The North Carolina German Studies Seminar and Workshop Series seeks to foster intellectual exchange among students, scholars and the wider community at both public and private institutions of higher learning. The Series intends on opening academic dialogues to the general public of North Carolina in order to raise awareness of the importance of Germany for the cultural literacy of all North Carolinians.
The North Carolina German Studies Seminar and Workshop Series was started in 2007 by an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional group of scholars in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, because the state of North Carolina possesses an incredibly rich and impressive roster of scholars working in German Studies. It is home to nationally and internationally recognized graduate programs in German Studies. Its colleges and universities have incredibly successful undergraduate programs responsible for producing highly proficient speakers and thinkers of Germanic languages and cultures. Our state also boasts an extensive roster of extremely dedicated and talented high school teachers of German. In order to strengthen the bonds between all these precious assets, the North Carolina German Studies Seminar and Workshop Series seeks to foster interdisciplinary and inter-institutional intellectual exchange among students, scholars, and the wider community at both public and private institutions of higher learning. The Series intends on opening academic dialogues to the general public of North Carolina.
The centerpiece of the North Carolina German Studies initiative are the Seminars, which usually take place a total of six times throughout the academic year at the Institute for the Arts & Humanities, Hyde Hall, which is located at McCorkle Place on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC map locating Hyde Hall).
The Seminars provide scholars and students in North Carolina a chance to share and discuss their ongoing research in an informal and relaxed setting. Each “work-in-progress” seminar begins with a simple dinner and continues with the scheduled presentation and discussion. Papers can be circulated in advance if speakers wish. Junior faculty, senior faculty, visitors, and graduate students are all encouraged to present. The usual presentation format is a formal or informal lecture, but new presentation formats, for example panel discussions with two brief papers presenting different disciplinary views on a shared topic, are also welcome.
In addition to the Seminars, this annual initiative concludes with a Workshop, a mini-conference dedicated to fostering interdisciplinary dialogues in German Studies. The inaugural Workshop, which took place April 11-12, 2008 at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities, was immensely successful. Drawing on fresh work of cultural scholars, political scientists and historians, the Workshop examined the motives that fuelled rebellion in the late 1960s in West Germany. Invited speakers explored the new forms of political confrontation that emerged in the sixties and examined the cultural impact of the protests as well as any lingering changes in cultural values. Approximately 100 people attended the Workshop. In 2009 and subsequent years, the Workshop will be hosted and funded by other North Carolina universities and colleges. For more information about the 2008 Workshop, please see: Workshop 2008.