“Nichts Schönres unter der Sonne als unter der Sonne zu sein..” Ingeborg Bachmann, poet
“To have another language is to possess a second soul.” – Charlemagne
Before I came to UCLA to pursue my PhD in Germanic Literatures, I studied Philosophy, Linguistics, and Psychology at Heidelberg University, Germany. At UCLA, I served as the Campus-wide TA-Program Coordinator in my final year there. Parallel to my work in German literature, I studied psychoanalysis as a research fellow via various venues, most notably with self-psychologists Anna and Paul Ornstein. My dissertation on the Austrian poet and writer Ingeborg Bachmann was informed by my self-psychological studies on traumatic memories. I taught German courses in the German and Russian Department at Pomona College in Claremont, CA before I secured a tenure-track position in German.
For 20 years, I taught German language, German, Swiss and Austrian literature and culture and special seminars on psychoanalytic theory in the Modern Languages Department at Denison University, a residential liberal arts college near Columbus, Ohio. In my teaching I made use of newest technologies to enhance not only student learning in regards to all things German, but also for my students to learn skills in intercultural competencies and global learning. For example, I was – and still am – globally networked with a German colleague at the American University in Bulgaria with team-taught courses in German studies. I was highly dedicated to CLAC pedagogy and team-teaching as a pedagogical approach. My scholarly interests have been increasingly vested in how digital technologies shape how we learn and teach now and in the near future. My more traditional scholarship is in the area of German Romanticism and psychoanalytic theory, specifically suicide studies. In 2014, I was awarded the Julian H. Robertson Jr. Endowed Chair at my institution for my work in teaching, service, and scholarship.
From January 2016 on, I was also directing the Great Lakes Colleges Association Crossroads Shared Languages Program for GLCA’s 13 consortial institutions. This four-year long project aimed to address the issue of upper-level under-enrolled language courses as well as broadening the course offerings for less-commonly-taught languages. The Shared Languages Program is now administered by the Great Lakes Colleges Association.
After my (early) retirement from Denison, I joined the Philosophy Department at Purdue University in Indiana as Lecturer and Director of the Philosophy for International Students M.A. Program. The M.A. combines graduate seminars in philosophy with pinpointed, advanced English language instruction to develop students’ knowledge of philosophy, and their literacy in the reading, writing, and conversational practices of philosophers in an American academic environment. The M.A. program is also the ideal stepping stone for non-native speakers of English to prepare for Ph.D. programs in philosophy in the English-speaking world, respectively in the international world of Philosophy where a strong knowledge of English is increasingly requisite. I am delighted to be a part of of this innovative, forward-thinking program that brings me back full circle to my original passion as a student at Heidelberg University in Germany: Philosophy.
“Nothing better under the sun than to be under the sun.”
“For questioning is the piety of thought.” – Martin Heidegger
“A little kindness from person to person is better than a vast love for all humankind.” — Richard Dehmel, German poet