Department of Germanic Studies

Graduate Student Research, Presentations, and Honors

- John Benjamin recently accepted a 3-year position as Assistant Professor of German at the United States Military Academy West Point.

 - Alexander Lorenz has recently accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship in German at the University of South Carolina Upstate, to start in Fall 2018.

•Congratulations are due to Matthias Fingerhuth, now in a multi-year postdoc position at the University of Vienna, who has recently submitted a very successful dissertation for a summer graduation.  The work's title is: Grammatical Variation in Standard German, 1900-1999: A Contrastive Corpus-Linguistic Study of Germany and Switzerland. 

•On 8 August, Jason Roberts very successfully defended his dissertation, entitled  "TRANSFORMATIONS OF "PURITY" IN CHRISTIAN DISCOURSES OF DEMON COMPULSION THROUGH THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY, and has submitted it for a summer graduation.  He starts teaching full-time, with a split appointment at UT Austin's Depts of Slavic Studies and Religious Studies in Fall 2017.

- Katrin Fuchs accepted a tenure-track position at Valparaiso University (Indiana), to start in Fall 2017.

Collin Brown has accepted a position as Instructor of Norwegian at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, to start in Fall, 2017.

•On 9 July 2017, Josch Lampe gave a talk on "The Gay Capital: Homosexuality in 19th/ 20th Century Berlin," at the 2017 American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting, in Utrecht.

•On Saturday, July 22, 2017, Alexander Lorenz co-presented (with Marc Pierce) a talk on "Teaching Texas German," at the Annual Meeting of the German-Texas Heritage Society here in Austin. 

Matthew Sherman has just had an article appear in the Journal of Austrian Studies:  "'Zwischen zwei Welten zerissen': Class Identity and Spaces of Liminality in Musil's Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß."  Journal of Austrian Studies, 49, #3-4 (Fall-Winter 2016): 65-90.

Cindy Walter-Gensler has accepted a permanent position at Baylor University (Waco, Texas), starting in Fall, 2017.

Jake Reis successfully defended his MA report, "Oath Formulas in the Poetic Edda." 

Roy Casagranda successfully defended his dissertation, entitled Colonization of the Normative Realm in the Age of Instrumentality, on 1 May.

Kristina Schoen received a 2017-2018 fellowship from the Austin Branch of the American Association of University Women. This fellowship supports Kristina's innovative dissertation project, "Gaining Language XP through story-playing: Meaning-making and L2 learner engagement in a narrative-driven digital game."

Matt Anderson has been awarded a grant for summer 2017  by the "American Friends of Marbach" to conduct research for his dissertation at the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach. 

•Our graduate students and recent alums were very well-represented at GLAC 23  in Austin  from April 20-22 2017.  The following gave papers:

  • Alex Lorenz and John Benjamin (with Cori Crane and Hans Boas), "Student Strategies and Perceptions of L2 Vocabulary Acquisition using the German Frame-Semantic Online Lexicon (G-FOL)"

  •  Katrin Fuchs, "Language History as a History of Language Use"

  • Matthias Fingerhuth, "Variation in 20th Century Swiss Standard German: An Analysis across Text Types"

  •  In addition, Zoe Wyatt gave a poster presentation on "Front Rounded Vowels in New Braunfels German" and Kristina Schoen co-conducted a special pre-conference workshop on "An Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics for Foreign Language Instruction" (with Cori Crane).

  • Finally, recent alum Ryan Dux spoke on "English Verbs in Wisconsin Low German."

Zoë Wyatt was recently awarded a DAAD Fellowship to spend the 2017-2018 academic year doing dissertation research in Hamburg.

Josch Lampe attended the 48th Annual Northeast Modern Language Association Convention, held in Baltimore, where he organized a panel on "Human Rights and their Limits in German Literature, Film, and Theater," and also gave a talk on "Die Hermanis-Debatte und das demokratische Potenzial des Theaters" on 23 March 2017. 

Matthias Fingerhuth has recently accepted a postdoctoral research position in the SFB "Deutsch in Österreich. Variation – Kontakt- Perzeption“ at the University of Vienna, directed by Prof. Dr. Alexandra Lenz.  Congratulations, Matthias!

