The Susan Gibble Wolf Fellowship provides support for students studying for at least one semester in a German-speaking country. Second preference goes to students participating in short-term program in a German-speaking country. The award can be given to first-year, sophomore, junior, or senior students. The fellowship is designed to enhance the study-abroad experience by aiding student-designed projects that are carried out while abroad. Examples of such projects include research, a post-semester internship, cultural experiences, or travel to cultural heritage sites. Awards range from $250 – $400 and must be used while abroad. Selection and award amount are based on the merit of the project.
Applicants must fill out an application in the semester before they study abroad. Applications for fall semester projects are due by the first Friday after Spring Break; applications for spring semester projects are due by the Friday after Fall Reading Days.
Recipients of the Susan Gibble Wolf Fellowship
Congratulations to all recipients!
Martina Khalek '15, "Spaces, Places & Reflecting: Berlin Architecture"
Sarah Hayes '14, "In Search of Maria Theresa and Elisabeth: Female Habsburgs in Modern Day Vienna"
Nicole Elder '14, "Motives of German Emigration in the 1700s," travel to Hamburg and Siegen
Ned Strasbaugh '14, "Ich bin ein Berliner: Multiculturalism and Identity in Berlin," travel to Berlin
Elizabeth Topolosky '14, "Rediscovering Family History Through the Holocaust," travel in several countries
Connor Lees '13, for visiting museums and historical sites in Bavaria (pictured below at Neuschwanstein Castle)
Jonathan Hofe '13, for attending the National Theater's performance of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" in Weimar and exploring the political side of Berlin (pictured below in the Alps)
Hilary Landfried '13, for exploring the vestiges of the Wiener Moderne in Vienna (pictured below at the Kunsthistorisches Museum)
|Jonathan Hofe '13 in the Alps||Jon and Hilary on an AJY trip|
Hilary Landfried '13 at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Connor Lees '13 at Neuschwanstein Castle
Ned Strasbaugh - Ich bin ein Berliner: Multiculturalism and Identity in Berlin
I visited Neukölln, a district in Berlin and one of the largest Turkish-speaking areas in the world outside of Turkey, so that I might come to realize how a community so far from home had settled into its new environment and how this affected them and Germany. I did some research on German-Turks and the area itself, as well as interviewed a few Germans beforehand to see what the general opinion of multiculturalism in Germany is.
My first impression of Neukölln as I walked down Karl-Marx-Straße, the busiest street, was that it looked like New York City, except without tall buildings. But I got more than I bargained for, particularly when I stopped at the Museum Neukölln several blocks away. The museum revealed to me not only how integral immigration was to Neukölln history, but showed me how diverse it was as well. There were artifacts from families in historic Neukölln of Jewish, Polish, Turkish, Lebanese, Prussian, French, and German descent, as well as an urn from the Iron Age and the jawbone of a mammoth. I got to see that Neukölln was not just a district of “us” and “them,” but rather was built around this colorful conglomeration of so many different cultures.
For the rest of the afternoon, I tasted the Turkish dishes and cuisines that were offered, such as tea, baklava, and ayran. I also observed the people walking on Karl-Marx-Straße. There were obviously people of many other ethnicities who had settled in Neukölln. Turkish music played in the background of cafés. Honestly, apart from more signs in Turkish than usual, I wouldn’t have known this place was any different from the rest of Berlin or New York City.
I went to an opera that night, called “Berliner Leben,” an opera similar to “La vie parisienne,” or so I was told. It painted for me a picture of what life in Berlin was like. The “Berliner Leben” included people of different types in the background, who were brought together by something they had in common, for instance, taking the city tram. They also often had to work together to make the music of the opera, for instance, a blind woman in the background singing randomly during another character’s song, or everyone on stage forming a circle and snapping fingers.
This, like the museum, gave me nothing but the impression that Neukölln and Berlin are not just Germans and German-Turks, but rather consist of people of many different backgrounds and cultures. The Turkish culture and other cultures are proudly marketed to everyone and offer a hint at how beautiful their culture can be, raising Germany as a multicultural nation in a globalized world. That’s the one thing I learned most from my journey to Neukölln: that any place can have a history and a future that are colorful and multifaceted.
Connor Lees - Trip to Bavaria
My goal during my time studying abroad in Germany was to experience as much of Germany as possible. I wanted to see as many regions, cities, areas, and sights as possible, and this fellowship allowed me to get a better sense of the most well known Bavarian city—Munich.
