Teaching Austria: Volume 2, 2006

Editorial Board for Volume 2, 2006

Publishing date: 9 April 2007
  • Katherine Arens
    U of Texas at Austin

  • Editorial Board:
  • Craig Decker
    Bates College
  • Ruth V. Gross
    North Carolina State University
  • Susanne Kelley
    University of Nevada, Reno
  • Kirsten A. Krick-Aigner
    Wofford College
  • Isolde M. Mueller
    St. Cloud State University
  • Willy Riemer
    University of Delaware
  • Walter Tschacher
    Chapman University
  • Felix Tweraser
    Utah State University
  • Joseph W. Moser
    Washington and Jefferson College
  • Neil Christian Pages
    Binghamton University SUNY
  • Christine Rinne
    Indiana University
  • Janet Swaffar
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Gregor Thuswaldner
    Gordon College
  • Jacqueline Vansant
    University of Michigan - Dearborn
  • Anne Close Ulmer
    Carleton College
[ISSN 1557-2854]


Volume 2, 2006: Table of Contents

    From the Editor: Learning the Ropes

    This is the first regular issue of Teaching Austria -- an issue marked by the normal birth pains of a new periodical with a new editor. I would like to thank the authors of the essays included here for their infinite patience with what justifiably seemed like interminable delays. Many thanks too for the readers of these essays, who were generous with their time and advice and who brought great critical acumen and care to their readings and commentary. The authors, in their turn, showed uniform great grace in meeting the issues raised by the readers. The next issue will profit from what they all have taught me.

    These essays are of very different kinds, but they share a passion for making Austria in all its permutations visible and comprehensible to their students. The majority are "how-to" articles. They report on local and successful course designs and initiatives. Most critically, each essay describes precisely the conditions under which its innovations came to be and came to succeed. Who the students are, at what level they function and with what prerequisites they enter the classroom, the kind of institution, what requirements are fulfilled, what resources are necessary, where in the curriculum the course is settled, what kinds of assignments, materials, and assessment tools are used -- these are the minimal requirements for making a "how to" useful for new readers.

    The articles in this issue move beyond those minima in various ways: they place Austria into new instructional contexts, introduce new kinds of materials and new curricular initiatives, and challenge their students to think critically as they learn how to write, analyze, and expand their capacity for self-expression (in German or another language). Some come from Europe, and others from North America: the differences between the instructional contexts allow for very different kinds of creative teaching opportunities.

    So come in and see how many different ways our colleagues in wide-flung locales have "taught Austria." And consider sharing your own work for the next volume.

    Teaching Austria: Global

  • Teaching Law and Literature:
    A Successful Interdisciplinary Challenge

    Ester Saletta, University of Bergamo, Italy

    This contribution focuses on the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to law, bridging the gap between scientific and literary disciplines. It presents a course implemented in the Law Faculty at the University of Bergamo, Italy. Barbara Pezzini, chair of the Law Faculty, and her staff successfully designed and taught a six-credit course "Equal Opportunities and Gender Construction in Law and Literature" to second-year students of the Law Faculty. The course, coordinated by a tutor, is structured in nineteen face-to-face lecture sessions and six hands-on workshop sessions held by specialists of different disciplines and specialization areas. In the course, students learn to integrate their legal know-how with skills deriving from the humanities. (ES)
    (Abstract and article copyright ES)    
    [article PDF (772 KB)]

  • Endlich Österreich! Ein Unterrichtsvorschlag aus Irland

    Regina Standún, National University of Ireland Maynooth

    Ausgehend von einer Umfrage durchgeführt unter irischen DeutschstudentInnen, die im dritten Studienjahr mit dem Bachelor of Arts abgeschlossen haben, soll dieser Unterrichtsvorschlag exemplarisch darstellen, wie man Österreich und vor allem das Österreichische spielerisch und unterhaltend für jugendliche DeutschlernerInnen in den Sprachunterricht einbringen kann. Vermittelt werden sowohl landeskundliche Informationen, aber vor allem auch sprachliche Eigenheiten. Beginnend mit einem Cartoon oder einem Text, der von einer Übersetzungsmaschine zusammengestellt worden ist, werden die StudentInnen auf sprachliche Besonderheiten aufmerksam gemacht. Dann wird mit ausgesuchtem Wortmaterial weitergearbeitet, was in einer persönlichen Textproduktion enden soll. Der Aspekt des lustvollen und lustigen Lernens ist besonders wichtig, wobei jedoch die der Spracherwerb und der Informationsgehalt nicht außer Acht gelasssen wird. Das am Ende angebotene Beurteilungsraster kann für die Evaluation von kreativem Arbeiten hilfreich sein. (RS)
    (Abstract and article copyright RS)    
    [article PDF (532 KB)]

  • Servus in Österreich!: Interkulturelle Landeskunde-Materialiensammlung für Germanistikstudierende

    Erika Grossmann, Universität Szeged, Hochschulfakultät für Lehrerausbildung "Gyula Juhász"

    Der Beitrag setzt sich damit auseinander, wie, mit welchen Unterrichtsmaterialien eine Seminarreihe Landeskunde Österreich mit DaF-Unterricht, d.h. mit Förderung der fremdsprachlichen Kompetenz kombiniert werden kann.
    An der Hochschulfakultät für Lehrerausbildung „Gyula Juhász" der Universität Szeged werden für Germanistikstudenten im Laufe des Studiums die Seminare Deutschland, die Schweiz und Österreich in je einem Semester als obligatorisches Fach angeboten. In 12 Seminarstunden (mit jeweils 90 Minuten) werden insgesamt zehn solche, für die Alltagskultur charakteristischen Themen angeboten, die mit Hilfe von didaktisierten, authentischen Lese- Video/DVD- oder Hörtexten mit den Studenten gemeinsam erarbeitet werden. Die Erweiterung der landeskundlichen Kenntnisse wird somit mit der Förderung der Fremdsprachenkompetenz kombiniert.
    Im Hinblick auf die Tatsache, dass ab dem akademischen Jahr 2006-2007 die europaweit verbreitete Bachelor- und Masterausbildung eingeführt wird, stellte die Autorin eine Landeskunde-Materialiensammlung mit dem Titel Servus In Österreich! zusammen (Co-Autorin: Tünde Sárvári). Der Beitrag gibt eine „Kostprobe" aus dem ersten Kapitel dieser Materialiensammlung, die in Kürze in Form einer CD herausgegeben wird. (EG)
    (Abstract and article copyright EG)
    [article PDF (1 MB)]

