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GNSD Statement on Racial Justice

The Department of German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch joins the ongoing protest against racial inequality and injustice in the Twin Cities and nationwide, asserting that Black lives matter. We oppose racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, trans- and homophobia, misogyny, white supremacy and racist violence, and strive towards an inclusive department in which all feel respected, safe, and welcome. 
In eynem cover

In eynem’s Communicative Approach to Yiddish Pedagogy

PhD candidate of the GNSD Department, Meyer Weinshel, has been piloting a forthcoming Yiddish textbook, In eynem, the Yiddish Book Center’s forthcoming communicative language textbook (available July 2020).  To mark the publication of the book, Meyer interviewed Asya Vaisman Schulman, co-author of the book, and director of the Yiddish Book Center’s Yiddish Language Institute.
Photo of Bridget Brown

Q&A with Bridget Brown

Senior Bridget Brown discusses adapting to distance learning and how her background in German studies and psychology informs how she understands the pandemic. "My liberal arts education has helped me analyze different aspects of our lives during COVID-19...I've really appreciated my broad sphere of learning and my ability to look at this situation from multiple angles."
Lena Norrman in Iceland

Piecing It Together: Searching for Stories of Icelandic Women

“Women were strong. They had their own will; they had their own say,” says Lena Norrman, lecturer of Swedish and Scandinavian studies. Norrman spent fall 2019 in Reykjavík, searching through 13th-century Icelandic sagas for clues about lives of women at that time, and found that they were more independent than their counterparts on the European continent.
Portrait of Ross Etherton

An Unexpected Love

In high school, Ross Etherton had no college aspirations and thought of German as an ugly language. Now, as a professor of German, he incorporates what he learned as a first-generation college student and a graduate student mentor into how he teaches and relates to his students. Reflecting on being a mentor, he says, “some of my biggest joys were watching students move from something that they didn’t like to something they ended up falling in love with.”
Professor Emeritus Gerhard Weiss

Gerhard Weiss dies at 93

Weiss began teaching German studies at the U in 1956 and also served as the department's chair for eight years. He mentored new faculty and redefined how German studies was taught at the U, incorporating topics that went beyond language and literature to include urban studies and cultural history.
Photo of Chelsea Spencer

An Experience for Everyone

Chelsea Spencer is a senior majoring in German, Scandinavian, Dutch (with an emphasis in German) and global studies and minoring in biology. During her time abroad, Spencer maximized her time by traveling, volunteering, and living with a native German family. Spencer reflects that studying abroad can work for anyone, regardless of their schedule or budget, and adds that “it’s an experience unlike any other.”
Photo of Molly Tynjala

Finding Authenticity Abroad

Molly Tynjala recently graduated with a major in English and a minor in political science. Driven to learn more about her heritage, she began taking Finnish classes as a sophomore and discovered a deep appreciation for Finnish language and culture. The Finnish Connection Scholarship she received allowed her to explore the country firsthand. “The support of donors means the world to me,” she says. “It illustrates to me that other people still have hope for the future and have faith that young people will achieve remarkable things.”
Photo of Anna Keltner

A Changed Perspective

Anna Keltner is working toward a double-major in German, Scandinavian, Dutch (with an emphasis in Finnish) and strategic communications, with a minor in political science. She shares how learning abroad in Finland advanced her personal and professional plans and inspired new goals, adding that she “gained so much confidence, became a lot more independent, and got a much clearer picture of how [she wants her] life to go.”
Photo of Abby Bauer

Living Your Coursework

Abigail Bauer is pursuing a German, Scandinavian, Dutch major and a minor in Swedish. Reflecting on a previous trip to Europe, she explains that “learning abroad makes real the history you learn in the classroom” because it creates a personal, tangible connection. She adds that learning abroad aids in personal development by helping you gain “new confidence to explore other places and their cultures,” and looks forward to returning to Germany this summer.