1 NEWSMAGAZINE OF THE GERMAN-AMERICAN FULBRIGHT COMMISSION THE FUNNEL WINTER 2005 NUMBER 1 VOLUME 42 It s Warm Inside These Walls Life in little Luckau
3 FROM THE DIRECTOR 3 Dear Friends and Alumni of the Fulbright Program, THE PUBLICATION of the Funnel provides an opportunity to reflect on the important issues and activities of the past months. This summer the Fulbright Commission focused on media and diversity. After a successful 2004 German Studies Seminar on German media, this year we offered German media specialists a similar seminar on U.S. media and its influence on U.S. society. Almost simultaneously a group of 21 German studies professionals visited Berlin, Leipzig, and Hamburg over two and a half weeks to explore the current state of literature and literary criticism in Germany. The group is now planning to publish a book on the topics discussed during the program. In October the Fulbright Commission conducted a one-week seminar in Berlin and Turkey for 50 U.S. and German alumni journalists on behalf of the Roundtable USA, a group of German and German-American foundations and institutions that actively support the U.S.-German dialog. The seminar gave the journalists an opportunity to get firsthand information on some of the challenges facing Germany: the need for social reform, economic growth, and job creation, given the larger context of European enlargement, labor market liberalization, and migration pressure. Turkey s bid to enter the EU was particularly addressed. Participant Jeff Mason writes about the program on page 10. Additionally, the Fulbright Commission is making an effort to include students in Germany with migrant backgrounds more actively in the Fulbright Program. So far this group hardly participates in traditional exchange programs, for a number of reasons. The Commission, therefore, convened a group of experts this summer to discuss ways to encourage this group to consider a transatlantic exchange. As a result of this meeting and discussions with other Fulbright colleagues from France, the Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., and Denmark, the Commission now plans to address migrant students and their schools more directly. The first initiative will send U.S. English teaching assistants to schools with high numbers of migrant students. The second will involve short-term summer programs at U.S. universities. I strongly believe that it is very important and a broader part of the Fulbright mandate to offer all groups in society the chance to go abroad and learn about other cultures and values. As I write, outside my window is one of the most beautiful late October days that Berlin has ever seen. In a few weeks we will celebrate Thanksgiving together with grantees, alumni, friends, and sponsors here in Berlin. By the time you read this, the turkey will be gone and 2006 will be fast approaching. With that in mind, I wish all of you a pleasant, peaceful, and joyous New Year, from all of us here at the Berlin office. Rolf Hoffmann
4 4 TABLE OF CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS On our Website, Editor s Picks, Commission News, Upcoming Events, Prizes & Awards NEWS & EVENTS Friends, Neighbors, Family Members? Journalist Alumni Seminar looks at relations between Germany, Turkey, the U.S. and the EU by Jeff Mason Fulbright Alumnus Wins Prestigious Science Award Not Just for Students Anymore Educational Experts Program fosters the exchange of ideas in university management Visual Culture im Visier Fulbright-Stipendiaten tagten interdisziplinär zum Thema Visual Culture Revisited. German and American Perspectives on Visual Culture(s) von Nicole Leonhardt TITLE TOPIC Never too Distant to Lend a Hand Helping the victims of the 2004 tsunami by Dirk Neumann Math Mom Sometimes learning is fun and games by Cristina Ballantine FEATURES Alumni Profiles Birgit Wassmuth Once a Fulbrighter, always a Fulbrighter Andrew Gross Transforming boundaries into public spheres CityScapes Greensboro, North Carolina Langsam, aber nicht langweilig von Tina Steffensmunsberg It s Warm Inside These Walls Life in little Luckau by Brian Schnese FROM OUR FULBRIGHTERS CARE-Pakete: 60 Jahre Verbundenheit zwischen zwei Kontinenten Nicht nur ein Symbol der deutsch-amerikanischen Freundschaft: CARE International setzt sich für eine Welt ohne Armut ein von Sandra Bulling The Same But Not the Same A Fulbright year in the lab by Kristine Yu Jeden Tag eine gute Tat und die Folgen Gerade bin ich angekommen und schon bin ich mittendrin von Martin H. Heinemeyer Is the Berlin Republic Ready for Left-wing Skinheads? Leftist skinheads in Berlin-Brandenburg by Priscilla Layne Christmas Trees and Abolitionism Karl/Charles Follen between revolution and democratic reform by Frank Mehring I Survived Gerbstedt How I became a naturalized Ossi by Jason Lenz A Lasting Impression by Keith Zielenski The German-American Fulbright Program Funnel Reply Card Imprint Corrections The Name Game On the Banks of the Neckar the Cityscape article on page 38 of the Summer 2005 edition of the Funnel, was erroneously attributed to Jason Brumbaugh. It should have been Justin Brumbaugh. The editor apologizes for the mistake. [www.fulbright.de]
5 ON OUR WEBSITE Country Information As a resource for those about to head to their host country or for those only beginning to consider an exchange in the United States or Germany, we have put together some information pages. Über die USA (www.fulbright. de/tousa/resourcen/index.shtml) and About Germany(www.fulbright.de/togermany/ resources/index.shtml) contain information on education, government, media, and culture. We welcome suggestions, if you have a link that you think is appropriate for one of these pages, please send it to Play It Again Brian When thinking of ways to remember their Fulbright year, some people take photographs or collect the descriptions they have written to friends and family. Brian Schnese decided to make a video of the people and places he came to know during his year as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Luckau (Brandenburg). The English Club that he mentored while in Luckau also put together a video introducing the school and reenacting scenes from a good day in the classroom and a horrible day in the classroom, a must see for all past or future teaching assistants. Both videos are available for download from the Funnel Art Gallery (www.fulbright.de/funnel/gallery/ index.shtml). To learn more about Luckau, read It s Warm Inside These Walls by Brian Schnese on page 24. Editor s Picks by Erica Young It s not just what you take out of a Fulbright exchange that is important; it is also what you give back. In our Title Topic this issue, we look at two Fulbrighters, university student Dirk Neumann, who helped found a tsunami