Upon arrival I wanted to first walk around the city and get a feel for it before I attempted to take anything on. I had decided to go for Easter Weekend, and the Friday of our arrival was “Karfreitag” or Good Friday. I thought this would be a good weekend as it would highlight the religious atmosphere of Munich, which is well known for being a very catholic city. I certainly got that feeling as most stores were closed and the streets were confined to a few religious processions.
I later decided to take a walking tour of the city, which helped to get a feel for the history and architecture of the city. Beginning at the famous Marienplatz, I learned the legend of the Mariensäule, which depicts four battles overcoming adversity on each of the four corners of the display, before heading into the old town hall. Here I got an idea of the religious history of the city, whose name derived from the German word for Monk (“Mönch”). It was also pointed out that this symbol could be found prevalently throughout the city and in the coat of arms.
The tour later described the history and culture of the Bavarian beer gardens (as well as the fact that it is not a true beer garden without chestnut trees), a staple of southern German lifestyles, as well as a background on the six beers of Munich. Sadly, the weather did not permit a true enjoyment of this facet of Bavaria, but that must be all the more reason to return. Following the beer gardens, we visited the Hofbräuhaus, the most famous beer hall in Munich, where I would later return for dinner to experience a meal in the enormous establishment.
Then we began the tour of several churches and architecture around Munich, including the Frauenkirche where we heard the legend of the Devil’s Footprint. I also learned that the rebuilding of Munich after the Second World War was done with remarkable precision as a result of the painstaking photography done by the Nazis before the destruction occurred.
Finally, we ended the tour with a brief history of Bavarian royalty and the many Ludwigs as well as a look at the site of the Beer Hall Putsch and the history behind that, including the many actions of the Nazis to enforce adherence to their policies and rituals in Munich. This tour was rather informative, to say the least.
The next day we decided to take a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle to get a look at the fantastic structure built into the hillside as well as learn more about the Bavarian royalty, and specifically Ludwig II who had commissioned it. Sadly, the day brought a wild snowstorm (as you can see in my photo) which made transportation difficult, but the castle was fantastically beautiful and our tour (in German!) was very interesting.
The next day I went to a museum and also wandered around the English garden where we got to see the area where people surf on the small river which runs through it, which I found rather exciting. The Bavarian National Museum provided a more physical look, as opposed to our spoken tour, at the cultural development of the Bavarian region. I was able to see many artifacts dating back to over 2000 years and get a grasp on the history of the region as a whole.
On the last day I visited Nymphenburg Castle, another home of Bavarian royalty, where I visited the Marstal Museum, a museum dedicated to the Carriages of royalty, as well as many of the horses and dressings that were used during that time. Along with that I visited the porcelain museum which had some fascinating pieces of artistic porcelain along with the history of their creation.
All in all I hoped to get a feel for the region and the city both culturally and historically, and I believe I was able to do that because of the opportunities that I took. It provided a very interesting contrast from my home city, Berlin, and that is exactly what I wanted out of the experience.
Hilary Landfried - Vienna Reflection
During my semester in Heidelberg, Germany, I took a class on society and literature during the turn of the last century. As one of my favorite classes, its topics covered Naturalism, the Bohéme, Art for Art’s Sake, the Wiener Moderne, and Expressionism. However, I quickly became most interested in the Wiener Moderne. After reading about Kaffeehäuser, Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt, and Jung Wien, I knew I had to go to Vienna to really experience all that I was learning. My goal was learn more about the Wiener Moderne, but also to experience all the culture that Vienna still has to offer today.
Arriving in Vienna late on a Thursday evening, I began my siteseeing the following Friday. I began my day with a traditional Viennese breakfast in Kaffeehaus from the turn of the century. A friend of mine, who had been living in Vienna for a few months, took me on a tour of the main city ring. She was able to explain some of the architecture to me and clarify how the city was laid out. In the 1850s, the former city walls were torn down and Ringstrasse was constructed. Today, it is four kilometers long and runs around the main city center. Here I saw the Hofburg, Vienna’s imperial palace, the Spanish riding school, the Austrian Parliament, the State Opera House, and many other cultural landmarks.
Later on Friday, my friend and I went to the Kunsthistorisches Museum and saw an exhibition titled Winter Tales. The artwork was mainly from West European artists and ranged from the 1450s to the present. We also attended a concert with music ranging from the early 1600s to the modern music of today.
