German Language and Literatures
Department Chair:
Elizabeth Hamilton

Administrative Assistant:
Polly Bratton

Department Email:

Phone: 440 7758650
Fax: 440 7756355

Peters Hall 222
50 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Office Hours: 8:30a - noon and 1:00p - 3:30p

Student Achievements

Student Achievements

Congratulations Muci

The German department is delighted Muci Yu will be receiving one of the

German department's 2015 summer scholarships for study in Germany. 

We are thrilled to support his plans to study in Berlin this summer.

Congratulations Matthew Brewer, '13

Congratulations to Matthew Brewer, '13, who was admitted to the M.A. program at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. 
Director of Admissions Sidney Jackson writes, "Applicants for our M.A. program continue to be the best and brightest from around the globe." He praised Matthew, a German Studies major, as a "great candidate."

Congratulations to Ida!

Senior Ida Hoequist, who will graduate in May with majors in both German and Linguistics, has just received a highly competitive scholarship from the Linguistic Society of America to attend the 2014 Institute on Collaborative Language Research. The purpose of the Institute is to help linguists “refine skills and approaches to language documentation and revitalization.” The Institute consists of two parts: two weeks of intensive workshops, followed by a four-week field methods course. 



Julian Snow 

We are pleased to report that junior German major Julian Snow has just received the German Exchange Scholarship, awarded jointly by the Oberlin Department of German and the Verband der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Clubs.  Julian will spend the academic year 2014-2015 studying at the University of Giessen.



Congratulations to  

Dan Marsh & Meghan Mette

for receiving

Max Kade German Summer Scholarships

The German Department is pleased to announce that sophomores Meghan Mette and Dan Marsh have just been award the department's annual German Summer Study Stipend. Meghan will use her award to attend the international summer semester at the Freie Universität Berlin, and Dan will use his stipend to attend the Institut für internationale Kommunikation, which consists of components in both Düsseldorf and Berlin. Congratulations and best wishes to them both!


Exchange Scholarship Winner - Sarah Heineken

We are pleased to report that sophomore German major Sarah Heineken has just received the German Exchange Scholarship, awarded jointly by the Oberlin Department of German and the Verband der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Clubs.  Sarah will spend the academic year 2013-2014 studying at the German university.





Exchange Scholarship Winner - Theo McCarthy

Theo McCarthy

We are pleased to report that sophomore German major Theo McCarthy has just received the German Exchange Scholarship, awarded jointly by the Oberlin Department of German and the Verband der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Clubs. Theo will spend the academic year 2013-2014 studying at the German university in Hamburg.





Five Fulbright Awards Announced

Five Oberlin seniors have been awarded Fulbright stipends for study in Germany in 2013-2014. 

Congratulations to

Spike Enzweiler,

Kara Kralik,

Sophia Bamert,

Anna Band

and Jacob Street!



We are proud to announce that Christa Vassillière has received the Max Kade Summer Scholarship

Here is a brief description of Christa's plans:

For three weeks in August I will be attending Bowling Green State University's AYA Salzburg program. The program consists of German language classes twice a day Monday through Friday and excursions through Salzburg and surrounding areas in Austria.

My hope is to improve my German so that I can be better prepared to succeed in graduate school in Germany, where I plan on receive a degree related to music and cognition. For the short term, I hope to come back from the program with a stronger speaking and writing ability in order to have a more meaningful experience in the German courses offered by Oberlin.

Congratulations  Christa!!

We are proud to announce Charlotte Beers has received the Jerome Davis Research Award

Church Music and German Language Immersion in Herrenberg, Germany

This internship allowed me the unique opportunity to bring my music and German language studies together, neatly woven into an imaginative project which was funded by the Creativity Fund. This was a CIGSIE Grant for Winter Term 2010.

In January 2010 I spent four weeks working as a part of the music program at the Evagelische Kirchengemeinde in Herrenberg, Germany.