relief organization at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and senior scholar Cristina Ballantine, who helped teach elementary students to love math. By contributing to their guest communities and the world during their year abroad they helped to fulfill the Fulbright mandate. Their stories begin on page 14. DEPARTMENTS Most Fulbrighters return to their home country after their year abroad, for others, their home away from home becomes permanent. Our Alumni Profiles in this issue highlight two such individuals who, in their own ways, have made the idea of exchange and cultural ambassadorship their permanent occupation. Find out how by turning to page 18. Finally, it is a feature of the Fulbright Teaching Assistant program that unlike their peers in the student program, the TAs are often sent to small cities and sometimes even to very small towns. In this issue, we feature two such experiences. In It s Warm Inside These Walls part of this issue s Cityscape, Brian Schnese introduces the small but prospering town of Luckau in Brandenburg. Painting a contrasting picture is Jason Lenz s article, I Survived Gerbstedt on his shrinking host community in Saxony-Anhalt. Both cities have a population under 10,000; both are in the former East; yet the fates of the cities, their inhabitants, and our authors are markedly different. Read more on pages 24 and Electronic Newsletter Launched in December 2004, Fulbright.de, the electronic newsletter for the Fulbright Commission in Germany, is also available on our website: The newsletter contains information on upcoming Fulbright programs and events as well as links to articles on higher education in Germany and Europe and special current issues. To subscribe to the version of the newsletter, contact Erica Young at
6 6 DEPARTMENTS Commission News CHANGES TO THE FULBRIGHT COMMISSION BOARD Irene Schultze-Rhonhof, Deputy Head of Division Research and Higher Education in the German Foreign Office, joined the Fulbright Commission Board in July She replaces Stefan Schneider, who left the Fulbright Commission earlier this year. FULBRIGHT T-SHIRTS The German Fulbright Commission has a new T-shirt. The shirt is navy blue with the international Fulbright logo on the upper left front, and is available in small, medium, large, and extra large. One costs three Euros plus shipping and can be ordered from within the European Union and the United States. For specific shipping costs or to place an order, please contact Bettina Ross at NEW ARRIVAL Congratulations to Dana and Tim Cowlishaw on the birth of their daughter, Ruby Mae Cowlishaw, on July 27, Dana Cowlishaw (née Bland) was a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Tübingen and was the editor of the Funnel from 1992 to Dana and her family live in New York City. TWENTY YEARS AND COUNTING The Fulbright Secretariat in Berlin congratulates Claudia Adams for 20 energetic years with the Fulbright Commission. Claudia Adams (née Dahlmann), Officer for Special Programs, joined the Secretariat on October 15, 1985, back when it was located in Bonn. She moved with the Secretariat to Berlin to continue taking care of the administrators, educational experts, teachers, and professionals in German and American studies that participate each year in the Fulbright Special Programs. A MATCH MADE IN GERMANY Congratulations to Fulbright alumni Stephen Rice and Lisa Boehm, who were married on August 13, Steve and Lisa 2005, in Valparaiso, Indiana. Steve spent the academic year as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Cottbus, while Lisa spent her Fulbright year ( ) conducting research in Jena. After his grant year, Steve moved to Berlin where he served as editor of the Funnel and assisted in the American Program Unit. At the 1999 Berlin Seminar Steve and Lisa finally met. The rest is history, though it took Steve a few years to figure out how truly lucky he was. Over the course of the next several years, Steve and Lisa dated, though he was in Berlin and she was in Berlin and then Cologne. Finally, both decided to return to the United States to pursue their respective careers. At last, after five years, Steve finally proposed to Lisa on August 10, Of course, as befit a couple who met in Germany, they were also engaged in Germany. Steve proposed to Lisa at
7 DEPARTMENTS 7 the top of the Reichstag because, as he himself said, Lisa and I met and began our relationship in Berlin, and we lived there for one and a half years. We have a lot of very fond memories of the city and our time in it, and I wanted to add to them. Many former Fulbrighters both German and American attended the wedding. Steve and Lisa currently reside in Chicago, Illinois. NEW AMBASSADOR IS HERE TO LISTEN AmbassadorWilliam Robert Timken, Jr. In his first public speech as American Ambassador to Germany, William Robert Timken, Jr. emphasized that like President Bush during his visit to Mainz in February, he has come to Germany to listen. After being sworn in as ambassador on August 15th and presenting his credentials to German President Köhler on September 2nd, Timken stepped into the vacancy left when former Ambassador Daniel Coats departed Germany in February He was also welcomed as an honorary chairman of the Fulbright Commission. Timken, a native of Ohio, was previously the non-executive Chairman of the Timken Company, a family business for which he has worked for the past 43 years, including extensive work experience in Europe and with Europeans. In his speech, which was held at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften on September 29, Ambassador Timken reiterated the need for transatlantic exchange: Educational institutions on both sides of the Atlantic also play an important role, especially the thousands of German and American students who take part in exchanges each year. These young people are the future of our partnership. Timken received a BA from Stanford University in 1960 and a MBA from Harvard Business School in He is married to Sue Timken. They have six children and seven grandchildren. Upcoming Events 2006 Berlin Seminar: 60th Anniversary of the Program and a Special Science Conference March 5-9, 2006, the Fulbright Commission will bring all the American Fulbright grantees in Germany and many from around Europe together for the 52nd annual Berlin Seminar. This meeting will give participants the chance to learn about developments in Berlin, Germany, and Europe, as well as to reflect upon the 60th anniversary of the world-wide Fulbright Program. In addition, we will be cooperating with the Fulbright Academy of Science & Technology (FAST) directed by alumnus Eric Howard. FAST will offer a special conference for Fulbrighters in science March 4-5, For more information on the seminar, see the Fulbright website.
