What is the DAAD?:
The DAAD Provides:
Why Germany? Because Germany:
Guelph’s German Partner Universities:
Study Scholarships for Graduates:
For more Details:
Master’s students: https://www.daad.org/germanstudies2
PhD candidates: https://www.daad.org/germanstudies3
University Summer Course Grant:
Intensive Language Courses in Germany:
Your Application to DAAD - Tips for Success:
Online Resources for Study and Research in Germany:
With Halloween approaching, for today’s blog post let us explore the infamous fairytale that is “the stuff of nightmares,” most commonly known under the title of Bluebeard (German: Blaubart) (Tatar 138). This gruesome tale made its first literary appearance in Charles Perrault’s Tales of Mother Goose (138). As stated by Anatole France, Bluebeard is “the most perfect model of cruelty that ever trod the earth” (138). According to folklorists, the tale contains the “three distinctive features of Bluebeard narratives: a forbidden chamber, an agent of prohibition who also metes out punishments, and a figure who violates the prohibition” (138-9).
Bluebeard is utterly distinct among other fairytales regarding its portrayal of marriage as a murderous institution (139). Unlike tales such as Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, and Cinderella, which–in the hopes of escaping the initial “unhappy situations”–revolve around romantic quests that are to provide the heroines with “marital bliss”, whereas the tales of Bluebeard depict women, who depart from the safety of their homes, to venture into their husbands’ perilous domains (139).
But how exactly is all this related to the eerie festivities of Halloween, you may ask. Well, Bluebeard undoubtedly serves as evidence that folktales are the forerunners of cinematic horror; another genre that is notoriously known for its emphasis on common fears and fantasies (140). Tales such as Bluebeard foreshadow the “gothic plots” of contemporary horror, and thereby establish fears and desires which remain intact.
Bluebeard, as well as cinematic horror, consists of a murderer, who is driven by psychotic rage, and the wretched victims of his serial murders, along with a “final girl” (i.e., Bluebeard’s wife), who either achieves to save herself or arranges her rescue (140). Additionally, Bluebeard and cinematic horror are centered around a “terrible place of horror:” a dark and sinister location that conceals the macabre evidence of the murderer’s derangement, which represents the unconscious and the fears; such as Bluebeard’s “forbidden chamber” (140).
The intrigue of folklore still prevails today, and has triumphantly crept its way into various mediums to satisfy our craving for the fearful, our “desire for knowledge of what lies beyond the door” (139). Though lest not forget this Halloween to be wary of the “dire consequences of curiosity and disobedience,” as the cautionary tale of Bluebeard has taught us … or you may find yourself hanging among Bluebeard’s fatally curious wives (139).
Tatar, Maria. “Introduction: Bluebeard.” The Classic Fairy Tales. Ed. Maria Tatar. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1999. 138-44. Print.
The changing color of leaves indicate that autumn has arrived! In North America, houses are starting to be decorated with spooky ornaments and jack-o’-lanterns. As October 31st is approaching, children are preparing their costumes for a night of trick-or-treating and adults are preparing for the best party of the season, Halloween. We go pretty crazy for this day and even some people think it should an official holiday, but North America is not the only one who celebrates the night of the dead. Today we will look out at how Germany celebrates Halloween and haunted places to see!
Halloween is a relatively new holiday celebrated among germans. It was first introduced in the 1990’s and has been increasing in popularity ever since. On Halloween you can hear children say "Süßes oder Saures!" door to door. The popularity of this spooky holiday is mostly due to americanization. Some Germans are not happy with Halloween being so popular because it resembles St. Martin’s Day (Martinstag), a holiday that requires children to go door to door and recite poems or texts for treats. Despite the oppositions, Halloween does not seem to be leaving anytime soon.
With Halloween come places that are haunted. Germany has several locations which are believed to be haunted. The first stop we shall make is at Heidelberg, Southwestern Germany. One for the scary-vacation seekers is the Hexenturm (Witch Tower). This particular tower was made in the medieval era to imprison thieves. It was later used during the Witch hunting era (1450-1500). The tower was named in 1650 to represent the sufferance of women accused of witchcraft. The tower was partly destroyed during the Nine Year war in the 1600’s and then rebuilt in the 20th century. It is now part of the University of Heidelberg. Not too far from there is a Nazi amphitheater, which is also believed to be haunted. Many visitors say to have heard crying and claim to have seen ghostly apparitions. Legend has it that on moonless nights there is a higher risk of seeing deadly spirits.