Katrin Fuchs recently accepted a tenure-track position at Valparaiso University (Indiana), to start in Fall 2017.

Matt Anderson rceived a Fulbright grant for 2017-18 to conduct his dissertation research in Germany!

Matthias Fingerhuth  presented a paper (co-authored with Cori Crane) entitled "Playing the Part -- Disorienting Dilemmas in Teaching about Texas German-Comanche History," at a conference on "Diversity, Decolonialization, and the German Curriculum" at the University of North Carolina Asheville on 4 March 2017.

•At the annual conference of the Austrian Studies Association, held in Chicago (U of Illinois at Chicago hosting) from 16-19 March <>, our program was well represented with successful papers: current graduate student Matthew Sherman spoke on "Connections and Fissures between Adalbert Stifter's 'Der heilige Abend' and 'Bergkristall'," and recent alum Cindy Walter-Gensler spoke on "The Third Reich and WWII as Intertext in Johannes Mario Simmel's Hurra wir leben noch."

Jason Roberts recently published a review of Ken Kurihara's Celestial Wonders in Reformation Germany in the Sixteenth Century Journal.

John Benjamin and Katrin Fuchs were both recently awarded Graduate Continuing Bruton Fellowships for 2017-2018 to assist in the completion of their dissertations.

• Our graduate students and department dominated the rosters of the annual Conference of the Linguistic Society of  America and conjoint associations, held in Austin, TX, from 5-8 January 2017:

  • NAAHoLS Session (7 January): Matthias Fingerhuth (University of Texas-Austin): Otto Behaghel as a member of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Sprachverein
  • NAAHoLS Session (6 January):  Linguistics at the University of Texas

    9:00 Robert D. King (University of Texas-Austin), Marc Pierce (University of Texas-Austin): Germanic linguistics at the University of Texas, 1913-1980

    9:20 Joseph Salmons (University of Wisconsin-Madison): Linguistics all over campus: Polomé and Lehmann at the University of Texas

    9:40 Patricia Casey Sutcliffe (German Historical Institute): Linguistics in the 1990s at the University of Texas and beyond

    10:00 Hans C. Boas (University of Texas-Austin), Todd Krause (University of Texas-Austin): Analog to digital: The Linguistics Research Center

  • LSA Session (5 January): Social Networks and Language Change in New Braunfels German: A Case Study
    Authors: Marc Pierce ) and Hans C. Boas (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistic Session (6 January): Historical and Diachronic Approaches  
    Is Texas German a creole? Marc Pierce and Hans C. Boas (University of Texas at Austin)                       
  •  LSA session (6 January): Exploring the syntax and semantics of resultative constructions in German Sign Language (DGS) Cornelia Loos (University of Texas at Austin)

Matt Anderson recently won the 2016 Children's Books on Tour NYC Translation Competition, and will be translating Andreas Steinhoefer's 2015 children's book, Wenn mein Mond deine Sonne waere, for the German Book Office in New York.  See <> for details and to read his winning translation.  He was recognized at an event in NYC on 1 December 2016. 

• Our graduate program was well-represented at the annual meeting of the German Studies Association, between the 29 September and the 2 October in San Diego, CA.   The following grad students gave papers:

  • Matthew Anderson, "Bilder and Bildung? Visual Excess in Nineteenth-Century Editions of J. H. Campe's Robinson der Jüngere"
  • John Benjamin, "Reading with the Digedags: Comics and the Socialization of Popular Culture in the GDR"
  • Emily Krauter, "Perceptions of Multilingual Speakers: A Survey of Kiezdeutsch Speakers in Kreuzberg, Berlin"
  • Alumni presenters include:  Berna Gueneli, Marianne Ivanova, Karen Maxey, Amanda Randall, Daniela Richter, Jan Uelzmann, Jacqueline Vansant, and Cindy Walter-Gensler

Matthias Fingerhuth gave a talk on 24 September 2016 at the annual meeting of the German Texan Heritage Society in La Grange.  The talk was called "Semantic Variation in Texas German Language Shift." 