I expanded my knowledge of church music while also improving my German language skills. The experience working at a church in Germany provided me with a better understanding of the many aspects of German church music. I learned more in depth about certain choral rehearsal and performance techniques (both for children and adults) and organ techniques (musical interpretation, chorale harmonization, improvisation). I believe that understanding the history and current practices of German church music helps me to discover the true essence of the performance of German organ and choral music. At the close of the four weeks, I was asked to perform a solo organ recital in the church. The recital was a great success; a review of the concert appeared in the city’s newspaper.

This internship gave me a unique opportunity to bring my musical and German language studies together. The double-degree program at Oberlin allows me to study two areas in great depth; this experience in Herrenberg tested the skills that I have learned over the past four years.

Jerome Davis Research Award

Exploring the use of the Organ in the Moravian Church and its Influence on Sacred Music in America

I am researching the importance of the organ as an instrument of the Moravian Church in America. The Renewed Moravian Church, originally founded in Herrnhut, Germany, established itself in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the middle to late eighteenth century. The community remained an exclusive, German-speaking people for a number of generations, strongly connected to their roots as pious Moravians. Music is one of the most important outlets for expressing their theology, and the organ is the primary instrument used in this area. I am exploring the many uses of the organ within the church (accompanying hymns, improvising, performing solo works), and then researching more into the influence of the German Moravian culture upon the music of America. Specifically, the tradition of Moravian Organ Building greatly affected the school of American organ building. I will be examining the daily life of the Moravians in America as well as studying the musical repertory and instruments of the day. I attended a conference on Moravian Music and History in Bethlehem, PA, in October, and spent a few days researching at the Moravian Archives there.

Congratulations Charlotte!

Lisa Mon'a Brown recently chosen to be a Sidley Austin Prelaw Scholar

Lisa Mon’a Brown is a German and Politics double major from Newport News, VA. She was recently chosen to be a Sidley Austin Prelaw Scholar. This program provides a support system for prospective law school students from underprivileged backgrounds and underrepresented communities. As a Sidley Prelaw Scholar, Lisa will receive a $2,500 scholarship. In addition, the firm will also pay for her Kaplan LSAT preparatory course, as well as fees for the October LSAT, LSDAS reports, and up to seven law school applications. Sidley Scholars do not only receive monetary support, they will also take part in a Sidley Scholar Summer Seminar which will prepare scholars for law school and provide students with the opportunity to meet a network of practicing lawyers, partners and associates. Lisa is so fortunate to have been selected as a Sidley Prelaw Scholar. She would like to thank the German Department and her amazing advisor Elizabeth Hamilton for assisting her with the Sidley Prelaw Initiative application and helping to make her Oberlin College experience unique and invaluable.

Lesley Whitaker Receives DAAD Summer Scholarship Award

Lesley Whitaker will be as a research assistant this summer at the Karlsruher Institut   für Technologie.  She will be part of a program called RISE: Research Internships in Science and Engineering, one of the DAAD’s summer scholarship programs.  Lesley will spend 10 weeks researching particle physics at a lab in Karlsruhe, Germany.  Included in the program is a three-day conference in Heidelberg with all of the other RISE scholars.  She was also fortunate enough to receive the Max Kade Summer Stipend from the German department here at Oberlin. Lesley is a sophomore physics major and German minor from Los Angeles, CA, and she has no clue what awaits her after college.  She has just finished her 2nd year of German, and is very grateful for this opportunity to study Physics and live in Germany this summer.

Gabe Klooster receives a Max Kade German Summer Scholarship

Gabe Klooster, a first-year German major, received a Max Kade German Summer Scholarship from the German department to study in Düsseldorf this June. Gabe will be taking a German course for international students at the Institut für Internationale Kommunikation through Heinrich Heine Universität. This program is part of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Gabe is thrilled to live and study in Germany this summer, and he would like to thank the German department for this incredible university.

