Nick Ostrau presents Virtual Chatbot Application at ACTFL Conference

Nick Ostrau presented German Chatterbox 1.0  to  highschool and college educators at the ACTFL 2017 Convention & World Languages Expo in Nashville, TN.

German Chatterbox 1.0 ( is an interactive chatbot-based language learning application currently under development by the German Language Program director at Dartmouth. The online application allows first-year learners of German as a second language to communicate in German with 10 life-like virtual (artificial intelligence/ A.I.) chat personalities through guided interactions and integrated multimedia. All chat partners feature read-out-loud vocabulary lists, a dictation button and microphone input.

Virtual chat sessions practice the learner's writing, reading and decision making skills in a natural environment where live native speakers are not available. With  internet access, chat partners are online 24/7. Worksheets for all chat partners may be downloaded for in class or at home use. 

German Studies Logo Design Contest

German Studies is calling on all students to help us design a logo for our
T-shirts, posters and other advertisement.

What makes studying German at
Dartmouth special?

Please submit your design (jpg or png) to our Fulbright TA
Mr. [email protected] by Tuesday, November 14. The winning design
will be awarded $ 100, and the first and second runner-ups will receive $ 25

Contest Rules:

1) All parts of the design (text and/or image, drawing etc.) must be your own.
2) You may submit only one design to the Department of German Studies.
3) For your design to be considered, it must be received by November 14 at 5 pm.
4) You must provide the department with a high quality image file of your
design or with a clean paper copy that can be scanned.
5) You grant us the right to use your design in full or in part to advertise
German Studies, the German Club and the Max Kade LLC on campus, in print and

Get creative! You could see your design on campus as early as the beginning of
Winter term!

Professor Petra McGillen on the LangTech Podcast

Professor Petra McGillen was recently interviewed by the British podcast Langtech.  The interview revolved around the challenges and joys of raising bilingual children and, more generally, of speaking foreign languages.  She also connected some of these topics to her research on media history and the material history of creativity in the nineteenth century.  In the episode, she made an existentialist argument for the study of foreign languages. The host asked what she could tell people to incentivize them to learn another language. She said that one could spend a long time talking about the practical advantages of speaking more than one language, but ultimately, there is a much more profound argument to be made here: speaking another language enables you to relate to the world anew, through a different version of yourself—and that can be a really exciting, transformative experience.  Hear the full podcast at

Professor Fuechtner in conversation with the cast of Cabaret

What happens when an expert on the Weimar Republic—Germany’s brief experiment with democracy between two world wars—meets the cast of Cabaret?

That’s what Associate Professor of German Studies Veronika Fuechtner wanted to know when she learned that the theater department was staging the musical, set in early 1930s Berlin, this term.

Fuechtner is the author of Berlin Psychoanalytic: Psychoanalysis and Culture in Weimar Republic Germany and Beyond and many scholarly articles about the time—and she teaches Cabaret in some of her classes. So the production’s director, Carol Dunne, and Associate Professor Laura Edmondson, chairs of the theater department, were intrigued when Fuechtner approached them.

Professor Klaus Mladek on The German Elections

Professor Klaus Mladek interprets the German elections results on WBUR's Cognoscenti: "Even though Angela Merkel was reelected on Sunday, Germany doesn’t feel very celebratory. As a German, I’ve never seen such a worried, agitated and sullen public in my country.​ After Brexit, Donald Trump and the ascension of other nativist populists in Europe, many Americans cherished the idea of Merkel as the last leader of the free world. But for many Germans, she embodies a kind of stagnation and lack of vision reminiscent of the years of Helmut Kohl. The few weeks that Merkel’s challenger from the SPD party, Martin Schulz, created genuine excitement among the electorate demonstrated for a fleeting instant how much the people, millennials, in particular, yearn for a real political alternative. The life in beer gardens and cafes, the big BMWs and many carbon-frame bikes might project an image of a wealthy and content society.

New Course, Fall 2017: German 65.03 -- Masterpieces of German Drama

GERM 65.03 - Masterpieces of German Drama

This course treats eight of the greatest plays ever written in German, paired to highlight historical links, thematic continuities, and formal innovations persisting throughout the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Lessing's Nathan der Weise and Frisch's Andorra address issues of religious and racial tolerance; Goethe's Iphigenie and Kleist's Penthesilea analyze attitudes toward women; Schiller's Wallenstein and Brecht's Mutter Courage examine the causes of history; Büchner's Dantons Tod and Weiss's Marat/Sade debate the reasons for revolution. Aided by audio and visual means, students also read theoretical texts concerning theater as practiced in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Conducted in German. Open to all classes. Taught at 2 by Ellis Shookman. Distributive: LIT; WCult: W

Two Alumnae Win Scholarships from German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Claire Park and Annelise Sauter Ortiz, both of the Class of 2016, have won scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). For details, click on the headline above to see an article in Dartmouth News:



Graphic Artist Line Hoven offers Scratch Art Workshop

Our spring 2017 Max Kade Visiting Professor Line Hoven, gaphic artist and author of celebrated graphic novels in Germany,  is offering a srcatch art workshop for members of the LLCs and other student communities. All materials, snacks and drinks will be provided. The event takes place in Occom Commons, Goldstein Hall (Global Village) on Thursday, April 27 from 4-6 pm.

Conference: A Century of Filmkritik and Beyond


An Interdisciplinary Conference
Dartmouth College, April 13-16, 2017



For more than a century—dating as far back as 1907, when the first German-language film publications were first established—Filmkritik(criticism, historiography, all manner of cultural discourse on cinema) has been a prized form of expression, a thriving intellectual, journalistic, and professional enterprise.