Another creepy location is the Kent/ Waldniel Hoster School in Schwalmtal, North Rhine- Westphalia. The school and church was built in 1913 and was made for boys with mental disabilities. When the Nazi regime took over Germany, most of the monks that were ruling the place were criminally charged and removed from the institution. The school became an sanatorium for children (Kinderfachanstalt). A lot of disabled children were euthanized and tortured. Since 1991, the institution has been abandoned and there are rumors saying that laughs, screams and cries of children are often heard in the hallways.
Have a nice Halloween!
A Little list of Halloween Vocabulary
The TA blog's selection of must-attend events and news you can't miss from the German community in Montreal.
We are screening Episode 2 of "Altes Geld" today (Monday Oct. 5) at 6 p.m. in H-527. Don't worry if you missed Episode 1 - you'll have no problems catching up.
C.G.L.S.A. Events: Kaffeestunde and Stammtisch
The Concordia German Language Student Association (C.G.L.S.A.) holds a weekly Kaffeestunde (coffee hour) every Wednesday from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. - just bring your own mug to enjoy their complimentary coffee! If you can't make it Wednesday mornings, the association also has a Stammtisch Tuesdays at Speakeasy (below McKibbins on Bishop St.) from 6 to 8 p.m. See you there!
WATCH: Wir sind jung. Wir sind stark. @ the Phi Centre
The Phi Centre is screening the 2014 film Wir sind jung. Wir sind stark. tonight (Monday, Oct. 5) from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Here is the synopsis:
We are young. We are strong. recounts the incident of violent xenophobic riots in Rostock in 1992 from the perspectives of three very different characters. Lien is a Vietnamese woman who settled in Germany, but at the end of the day she will be fighting for her life wondering if the place she called home could ever be one for her. Stefan and his friends are part of the night's violent turmoil. Young and angry, bored during the daytime, they look forward to the nightly riots and clashes with the police and foreigners. Unable to cope with his grief at the loss of a friend, Stefan gets lost in a circle of violence. Stefan's father Martin is an ambitious local politician, trapped in a dilemma: does he advance his career or stand up for his ideals and take responsibility?
Find out more and purchase your tickets here.
WATCH: BELTRACCHI : THE ART OF FORGERY @ Cinéma du Parc
Cinéma du Parc is screening Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery until Wednesday, October 7 at 12:45 p.m. and 5:10 p.m. Here’s the synopsis:
For nearly 40 years, Wolfgang Beltracchi fooled the international art world and was responsible for the biggest art forgery scandal of the postwar era. An expert in art history, theory and painting techniques, he tracked down the gaps in the oeuvres of great artists – Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, Heinrich Campendonk, André Derain and Max Pechstein, above all – and filled them with his own works. He and his wife Helene would then introduce them to the art world as originals.
Find out more and buy your tickets here.
WATCH: Im Labyrinth des Schweigens
Im Labyrinth des Schweigens (English: Labyrinth of Lies) is an upcoming German film featuring André Szymanski, Alexander Fehling, and Friederike Becht. It will be screening in Montreal as of Oct. 16 at various theatres. Here is the synopsis:
Frankfurt 1958: nobody wants to look back to the time of the National Socialist regime. Young prosecuting attorney Johann Radmann comes across some documents that help to initiate the trial against some members of the SS who served in Auschwitz. But both the horrors of the past and the hostility against his work bring Johann to the point of meltdown. It is nearly impossible for him to find his way through this maze; everybody seems to have been involved or guilty.
Find out more here.
SEE: Migrantas in Montreal
The Berlin-based collective Migrantas will be in Montreal this October and November giving a series of workshops, presenting an exhibition and leading a public campaign. At their workshops in Montreal, they will unite immigrants of diverse social and cultural origins, and of different legal status, to reflect on their individual experiences as immigrants. The participants will then illustrate their experiences through drawings. After careful analysis of all drawings from the workshops, migrantas will cull key elements and common themes from the drawings and translate these central motifs visually and artistically into pictograms - a visual language and a language accessible to everyone.
For more information, visit the Goethe Institut website.
READ: “Why a German magazine devoted an entire issue to Montreal’s Rue Bernard”
The Toronto Star features the writers and editors of Flaneur magazine, who spent two months in Montreal, finding universal stories in the lives of the street.
WATCH: “Faces of Germany” on YouTube
The organization So German, a collaboration between DAAD North America and the German Embassy in Ottawa, have created a new video series. "Faces of Germany" features stories of German immigrants in Canada, asking what brought them here and exploring how they live, love, laugh and work in Canada. The first edition features Jutta Brendemuehl, a program curator and film blogger for the Goethe-Institut in Toronto.