Saturday, I went to the Sigmund Freud Museum and the Belvedere Palace. The Sigmund Freud Museum is where Freud lived and practiced until he was exiled to England. Along with autographs, documents, photos, and objects depicting Freud’s life and work, several of the rooms are still decorated in their original furnishings, including Freud’s former waiting room. The Belvedere Palace houses the largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings. Since he is one of my favorite artists, this was probably one of the best parts of my trip. The next morning, before heading back to Heidelberg, I attended mass in a church attached to the Hofburg Imperial Palace. This is the first mass I have ever attended with a full choir and organ. The mass was composed back in the 1600s and had never been sung before since the music had only very recently been transcribed.
My trip to Vienna also coincided with a paper I was writing about anti-Semitism and Arthur Schnitzler’s work. Much of what I was writing became very real to me in my visit to Freud’s home. He was exiled because of his Jewish decent, and many of the documents in the museum depicted some of the criticism he received as a Jew. My visit to Vienna was truly a success. Not only was I able to enjoy this beautiful and culturally historic city, but I was also able to largely supplement a good deal of the material I learned in my class.
Jon Hofe - Trip to Weimar
A friend of mine and I left early one Saturday morning from Heidelberg’s main train station and made the arduous 5-hour trip, including 3 transfers in different cities, to Weimar. From the main station we took a bus to where we were staying, a hostel called Labyrinth. After checking in and bringing our bags to our room, we headed into the city to walk around. The Christmas markets were in full swing at this time so we decided to see Weimar’s Christmas market. There were several streets lined with stands selling everything from fish to sausage and cheese to incense to Christmas decorations and lights and, of course, lots and lots of mulled wine. Eventually we realized that the theater, the main reason we were in Weimar, was directly behind the Christmas market. After finding the theater we stopped and enjoyed a kebab before heading back to our hostel.
After wandering around Weimar for a while we headed back to Labyrinth and enjoyed some coffee before donning our suits and heading to the theater once more. Luckily it was within walking distance and the weather was not too cold. We were here to see Richard Wagner’s opera “Tristan and Isolde.” What we didn’t realize when we bought the tickets for the opera was that it was five and a half hours long. The opera was spilt into three acts with 45-minute intermission between acts.
In the first act we learn that Isolde finds Tristan near death in Ireland and nurses him back to health, only to discover that he killed her former fiancé, but she cannot bring herself to kill Tristan. Instead, she lets him leave on the condition that he never returns. He does return, however, and is supposed to bring Isolde to his uncle, King Marke, to marry him. Before they reach the kingdom of Cornwall, Isolde demands that Tristan drink atonement to her and they both inadvertently drink a love potion.
In the second act Tristan and Isolde are determined to be lovers by Tristan's friend, Melot. Melot leads King Marke to Tristan and Isolde and he is heart broken by Tristan’s betrayal of him, and Melot’s betrayal of Tristan. Tristan and Melot then duel, but Tristan throws his sword aside and lets himself be almost mortally wounded.
In the third act Tristan is brought to his home castle and nursed back to health by Kurwenal, Tristan’s henchman, and is told that Isolde is on her way. When she does not arrive, he goes crazy and curses the love potion. When Isolde finally does arrive, Tristan rips off his bandages in his excitement and dies in Isolde’s arms. Shortly thereafter King Marke and Melot arrive and, thinking that they are there to kill Tristan, Kurwenal attacks Melot and they both die. King Marke then explains that he learned of the love potion and was not there to separate the lovers, but rather to unite them.
After the opera we went back to our hostel and chatted with our roommate. Since we were in a hostel and were two people in a four person room, we were stuck with two complete strangers. One person named Mario from Brazil was in Europe doing research for his doctorate in architecture and engineering, specifically city planning, so it was pretty interesting talking to him. The next morning we checked out and headed to the train station and made our way to Erfurt, which was on the way back, to go to the Christmas market there. Although interesting, Christmas markets are usually all basically the same, but we did enjoy a good two hours there while we waited for the next train.
One of the trains we were on was late and so we missed our connecting train to get back to Heidelberg. We waited around for an hour for the next train and met a couple from Texas on their honeymoon. Later that evening we finally arrived home.
Overall it was a very fun, exciting, and interesting trip. I felt sort of connected to the old poets and thinkers who had made their lives in Weimar: Goethe, Schiller, Bach. It felt like the place just radiated history and culture. And the opera was phenomenal, albeit somewhat lengthy. I believe it was a very beneficial experience.