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Hella Mears black and white portrait, image courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

CLA receives $5 million to support German, European studies education and research

The College of Liberal Arts has received a $5 million gift from the estate of Hella Lindemeyer Mears. It will provide research, educational, and outreach opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students and support faculty research in the Department of German, Scandinavian & Dutch and the Center for German & European Studies.
Professor James Parente in his office

Mining the Gap: James Parente on Studying the Unstudied

Going where few scholars have gone before, Professor James Parente has made a career of studying what others have missed. He recently began examining how premodern texts changed as they migrated through various cultures and time periods, and how that journey has shaped the way we know them today. Multilingualism and comfort with complexity are critical to this approach, making Parente the perfect candidate to develop a transnational perspective on literary history.
Helena Ruf sitting at her desk

Reaching Out

Director of Language Instruction Helena Ruf is described as the “linchpin” that connects everything going on in GSD. “This job gives me the opportunity to affect change and make things happen,” she says. “It’s a very exciting and rewarding experience, and I wish I could do even more.” One of the many ways she does that work is by serving as co-chair of the department’s Outreach Committee. The committee works hard to develop the best strategies for spreading the word about studying the German, Scandinavian, and Dutch languages.
Graffiti in Berlin, Germany

Germany: A Home Away from Home

Sisters Elaine and Amanda Benke share a passion for the German language and culture, leading each of them to minor in German alongside their majors in science and design. They spent last summer in Berlin enrolled in a language immersion program and their time there has changed how they connect to the world around them.