8 8 DEPARTMENTS Prizes & Awards Amanda Bligh Enterprise Scholars This year, the Fulbright Commission has awarded ten Fulbright Enterprise Scholarships to allow the chosen grantees to pursue their studies with the support of and in cooperation with the business community. Scholars are chosen in accordance with rigorous Fulbright criteria: intellectual excellence, a commitment to U.S.-German relations, and demonstrated leadership potential. This program is supported by the Association of Friends and Sponsors of the German-American Fulbright Program. Amanda Bligh graduated with an MBA from Suffolk University in Boston in The purpose of her Fulbright is to research quality engineering issues as they pertain to German business and the manufacturing sector. Specifically, she will be looking at quality products as a staple of the German identity and the importance of maintaining high standards of design and implementation as research and development moves away from German engineering centers. Amanda will be conducting her research at the Institut Technik und Bildung at the University of Bremen. Julia Elise Buchmann is a graduate of the European Business School in Reutlingen, Germany, where she received the degree of Diplom Betriebswirtin (FH) in June She is spending her Fulbright year at Harvard University where she is enrolled in the master s program in Middle Eastern studies. Julia will be working on the Harvard Islamic Finance Project as a student researcher. Björn Conrad first encountered the dimension that the hatred between peoples and nations can reach during a youth exchange with Israel and Palestine in Through this experience he realized his own desire to devote his energy to fostering peaceful coexistence between cultures and nations. Over the following years, this desire became the driving force behind his academic efforts. In order to achieve a deeper understanding of cultural differences and ways to bridge them, he pursued Chinese studies, political science, and economics at Peking University in China and the University of Trier in Germany, from which he earned his MA in Currently, Björn is working towards his master s degree in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Samuel Edwinson graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison in the winter of 2004, where he received a BA in German linguistics. His research specialty is historical Germanic linguistics, including Old High German and Gothic. This year Samuel will be studying the early onset of Standard German during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries at the University of Heidelberg. Michael Mead grew up in Beverly Hills, Florida, and graduated from the University of Florida in August 2005 with a bachelor s degree in both materials science and engineering and German. As an undergraduate his main focus of study was in the field of ceramics, where he researched titanium oxide powder synthesis. In the academic year at the University of Karlsruhe Michael is continuing to research titanium oxide for its potential use as an effective photocatalysis in wastewater treatment. He plans to supplement his research with courses in chemistry and environmental studies so as to better understand the processes involved with photocatalysis reactions and wastewater management. After returning to the U.S., Michael hopes to continue his education as a materials engineer and eventually establish a career working for a company with close German-American relations. Niki Repanis was raised in Germany, Greece, and Morocco. She started her studies in social work in Frankfurt am Main, but graduated from the Catholic University of Applied Sciences in Benediktbeuern, south of Munich. In 2003 Niki worked with juvenile victims of trafficking in the sex trade as part of a humanitarian aid project in the Philippines (Cebu City). After that she held a photo exhibition in the monastery of Benediktbeuern and wrote her thesis on that issue. Currently, Niki is working with juvenile offenders in the Washoe County Detention Center doing one-on-one counselling and probation work in Reno, Nevada, and working on her master s thesis at the University of Nevada, Reno. Travis (T.C.) Ritz graduated in 2005 from Colorado State University, where he completed majors in economics and phi-
9 DEPARTMENTS 9 Julia Elise Buchmann Samuel Edwinson Michael Mead Niki Repanis Members of the Association of Friends and Sponsors of the German-American Fulbright Program. Travis Ritz Daniel Schad Alexander Schuhr Marianne Windholtz losophy, along with a minor in mathematics. Born and raised on a cattle ranch in Colorado, T.C. is making quite a transition as he spends the next year in the bustling city of Frankfurt am Main studying at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University and researching at the European Central Bank. His research concerns the social implications of European monetary policy, a topic he plans to continue researching when he returns to the United States to earn his PhD in economics. After doing general studies for a year at the Leibniz Kolleg in his home town of Tübingen, Daniel Schad moved to Potsdam to study psychology. There, he became interested in cognitive and biological psychology. Currently, Daniel is spending his Fulbright year in the PhD program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he follows his fascination for unconscious motives. He does this by conducting experiments employing cognitive and bio-psychological methods. Alexander Schuhr was born in Munich, where he later studied political science at the university. In July 2005 he completed his studies and earned his Diplom degree. Alexander is now studying at the political science department of the University of California at Santa Barbara as a PhD candidate. His area of studies is international relations with a special emphasis on the application of game theory in security studies. Marianne Windholtz was born and raised in Ohio. She graduated in 2005 with honors from Miami University with BA degrees in economics and German. Marianne s Fulbright project is based out of the University of Munich and is entitled, The Economic Progression of Modern German Agribusiness. She plans on researching together with both an economic historian and a modern historian at the University of Munich to explore