Nika Knight ’09 Headed to Germany to Hone Journalism Skills

Oberlin College senior Nika Knight is one of 20 outstanding young journalism students in the United States chosen to take part in internXchange, a highly competitive new summer internship program in Berlin for American journalism students conducted by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

“A comparative literature major and a German minor, Nika is especially interested in the connections among art history, German literature, and the German language,” says Elizabeth C. Hamilton, chair and associate professor of German, who informed Knight about the program. “The German department congratulates Nika warmly.”

Knight’s advanced proficiency in German and experience as a journalist at Oberlin were major factors in her selection for the program, which promotes international journalism. She is editor of the Oberlin Review’s arts section, and she works with student writers in the College’s Writing Center.

From June 8 through August 21, she will study at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she will expand her academic understanding of Germany’s politics, society, culture, current social conditions, and media scene; tour Germany with journalism students from the independent states of the former Soviet Union; and undertake an intensive five-week internship with a major German publication.

“I spent my junior year at the Freie Universität,” says Knight. “Studying journalism there this summer will be incredible. Because DAAD is so well respected in Germany, its interns are taken seriously, and articles by them have appeared in the leading newspapers. I will be working side by side with some of the most influential journalists in Berlin. That kind of immersion will help me gain the experience and the connections I need to apply for journalism jobs and master’s programs in the fall.”
Knight says Oberlin has amply prepared her for the internship. “The language instruction and encouragement I’ve received have been invaluable. They have given me the confidence I will definitely need when I have to read and write news articles in German.

“Working behind-the-scenes at the Review has helped me to understand the complicated process involved in putting out a weekly newspaper and the effort everyone involved undertakes to do so. Plus, being immersed in editing other people's writing in the Writing Center has given me a much more critical eye, and that has helped my own writing an enormous amount.

“In Germany I'm going to be immersed very quickly in a radically different model of writing and understanding journalism, which will be a good way to more fully understand my own approach to journalism, whether I work at an international publication or at home. I know I am about to be hugely challenged and will learn a whole lot. Right now, I can't wait to go back to Berlin and get started.”
“Oberlin is nothing if not incredibly supportive,” stresses Knight. “Professor Hamilton offered me a huge amount of encouragement. She and Steven Huff, associate professor of German, gave me a mock interview, which was an immense help when I had to interview in New York.

“Heidi Thomann Tewarson, a professor of German who is also an advisor for my honors project, wrote one of my recommendations and also helped me with my statement. Ferd Protzman, assistant to Oberlin’s president, met with me before my interview to help me prepare and, in addition, put me in contact with international journalists working in Berlin and Munich. My friends here were also pretty tireless in their efforts to help me edit my application.”


Anne Posten receives Honorable Mention

Anne Posten, a senior German language and literature major, recently received Honorable Mention in the Susan Sontag Translation Competition. Posten earned this distinction for her translations of several poems by Albert Ostermeier, as well as several others by Thomas Brasch and Uwe Kolbe. Posten submitted translations of “To awaken with her” and “Sonnet without rhyme” by Uwe Kolbe in Diese Frau. Kolbe was the German department’s 39th Max Kade German Writer-in-Residence this past fall.

Posten was also judged on her translations of Ostermaier’s “first to fall” and “kissing disease,” from his book, Heartcore, and Thomas Brasch’s “When I Desire You Despite All Logic,” “And When We Are No Longer Here,” “How you like it,” “My Grandmother,” and “Sleeping Beauty and Pig Meat” from Wasich mir wuensche. Brasch’s poems were published in the English translation of Wasich mir wuensche (What I Wish for Myself: Poems Out of Love), which Posten and other German language and literature students undertook with Visiting Assistant Professor Thomas Wild last spring.

We are pleased to report that sophomore German major Sarah Heineken has just received the German Exchange Scholarship, awarded jointly by the Oberlin Department of German and the Verband der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Clubs.  Sarah will spend the academic year 2013-2014 studying at the German university.