Germany, the land of gruesome fairytales, is the nation that brought you the stereotypical big-bad wolf, cannibalistic witches, mutilating mothers, necrophiliac princes, and several other dark tales to satisfy your eerie appetite. For today’s blog post, forget Disney’s "magical" take on conventional folktales, and reevaluate what you thought you knew about the Brothers Grimm cautionary tales.
Contrary to popular belief, these tales’ sole purpose is not to merely entertain and cause its readers to squeal in delighted terror, or to align with one’s stereotypical image of the "angry-sounding, scary German;" but rather to emphasize the significance of morality, and to stress the lessons to be learned through the use of cryptic metaphors.
One of the good old Brothers Grimm classics is of course Little Red Cap (German: Rotkäppchen). An earlier version of this tale was written by Charles Perrault, entitled Little Red Riding Hood (Perrault 11). The concept of moral intent, such as is found in Perrault’s tale, can be rediscovered in the Brothers Grimm retelling. These tales reflect on societal norms, and gender roles; Little Red Cap is to serve as an eye-opening tale regarding female sexuality.
Red is urged by her mother “not to stray from the path,” to, metaphorically speaking, "conserve" herself, to maintain her virginity (Grimm 14). Followed by Red breaking this promise upon her encounter with her immoral fate: the wolf. The significance of this tale is the unjust depiction of women. It is the mother who is blamed for the consequences, by having sent her child into the woods; as well as Red, for having broken her promise not to stray from the path, straight into the arms of a (sexual) predator.
As is disturbingly stated by Perrault: “From this story one learns that children, / Especially young girls, / Pretty, well-bred, and genteel, / Are wrong to listen to just anyone, / And it’s not at all strange, / If a wolf ends up eating them.” So there you have it, the twisted cautionary lesson. It is not the wolf, the male seducer, who is to be blamed for the harm that he has done, as it is merely in his nature to ‘hunt;’ but rather it is up to women to uphold society’s virtues, and to refrain from “straying from the path” (Perrault 13).
Grimm, Brothers. “Little Red Cap.” The Classic Fairy Tales. Ed. Maria Tatar. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1998. 13-16. Print.
Perrault, Charles. “Little Red Riding Hood.” The Classic Fairy Tales. Ed. Maria Tatar. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1998. 11-13. Print.
"Altes Geld" screening tonight in H-527!
Don't forget that the first screening of Altes Geld takes place tonight in H-527! All levels of German are welcome, as we will be watching with English subtitles!
Wondering what the most popular songs in Germany are right now? Although American music tends to dominate the hit-lists in Germany, there are quite a few prominent German singers currently on the charts of MTV Deutschland.
How can listening to music improve your German?
While your classes will help you with your German language skills, it’s also important to be aware of what is going in German culture right now. This includes what kind of music is being played on the radio. Listening to German music is a great tool to learn new vocab. For example, when I listen to a German song and do not fully understand the words, I check the lyrics and look up them up in the dictionary. This not only enriches my German, but it also shows me the words that are commonly used in the German language right now.
Often times a popular song can be an Ohrwurm (literally translated, an ear worm, meaning a catchy tune). In those cases, whether you want to or not, the lyrics are stuck in your head. And voilà, you’ve learned new words that aren’t taught in a grammar class, just like that! To give you a taste of what Germans are listening to right now, here are the top three German artists from Friday’s MTV Deutschland Hitlist.
1. “Astronaut” von SIDO ft. Andreas Bourani
Sido is a rapper from Berlin who often uses the ups and downs of his life as fodder for his songs. For example, "Mein Block" describes his life in a social housing district of Berlin (Märkisches Viertel in Reinickendorf). Sido has been active in the German rap scene since the 90s, but 2003-2004 could be considered his breakout year. At the time, he was easily recognizable by the skull mask he would wear to perform. Sido also participated in the 2005 Bundesvision Song contest, in which he finished third. Today, Sido no longer wears a mask, and his song “Astronaut” ft. Andreas Bourani is the number one song on the Hitlist.
Perhaps you are familiar with Bourani’s popular song “Auf uns”. It was a favourite among German soccer fans (so, most of the country) during the 2014 World Cup. ARD (a German TV Station) even called this song its World Cup anthem. Bourani hails from Augsburg and his origins are Egyptian. His musical talents did not go unnoticed even as a child, and he frequented a private music school during his teenage years. He also participated in a contest called the Bundesvision Song Contest, where he won 10th place. He was even a judge on the fifth edition of The Voice Germany.
