Friday-Saturday, April 4-5
Memorial Center and State Farm Hall

This is the third year of the German Undergraduate Research Conference at IWU. It is the only conference of its kind in the United States to provide advanced German students with an opportunity to present their research in the language in which they wrote it: German. Students gain valuable public speaking practice, have the chance to defend their research in the poster session or during the question and answer period, and experience an academic conference. It provides valuable, real-life experience, whatever the students' future plans.

This year’s keynote speaker is Cyrus Shahan, assistant professor of German at Colby College. The topic of his keynote address on Saturday is “Die ‘härteste Band von allen’: Die RAF, ästhetische Gewalt und westdeutscher Punk.” / “The ‘Most Hard Core Band of All’: The RAF, Aesthetic Violence and West German Punk.” He will also hold a preliminary discussion session on Friday evening that incorporates clips from two films on the Red Army Faction. 

See the conference schedule below.

Five IWU German students will present during the poster session and on conference panels: Annika Ewaldz '14, Cameron Leberecht '16, Abigail Lyons '14, Michael Roy '14, and Emma Vander Woude '15. 

They will present alongside other conference participants from Emory University, Grinnell College, Kenyon College, Knox College, Lawrence College, the University of New Mexico, New York University, the University of North Texas, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Portland, Reed College, Ripon College, Valparaiso University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Because of the growth in the number of participants — 32 this year — the format has been adjusted to include concurrent sessions. See conference participants.

This conference is sponsored by the Mellon “Re-Centering the Humanities” Grant, Student Senate, the Language Resource Center Committee, and departmental funds associated with the Isaac Funk Endowed Professorship held by Marina Balina. Thanks also goes to Sodexo and General Manager Mike Welsh for providing an authentic German dinner on the opening night and to the IWU German Club, whose members house out-of-town participants to help them keep costs down.

The conference charges no registration fee and offers competitive travel grant funding for participants.

Past conferences have been sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honor Society, and the IWU Provost’s Office. 

For more information, contact Sonja Fritzsche (, Adam Woodis ( or visit

Tentative Conference Schedule

Friday, April 4
5:30-6:30 p.m. Poster Session Davidson Room, Memorial Center
6:30- 8 p.m. Opening Dinner (participants only) Joslin Atrium, Memorial Center
8 p.m. Memory, Heritage and the Aesthetics of Terrorism: Baader (2002) and The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008): A conversation with Cyrus Shahan. Room 202, State Farm Hall
Saturday, April 5
9-10:15 a.m. Panel A: History Room 201, State Farm Hall
9-10:15 a.m. Panel B: Music Room 202,  State Farm Hall
10:30-11:45 a.m. Panel A: The Power of Money  Room 201,  State Farm Hall
10:30-11:45 a.m. Panel B: Socio-Political Contexts Room 202,  State Farm Hall
1 p.m. Keynote Address: Cyrus Shahan Room 202,  State Farm Hall
2:15-3:30 p.m. Panel A: German Studies A Room 201,  State Farm Hall
2:15-3:30 p.m. Panel B: German Studies B
Room 202,  State Farm Hall
3:45-5 p.m. Panel A: Women Room 201,  State Farm Hall
3:45-5 p.m. Panel B: Art Room 202, State Farm Hall