Jon Cho-Polizzi is a doctoral candidate in the joint PhD program in Medieval Studies and German Literature and Culture.
He received his MA in Übersetzungswissenschaft (Translation Studies) from Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and his BA in German Literature and European History from UC Santa Cruz. He is also active at UC Berkeley’s Institute of European Studies and Program in Folklore. In between his studies he has worked as a freelance translator, taught at several public and private schools in Germany and California, as well as traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
His dissertation titled “It Takes a Village: Stranger Stories Between Displacement and Community” examines the intersections of migration narratives and representations of rural life in the context of 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century nationalism. He was also managing editor for four issues of TRANSIT Journal (11.2, 11.1, 10.2 and 10.1) and a contributor to the Multicultural Germany Project. He is currently completing his dissertation in association with Humboldt University’s PhD-Net “Wissen der Literatur.”
In his spare time he enjoys nature photography, alpine mountaineering, scuba diving, and Käsespätzle.
Caroline is a graduate student in the German Literature and Culture program. Before coming to Berkeley, she received her BA in German Studies at Yale in 2015 and then worked as a translator in Vienna, Austria. Her interests lie, broadly, in the affective, imaginative or physiological effects of texts, in the rhetorical forms of their humor, their pathos, their propaganda or pornography. In practice, her work has focused on 18th-century German, French and English literature (Goethe, de Sade, Jane Austen), and on early-20th-century theory (Schmitt, Benjamin, Kraus).
Jarrett Dury-Agri is a graduate student in the Department of German who comes to the field by way of literature. In 2012, he received a B.A. in Literary Studies from Middlebury College, where his culminating work considered the philosophical implications of Spanish translations of Franz Kafka’s short stories. After spending a year teaching English on a Fulbright Fellowship in Oerlinghausen, Germany, he studied German Expressionism and Italian Futurism at Dartmouth College, where he earned an A.M. in Comparative Literature in 2013.
His abiding interest is the intersection of and interstices between literature and philosophy, more specifically the formal elements or reading practices that complicate and enrich the texts that fall under these designations. With his focus on writing from the period 1850-1950, he also hopes that a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory will enable him to analyze German-language contributions to the theoretical emergence of modernism and to treatments of the relationship between literature and philosophy. Hiking and biking are his favorite activities for getting away and finding time to think.
Justin Farwell is a PhD candidate in the Germanic Linguistics program. He received his BA in Scandinavian Studies from UC Berkeley and his MA in Germanic Linguistics from UC Berkeley. He is also a member of the Designated Emphasis in Dutch Studies. His research interests include linguistic typology, second language acquisition, spatial prepositions, grammaticalization, language contact theory, German dialectology, etymology, and lexical studies in older Germanic languages (namely Middle High German, Old English and Old Norse).
Currently, he is writing his dissertation on the typological effects of case inflection, verb-second rules, and verb-last rules upon the selection of pre-verbal constituents in German, Dutch and English main clauses.
In his free time, he enjoys cooking, reading about medieval history and evolutionary psychology, and improving his command of Norwegian, Modern Icelandic, Polish, Russian and French.
Vera Feinberg is a graduate student in the Germanic Linguistics program. She received both her BA (2013) and MA (2015) in Linguistics from San Francisco State University. Her research has concentrated on socio-linguistic and cognitive linguistic aspects, primarily focusing on differences and similarities in lexical structure across languages. She is interested in the semantic analysis of German prepositions, particle and prefix verbs, and how insights of cognitive linguistic research can be applied to foreign language instruction.
After spending 20 years in the music business, Michael returned to school, receiving his BA (magna cum laude) in History from UC Berkeley. He is currently investigating the freedoms and limitations of “artistic license” by fusing semiotics and optimality theory to examine language in the musical environment.
In May of 2012, Michael received his MA in Germanic Linguistics.
Sarah Harris is a doctoral candidate studying Germanic Linguistics. She received her BA in Linguistics from Dartmouth College in 2011 and her MA in Germanic Literature from NYU in 2014.
Her interests include language and identity, specifically as it relates to gender-inclusive language in German. Her dissertation concerns gender marking on persons in media, with a focus on the generic masculine and its effects on the reader.
Carolyn Hawkshaw is a PhD candidate in Germanic Linguistics. In 2004, she received her Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University (Montreal), where she majored in Musicology and studied piano with Canadian pianist Sara Laimon. She spent two years as a student at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg (Breisgau), Germany, before enrolling in the Germanic Linguistics PhD Program at Berkeley in 2006. She completed the MA in Germanic Linguistics in 2008. Her research interests include historical German morphology (particularly nominal inflection), corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, older Germanic dialects, methods of linguistic reconstruction, and foreign language pedagogy. Her dissertation deals with the evolution of the weak masculine nouns in German from the 14th century through the present day.