Cindy Walter-Gensler accepted a visiing position at Baylor University starting September 2016.

Jessica Plummer successfully defended her dissertation: "Selling Fiction: The German Colportage Novel 1871-1914” on 26 August 2016.

Matthias Fingerhuth gave three talks in Europe in Summer, 2016:

  • "Variation in the Development of German and Swiss German Standards," at the conference on "Deutsch in Oesterreich und andere plurizentrische Kontexte," in Vienna on 9 July 2016
  • "Variation im Standarddeutschen in historischer Perspektive: Daten aus Deutschland und der Schweiz," at the Department of Linguistics at the Viadrina European University in Frankfurt (Oder)
  • "Texasdeutsch zwischen Dialektausgleich, Sprachkontakt und Sprachwechsel," at the Department of German and Dutch Philology at the Free University of Berlin

Matt Sherman recently received the Billy Bob Draeger Graduate Research Fellowship in the Humanities from the Grad School, to support his current research.

• On June 10, 2016, Matthew Sherman presented a paper on "The Tyranny of Greece over Germany:The Politics of German Studies in the British Context," at a conference on Modernity and the Shock of the Ancient: The Reception of Antiquity in the Late 19th and early 20th Century, held at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK. (Link to abstract)

• On 9 June 2016, Matthew Anderson presented a paper, "An Illustrative Animus: Visual Excess in Nineteenth-Century Editions of J. H. Campe's Robinson the Younger," at the 43d Annual Children's Literature Association Conference, held in Columbus, Ohio. (program here)

• Several of our students gave talks at the Germanic Linguistics Annual Conference 22, held in Reykjavik, Iceland, from 20-22 May 2016, for the Society for Germanic Linguistics.  They were:

  • Margo Blevins, "The Progressive Aspect in Kiezdeutsch"
  • Matthias Fingerhuth, "Separable Prefix Verbs in Binnendeutsch and in Swiss Standard German"
  • Katrin Fuchs, "The Implementation of <h> as a Vowel Length Marker in German Court Records"
  • Jake Reis, "I frog mi wos i do dua: Analysis of Orthography in Styrian Song Lyrics"

• At the  International Congress on Medieval Studies (11-14 May 2016), held in Kalamazoo, Michigan,  Collin Brown spoke on "Wie etlich ding natuerlich sind und etlich von dem tiueffel sind: Johannes Hartlieb and the Demon Compulsion of the Saints" and Jason Roberts spoke on "Creating a Market for Magic: The Magician-Client Relationship as Discursive Space." (Program)

Liz Alexander presented a paper at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study in New Orleans (29 April 2016).  The paper was called "Money and Masculinity in Morten Tyldum's Hodejegerne." 

• Matthias Fingerhuth, Ryan Dux, and David Huenlich (co-authored with MA alum Adams LaBorde) presented papers at the Society for German-American Studies Annual Symposium in San Antonio (28-30 April 2016).  Matthias spoke on "Semantic Variation in Texas German Language Shift," Ryan on "How Much of Texas German is English, and David and Adams on "Teaching History Through Language Games: The German-Comanche Treaty."  Ryan was also the commentator for a panel on Texas German.

Katrin Fuchs and Matthias Fingerhuth recently published book reviews on the Linguist List, one of the most important resources for linguistics today. Katrin reviewed Changes Between the Lines: Diachronic Contact Phenomena in Written Pennsylvania German, by Doris Stolberg; and Matthias reviewed Runenschrift in der Black-Metal-Szene, by Florian Busch.

• Cindy Walter-Genseler has accepted the position of Lecturer at Baylor University, teaching in their German program

• Jason Roberts and Matthew Sherman were recently awarded FLAS fellowships for the 2016-2017 academic year, Jason for Russian and Matt for Czech.  Congratulations, Jason and Matt!

• Two students successfully presented their prospectuses and will be advancing to candidacy soon:  Matthew Andersion (22 April) and Matthew Sherman (6 May)

Alexander Lorenz received this year’s Foreign Language Teaching Excellence Award for AIs from the Texas  Language Center.  This is the third such award to an AI in our department out of six awarded by the TLC so far!!