the development of agriculture in Germany after the Second World War and into the 21st century. She will also spend a few months in the spring in the town of Zittau near the border of Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic to study the development of agriculture after World War II as well as the transition of the agricultural economy during the GDR and after unification. She hopes at the conclusion of her year she will be able to make an effective comparison of agricultural progress in Bavaria and Saxony over the past 60 years. Accenture GmbH Baker & McKenzie/Döser Amereller Noack BASF AG DaimlerChrysler AG DaimlerChrysler Services AG Davis Polk & Wardwell Deutsche Bank AG Deutsche Telekom AG Dow Deutschland GmbH & Co. OHG Ernst & Young AG Wirtschaftsprüfer Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Fulbright Alumni e.v. Hengeler Mueller kontext. Gesellschaft zur Förderung junger Journalisten KPMG Prüfungs- und Beratungsgesellschaft für den Öffentlichen Sektor AG Mr. Joseph Kristensen Prof. Klaus Liepelt Lehman Brothers Bankhaus AG Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP McKinsey&Company Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Oechsner Architekten & Ingenieure Siemens AG For information on how you or your company can become a member of the Association, please contact Dr. Rolf Hoffmann at
10 10 NEWS & EVENTS Friends, Neighbors, Family Members? Journalist Alumni Seminar looks at relations between Germany, Turkey, the U.S. and the EU by Jeff Mason Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble speaking on the challenges of transatlantic cooperation. Imagine a large, poor nation on your border. For decades you have offered that nation the opportunity to join your multi-national clique. But there are problems. The people in your club aren t as excited about this potential entrant as your leaders, partially because they fear an onslaught of mass immigration. The country has a violent history with one of its neighbors that it is struggling to address, and one of your club s members an island has troops and citizens from this country on its soil. The country, of course, is Turkey and the club is the European Union, of which Germany is a founding member and the largest budget contributor. The issues of immigration, Armenian genocide, and the reunification of Cyprus were all high on the list of topics discussed during a weeklong background trip in October for journalist alumni of several German-American exchange programs, including the Fulbright Commission, which planned the journey to Berlin, Ankara, and Istanbul. It was an exciting time to be in all three cities. In the German capital secret talks were underway to build a new governing grand coalition and to decide who would become the next chancellor. (The wobbly answer ended up being Angela Merkel.) In Ankara and Istanbul the government and, presumably, the people were celebrating the official start of negotiations to join the EU, a goal that was almost steamrolled days earlier by last minute opposition from Austria, which opposes full membership of Turkey in the 25-nation bloc. The timing of the German election and launch of Turkish EU talks was not insignificant. Merkel s conservative CDU party made Turkey one of the only genuinely divisive issues of the campaign, calling for a privileged partnership rather than the full membership that Gerhard Schröder s Social Democrats espoused. But Wolfgang Schäuble, Bundestag member and Vice-Chairman of the CDU, said a Merkel administration would not undo the full membership negotiation process that had already been agreed. We will not block negotiations. We will not offend Turkey, he said in a wide ranging keynote address on the first night of our trip. But he was frank about the chances and the risks of Turkish membership. Continuing the project that is European integration would require the confidence and backing of EU citizens, he said, and right now entrance for Turkey did not have that support. Would the EU be better off with Turkey inside or outside its borders? The trip, though perhaps not able to answer that question, certainly highlighted the country s strategic importance on the world stage. Turkey is situated in a highly volatile region, where the future of global peace and stability is at stake, said Yigit Alpogan, Secretary General of the Turkish National Security Council, in a rare appearance before jounalists. Whatever happens in our region within the next decades will have direct repercussions not only on the region itself but all over the globe. Turkey has a lot to do if it wants its bid to succeed. The unveiled animosity that many of our speakers showed toward EU member Cyprus, different views on what constitutes free speech, and a lack of consensus about Turkey s treatment of Armenians all represent issues that must be addressed. Though Alpogan said the efforts to join would only take seven years, a year process seems more likely. Even if Turkey is ready sooner, the rest of the EU will need the extra time. Which brings us back to Germany. With its high Turkish population and accompanying cultural influence (one of our group members was convinced the Döner Kebab originated in Deutschland), the country is a pretty good yardstick of EU sentiment on Turkish accession. Yet the Berlin portion of our program seemed to show that the EU and Germany in particular had a long way to go in helping