2. “Lieblingsmensch” von Namika
Another song that is currently topping the charts is “Lieblingsmensch” by Namika. This talented young artist has only started to garner attention over the past year. Namika is from Frankfurt-am-Main, but her roots are in Morocco. Although she was born in Germany, she maintains close ties to her Moroccan culture and she tries to integrate both cultures in her music (like in her song “Nador”). She writes all her own music, which allows her to communicate messages through her music such as the importance of friendship. Funnily enough, Namika also took part of the Bundesvision Song Constest, and finished in seventh place.
3. “Sugar” von DJ Robin Schulz
If you’re an EDM lover, you have probably already heard one of DJ Robin Schulz’s hit songs, whether it be his single “Willst du?”, his 2014 chart-topping remix of “Prayer in C” or his latest hit “Sugar”. What you perhaps didn’t know is that that you were actually listening to German music! Robin is from Osnabrück in Lower Saxony. At the moment, his music is popular worldwide and he’s been charting high in many European countries. Even though not all his music is in German, he represents an aspect of German culture (let’s call it the “party hard” aspect). Schulz started DJ’ing in his late teens and has named fellow artists such as Tiësto and Armand van Helden as sources of inspiration. YouTube played a big part in the success of his single “Willst du?” featuring German rapper Alligatoah. Now his newest song “Sugar” is blowing up the international charts.
Which German hits have ‘wormed’ their way into your ear? If you’re not into the music on the charts right now, which songs would you recommend to your fellow German students? Let us know in the comments!
If you’re taking a German class this semester, you’ll be seeing a lot of (at least one of) these people: Naomi, Fred and Jackie are your TAs. They’re your go-to resources for language questions and your connection to the wider German-language community in Montreal.
Meet Naomi Holzapfel
"Hallo"! My name is Naomi. I hail from a modest village in historic Franconia, Germany. At age ten my family and I relocated to England, and after three years of rain and crude humor, continued our travels across the pond to Atlanta. After having confronted the struggles of monolingualism, I have a genuine understanding of what it means to learn a new language. Although this is my first semester as a teaching assistant for the German department at Concordia, I hope to be a helpful source to all those who desire to acquire the art of the German tongue.
Naomi's hours are:
GERM 201 A: Mo 10:15-11:30
GERM 241: Mo 11:45-13:00, Thu 14:45-16:00
All tutorials take place in H-661.2.
Naomi can be reached by email at: email@example.com.
Meet Frédéric Leone
Hello everyone! My name is Frederic and I am currently doing a specialization in Biochemistry as well as a minor in German studies . Ever since I was a teenager, I have always been interested in Germany, particularly its language. I even attempted to learn the language myself using only books and YouTube tutorials. I was so fascinated by the language that I immediately knew it would be my passion in life. In order to pursue this new passion, I took German classes at several institutions, including Concordia University. I also travelled to Germany several times and gained a lot of experience there. The last time I visited Germany, I stayed for three months in Berlin and I loved my experience tremendously. I’m looking forward to helping people learn this rather complex yet captivating language, as well to share my passion for German.
Fred’s TA hours are:
GERM 200: Wed, Fri 13:15-14:30
GERM 201 C: Fri 14:45-16:00
All tutorials take place in H-661.2.
Fred can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Jackie Di Bartolomeo
My name is Jackie and I'm a storyteller. Before starting my MA History at Concordia this year, I got my BA in Journalism with a minor in German. This is my fourth semester as a teaching assistant for the German department. In addition to holding regular tutorials, I manage the blog and the monthly German in Montreal newsletter (sign up on the right side of the screen)! I also encourage students to pursue language learning outside the classroom, which is why I try to connect students to German events happening within the Montreal community. Events are announced on the blog and the newsletter as they pop up, and you can email me if you see anything interesting happening around town!
Jackie’s hours are:
GERM 202: Tu 10:15-11:30
GERM 201 B: Tu 11:45-13:00
GERM 361 (Lesegruppe): Tu 14:45-16:00
GERM 301: Wed 14:45-16:00
All tutorials take place in H-661.2.
Jackie’s email address is email@example.com.
Jackie's top 12 resources for learning German
In the two years Jackie was taking German courses at Concordia, she amassed quite a collection of online German resources. Here are her top 12 most helpful German-language links:
Spelling and vocabulary
Learning through culture
I also follow the following groups/pages on Facebook:
Where do you get your German fix online? What are the most helpful language-learning resources on the web? Let us know in the comments!
All tutorials take place in H-661.2.