• Ryan Dux has accepted a position as visiting assistant professor at Bucknell University, teaching German and Linguistics. Congratulations to Ryan !!!

• Dale Jones was recently awarded a German Studies Research Grant from the DAAD to fund his summer research project on "Rock Music and the FDJ -- Entertainment or Containment?" The grant will enable him to spend 2 months in Germany this summer.

• On 1 April, Katrin Fuchs and Matthias Fingerhuth presented a paper at the 2016  Berkeley Germanic Linguistics Roundtable.  It was called "The Individual in Language History: A case study of an orthographic idiolect in 17th century German."  Congratulations, Katrin and Matthias!  (On the same panel was our PhD Karen Roesch [now Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ., Indianapolis], speaking on "Documenting Dialect Death: German Dialects in Southern Indiana."

• Two of our graduate students gave very successful papers at the Annual Conference of the Austrian Studies Association in Vienna, Austria  (March 14-17, 2016)   Website:  
They also received travel support from the Austrian Cultural Forum NY and the ASA to make this possible and were acknowledged at a reception in the Vienna City Hall!

  • Cindy Walter-Gensler: "Vicki Baum’s Menschen im Hotel: A Case Study of a Novel’s Cultural Translation for Hollywood’s Big Screen"
  • Jacob Reis: "Globalizing or Americanizing?: Language Choice, Musical Style and Andreas Gabalier’s Volks-Rock ’n’ Roll"

David Huenlich accepted a job as a junior researcher at the "Institut für Deutsche Sprache" ( , starting March 15, 2016. David will be working in a research group that is tasked with the linguistic and communicative integration of refugees in Germany (which also happens to be the topic of his excellent dissertation, successully defended an submittied to the Graduate School")

• Katrin Fuchs has been awarded a Graduate Continuing Bruton Fellowship for 2016-2017 to assist in the completion of her dissertation

• Matthias Fingerhuth has been awarded a University Graduate Continuing Fellowship for 2016-2017 to complete his dissertation with full support from the Graduate School.

• Cindy Walter-Gensler successfully defended her dissertation, Ideologies of Motherhood: Literary Imaginaries and Public Discourses, on Tuesday, 2 February, 2016!!!

• Matthias Fingerhuth and John Benjamin presented a paper entitled "Building Bildung: Transcultural Scaffolding in L2 Instruction," at the Fifth International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence, held  in Tucson, AZ, on the 22 January. 

• Alex Lorenz presented a paper on "Critical Thinking in Online Collaboration: Teaching German Grammar" at the  ACTFL conference in San Diego on 21 November 2015:

• John Benjamin recently translated an article by a German media theorist.  The publication information is:

Gerling, W.  2015.  Moved images: Velocity, immediacy, and spatiality of photographic communication.  Translated by John Benjamin.  In M. Elo et al (eds), Photographic Powers, 287-307.  Helsinki: Aalto ARTS.   You can read the article at: <>

Alex Lorenz and Kristina Schoen have each published a review in the newest issue of Die Unterrichtspraxis.  Alex reviewed Welten: Introductory German, by Prisca Augustyn and Nikolaus Euba; and Kristina reviewed Sag mal: An introduction to German language and culture, by Christine Anton et al.  Both reviews are available at <>.

Devon Donohue-Bergeler, who teaches in our lower-division program, gave two talks at the POD Conference for Faculty Developers this past weekend (6-7 Nov): "Bring on the Drama!  Drama-Based Pedagogy for Learning and Assessment," and "Beyond Drama: Facilitate an Engaging Activity Right Now."

Cindy Walter-Gensler presented a paper, titled "Ina Seidel's Das Wunschkind: Every German Woman a Mother, Forever?," in a panel on "Being German, Being Female" (1 October) at last month's GSA conference (1-4 October, Washinton, DC).  Cindy also organized and moderated a session on "Alternative Family Models in Germanophone Literature and Film" (sponsored by Women in German). 

• In addition, Cindy Walter-Gensler served as a moderator and commentator for several sessions at the recent SCMLA conference (31 October - 3 November 2015, in Nashville, TN): "German Literature and Culture, 1890 to the Present: Session 1"; "The Rhythms of Language in the Works of German Women Writers"; "German Women Writers: Open Topic"; and "German Literature and Culture, 1890 to the Present: Session 3."