11 NEWS & EVENTS 11 Fulbright Alumnus Wins Prestigious Science Award this process, too. It could start by meeting some of the requests that Muslims living there have made like receiving religious instruction in German in schools as do their Christian counterparts. Integration is a two way street. The trip brought together journalists from several other transatlantic programs including the Atlantik-Brücke, Dräger Foundation, Robert Bosch Stiftung, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Internationale Journalisten Programme/Arthur F. Burns Fellowship, Körber Stiftung, and the RIAS Berlin Commission. It was a great group of people, and we bonded quickly. For many of us the week made clear a few central points that we can share with our own diverse readers: Turkey, as was repeatedly stressed, is a secular country. Its population may be largely Muslim, but its social structure is not. Though it may straddle Asia and Europe, it has its eyes set firmly on the West. It will be up to the populations of those European countries perhaps with the help of the journalists who tell this story to decide whether the West is where Turkey belongs. Alfred Gierer, one of the first Germans to go to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship, has received the Leopoldina Academy s golden Cothenius Medal for his life s work, which, according to the Academy, has been characterized by originality in both the natural sciences and in cultural studies. After completing both a Diplom and receiving his PhD (Doktorprüfung) in physics at the University of Göttingen, Professor Gierer spent as a Fulbright scholar researching in the biology department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After returning to Germany, he began working at the Max Planck Institute for Virus Research (now the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology) and in 1960 he became the youngest member of the Max Planck Society and head of the new Department of Molecular Biology at the Virus Institute, a position he held until his retirement. As a crossover scientist, Alfred Gierer worked the fertile field where physics meets biology. Specifically he researched the role that physics plays in complex biological processes. As a biophysicist in the emerging field of molecular biology, Professor Gierer performed intensive research in developmental biology and became known for among other achievements, determining that it was the RNA in the Tobacco Mosaic Virus that was the infectious agent. This discovery had a long-lasting impact on the field of viral infection biology. Besides a plethora of articles and publications within the scientific community, Professor Gierer has also written numerous books for the public at large including Die gedachte Natur; Die Physik, das Leben und die Seele, and most recently, Biologie, Menschenbild und die knappe Ressource Gemeinsinn, which appeared in 2005 through Königshausen & Neumann. The Cothenius Medal was founded by Christian Andreas von Cothenius ( ), member and thirteenth director ephemeridum of the Academy. The prize has been awarded (with some gaps) since In being honored by the Academy, Alfred Gierer joins the likes of Ernst Haeckel (1864, zoology), Joseph Lister (1877, surgery), and Otto Hahn (1943, chemistry).
12 12 NEWS & EVENTS Not Just for Students Anymore Educational Experts Program fosters the exchange of ideas in university management Dr. Rolf Hoffmann, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission (3rd from left) with the 2005 Educational Experts at UNC Chapel Hill. For many years, the German-American Fulbright Commission has offered a special seminar for German educational experts to inform them about higher education management in the United States. Over time, both the scope and the contents have changed. What was once a four- to six-week group excursion to the United States, with numerous visits to campuses all over the country, has now been customized into a concise one-week seminar that is densely packed with information, discussion, presentations and bilateral talks on current problems of governance, finance, teaching reform, and quality control of universities in both countries. In close cooperation with the IIE the Fulbright Commission annually invites 15 experts mostly presidents or rectors of German institutions, chief financial officers, and high-ranking ministry decisionmakers to meet their immediate counterparts in a confidential and collegial atmosphere at their counterparts institutions. The seminar is always preceded by an intense, one-day briefing in Berlin, and upon arrival in New York a number of specialists and experts brief them on the higher education systems in both countries. The group of 15 then splits up and visits the campuses of state and private institutions. This year s group had a chance to meet colleagues at Boston College and Boston University, as well as North Carolina s Duke University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Each campus visit provided opportunities to learn more about the way a modern American state or private university positions itself in an increasingly competitive higher education market and the challenges each of them faces day to day. The intensive discussions were, of course, only part of the experience; the local flavor of New England seafood or Southern BBQ, with locally brewed beer and wines from New England vineyards provided the appropriate cultural enrichment and added value to the evenings. As every year, the last day was spent in New York at the headquarters of the Institute for International Education, where participants had the opportunity to wrap up discussion and plan for follow-up activities, such as drafting chapters on the seminar topics for a handout that will be used as preparatory material for next year s group. The reader from the 2004 Educational Experts Seminar is available by contacting Antje Outhwaite at
13 NEWS & EVENTS 13 Visual Culture im Visier Fulbright-Stipendiaten tagten interdisziplinär zum Thema Visual Culture Revisited. German and American Perspectives on Visual Culture(s) von Nicole Leonhardt Dimitri Liebsch (Institut für Philosophie, Bochum) während seines Vortrags Pictorial Turn, Iconic Turn and Visual Culture. Die viel zitierte Flut der Bilder, der Ersatz der Realität durch ihr Abbild, die Infragestellung des Wahrheitsgehalts von medial erzeugten Bildern sowie deren Dokumentationswert in westlichen Kulturen kurz, das Zusammenwirken von Bild und Gesellschaft wird seit geraumer Zeit unter dem Disziplinen übergreifenden Begriff Visual Culture diskutiert. Unter dem Titel Visual Culture Revisited. German and American Perspectives on Visual Culture(s) fand vom 14. bis 17. April 2005 im John F. Kennedy-Institut für Nordamerika-Studien, Berlin, eine interdisziplinäre Konferenz zum Thema statt, die eine Bestandsaufnahme von Ansätzen zu Visual Culture lieferte. Ausgangspunkt der Veranstaltung war das Fulbright Summer Institute Visual Culture and History in America im Sommer 2003 am Institute for Training and Development in Amherst (Massachusetts). Während dieser dreiwöchigen Klausur diskutierten die deutschen und polnischen Teilnehmer aus unterschiedlichen Disziplinen gemeinsam mit