Paul is a fourth year doctoral student in the German Literature and Culture program. In 2014, they received their B.A. in German Literature from Kenyon College, where their honors project focused on the interaction of urban/suburban space and personal identity in Arthur Schnitzler’s Traumnovelle. They have also studied at the Freie Universität Berlin and spent the 2014-2015 academic year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Meißen, Germany. Paul’s research interests include Modernism and its legacies, German-Jewish culture, travel literature, literature of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, affect, poetics, and theorizations of space and the body.
Zainab Hossainzadeh is a graduate student in Germanic Linguistics. She received her BA in Linguistics and minors in German and Latin from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013. She is interested in syntax, semantics, computational linguistics, and cognitive linguistics, and she aims to approach her research from a cross-linguistic angle.
Molly Krueger is a graduate student in the German Literature and Culture program. She joined the department in 2017 after earning her BA in German from Bowdoin College in 2013. As an undergraduate she pursued interests in medieval art and material culture, German-Jewish culture and literature, as well as art, literature, and media of the early 20th century. She continues to be interested in the intersections of literary and visual culture. She has also studied at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, and spent several years working in Maine’s craft beer industry.
Adrienne (Damiani) Merritt began the journey into Medieval Studies at the University of Minnesota, completing coursework in Paleography, Medieval Text Editing, Latin, and several historical Germanic languages. At that university, she completed her bachelors in German and History, with a minor in Medieval Studies, as well as a Masters in the Germanic Philology program. Upon arriving at UC Berkeley in 2008, she has continued studies in all things medieval, but also pursued research interests in nineteenth and twentieth century subjects, in particular fin de siècle Viennese culture and literature, early twentieth century sexuality and the nuanced changes of perception and reception of literary works over the ages. Adrienne’s research interests include historical Germanic languages (Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old and Middle High German, Middle Dutch, Old and Middle English), Old French texts and translations, vernacular and Latin traditions, beguine mysticism, lay religiosity, Medieval Latin, and portrayals of the ineffable and sensory experiences in literary and visual culture. Her current projects include Old French and Middle Dutch comparative works (Le roman de la rose and Die Rose), apocalyptic imagery in beguine mystical texts and an investigation in the portrayal and subtle words and actions of female characters within courtly romance.
Adrienne has been fortunate enough to receive a variety of funding over the years, including the Chancellor’s Fellowship, Voices of Vienna scholarship, and the FLAS summer award to study Dutch. She is now working to complete her dissertation with the working title, “Recalling the Word: the Germanic Beguine ‘Sisters’ and the Question of Genre.”
Adam Nunes is a graduate student in Germanic Linguistics and an alumnus of UC Berkeley. Graduating in 2013 with a B.A. in German and B.A. in Linguistics, he has come back to UC Berkeley after spending the last three years working for LendingClub.com as a Training and Development Associate.
Landon Reitz has been a graduate student in the Department of German since 2015. He received his BA in Medieval and Early Modern English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and an MA in German Studies from UC Berkeley in 2016. He completed a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship in Munich and has worked in the field of higher education at UPenn. His primary research interest is medieval German religious literature especially pertaining to mystical thought, writings, and practice. His secondary interest include literary representations of reading, the history of German Studies in the US, and public theology.
Evelyn Roth is an international graduate student at the German Department with an interdisciplinary academic background. She received her B.A. in Literature-Art-Media Studies from University of Konstanz, Germany in 2014 and expects a M.A. in Studies in European Culture with an emphasis on Digital Humanities in early 2017.
Alicia Roy is a graduate student in the UC Berkeley Department of German with a Designated Emphasis in Film & Media. She received her M.A. from UC Berkeley in 2014 and a B.A. in German Studies and Media Studies from Scripps College in 2011. She previously worked in Berlin at the Bundestag through the International Parliamentary Scholarship and in Hesse as a Teaching Assistant with the Fulbright Program. Her interests include Weimar cinema, science fiction, film copyright history, and cult television.
Kumars Salehi is a PhD student in German Literature and Culture. Broadly, he is interested in the relationships between media (primarily film, but also news media) and political consciousness. His research interests include Marxism; the Frankfurt School; German Idealism; and German and Scandinavian modernist/art cinema.
