Max Kade Fellows 2013-2014
Emma Kriss completed her B.A. in Germanic Studies and Psychology at the University of Michigan in 2012. During her undergraduate career, she participated in German theater twice, performing as Rosa in Unschuld by Dea Loher and Suze in Martin Heckmann’s Kommt ein Mann zur Welt. Her experiences experimenting with and performing in German theater lead her to study abroad in Berlin and Munich in order to experience German theater at its source. For two semesters, she studied avant-garde art and literature as well as educational psychology at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. During her senior year at Michigan, Emma had the honor of receiving the university's Excellence in a Foreign Language Award. She has incorporated themes of social identity into her theater research, which she will continue to do in her studies at Indiana University.
Tyler Lear began studying the German language in high school. He attended Transylvania University, where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in German Studies in May 2013. While at Transylvania, he was inducted into the German National Honorary Society, Delta Phi Alpha, and went on to study for a semester in Regensburg, Germany, where he received scores sufficient to enroll in any German university. His interests vary considerably, from language acquisition (he has spent two semesters each learning Spanish and Mandarin Chinese in addition to German) to faux-medieval sword fighting. Due to an especially strong interest in languages and how they develop and work, he intends to pursue a Ph.D. from Indiana University’s Germanic Studies program, concentrating specifically on philology and linguistics. His goal is to become a professor of German at an American university in order to pass on and encourage in others his passion for the German language.
Catherine Van Halsema
Catherine Van Helsema first discovered her love of German at age 16, while spending a year abroad in Vechta, Germany, as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. Among other things, Catherine learned to speak German fluently. As an undergraduate at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she completed a Bachelor’s degree in German and graduated with honors. Her senior thesis focused on the influence that Gustav Klimt’s artwork had on the European women’s movement in the early 1900’s. Since graduating in May 2011, Catherine has worked as a German-language customer service agent for Booking.com, handling various customer complaints and contractual disputes from hotel partners. Catherine looks forward to combining her interest in German language and culture with her passion for issues of assimilation and identity, and what those things mean for female immigrants in the German- speaking world today. She is especially grateful to the Max Kade Foundation for their generous support of her studies.
Arne Willée did his undergraduate work in Philosophy and German Literature at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg in 2004 and completed his studies with top mark at the Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms-Universität Bonn in 2010. In his master's thesis, "Intersubjectivity in the Critique of Judgment by Kant," he tried to outline approaches to an implicit theory of intersubjectivity based on aesthetic, i.e. emotional, judgments. At Indiana University, he plans to focus his research on the cultural field of games and game theory. The center of his interest lies in the interdependencies between games and aesthetics.
Juliane Wuensch graduated in 2007 from the University of Leipzig, Germany, with a Magistra Artium degree in German as a foreign language. The same year, she came to the United States to teach German as a Target Language at Carthage College, Wisconsin, while getting a Master's degree in Education with a specialization in Language and Arts. After her graduation in 2009, she chose to move to Central America, to teach German at the German school in San Salvador. During the following four years, she became the head of the school development group for German language teaching, and led workshops for German teachers from all over Central America. The Ph.D. program at Indiana University offers her the opportunity to combine her passion for teaching with other aspects of German Studies, such as literature, film, culture, and language acquisition. She is especially interested in cultural identity, which became an important personal topic for her during her years abroad.
Max Kade Fellows 2012-13
Brittany Amendolia is a graduate of Knox College, where she was one of the students who helped revive the German Club, serving as secretary and, after returning from an academic year abroad in Berlin, vice president. She shared photographs, collected print media, and her experiences with the club—helping a fellow student form her decision to study abroad in Germany for a year. During her senior year, Brittany devoted herself to the intense process of creating, proposing, and executing her own Honors Project. Her project “Beautiful Gender-Benders in a Scared-Straight Society” wove her interests in gender theory, performance, and Weimar Republic Berlin as well as modern-day Berlin—comparing the gender performance of the drag queens of today’s Berlin to the "New Woman" of the Weimar Republic. The success of her project made her the first student in more than a decade to graduate from Knox College with honors in German. Brittany looks forward to continuing her research in German Cultural Studies and Gender Studies. Indiana University’s wealth of resources has impassioned her to pursue a dual Ph.D. in German and Gender Studies.
David Bolter's interests in linguistics and Germanic linguistics lie primarily in the areas of historical linguistics, phonology, and dialectology. He also greatly enjoys the study of ancient languages and has studied Sanskrit, Latin and Old High German. As a junior in 2010-2011, he studied abroad for two semesters at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, for which he received the Catherine Clarke Fraser Scholarship from the Germanic Studies Department at IU. That year, he carried out a dialect study in a small town in central Hesse. He hopes to continue working with dialects of German, ideally in the form of linguistic fieldwork, during his graduate studies at IU. In the 2011-2012 he was the recipient of the Abel Scholarship, which is a competitive scholarship for senior scholars at IU.
Anselm Chen is a first-year student in the Ph.D. program in Comparative Literature who intends to study German and Chinese literature and intellectual history. He completed his undergraduate degree at Stanford University and also holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago, for which his thesis explored the interplay between the Enlightenment’s mind-body problematic and Kantian aesthetics in the theoretical works of Friedrich Schiller. In his doctoral studies, Anselm plans to read more deeply in the phenomenological tradition of Continental philosophy and examine the problems that lie at the intersection of aesthetic and narrative theory. He is currently investigating topics in two areas of research: firstly, the influence of German philosophy, literature, and art on issues of modernity in China, and, secondly, the function of poetry in the pre-modern Chinese novel. Eventually, he hopes to develop a project in comparative poetics that elucidates convergences and divergences between the epistemological, anthropological, and cultural systems of China and the West. With the opportunity to study under its acclaimed Germanists and comparatists, Anselm is excited to join the scholarly community in Bloomington as a Max Kade Fellow.
Growing up in a rural Appalachian town, Elliott Evans early on discovered both an appreciation of nature and a fascination for language. While pursuing his BA and MA at West Virginia University, he was able to fuse these interests in his studies focusing on the old languages and cultures of northern Europe. He was captivated by the fact that, though technologically unsophisticated, the peoples of the region possessed a profound cultural wisdom. In order to more fully appreciate the relatively few surviving linguistic artifacts, Elliott learned—often independently—to read several of the old European languages, such as Gothic and Old Norse. Ultimately he wrote his Master’s thesis on the old Germanic writing system, the runes, and showed why this branch of studies is so important for our modern society. Elliott is excited to pursue a PhD at Indiana University because of the outstanding Germanic Studies department and the rich network of neighboring departments.
Volker Schmitz began studying towards his Magister degree in Political Science, History, and Psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität Munich in 2002. After brief intermissions spent doing journalistic work in Munich and Berlin, he completed his studies in 2008 with a thesis on the treatment of political violence in the works of Albert Camus. Volker then relocated to Tel Aviv, where he first worked at the local Goethe Institute before moving on to the position of research assistant at the Institute for German History at Tel Aviv University. Upon his return to Berlin, he joined a Public Affairs agency. Between 2010 and 2012, Volker completed the M.A. program of North-American Studies at the John F. Kennedy Institute at Freie Universität Berlin. At the FU he mainly worked on the American labor movement and U.S. intellectual history during the twentieth century. At IU Bloomington, Volker is looking forward to support his Ph.D. program in Political Science with his studies in the Germanic Studies department, with the ultimate goal of arriving at a dissertation that can explore the American Left’s adaptation of twentieth-century continental thought and political philosophy.