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Astrid M Weigert

Title

Visiting Assistant Professor

Department

Department of German
Research

Research

Statement of research and professional activities
July 31, 2010

As a literary scholar, my research agenda focuses on issues of gender and genre in German literature of the 18th and 19th centuries, with an emphasis on German Romanticism and Naturalism. Currently, I am working on a book project about the Romantic writer Dorothea Schlegel which aims to highlight her many contributions to the literary landscape of Early German Romanticism. Chapters will investigate Schlegel’s aesthetic program as novelist, literary critic, letter writer/diarist, and translator.
Over the last seven years, my work as Book Review Editor for The German Quarterly has afforded me the opportunity to be up-to-date on the latest publications in all areas of German literature and culture. I enjoy the editorial process and find this service to the profession very gratifying.
I have presented my research at numerous national and international conferences. Recently, I have become more involved with NeMLA, the Northeast Modern Language Association, where I am at this point a candidate for the Board position as German Languages and Literatures Director. Another professional organization with which I am actively involved is the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG).
Issues of curriculum development and pedagogy are as important to me as as my literary research. I have been actively involved in departmental curriculum design and implementation issues. My teaching experience includes all levels of undergraduate German courses, from Basic German to upper-level courses on German Business Culture and German Romanticism. Over the last few years, I have paid particular attention to Business-related German courses with the goal to make them intellectually more stimulating. In this context, I have worked closely with colleagues in the “German for Professional Purposes” section of the American Association of Teachers of German. A close working relationship with the Goethe Institute Chicago’s office of “Berufskommunikation,” has resulted in my Department hosting the annual conference on Business German sponsored by the Goethe Institute in September of 2010.
My involvement with the graduate students in my Department ranges from co-chairing sessions at conferences with individual students and mentoring first-time instructors. On a more informal basis, I am available to discuss their research projects, read through first drafts of papers, and share my professional expertise. For undergraduate students, I act as the faculty liaison to the German Club and as internship adviser.
On the Georgetown campus, I have worked closely with the Center for New Design in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) in order to integrate technology productively into my teaching. Some of my projects have been featured on the CNDLS website. In AY 2009-10, I was part of a small group of fellows in the “Thresholds of Writing” program organized by CNDLS. Additionally, I have more recently taken advantage of the many initiatives on campus related to issues of social justice and faith, consulting with colleagues in the Center for Social Justice, Research, and Teaching and the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor on potentially integrating social justice aspects into my teaching.
I enjoy excellent working relationships with colleagues from many other departments, including Prof. Julia Lamm whom I have assisted with her translation project of German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, and Prof. Kassem Wahba of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies with whom I often discuss curricular issues in foreign language teaching.
Beyond campus, my contacts to the Goethe Institute Washington, the German Embassy and the German Information Center, as well as the Austrian Embassy have proven valuable to the Department and our students.