August 20, 2013
The seminar brought together professors from universities across the U.S. to study German culture in person.
By Sherrie Voss Matthews, International Media & Marketing Coordinator
Silke Schade went back to the classroom this past June. Not as a lecturer, but as a student of sorts, with U.S. faculty members from universities across the nation who were chosen as German Studies Seminar awardees by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Schade, senior lecturer of German in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, was able to immerse herself in German language, literature and culture with 13 other professors. The interdisciplinary group spent two weeks in Berlin, learning from government officials, city planners, architects, artists and others.
“It was a treat to be a student again,” Schade explains. “Many of the participants were experts in the fields being discussed, so the dialogue was fascinating.”
Schade was surrounded by colleagues from universities such as the New School, University of California-Berkley, Duke University, the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and others. All scholars, they ranged from new professors to those who had been teaching for years.
“We could share ideas on how to teach about Berlin, literature, film, art, music,” Schade says.
Schade and the other participants were able to explore the Stasi (East German secret police) archive, an old convent that had been re-created as an art center, gallery and studio space, a decommissioned Nazi-era airport that has been converted to recreational space. They also examined the re-purposing of old buildings for new uses as the German State has changed during the past two centuries.
Schade will begin planning a 2015 Maymester study-abroad experience to enhance the course she currently teaches on Berlin, which is taught in English. The core curriculum course is open to all UTSA students.
“It’s important to see and experience the buildings and places that we study in the course. There is nothing like being there,” she says.
Sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Program provides funding for students, scholars, teachers, and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.
Learn more about how to apply for a Fulbright at http://www.iie.org/fulbright