Archive for the ‘Ogle-Who?’ Category



In German Culture in ATL,Ogle-Who?,Sina's Posts on May 7, 2012 by SN

I cannot believe it is the final week already!! I still remember early January, when I was not sure of how to survive the upcoming stressful spring semester. Now it is over already! I want to share with you the two most delightful moments about finishing up my work as an Assistant Professor of German.

The first one are the final GER 102 presentations. In addition to the study of pronunciation, communication, grammar, and orthography, I decided to give my students some freedom in pursuing their individual research projects. In the last week of April the students held presentations about their research projects. They ranged from economic aspects, such as the Germans’ perception of the Euro debt crisis to social issues, such as discrimination towards Germans in America, all the way to cultural topics on German film history, memory in German film, translating Heinrich Heine poems, knitting cultures, and on German nobility. All of presentations were so diverse, innovative, and cool!  I was so impressed by my students! And the best part of project week: The students were able to vote on the presentations of their peers with up to three Post-Its each. This “popular” vote constituted 1/4 of the grade for the oral presentation. After all of the students had held their presentations, I had this wonderful mosaic of all the votes:

Students Vote for Students: Results of the Oral Presentations.

The second memorable moment was having a final beer with some of my students at Der Biergarten German restaurant in downtown ATL. Besides tasting Bier and Bretzeln with Obazda, we were especially interested in how this venue creates the idea of German. Of course, Germany = Bavaria! We had lots of fun and had this picture taken in front of a pastoral anachronistic imagination of a German landscape:

Schönes Bayern, err, Deutschland: Final Bier with Students at Der Biergarten, Atltanta.

Thanks Keith, for taking this picture! Shout outs to my most favorite GER students!


LASS: Oglethorpe’s Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium

In German Culture in ATL,Ogle-Who?,Sina's Posts on May 2, 2012 by SN

Tuesday, 10 April, 2012, Oglethorpe’s annual Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium (LASS) took place. The symposium is a university-wide event where students from all fields showcase their work. It was coordinated by my colleague Dr. Mario Chandler who was also a committee member of CLA conference earlier this month. For me LASS constituted a wonderful opportunity to learn more about what our students do and in which exciting projects they are involved in. It was also a great community experience as it strengthens the students’ identification with their university.

In the morning I attended a panel on Honors Thesis Presentations which took place at our beautiful Weltner Library. My GER 102 student Whitney Daly held an excellent presentation on “El Pájaro Rebelle: Cultural Confusion in Bizet´s Carmen” in which she argued that the French opera Carmen orientalizes Spanish culture. A second, equally insightful presentation entitled “Graffiti Explosions: The Local Ecology of Atlanta’s Creative Graffiti Scene” was held by Robert Mynatt, whose project is also accessible online.

Honors Thesis Presentations at LASS: Speakers Whitney and Robert. Can You Find me in the Audience?

The afternoon was our moment of fame. My GER 290 students held their presentations in the panel German Culture in America: At the Crossroads of Language, Culture, and Identity. My spring GER 290 course German Culture in the United States aimed at exploring the manifold transnational interrelationships between German and American cultures from Puritanism to Postmodernism. Our interactive and multimedia performance presentation explored the many ways in which the German and American cultures encounter, create contact zones of exchange and appropriation, and re-define the very meanings of “German”, “American”, or “German American”.

Each one of my students illuminated a particular aspect of the inter-cultural encounter between Germany and the United States. In his short film “The Sounds of German”, Carl Sweat explored the varying perceptions of the German language. Taking examples from a wide array of time periods, texts, and speakers, his presentation investigated not only the different meanings, but also how especially German artists have deconstructed the notion of German as a violent and “angry” language. Have a look!

Eliza Newland’s audio installation “Blindsided: The Jewish German Emigration Experience Surrounding the Second World War” presented excerpts of oral narratives by Jewish German Holocaust survivors. Her stories told of displacement and exile in Germany as well as of alienation and the difficulty to adapt in their new home country. My former Dortmund adviseé Ian Franklin compared in his presentation “Wicked Little Town: East German Images of Queer Freedom” how the 1989 East German DEFA feature Coming Out and the 2001 American musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch explore gay and transgender German identities around the Fall of the Berlin Wall. He was particularly interested in how the characters in the films relate to the different ideas of freedom in Germany and America. Our panel was very well received by the audience and I was really proud of my students!

For more information on LASS, see the OU blog.


Ogle-Who?: Happy Birthday, Re-Founder and First President of Oglethorpe University!

In Ogle-Who?,Sina's Posts on February 19, 2012 by SN

On February 15, 1877, Thornwell  Jacobs was born. He re-founded Oglethorpe University at its current location in Brookhaven after it had been closed during the Civil War. Check out this short clip on his achievements about the university on Today in Georgia History.


Ogle-Who? and Popular Culture 4

In Ogle-Who?,Sina's Posts on October 30, 2011 by SN

Oglethorpe is not only the name of Georgia’s founder and my current workplace, it is also the name of a character from the trashy cartoon series Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The series aired from 2000 to 2010 on Adult Swim, the adult version of Cartoon Network. The bright orange Plutonium character Oglethorpe looks like exploded cheese and  “sis is a schweat bänd”, yes, speaks with a heavy German accent. Oglethorpe is accompanied by his green-shredded plutonium bro’ Emory whose name is an ironic intertextual reference to another prestigious Atlanta university.


Ogle-Who? and Popular Culture 3

In Ogle-Who?,Sina's Posts on October 6, 2011 by SN

Ah… Oglethorpe was the setting of the 1991 comedy The Three Muscatels featuring the African American comedian Richard Pryor.

The Three Muscatels (dir. Romell Foster-Owens, 1991)

Pryor is a key figure in African American culture. He was notorious for his vernacular language which is an important feature of rap music. Although his Hollywood films where not the most critically acclaimed ones, Pryor paved the way for later stand-up comedians like Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle, and Wanda Sykes.

I guess Lil Wayne and Bubba Sparxxx pay an homage to the great Richard Pryor by having their videos set at the Oglethorpe University campus.


Ogle-Who? and Popular Culture 2

In Ogle-Who?,Sina's Posts on October 6, 2011 by SN

Not just Lil Wayne is pumped about campus. The Southern rapper Bubba Sparxxx also set his 2006 music video “Ms. New Booty” at Oglethorpe University…

Whats up with the rappers’ craze about Oglethorpe? Has the university really earned so much street cred among the Georgia hip-hop community? Why is that? Because of the big book racks? ;-)


Ogle-Who? and Popular Culture 1

In Ogle-Who?,Sina's Posts on October 5, 2011 by SN

Did I mention that Oglethorpe University is sometimes referenced in American popular culture? Lil Wayne’s 2005 music video “Fireman”, for instance, was set in the sacred halls of the university.

Btw, the university is NOT the abandoned Plattenbau (concrete building) in his background. ;-)