Department of Germanic
and Slavic Studies

Newcomb Hall 305
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118

Phone: 504-865-5276
Fax: 504-865-5277

Photos thanks to
Professor Brumfield
and A. Carr.



"Luther Day" at Tulane University (October 2, 2017)

On October 2, 2017, the Tulane University German program was privileged to host Prof. Dr. Michael Haspel, Director of the Evangelische Akademie Thüringen and Extraordinary Professor for Systematic Theology and Social Ethics at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena to help commemorate the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.

Professor Haspel, who was also sponsored by the German Consulate in Houston, visited a junior/senior seminar on "Das Kriegserlebnis" (GERM 4800/6800) to discuss the role of Luther in the Peasant Wars in sixteenth-century Germany.  He then helped inaugurate two exhibits at the Tulane University Howard-Tilton Library that provided background information about Luther and the Reformation.  Students from the German program organized one of these exhibits in Special Collections that showcased rare books that relate to Luther and his legacy. They ranged from a Latin Bible published in Nürnberg in 1480 to a German Bible published in New Orleans in 1883 for the large German-speaking Lutheran population of the city. The second exhibit was added to the library's collection of online exhibits:

Following the opening of the exhibits, Prof. Haspel gave a thought-provoking lecture titled 

"Here I Stand, I Can Do No Other, So Help Me God."

From Martin Luther to Martin Luther King, Jr.

that explored how Martin Luther King, Jr. used insights of Martin Luther and the Reformation for his motivation in his struggle for freedom, justice, and equality. 

 The audience included German majors and minors, honors students, students in the Tulane German Club, members of the Tulane community, as well as of the general public. Overall it was a very successful "Luther day!"

Haspel visit_Oct_2_2017_IMG_2304


Tulane University GERM 4800/6800 seminar on “Das Kriegserlebnis” at the inauguration of the exhibit on Luther and the Reformation at Howard-Tilton Memorial Library with guest speaker Prof. Michael Haspel (wearing a tie), and Prof. Elio Brancaforte (Chair of German/Slavic).


German Symposium, April 28, 2015

Each year, the German Symposium showcases undergraduate research on German Studies topics. For the 2015 Symposium, Jalin Carter presented a paper entitled “Claustrophobia and Paranoia in Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detour”; his research on the Austrian exile director was developed for Prof. Heins’ course “From Weimar Cinema to Film Noir.” Brennah Murphy presented a paper entitled “Motivations of German Travel Writing in the 16th and 17th Centuries,” research that she completed for Prof. Brancaforte’s seminar “Reisen ins Fremde.” Alana Gibson’s presentation, “The Films of Fatih Akin: Gender, Music, and the German-Turkish Identity,” was based on a paper for Prof. Heins’ seminar “Migration und deutsche Kultur.” All of the presentations were excellent and well received. Kudos to all three presenters, and congratulations to Ms. Murphy and Ms. Gibson, who will be graduating in May!  




Distinguished Lecturer Gives Talk

Recently, the Germanic and Slavic Studies Department hosted  Dr. Joachim Von Puttkamer

Dr. Joachim Von PuttkamerDoctor, Professor and Head of the Imre Kertsz Collegium for the Study of History of Central Europe, University of Jena

The topic was "Poland in 1989: Crisis and Transition". 

(March 4, 2013)

German Lecturer Dietmar Felber Coaches Actress Kerry Washington for Django Unchained

Getting the call to tutor a famous actress in a blockbuster film is not high on the list of typical things a Tulane faculty member may be asked to do. But that is exactly what happened to German & Slavic Studies visiting lecturer Dietmar Felber.

For more on Dietmar Felber's experience, click here.

For an interview with Reese Osta, a German Studies major who saw the film and heard Kerry Washington speak here at Tulane, click here.


Russian Poetry Reading

In conjunction with the ASEEES conference in New Orleans (November 15, 2012), we held and undergraduate panel discussion on Russian literature on campus and had a poetry reading by Polina Barskova. Polina Barskova, born in 1976, is widely regarded as one of the most important Russian poets of her generation. Her first book of poems was published when she was still a teenager, and she has released seven volumes since. Last year, Barskova's latest collection was short-listed for the prestigious Andrei Bely Prize. She recently published an English-language collection, The Zoo in Winter (Melville House, 2011), translated by Boris Dralyuk and David Stromberg. Barskova read her works in Russian and in English translation, with a warm conversation about Russian literature in general and how to translate poetry.

