Meet our Graduate Students
Bethany Bowen-Wefuan earned her B.A. in German Studies and English, and her M.A. in German Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. While working on her master’s degree, she studied abroad at Philipps-Universität Marburg where she also taught English and took every opportunity to explore Germany. Her research interests include German Romanticism and Realism, particularly depictions of the supernatural and intersections of the Kantian sublime and the Uncanny. Bethany also enjoys traveling, attempting to cook, and playing the piano.
Martin earned his B.A. in German and Music at the College of Charleston in 2013. While there he received a grant to study the first French translations of Mozart’s Zauberflöte at the Bibliotheque nationale de France. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Martin taught English and American culture in Austrian secondary schools as part of a teaching assistantship offered by the Austrian Fulbright Commission. His research interests include the interaction of music and literature, the history of translation practices, and drama and theater studies, particularly the function of sound design in modern theater
BethAnne received her BA in German, Writing, and Music from Illinois Wesleyan University. While there, she studied abroad at the Albert Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and wrote her honors research thesis on Erich Loest and the East German Lutheran Church. Her research interests include postwar culture and society, poetry, prison studies, and contemporary literature. When she’s not reading, BethAnne enjoys running, rock climbing, and coaching soccer.
Corinna studied Cultural History and Theory, as well as Spanish Philology at the Humboldt-University in Berlin and Anthropology, Sociology and Jewellery Design at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. For her Bachelor’s thesis she applied Roland Barthes’ theory on everyday “mythologies” to the iconic advertising legend “Nivea”. In her Master’s thesis she combined classic art history with current approaches in German media studies to examine ideal body images in the form of historical tattoo imagery. During her interdisciplinary studies she focussed mainly on myth and media theory, art and cultural history, material culture, cultural techniques, museology and cultural management. Besides her studies she did curate several exhibitions, worked at Berlin art galleries, film and literature festivals and as an intern at the cultural program department of the Goethe-Institute in Jakarta, Indonesia. In her graduate studies she wishes to further research mythical imagery in popular culture. She enjoys visiting art and fashion museums and she loves traveling, bicycling, singing, cooking and yoga.
John Gill received his BA from UNC-Chapel Hill in German and Philosophy. Before studying he was awarded the Congress-Bundestag Scholarship and lived in Düsseldorf, Germany from 2004-2005. After graduation, he worked three years as a digital archivist at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is now in his second year in the Carolina-Duke German program. He is interested in modern literature and political philosophy, with an emphasis on Karl Marx, Walter Benjamin, and revolutionary traditions of thought. John enjoys bicycle touring and lives in Carrboro, North Carolina.
Emma Goehler earned her B.A. in 2015 from the University of Chicago in Fundamentals: Issues and Texts with a minor in Germanic Studies. The “fundamental” issue she studied was suicide, but she also dabbled in the sometimes-related and generally more cheerful concepts of love and storytelling. As an undergraduate, she spent a short time in Leipzig on a German language acquisition grant and also began to learn Czech. While Emma retains many of her past interests, she currently spends more time thinking about questions of identity, narrative and memory in post-war Central Europe. In her free time, Emma enjoys various ways of going (swimming, biking, running, hiking, climbing) and beer.
Lea Greenberg earned her B.A. in German Studies with a Concentration in Russian, Central, and East European Studies at Grinnell College in 2014. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Vienna and worked as an intern at the International Fellowship of Reconciliation – Austria. Following graduation, she worked as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at the Georg-Büchner-Gymnasium in Berlin. During her time as a Fulbrighter, she also occasionally volunteered at the American Jewish Committee Berlin office.
In her graduate studies, Lea is focused on pursuing German-Jewish studies and examining conceptions of “Western” and “Eastern” Europe. She is also interested in the lands of the former Habsburg Empire and issues of identity in Central Europe. When not reading about or studying these regions of Europe, Lea enjoys traveling to them, particularly to Slovenia to be with her mother’s side of the family. She also enjoys collaging, drawing, throwing fabulous dinner parties, taking on creative projects around the house, and baking. (She makes a fierce carrot cake.)
Matt graduated in 2010 with a B.A. in German from Lewis & Clark College. He spent the next two years working in Austrian schools teaching about American culture and coaching conversational skills in English. He is interested in ethics, science and technology in German literature and philosophy. During his first year at Carolina-Duke, he plans to focus his research interests and deepen his knowledge of canonical texts.
