Teaching German in Twentieth-Century America

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Teaching a foreign language and culture is always a challenge, but it has been especially problematic to teach the German language and culture in the United States in the twentieth century. The tradition of Germany's great poets and thinkers of the past has been joined by a starker legacy. Through explorations of such topics as the world wars, the Holocaust, women in the language-teaching profession, Jewish contributions, and technology's impact on scholarship, this volume inspects the fascination and frustrating...

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Overview

Teaching a foreign language and culture is always a challenge, but it has been especially problematic to teach the German language and culture in the United States in the twentieth century. The tradition of Germany's great poets and thinkers of the past has been joined by a starker legacy. Through explorations of such topics as the world wars, the Holocaust, women in the language-teaching profession, Jewish contributions, and technology's impact on scholarship, this volume inspects the fascination and frustrating relationships of the two cultures as they interact through the teaching of German in American educational systems—from small liberal arts colleges to large and famous universities. This volume resulted from a conference, "Shaping Forces in American Germanics," held in Madison, Wisconsin in September 1996.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Describes developments in the teaching of German in various American educational systems and settings, from public and private schools to small liberal arts colleges and large universities. There is discussion of the negative forces against which American Germanics had to struggle, such as xenophobia during the world wars and the Holocaust, as well as positive changes in the field such as the growing presence of women in the profession, the emergence of women's studies and Jewish studies, and technology in support of teaching and research. Material was first presented at a September 1996 conference held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299168308
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2000
  • Series: Monatshefte Occasional Volumes Series
  • Pages: 291
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

David P. Benseler is the Emile B. de Sauzé Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at Case Western Reserve University and former editor of Modern Language Journal. Craig W. Nickisch is professor of foreign languages at Idaho State University and editor of the journal Selecta.. Cora Lee Nollendorfs is professor of German at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and editor of the journal Monatshefte.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
How to Read Our Professional Past: A Modest Proposal 3
The Ideology of American Germanics: An Aspect of Its History of Perennial Isolation 16
Recovering the History of Germanics in the United States: An Exploration 26
The Roles of History and Public Policy in Shaping Germanics 42
World War I as a Shaping Force in American Germanics 58
Three Stages of a Precarious Relationship: German Culture and Germanics in America, 1940-1995 69
German History, Jewish History, German Jewish Studies: Old Wine in New Bottles? 79
Toward an American Germanics? Feminism as a Force for Change 89
Feminist Professionalism: A Brief, Critical History of the Coalition of Women in German 98
Female Immigrant Intellectuals in Germanics: From Invisibility to "Women in German" 108
Representations of Women in the AATG, 1850-1950 121
American Germanists and the Holocaust, 1933-1945: The Legacy 135
"An Indigenous and Not an Exotic Plant": Toward a History of Germanics at Penn 146
Historical Forces, German Departments, and the Curriculum in Small Liberal Arts Colleges in the Midwest 173
The National Defense Language Institutes: A Benchmark in the Training of Teachers of German 184
Control-Alt-Delete: Reshaping Germanics Publication in the Age of Electronic Reproduction 192
Publishing in Germanics: Dissemination, Legitimation, and Validation of Scholarly Communication 211
German Studies as Studies of Cultural Discourse 230
Editors and Contributors 249
Bibliography 253
Index 280
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