amerikanischen Medien- und Kommunikationsfachleuten Fragen zum Bild, zur manipulativen Kraft und zu visuellen Strategien der Medien in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Wer Fragen stellt, wirft neue auf. Für die Gruppe der Fulbrighter stand demzufolge fest, das Thema Visual Culture während einer gemeinsamen Anschluss-Tagung vertiefend zu reflektieren. Ein sechsköpfiges Team, bestehend aus Ralf Adelmann (Paderborn), Andreas Fahr (München), Ines Katenhusen (Hannover), Nicole Leonhardt (Mainz), Dimitri Liebsch (Bochum) und Stefanie Schneider (Bochum), konzipierte und organisierte schließlich die dreitägige Tagung, die zur Plattform für eine eingehende Beleuchtung der Fragen zu Bild, Medien und Visualität wurde. Die fachliche Herkunft der Teilnehmer deutsche, amerikanische und polnische Wissenschaftler aus den Gebieten Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft, Amerikanistik, Kunst-, Politik-, Geschichts- und Sozialwissenschaft und Philosophie garantierte die notwendige interdisziplinäre Behandlung des Themenkomplexes. Im Zentrum der Betrachtung standen die mediatisierte und visuelle Kultur Amerikas sowie die transatlantische Vermittlung von Nachrichten, Kultur und Geschichte über Medien des Visuellen. Die heterogenen Beiträge zu aktuellen und historischen Beispielen spiegelten das breite Spektrum von Visual Culture und ihrer theoretischen Ansätze. Die Veranstaltung wurde finanziell unterstützt durch die Fritz Thyssen-Stiftung für Wissenschaftsförderung. Der Tagungsband ist im Herbst im Halem-Verlag erschienen. Weitere Informationen unter: Nicole Leonhardt gehört zum Organisationsteam der Konferenz Visual Culture Revisited Sie promoviert in Theaterwissenschaft an der Universität Mainz, über Piktoral-Dramaturgie. Visuelle Kultur und Theater im 19. Jahrhundert ( ) bei Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme und arbeitet als freie Autorin.
14 14 TITLE TOPIC Never too Distant to Lend a Hand Helping the victims of the 2004 tsunami by Dirk Neumann Dirk Neumann (back row, center) with the Tsunami Relief Effort group at UNL At many schools, universities, and other institutions around the globe the devastating and deadly impact of the December 2004 tsunami on several southeastern Asian and some African countries set off waves of help campaigns both small and large. The money donated for relief and reconstruction was more than had been seen for one single catastrophe before, and relief organizations admitted in some cases that they were unable to manage the huge amount of donations effectively, requesting that people donate generally so that the organizations were able to support victims of other catastrophes happening around the world. I received s from some of my friends, who went back to their home countries in May 2005 after finishing school here in Nebraska. While for many westerners the tsunami was already history, it was and still is playing an important role in countries closer to the catastrophe. My friend Natasha D souza, born and raised
15 TITLE TOPIC 15 During one activity, TRE group members provided background information on the causes and effects of tsunamis UNL Vice Chancellor Dr. James Griesen at the candlelit vigil held for tsunami victims in the United Arab Emirates, wrote to me from Dubai, At least every day in the papers here the tsunami effects or efforts are mentioned. On Friday it was mentioned in three different sections. Another friend from India, Manjush Pattapurati, was glad to see people helping each other and said that unlike other disasters, where public memory had been short, it s different in this case. Perhaps it is the magnitude of the disaster and its impact on their minds that has moved them. I still remember pretty well the moment when I first read about the disaster. A Fulbrighter at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL), I was on a road trip with two friends when we entered a hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. A newspaper at the reception desk carried the headline Tsunami kills 30,000 people. It took a few seconds until I realized that this was a huge catastrophe. As we learned later, even that headline underestimated greatly the real dimension of the disaster. When I got back to UNL there were many student organizations, mostly from countries strongly hit by the tsunami, setting up donation booths for the victims of the disaster. I also wanted to help. With the support of the International Affairs Office and the International Student Organization at UNL we set up a multinational Tsunami Relief Effort (TRE) group with the goal to provide deeper information on the catastrophe to UNL students and of course to raise money for relief efforts. Throughout the spring semester 2005 we organized several events: four large activities and several smaller ones, often together with other student organizations. One was an information exhibition where we presented background information on tsunamis in general together with current information on the destruction and reconstruction in several countries. At a candlelit vigil speakers from different countries reported from a personal perspective about what was going on in their home countries. We also donated the proceeds from our International Banquet, a night of cuisine and entertainment from around the world. As part of the banquet we also held a silent auction, which raised an additional $380. Finally, a TRE T-shirt for donation activity raised money throughout the semester. While it is hard to measure how much impact our campaign had on the students awareness about global disasters (I m not too optimistic in that case) our group was happy to finally donate over $3800 to UNICEF. Many people from directly affected countries actively supported our group, but I would have liked to have seen more European and American students take part. Like me, many other TRE participants agreed that working together in a multinational, multicultural group was a great experience despite the sad reason for our activity. Dirk Neumann studied electrical engineering at the University of Applied Sciences at Coburg in Germany. During the Fulbright year he started a master s in electrical engineering at UNL. After receiving a research/teaching assistantship from his department, he decided to stay at UNL to complete his MS.