Jeff got his BA in German, History, and Psychology from Indiana University Bloomington, where he went on to complete an MA in European Studies with a focus on Germany, writing a thesis about how the concept of “movement” or Bewegung changed over the course of the “long nineteenth century.” During his MA studies, he spent six months at the Freie Universität Berlin, taking courses in history and doing research for his thesis at the Staatsbibliothek. His current research interests focus around the “long nineteenth century” and the idea of revolution (or more generally what one might call “radical” political and social theory) in conjunction with various literary expressions of such concepts. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys baking, traveling with his wife, Raine, and hiking.
Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Lukas Hoffman graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a Bachelors in German Studies and departmental honors of Magna cum Laude in May of 2016. His Honors Thesis was titled “Adorno and Augustine; Parallel Conceptions of Alienation and the Self,” where he explored intersections in thought between Adorno’s conception of alienated self-consciousness and Augustine’s conception of the effects of original sin. Lukas’ current research interests include Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School, specifically the work of Theodor Adorno and examining intersections in thought with theology. He plans to pursue further research with Adorno specifically, but also to continue to explore his general research interests of 18th- 20th century German philosophy, addressing questions of enlightenment and modernity, especially engaging Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Benjamin as well as engaging 20th century theology and patristic theology, particularly in reference to its intersections with modern political thought and critique.
John is native to Arkansas, where he attended the U of A and majored in philosophy, English literature, and German studies. He wrote his senior thesis on Moby Dick, developing a dialectical and lyrical method of analysis in dialogue with Ernst Cassirer, Kierkegaard, and St. Augustine. He received an MA in German studies from Mizzou in 2016. John’s research interests include ontology, hermeneutics, aesthetics, and Catholic theology, which dovetail in his work in sustained reflection on the trope of Gelassenheit. The works of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Ferdinand Ulrich are of special importance to him. John also plays pickup basketball quasi-religiously. He believes that Little Rock and Memphis are home to best amateur hoops in the world.
Amy studied German and French at the Ohio State University, graduating with a B.A. in 2013. She then spent a year teaching English in Salzburg, Austria. She is interested in studying lyric poetry and the process of (poetic) creativity, with a focus on women writers in the Romantic era and contemporary Austrian poets, in particular Friederike Mayröcker. Her undergraduate thesis on the translation of musicality both analyzed the process of musical translation and essayed her theory on a selection of poems, and she hopes to deepen her knowledge of both translation and music at Carolina-Duke. Some of Amy’s other enthusiasms include sewing (a class in Salzburg helped her to make the dirndl pictured), knitting, baking, and exploring green places by bike.
Nick hails from northern England, where he received his bachelor’s degree in German Language and Culture from Durham University in 2012. He subsequently moved to Tübingen, where he had spent a year as an Erasmus student in 2010/11, and earned his master’s degree in German Literature (MA Deutsche Literatur) in 2015. While completing a two-semester stint as a graduate exchange student and TA at UNC in 2015/16, Nick applied successfully to join the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies. His research interests include twentieth-century German literature, especially literature of the Weimar Republic and the works of Alfred Döblin, and political aesthetics.
Edana Kleinhans has a wide range of interests, but at heart, she a medievalist. She is currently focusing on issues of gender, and the agency of women in relation to authorship and patronage during the medieval ages. Edana’s fascination with the medieval era began at Mount Holyoke College, where her senior thesis was a treatment of the influences of the Old English poem Beowulf on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Upon graduation, Edana took a brief break from academia to work at the literary agency Harold Ober Associates in New York, before deciding that too much German can never be enough. After two years abroad in Germany teaching English with the Fulbright Program and the German Pädagogischer Austauschdiesnst, she completed the Lehramt, or German teaching degree, with a double concentration in English and German literature and linguistics at the Universität Stuttgart. In Stuttgart, Edana particularly enjoyed researching power and female autonomy in Mahrtenehe, or fairy marriage, gender and identity in the poetry of the 19th century romantic Novalis, and reference and consciousness in the work of Abbott, Jackendoff, Chomsky, and Kant. In her spare time, Edana enjoys, gardening, cooking, German coffee and cake, and the running necessary to burn off all of the calories.
