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Faculty Profiles

William Berentsen
Professor of Geography and European Studies; Affiliated with the German Studies Program

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Bill Berentsen has a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College (study abroad in Freiburg, Germany), and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Ohio State University (dissertation work based at the Ökonomische Universität Wien). He has taught at the University of Georgia (1976-1986) and UConn (since 1986), and has been a visiting professor at several European universities, including Humboldt Uni. (Berlin, 1978 and 1995), Uni. Vechta (1985), and the Ökonomische Uni. (1982). His research and writing focuses on regional socioeconomic and land use change in the USA and Europe-Germany in particular. Bill's current and recent writing has included journal articles on migration and regional socioeconomic inequalities in Germany, work on World Book encyclopedia articles on Germany and Europe, and articles in preparation on issues related to regional development in the USA and Connecticut. He teaches courses in Geography on issues related to U.S. regional development, as well as an occasional offering of an introduction to Europe. His personal ties to things German include enjoying travel in Germany, related both to learning and to visiting many colleagues, friends and relatives-two grandparents came to the USA from Germany in the early 20th century.

Ute Bettray

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Anke Finger
Associate Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies; Affiliated with the Department of Digital Media and Design

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Anke Finger received her B.A. equivalent in German and American Literature and History from the University of Konstanz in Germany. After an exchange year at Wellesley College in 1989/90, she explored her interests in comparative literature at Brandeis University where she received her M.A. in 1995 and graduated with a Ph.D. in 1997 while also teaching at Babson College and Boston College. Before coming to UConn in 2001, she held an assistant professorship in German Studies at Texas A&M University.

Prof. Finger's teaching and research focus on modernism, media studies, digital humanities, literature and other arts, contemporary aesthetics, and interculturality. A specialist on the idea of the total artwork (Das Gesamtkunstwerk der Moderne, 2006) and other forms of artistic and creative meshing, she edited (with Danielle Follett) a collection of articles entitled The Aesthetics of the Total Artwork: On Borders and Fragments (2011). Her discussion of the total artwork ranges from conceptual art and atmospheres to architecture and design (see The Death and Life of the Total Work of Art, forthcoming May 2015). Next, the total artwork and sensory perception will feature in a book project on neuroscience, aesthetics, and the avant-garde. 

A co-founder (with Rainer Guldin, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano) of Flusser Studies, Anke Finger's closely related scholarship in media studies and theory originates from her work on the Czech-Brazilian philosopher Vilém Flusser. A co-author of the 2011 Introduction to Vilém Flusser (with shorter versions available in German and Portuguese), her current book project connects the media philosopher's writings to larger debates on posthumanism and contemporary aesthetics and engages current issues in creativity research. It emerges from the 2013 international symposium Anke Finger organized on "ReMEDIAting Flusser: From Print-Text to the Image-Flood." She serves on the advisory board of FlusserBrasil.

Her latest publication (on the technical image) is connected to the Images? Precisely! project by Mark Linder (Syracuse). In November 2014, she conducted a workshop on Remediating Things in Lucerne, Switzerland (with J. Allen, C. Heibach, and R. M. Novaes). For this summer, Anke Finger was awarded a DAAD research grant to conduct archival work at the University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany. Her most recent publication on intercultural communication is forthcoming from Walter de Gruyter in 2015: a collection of essays entitled KulturConfusão: On German-Brazilian Interculturalities, co-edited with Gabi Kathoefer and Christopher Larkosh.

Charles Lansing
Assistant Professor of History; Affiliated with the German Studies Program

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Specializations in 19th and 20th Century German History.

Glenn Stanley
Professor of Music; Affiliated with the German Studies Program

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Glenn Stanley is a music historian specializing in the music of the classic and romantic periods in Germany-speaking Europe. He has published extensively in American, British, and German journals and books with special emphasis on Beethoven, and nineteenth-century choral music. He also writes on questions of aesthetics, methodology, and music criticism, and contributed three articles to the revised New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians in these areas. He edited volumes 3 and 7 of Beethoven Forum, a scholarly yearbook, and also edited the Cambridge Companion to Beethoven. He is the book-review editor for 19 th-century Music, and a member of the editorial boards of Beethoven Forum and the Journal of the American Musicological Society. He writes program notes for Carnegie Hall on a regular basis. Current projects include the chapter on Parsifal for the Cambridge Companion to Wagner, and essays on Beethoven's orchestration techniques and the reception of Fidelio for the Beethoven-Handbuch, which will be published by the Laaber-Verlag in Germany .