16 16 TITLE TOPIC Math Mom Sometimes learning is fun and games by Cristina Ballantine During a field trip students toss a ball back and forth, emulating the way they solved the Knobelaufgaben. Cristina with her two daughters Hanna and Emma Icame to Münster as a Fulbright junior research scholar to work with Professor Peter Schneider on questions in a branch of number theory called representation theory. It is a research area made famous by the proof of Fermat s Last Theorem (proved by Andrew Wiles in the early 1990s, some 370 years after it was first formulated by Fermat) and it is far removed from the second grade math my daughter Hanna was learning at Theresienschule. I have always been involved in my children s education in the U.S. and routinely volunteered at their schools. It seemed natural to continue volunteering while Hanna was in second grade in Münster. Since I had spent seven years in Germany in the 1980s, my German is very good but helping out as a reading mom one of the main parent jobs in the classroom did not appeal to me, so I settled for chaperoning field trips. We went to the theater twice and I helped with a sponsored walk, which brought in money for tsunami victims as well as the school library. It was a wonderful way to meet the children and to get to know the teacher. After missing the spring semester Parent-Teacher-Stammtisch (an evening of sitting around a table in a local pub and talking schoolrelated business), Hanna s teacher approached me and asked if I would consider doing some Knobelaufgaben with the children who
17 TITLE TOPIC 17 Cristina s host city, Münster, during the 1200th anniversary of the establishing of the bishopric, celebrated while her family was there. were fairly advanced in math and thus somewhat bored during class. Even though she didn t know exactly what kind of math I was doing, she was sure that being a math professor qualified me for the job. This is a misconception I often run into. I had only one problem: I had no idea what a Knobelaufgabe was. After some explanation that repeatedly involved the word Knobelaufgabe, I had a feeling that these exercises were not supposed to test children s ability to calculate but rather to challenge them to find strategies for solving interesting problems whatever interesting problems for second graders might be. My first task was to find the exact definition and examples of Knobelaufgaben. I followed the advice of our three-year old whenever we don t have an answer to her questions: look it up on the Internet! I had no luck with the definition, but I was able to find many examples that made the need for a definition obsolete. The best resource was the website of the local government of Düsseldorf (www2.brd.nrw.de/ schule/). Now that I had an entire collection of problems, I was ready to start my new adventure. Meanwhile, the teacher decided that I should work with all the children in the class, divided into three groups. I liked this idea. I believe that, except for true prodigies, second grade is too early to label a child talented or untalented in math. It could well be that some children who are not fast at doing basic arithmetic could be very clever when it comes to strategizing. Unfortunately, since second grade math involves a lot of arithmetic, it is the calculating speed that makes children stand out as either good or bad math students. I didn t know how the children would react to our meeting and I was somewhat nervous on my bike ride to the school. There was no free classroom, so I took the group of seven children to one of the tables in the lobby. I explained that we would read the problem out loud and try to solve it together. They were ready to start, and their tenacity and eagerness were refreshing. They quickly tossed out ideas and commented on them. Sometimes they obtained different answers to the same problem and had to decide which was the correct one. With each solved problem they gained confidence and became happier. As a back up, I had printed out a page of problems meant for third graders. When I asked the children if they wanted to try a third grade problem, their reaction was fit for an invitation to a rollercoaster ride. They solved it in the last five minutes of class and ran to their teacher to announce the big achievement. The next week I met with the next group of seven children, this time mostly girls. They were a little more hesitant, reminding me of the confidence gap along gender lines often mentioned in reports on girls and mathematics. But they warmed up and almost surpassed the first group in enthusiasm. In the end they too solved the third grade problem, which put huge smiles on their faces. My biggest reward was one girl s comment that she wished we had such math classes more often. I have yet to hear that one from my calculus students when we walk down the hall together after a lecture. After meeting the third group and repeating the experience, we started all over again. Our only regret was that the idea of the Knobelaufgaben class came too late in the year. However, two mothers have already volunteered to continue the work in third grade, and the excellent website was circulated to all teachers at the school. For the children, this was an exercise in learning that solving challenging problems can be fun, and for me I found out a thing or two about what second graders find cool. Cristina Ballantine is an assistant professor of mathematics at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. She does research in number theory and combinatorics.