Patrick Lang was born and raised near Syracuse, New York. While working toward a B.A. in political science at SUNY University at Buffalo, he studied abroad in Moscow and Berlin, and later spent a semester in Washington, D.C., as a research assistant to a professor investigating language shift. More recently, Patrick has completed the coursework for a M.Phil. program in comparative literature at Trinity College, Dublin. Currently, Patrick is planning on concentrating on the aesthetic and political implications of the 20th-century shift from late modernism to postmodernism and pop.
Originally from Mongolia, I have lived in Bonn since I was 14. I received my master’s degree from the University of Bonn in 2011. In my master’s thesis I examined the aspects of loss and death in J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and compared it to the German classic of adolescence literature Die Neuen Leiden des jungen W. by Ulrich Plenzdorf. From 2012-2016 I have taught elementary to advanced German to adult immigrants, some of whom were refugees. My academic interests include 20th century German postwar literature and culture, contemporary literature, children’s and young adult literature.
Ian received his BA in German and Classics from Williams College in 2013. During his undergraduate career, he spent a year studying in Regensburg, Germany, where he worked to improve his Greek and Latin while expanding his knowledge of German literature into the middle ages. In 2014, he completed a Masters Degree in the Humanities at the University of Chicago, where he began to combine his knowledge of Roman and German literatures, culminating in a thesis: A Vergillian Echo in Wolfram’s Willehalm: The Slaying of Suppliants and Heroic Culpability in the Deaths of Arofel and Magus. Ian continues to be primarily interested in Medieval German literature, but is also interested in the reception of the Classics in general and looks forward to expanding his literary and theoretical interests. Outside of his studies, Ian enjoys musical composition, language learning, and tea.
Margaret Reif earned her B.A. in Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago in 2013. During college, Margaret participated in a language study abroad program, in Berlin language school and Eichstätt. Following graduation, Margaret spent the 2013-2014 academic year at a Gymnasium outside of Kiel teaching English through Fulbright. Her academic interests include 18th and 19th century literature, the depiction of women in literature and film, and German Romantic Lieder. When not reading, Margaret also enjoys skiing, musical theater and baking.
Helen earned her Bachelor of Arts in German Studies at the Universität Karlsruhe. Her research interests include Afro-German literature and culture, philosophy of science and intellectual property. During her free time she enjoys outdoor activities such as running, swimming and long walks. She loves to cook (and of course eat!) Eritrean and German kitchen.
Christoph Schmitz received his Magister in Philosophy, Chinese Studies and Cultural Studies from the University of Leipzig in 2012. He spent the 2010/2011 academic year in Tainan/Taiwan to refine his Chinese. After graduation, he taught German at the Goethe Language Center in Qingdao/China, and served as library assistant at Duke University Libraries. Joining the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies, his main research interests include the history of intellectual property rights, philosophy of language, literary theory, and modern German literature.
Joshua began his studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he received his BA in German and History in 2011. During his time at Wayne State, he spent the 2009-2010 academic year in Munich. Following his BA, Joshua completed a Master in Library Science (2013) and then a MA in Religious Studies (2015) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While at Illinois, his interest in German-Jewish studies developed, culminating in work on a 1920’s-era German-language translation of the Hebrew Bible by Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig. Joshua spent this past academic year (2015-2016) in Bonn, Germany where he worked as an English-language teaching assistant in a vocational school as a Fulbright recipient. Joshua’s research interests include: post 1945 Jewish life in German-speaking countries; multilingualism; German-Israeli relations; and memory studies.
David earned his BA in Liberal Arts from the Santa Fe campus of St. John’s College in 2015. His work there followed the college’s broad program of study in philosophy, literature, music, and the history of math and science. Following that he lived in both Seattle and Berlin for a year, receiving an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington after finishing his coursework on exchange at the Humboldt-Universität in 2017. He joined the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies the following fall. His research interests include idealism, romanticism, and comparative religion
Leonie is originally from Frankfurt / Main, Germany. After completing a year of voluntary work at an Archaeological Museum, she moved to Tübingen where she received her BA in German Studies with a minor in Rhetoric at Eberhard Karls Universität. In her BA Thesis, she examined the correlation of spaces and metadramatic dimensions in Max Frisch’s play “Biographie: Ein Spiel.” As part of her Master’s program in Literary and Cultural Theory, Leonie came to UNC Chapel Hill as an exchange student and TA in 2016/17. She then successfully applied to join the CDG program. Her research interests include drama, theater and performance as well as spatial theories and narratology.