David Hünlich, Adams Laborde, and Devon Donohue-Bergeler presented "The Unbroken Treaty: Deutsch lernen als Rollenspiel” at the joint Texas AATG chapter meeting on September 19, 2015 in Temple. This meeting brought together 60 high school and college German teachers from three separate AATG chapters in Texas. Their presentation on conducting a historical Texas German role-play was well-received by audience members.

• Devon J. Donohue-Bergeler had a busy summer!  Devon is working on her PhD with our faculty, although her degree will be in Foreign Language Aquisition.  She   . . .

  • Won a Faculty/Student Collaborative Award from the College of Education for a conference presentation: Sebesta, J. and Donohue-Bergeler, D. LMS → LIS: Organizing and Inspiring Online Learning Today and in the Future. Innovations in Online Learning (IOL) Conference, San Antonio, May 2015.
  • Won a Euro travel grant from the Deutsches Literaturarchiv (DLA), Marbach for the Wochenendseminar zum Thema: Roman und Romanverfilmung, June 2015.
  • won a DAAD German Studies Research Grant for work with Susanne Horstmann at the Universität Bielefeld, Summer 2015.
  • Won a Professional Development Award from the Texas Language Center to develop dissertation workshop on drama-based instruction for AIs and TAs in Germanic Studies, Summer 2015.
  • served as a Regionalbotschafterin, Regional Ambassador for the Technische Universität Dresden.
• Elizabeth Alexander presented a paper at the recent annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study (SASS 2015), held in Columbus, Ohio.  Her paper was titled "Zozo's Diasporic Experience and Josef Fares's Accented Cinema."
• In the week of Mayday, Star Wars Day ("may the fourth . . . "), and Cinco de mayo, three students successfully defended their dissertation prospectuses:
  • Matthias Fingerhuth, Development of a National Variety: Continuity and Discontinuity in Swiss Standard German
  • Katrin Fuchs, Language External Influences on the Standardization of Written German in the 16th and 17th Centuries
  • Kristina Schoen, "Gaining Language XP: Uncovering the Layers of Meaning in a Detective Digital Game"
        Congratulations to all three, now entering candidacy!
• Tavis Sartin defended his very successful MA report, entitled "That Which is Brewed: An Etymology of Germanic Words for 'Beer'."
• Our graduate program was well-represented at the recent Germanic Linguistics Annual Conference 21 (GLAC 21), held in Provo, Utah.  The following students gave presentations:
  • Matthias Fingerhuth, "Nineteenth Century Orthographic Activism: Gustav Michaelis' Efforts to Improve German Spelling"
  • Katrin Fuchs, "Word Order in Dependent Clauses in Texas German"
In addition, several of our students gave poster presentations:
  • Adams LaBorde and David Huenlich, "The Unbroken Treaty: Learning Language Through Role-Play"
  • Ryan Dux, Maggie Gemmell, and Annika VanNoy (co-authored with Hans Boas), "Using the German Frame-Based Online Dictionary for Teaching Vocabulary"
• Amanda Randall has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of German at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.  Congratulations!!!
• Margo Blevins is the recipient of a DAAD fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service. She will spend the academic year 2015-16 at the University of Potsdam, Germany, to study with Heike Wiese and her colleagues.
•An undergraduate major, Kaitlyn Kennedy, has been awarded a DAAD fellowship for study in Germany next year. Kaitlyn will be graduating with her BA (in German, Spanish, and Latin American Studies) this semester. She is applying to pursue graduate work in Migration Studies at the University of Osnabrück. In addition, Kaitlyn was one of 7 finalists from all undergrad nominees at UT for the University Co-op/George H. Mitchell Student Award for Academic Excellence for 2015. This honor is paid to students who have completed outstanding research. Kaitlin has done that this year for her honors thesis entitled: “Between Cultures: The Case of Spanish Nurses in Germany and Transnational Challenges to Integration,” for which she received a $2,000 prize. 
•Two dissertations were successfully defended this week!!!:
  1. Amanda Z. Randall, "Translating the Discipline: On the Institutional Memory of German Volkskunde, 1945 to Present” (March 30, 2015)
  2. Maggie Gemmell "Semantic role alignment in metaphor: A frame semantic approach to metaphoric meaning" (April 1, 2015)
• At the Annual Conference of the Austrian Studies Association, held this year at Dearborn, MI (26-28 March 2015), two of our own delivered very successful papers:  Jacob Reis spoke on "'Zu Mantua in Banden': Blurring Temporal and Political Borders in Cultural Memory” and Matthew Sherman on  “‘Zwischen zwei Welten zerissen’: Liminality, Trangression, and Masochism in Musil’s Törleβ.” 
• Zoe Wyatt recently published an article, co-authored with Joseph Sullivan (U. of Oklahoma, and a 1999 UT Ph.D. from this department): "The Knight with the Sleeve [Die Riddere metter Mouwen] and its Discourse on Personal Bonds," Arthuriana ​24: 99-128. 