  • The "Regionalist" Approach to Austrian History: Austrian Studies within the Context of German and East European History

    Alexander Maxwell, Victoria University, New Zealand

    A regionalist approach to teaching European history at the undergraduate level enables Austrian history to be integrated into broader historical narratives that may attract significant student interest. This essay describes two upper-division courses organized around a regionalist philosophy, "Eastern Europe and the Balkans" and "The History of the German-speaking Peoples," and suggests a series of lectures and assignments in line with the aims of this philosophy. (AM)
    (Abstract and article copyright AM)
    [article PDF (788 KB)]

  • Teaching Austria: US Contexts

  • Teaching the Intersections of Self and Society Through
    Austrian Literature: Erich Hackl's Abschied von Sidonie
    and Elisabeth Reichart's Februarschatten

    Kirsten A. Krick-Aigner, Wofford College

    "Teaching the Intersection of Self and Society Through Austrian Literature" examines how Erich Hackl's Abschied von Sidonie and Elisabeth Reichart's Februarschatten offer valuable insights for the teaching of literature, history, and culture in an upper-level undergraduate German literature and culture course. An outline of the course format and content is followed by a discussion of literary themes such as "otherness" and victimization, as well as the history of the Roma and Sinti in Austria, and the murder of Russian soldiers who had escaped from Mauthausen, which raise awareness of historical events of the Holocaust and World War Two in Austria. While such a course broadens students' perspectives on German-speaking cultures and history, it also offers the opportunity to explore the importance of personal responsibility while building vocabulary, exercising writing, communication, presentation, and technical skills. (KK-A)
    (Abstract and article copyright KK-A)

    [article PDF (1.1 MB)]

  • The Vienna of Hitler and Freud:
    An Undergraduate Seminar Course

    Ian Reifowitz, SUNY-Empire State College

    This essay discusses "The Vienna of Hitler and Freud," a seminar course that examines the culture of the Habsburg capital in the period from 1867 through 1938, with a particular focus on the years just before and after 1900. The goal of this course was twofold. First, it sought to introduce students to broad historical debates about the nature of Viennese fin-de-siècle culture by having them read political and cultural histories about that society. Then, it asked them to read important works of fiction and non-fiction produced in that society and attempt to assess how accurately these works reflected each of the historical arguments they had previously discussed. More broadly, the goal of this kind of seminar is for post-secondary students to gain an understanding of how to study in depth any historical topic or period of time. (IR)
    (Abstract and article copyright IR)
    [article PDF (644 KB)]

  • Teaching Austria, Extramural

  • Vienna as Seen From Miami: Three Colloquia on the City

    Joseph F. Patrouch, Florida International University

    This article discusses briefly the results of 3 senior-level colloquia centered on images of the city of Vienna as reflected primarily in twentieth-century Austrian literature by the authors Roth, Bachmann, Bernhard and Jelinek and in the collection of the Wolfsonian-FIU museum in Miami Beach. These colloquia were taught at the public research university in Miami, Florida International University, over the last decade. Contemporary events such as the second Austrian presidency of the EU, the 2006 Winter Olympics, and the theft of the famous Cellini sculpture from the Kunsthistorisches Museum were also incorporated. Students found many parallels between their experiences and understanding of Miami and the images of Vienna presented in class. A study tour sponsored by the University of Vienna in Spring, 2006 allowed Miami students to meet Vienna students and compare images as well. (JFP)
    (Abstract and article copyright by JFP)
    [article PDF (308 KB)]

  • Teaching "The Culture of Vienna" as an Enrichment Course

    Pamela S. Saur, Lamar University

    This article reports on the experience of teaching a one-credit-hour college enrichment course in English, "The Culture of Vienna" in 2004. Included is a sample syllabus and a handout on "common images" of Viennese culture. Challenges addressed include balancing touristic and scholarly material, presenting useful generalizations while attempting to avoid over-simplification, as well as taking either too positive or too negative a viewpoint, and selecting material from such relevant disciplines as history, architecture, music, dance, art, literature, film, psychology and philosophy. Ideas are presented as suggestions that instructors can adapt to their own backgrounds and those of their students, and to the design and goals of their particular courses. (PSS)
    (Abstract and article copyright by PSS)

    [article PDF (308 KB)]

  • Dream and Reality:
    Turn-of-the-Century Vienna -- With On-Site Field Trip

    Anne Close Ulmer, Carleton College

    This presentation reports on an upper-division course offered during the 2005-2006 academic year at Carleton College, designed and offered in tandem with a two-week winter-break field trip to Vienna that counted as an additional half-credit course. The winter-break trip was in turn followed by another (required) half-credit course consisting of student papers and presentations, given during the subsequent trimester. Topics and materials for the course are outlined, as well as the conditions for the fieldtrip. The result was a fruitful combination of instruction and college visibility that allowed students practice with their language skills, international experience, and enrichment of their sense of cultural history. (ACU)
    (Abstract and article copyright by ACU)
    [article PDF (400 KB)]

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