18 18 ALUMNI PROFILES Birgit Wassmuth Once a Fulbrighter, always a Fulbrighter Birgit with her husband and fellow Fulbrighter David Thompson in Stuttgart. April 9, 2005, marked the 100th birthday of J. William Fulbright, and I had the honor of participating in the Centennial Celebration held at the Amerika Haus in Frankfurt that very day. It was organized by the German Fulbright Alumni e.v. and attracted more than 200 guests. As the guests of honor, Fulbrighters, and spouses arrived the evening before for a social gathering at the Künstlerkeller, I met a Fulbrighter who, when he introduced himself, almost apologetically stated that his Fulbright was, Oh, so long ago. I probed, How long ago? He replied, 1982, to which I answered, I had mine in And I added, It doesn t matter how long ago you had your Fulbright, you ll always be a Fulbrighter. This is a life-changing experience, as you know.
19 ALUMNI PROFILES 19 I was reminded of that crisp September morning in 1974 when I boarded the Lufthansa flight in Frankfurt and flew to Minneapolis via Chicago to spend a year on a Fulbright fellowship studying advertising psychology at the University of Minnesota. It was my first flight on a commercial aircraft, and I didn t know a single soul in the U.S. To have the courage to undertake this adventure, I credit my grandmother. Single at the age of 28, she went to colonial school in Germany with the purpose of joining her brother in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he served as a government official in what was then a German colony. This was back in I had a host family. I knew they would pick me up at the airport. And I was a Fulbrighter. That was at a time when a phone call to Germany cost $6.75 the first minute with each additional minute progressively cheaper. Calling home on a daily or even weekly or monthly basis was out of the question. There was no Internet and no . We wrote letters both ways. Imagine that! Little did I know back then that I would some day spend many hours in the company of Senator Fulbright (I always called him that) talking about whether the Fulbright Program was still what he intended it to be. I heard the Senator speak at a NAFSA conference (National Association for Foreign Student Affairs, now called the Association of International Education) in Washington, DC, in 1976, which I attended as an official delegate as vice-president of the Minnesota International Student Association. But I didn t meet him personally until about ten years later at the annual conference of the Fulbright Alumni Association in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was Dr. Ulrich Littmann, long-time executive director of the German Fulbright Commission, who introduced me to him with the words, She is not a brain-drain; she is a bridge builder. Over his firm handshake Senator Fulbright looked at me and said, That s quite a responsibility. These words and their meaning still ring fresh in my mind today. After having founded two Fulbright alumni associations, one at Drake University in Iowa and one at the University of Missouri in Columbia, I had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Alumni Association in the late 1980s. With my support we changed the name to Fulbright Association to provide an outlet for scholarly activity and academic service when attending a Fulbright conference instead of attending just an alumni gathering. We were also determined to find a way to help elevate the Fulbright spirit to a new level beyond the existing exchange programs. Our goal was to introduce a Fulbright Prize, which would be awarded to a major contributor to and promoter of international understanding. This $50,000 Fulbright Prize has been underwritten by the Coca-Cola Company and has been awarded annually since 1993 to such honorees as former South African President Nelson Mandela, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and most recently, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. I have served on the Fulbright selection committee at Drake University for the past few years, and I always encourage students and prospective students to consider making a study abroad experience part of their academic goals. It s a priceless learning experience that no book, no video, no classroom teaching or even field trip can provide. I always probe Fulbright applicants as to why they chose Fulbright over other scholarship options, and I always ask how they will apply their Fulbright experience upon their return. I will not sign off on an application until I am confident that the student understands the Fulbright mission. After all, becoming a Fulbrighter is quite a responsibility. There is no doubt in my mind that Fulbrighters around the world share a common bond. It doesn t matter from which academic discipline we come or how long ago our Fulbright experience was, we all share that out-of-our-comfort-zone experience of learning to see the world through someone else s eyes. When I had the opportunity a few years ago to meet and talk with world-famous contemporary music composer Philip Glass who had a Fulbright to Paris, France, in the early 1960s I asked him about his experience. It changed my life, he said without hesitation. It shaped who I am now. Now is the key word. Once a Fulbrighter, always a Fulbrighter. Dr. Birgit Wassmuth is a professor of advertising and head of the advertising program at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
20 20 ALUMNI PROFILES Andrew Gross Transforming boundaries into public spheres It is perhaps surprising that as an American and an Americanist I should wind up living and working in Berlin. A Fulbright lectureship brought me to the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies in Three years later, after a DAAD grant and a temporary appointment, I had the good fortune to be offered an assistant professorship. My extended sojourn has given me the opportunity to study both the literature of my home country and the education system of my host country from a novel and, I hope, constructive perspective. What follows are the reflections of a guest who has more or less come to stay. Like many other Fulbrighters, I used my (first) year abroad to focus on questions of travel. In this I was able to build on research I had been pursuing since graduate school on representations of automobiles in American literature. This project provided the material for a course on road books, one of the first I taught at the Kennedy Institute. A partnership program with the American Studies Center at the University of Warsaw and a group of engaged students provided the opportunity and the incentive to take the course itself on the road. We held an international student conference on American travel narratives in Warsaw on the day Poland voted to join the European Community. It was uncanny to hear Polish and German students discuss Steinbeck and Dreiser at a time when national boundaries seemed to be dissolving. The situation suggested a revision of Horace Greely s injunction to go west young man and grow up with the country, while hinting at the emerging global significance of what is traditionally understood as national literature. The transnational system seems to be going east, and American cultural products, like the English language, are