Jason Roberts has organized a session on "Efficacious Words: Spoken and Inscribed," which will take place at the 2015 International Congress on Medieval Studies, held in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Jason, as well as another of our grad students, Collin Brown, will present papers in the session.
• Alexander Lorenz received a scholarship to attend a Goethe Institut Workshop for the next generation of teachers (Nachwuchslehrer), focused on integrating STEM/MINT into the German classroom and capitalizing on students' interest in recycling and other environmental topics.  See < > for a description.

• Cindy Walter-Gensler presented a paper at the 2014 Coalition of Women in German Annual Conference, held in Shawnee on Delaware, PA. Cindy's talk was titled "The Working Mothers of the First World War -- A New Perspective on the Home Front."

• Amanda Randall and Cindy Walter-Gensler organized panels at the 2014 SCMLA conference here in Austin.  Amanda's was "New Directions in GDR Studies," and Cindy organized a panel on "German Women Writers."  Amanda also presented a paper in her session, "Memory versus Postmemory of GDR Volkskunde."

• Ryan Dux presented a paper at  the Texas Linguistic Society conference here in Austin.  Ryan's talk was "A Frame-Semantic Approach to Verbal Valency Patterns."

• Collin Brown published a co-authored article, "On the Variability of Texas German wo ​as a Complementizer," in Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung 67.

• Zoe Wyatt recently published an article, co-authored with Joseph Sullivan (U. of Oklahoma, and more importantly, a 1999 Ph.D. from this department).  The publication information is: "The Knight with the Sleeve [Die Riddere metter Mouwen] and its Discourse on Personal Bonds," Arthuriana ​24: 99-128. 

• Jason Roberts has organized a session on "Efficacious Words: Spoken and Inscribed," which will take place at the 2015 International Congress on Medieval Studies, held in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Jason, as well as another of our grad students, Collin Brown, will present papers in the session.

• Five UT graduate students, Margo Blevins, Devon Donohue-Bergeler, Jenny Fischer, Alex Lorenz, and Matt Sherman, participated in the 9th Annual DAAD Workshop, "DaF in den USA: Grundzuege und Perspektiven,"  held at UC-Berkeley on November 8, 2014.
• The department's graduate students were well-represented at the 8th International Conference on Construction Grammar, held recently in Osnabrueck.  The following students gave talks: 
     - Margo Blevins, "A Constructional Account of Progressive Aspect in Texas German"
     - Ryan Dux, "Uniformity and Idiosyncrasy in Verb Classes: A Frame-Semantic Account of English Change Verbs"   and "The Effects of Verb Borrowing on V2 Word Order in Texas German"
• Katrin Fuchs presented a paper at the 21st Symposium of the Graduate School Language and Literature (LIPP) at the LMU in Munich, titled "Die Entwicklung der ripuarischen Schriftsprache im 16. and 17. Jahrhundert - Untersucht an Hexenverhoerprotokollen aus Koeln und dem Koelner Umland."  (Interestingly enough, the keynote speaker, Renata Szczepaniak [Hamburg] drew on the same material for her own paper!)