This seminar was of particular interest to me as a teacher-scholar, because it informed me about the latest advances and trends in my field which focuses on modern German literature, film and German Unification,” said Carstens-Wickham. “Participation also brought me up-to-date regarding which contemporary authors to introduce to SIUE students in my literature and culture classes, as well as to enable me to compare and contrast literary production in the United States and Germany.”
“In addition, living in Berlin, the capital of Germany, during the seminar placed me at the focal point of German politics and culture, and enabled me to update a course on German culture and history which is an important offering for the general education program at SIUE,” she added.
Attendees engaged with leading representatives from different areas of Germany’s vibrant literary landscape. They also visited well-known sites such as the innovative Gorki Theater; the Suhrkamp publishing company; the broadcast studios of Deutschlandfunk, a major broadcasting company; the newspaper offices of the renowned Berliner Zeitung (Berlin Newspaper); a model neighborhood bookstore; and the famous city of Leipzig to meet with the director of the Literary Institute at the University of Leipzig.
The third annual seminar was under the direction of two prominent scholars, University of Notre Dame’s William Donahue, PhD, director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs, and Martin Kagel, PhD, A.G. Steer professor and associate dean of the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.
Photo: SIUE’s Belinda Carstens-Wickham.