Katharina von Hammerstein
Professor of German

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Katharina von Hammerstein received her Ph.D. in German Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and holds a degree in Mathematics, German, and Education from the University of Goettingen, Germany. Her area of scholarly expertise is German-language literature and culture of the late eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her publications focus on German Romanticism (including extensive work on Sophie Mereau-Brentano); autobiographical writings as political practice in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century public discourses; the ways women have inscribed themselves into literary, social and political discourses in the nineteenth century; representations of female happiness from the Enlightenment to the turn of the century; colonial constructions of Self and Other as represented in the ways Black men and women have been represented in German-language literature, ethnology and visual arts around 1900; and human rights and humanitarianism in German-language literature. She has also published in the area of interdisciplinary curriculum development, i.e., on approaches to linking language learning to the learning in other disciplines, such as history, art history, political science, geography, film, etc. Her scholarly background comes to bear in her graduate courses on German Romanticism; Self-Writings and Writing Yourself; Colonial and Postcolonial German-African Connections; Gender and Literature; Love in Literature; the 1848 Revolution; and various other topics of eighteenth through twentieth-century literature and culture. Since von Hammerstein is also very interested in film, she includes film and other artistic representations (e.g., UConn's extensive and precious Kaethe Kollwitz collection) whenever appropriate. Her research projects have regularly taken her to Germany, Austria, Poland, and Namibia. She has presented papers at national and international conferences ranging from all over the U.S., Canada and Germany to Russia, England, Spain, Italy, France, South Africa, and Namibia. For fun, she loves movies, inspiring discussions, roller-blading, skiing, and travel!

Manuela Maria Wagner
Associate Professor of Foreign Language Education

Director of Linkage Through Language Associate Director, Teachers for a New Era (TNE),

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Manuela Wagner holds an M.A in English studies and Marketing and a Ph.D. in English studies with a specialization in linguistics from Graz University, Austria. During her graduate studies she spent 2 years in the baby lab of Psychophysics in the department of Neurophysiology at the Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, and 3 years in the Department of Human Development and Psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research interests include pragmatic development in first and second language acquisition, world language teaching methodology, intercultural communication, communicative development in special circumstances, and humor in the world language classroom. As director of the Critical Languages Program Manuela also engages in research in less commonly taught languages. She teaches courses in world language teaching theory and pedagogy, pragmatics, introduction to linguistics, as well as German language and culture.

Friedemann Weidauer
Professor of German

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Friedemann Weidauer was born in Stuttgart, Germany. He received his BA in Classics from Reed College, Zwischenpruefung in German, American Studies and Education from the FU Berlin, and MA and PhD in German from the University of Wisconsin/Madison. His research and teaching focus on post-1945 East and West German culture, among his recent publications are articles on Jurek Becker, Wolfgang Borchert and minority literatures. Current research projects include the debate about the Moscow Trials among German authors in exile (1933- 1945) and a series of studies of East German Kulturpolitik as reflected in DEFA films. He has edited Vols. 33 - 37 of the Brecht Yearbook (2007 - 2012, University of Wisconsin Press/International Brecht Society).

Sebastian Wogenstein
Associate Professor of German

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Sebastian Wogenstein's research and teaching focuses on 20th-century German literature with emphasis on German-Jewish literature, theater, and the intersection of literature and human rights. He is the author of a monograph, Horizonte der Moderne: Tragoedie und Judentum von Cohen bis Levinas (Horizons of Modernity: Tragedy and Judaism from Cohen to Levinas, 2011), and co-editor of two books, Globale Kulturen--Kulturen der Globalisierung (Global Cultures--Cultures of Globalization, 2013) and An Grenzen: Literarische Erkundungen (On Borders: Literary Explorations, 2007). He edited a special issue of The Germanic Review, titled "Zionism and Its Discontents," and published articles in The Germanic Review, Monatshefte, Gegenwartsliteratur, Naharaim, Telos, and Prooftexts. Sebastian Wogenstein is a faculty associate of the Human Rights Institute and was in 2012/2013 fellow at the Humanities Institute. He is Secretary-Treasurer of the North American Heine Society and member of the MLA's Executive Committee on European Literary Relations. He studied German Literature, American Studies, and Political Science at the University of Tuebingen, holds an M.A. in European Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he also worked for the Franz Rosenzweig Center for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Tuebingen in 2005.