Michael Sandberg is a graduate student in the German Literature and Culture program. He joined the department in 2017 after receiving his B.A. in Philosophy and German Studies from Vassar College in 2015. He is primarily interested in the interactions between old and new forms of media (“remediation”) in the early 20th century and beyond. This includes visual culture (predominantly photography and film), the newspaper, and other new technologies that shift perceptions of space, “place” and time. Other interests include archive theory, architecture, and eco-criticism. He has also worked as a freelance translator and is currently managing co-editor of the journal TRANSIT: A Journal of Travel, Migration, and Multiculturalism in the German-speaking World.
Berenike Schierenberg is an international graduate student in German Studies. After having been a visiting graduate at UC Berkeley in 2016/17, she joined the Department in 2018. She studied Comparative Literature and Art History at Free University in Berlin for her B.A. (2016) and her M.A. (expected spring 2019).
Julia Schroeder is a graduate student in the Department of German at UC Berkeley. She received her BA from UC Berkeley and has also studied at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her academic interests include film/media, international relations and literature. Julia is passionate about learning in multicultural settings and looks forward to continuing her studies at UC Berkeley.
Scott Shell, a PhD candidate and instructor at the University of California at Berkeley, received his M.A .in Linguistics in 2014 and is currently pursuing a PhD in Germanic Linguistics. He is writing a dissertation, tentatively titled “Runes and Peircean Semiotics: On Creating Parameters for so-called Magical Communication in the Elder Futhark Tradition.”
Jonas is a doctoral candidate in the Department of German and pursues a designated emphasis in Critical Theory. His dissertation project, Fugitive Forms: Kleist, Heine, and the Critique of Modern Mobility, traces the emergence of a form between essay, newspaper, and letter writing. Through the lens of contemporary theories of migration, he contributes new readings of these authors’ literary responses to displacement and the fragmentation of social bonds. The argument is that Kleist and Heine articulate a form of mobility that seeks to escape from ethno-nationalist and capitalist conditions while imagining community before the nation-state, the concurrence of which he calls “fugitive form.”
Jonas studied German and English at Humboldt-University Berlin from 2010 to 2016 and was an awardee of the German National Academic Foundation. His research has covered the form of the novel and the experience of time (Theodor Fontane), small forms and their mediality (Heinrich von Kleist), the interrelation of epics and migration, as well as critical reflections on media from photography (Siegfried Kracauer) to Instagram and Facebook (Senthuran Varatharajah).
Cara Tovey is a PhD student in German Literature with a Designated Emphasis in Film and Media. She received her BA in 2011 and MA in 2012, both in German Studies from the University of Cincinnati. Cara has also spent one year teaching English in Klagenfurt through the Austrian-American Education Commission (Fulbright Commission). Her research interests include contemporary film and visual culture, as well as performance theory and other art forms such as dance.
Christine Vais is a graduate student in Germanic Linguistics. She received her BA in 2011 from the University of California, Berkeley, with a double major in German and Linguistics. In 2014, she received her MA, also from the University of California, Berkeley, in Germanic Linguistics.
Her main interest is in the semantic analysis of the Germanic languages from both a synchronic and diachronic point of view, focusing primarily on the semantics of prepositions in the Germanic languages.
Christine has been involved with the FrameNet Project since 2011 and the Bay Area German Project since 2012. She was also a co-organizer of the 2014 Graduate Student Conference, “Linguistic Varieties and Variation.”
Tim is a graduate student in the German department. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Bard College 2018, writing his senior thesis on Marx, Brecht, and Lenin. He is primarily interested in Marxist/Hegelian thought and the history/literature of the Weimar Republic. He is also interested in psychoanalysis, German theater and film, and the second world war.
Melissa Winters is a PhD candidate in German and Medieval Studies. She arrived in her current field by way of musicology: prior to beginning the doctoral program in German literature at UC Berkeley, she earned the MA and MPhil in music theory at Yale University and the BA in music at Mills College. Her dissertation, “Building the Hall of Song: Richard Wagner and the Middle High German Blütezeit,” examines Wagner’s reception of the courtly literary tradition of the thirteenth century. Those who wonder what she was doing in the interim between Yale and Berkeley may wish to know that she worked as a construction laborer, pile driver, janitor, printer, and bookbinder. Degrees
BA (Music) Mills College, 1985-1988;
MA, MPhil (Music Theory) Yale University, 1988-1993;
MA (German Literature and Culture) UC Berkeley, 2004-2005
German, French, Modern Welsh; Middle and Old High German; Middle Low German and Old Saxon; Middle Dutch and Old Frisian; Gothic; Latin