                                     A reading of poetry for the students

Stay tuned for updates from the faculty and from the German Club about upcoming events for AY 2012-13. For a sample of what will be in store, please click the link below!

Student Awards
  •  Congratulations Are in Order!

Congratulations to German major Reese Osta, former co-president of the Tulane German Club, proud owner of an original “Trabi,” and now the recipient of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant to Germany for the 2014-2015 academic year!



  • Congratulations!

Congratulations to David Ewens, recipient of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant to Halle, Germany for the 2013-2014 academic year!  Read more...


                     David Ewens, in front of the Marktkirche am Marktplatz in Halle's Altstadt

  • Letter From the Field: Peace Corps in Costa Rica

Professor Brancaforte,

Season's greetings from Costa Rica! I hope this e-mail finds you well, and that the fall semester and winter break have treated you well!

I just wanted to write you to keep in touch, see how things are going with you and let you know about where life has taken me since graduation. I graduated in May, and only about two months later I left the good old USA for Costa Rica to begin my adventure in the Peace Corps! I started my service with three months of training in San José (the capital), which consisted of a lot of Spanish lessons and learning how to work in social work / youth development. Then at the beginning of October I was officially sworn in (at the US embassy, no less!) as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Read more...

David Duesing (2013)

Peace Corps Sign



  • Former German Minor Gets Teaching Fellowship in Germany

"I have been on my Fulbright in Germany for just over three months now, and thus far, it has been a whirlwind of an experience. I was placed as an English Teaching Assistant at a Gymnasium in the city of Wüzburg. Wüzburg is one of Germany's oldest university cities and is also the heart of the Franconian wine growing region. This has provided a one-of-a-kind backdrop for my time in the classroom where I am sharing American culture with eager German students. Ironically, their outside perspective is helping me learn as much about my own country as about Germany itself. Outside the classroom, my time here is proving to be incredibly personally rewarding. The Fulbright scholarship is allowing me to pursue my own ambitions in a limitless, priceless way my first year after graduating from Tulane. I appreciated the openness and flexibility of the German and Slavic program in helping me spend a semester abroad in Berlin. Professor Brancaforte helped me to transfer my credits to fulfill a German minor and fostered my interest in and passion for German language and culture. I am confident that I will come out of the program in June with lessons and experiences that resonate with me as I move forward to the next stage of my life. I am grateful for Tulane and for the late Senator Fulbright for making all of this possible." - Jeffery McInnis (May 2013)



  • 2011-12 DAAD Ambassador: Lance Waters ~ Congratulations!

It is our department's great pleasure to congratulate Lance Waters, a senior pursuing a double major in German Studies and political science, for his selection as a 2011 DAAD Young Ambassador.

click here for the Lance Waters' Interview


"My experience as a student in Berlin was marked by accessible professors, a broad academic curriculum, modern facilities, and contact with students from around the world."
~ Lance Waters, German Concentrator at Tulane.

Professional Faculty Activities

Professor and Departmental Chair Elio Brancaforte has recently been featured in an article in the Times Picayune from October 23, 2011.

'Once Upon a Time' and 'Grimm' bring fairy-tale characters to prime time.

The article discusses the new ABC TV series "Once Upon a Time" and the new NBC TV series "Grimm" which both showed their Pilot episodes late October.  This shifting trend of interest towards fairy tale lore in pop culture led Times Picayune writer Dave Walker to obtain a comment from Professor Brancaforte, who does much academic work on fairy tales and folklore.  He recently hosted a talk given by Harvard Professor Maria Tatar, a world famous fairy tale specialist, which was open to the Tulane community.  Professor Brancaforte also regularly  teaches the course "Grimm Reckonings".

Tulane's Elio Brancaforte studies fairy-tale references in popular culture

This online article has questions and answers with Professor Brancaforte regarding the previous article.  It asks for his expert opinions of the upcoming TV series "Grimm" and "Once Upon a Time", which are based off fairy tales and folklore, along with several other questions about his studies and work. 

"I know that my (future) students will be watching, so I will watch so that I know what the series are all about…I'll be interested to see what approach the series will take to the "classic" tales, and how they will adapt them and try to make them relevant for a modern audience."

For past Faculty Activities, click here.


Tulane U., Dept. of Germanic & Slavic Studies, Newcomb Hall 305, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5276