About Southeast German Studies Workshop

About Southeast German Studies Workshop

Welcome to the 13th Southeast German Studies Workshop (SEGSW), which will be held on March 18-19, 2021 as an online ZOOM event organized by the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

The southeastern region of the United States is home to a large number of accomplished scholars, rising junior faculty, and talented graduate students with interests in German history, literature, and culture.  Seeing the need for a forum for scholarly exchange and conversation among German Studies professors and students in the region, the Southeast German Studies Consortium, with funding from a variety of sources, has thus far convened twelve workshops: at the University of South Carolina (2008 & 2009); Georgia State University (2010 & 2011); the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2012 & 2013); Davidson College and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte (2014 & 2015); the College of Charleston (2016 & 2017); and Emory University (2018 & 2019).

At the workshops, scholars from more than twenty different public and private institutions of higher education from Alabama to Washington, D.C. will convene for two days of invigorating, informative, and collegial discussions about key issues in German and -- in 2021 -- German-Jewish Studies.  The format of the meetings allows for formal and informal networking among the scholars who participate.  The workshops also include public keynote lectures by renowned scholars. In 2020, Prof. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (Berlin, Germany) will deliver the keynote. 

Much of the Southeast German Studies Workshop’s success to date lies in its distinctive format. Except for the keynote lecture, the meeting eschews formal panel presentations in favor of more democratic group discussions of pre-circulated, three-page “position papers” that participants have written on one of the workshop’s three central themes.  These themes, in turn, reflect subjects that have animated recent scholarship in German Studies. The 2021 themes are  “New Approaches in German-Jewish Studies,” “Refugee and Migration Studies,” and “Public Representations of German and/or German-Jewish History and Culture.” All participants – regardless of rank, experience, and discipline – are encouraged to share their insights during the group discussions.  To maximize the potential for personal engagement, the workshop caps at no more than 40-50 participants.

It is a particular strength of this workshop that it has always included graduate students and, if applicable, advanced undergraduates.  For these students, the Southeast German Studies Workshop has often been the first academic engagement outside of their home institution and has provided a significant professionalization and networking opportunity that has regularly resulted in further conference or panel presentations elsewhere.

The workshop also benefits teaching.  Participants have regularly discussed and shared teaching materials, syllabi, and pedagogical techniques; some have subsequently even visited one another’s institutions for guest presentations in colleagues’ classes.  

The 2021 workshop, finally, expands the SEGSW's transatlantic exchanges and reach by not only bringing Prof. Schüler-Springorum, the director of the Center for Research on Antisemitism at the Technical University of Berlin (ZfA), to ASU to deliver the keynote lecture, but also inviting other colleagues from the ZfA to be part of the workshop and its many discussions to advance co-operations and networking between American and German scholars.