Fritzsche Elected to Foreign Language Group’s Executive Committee

Jan. 16, 2013                                          

Associate Professor of German and Eastern European Studies
Sonja Fritzsche

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University language professor Sonja Fritzsche has been elected to a three-year term on the Executive Committee of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL).

An associate professor of German and Eastern European Studies, Fritzsche said the nine-member Executive Committee works with ADFL staff to support foreign language faculty in the United States and Canada.

Challenges for the committee over Fritzsche’s term will include best practices with regard to the digital humanities, and assisting departments interested in transforming goals and curricula in accordance with the 2007 MLA report Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World and its central concept of translingual and transcultural competencies.

“Language study provides a path toward a new and deeper understanding of other cultures and one’s own (academic) major that is not accessible when the student speaks only English,” Fritzsche said. “At Illinois Wesleyan, we have increased focus in our language curricula on transcultural competencies that are interdisciplinary whenever possible. We are endeavoring to prepare IWU students for a world not too far off in which many Americans are conversant in more than one language.”

Fritzsche joined the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan in 2001. She regularly serves as the IWU Coordinator for Russian and Eastern European Studies concentration in International Studies, and she is currently the Language Resource Center coordinator. Fritzsche is also vice president of the Southern Illinois chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German. Her research focuses on (East) German literature and film, Heimat discourse, ecotopia and science fiction. Her publications include Science Fiction Literature in East Germany (Peter Lang, 2006), and articles in German Quarterly, German Studies Review, Women in German Yearbook, Film & History, Extrapolation, Utopian Studies and Filmforum.

Contact: Kim Hill, (309) 556-3960