50 Years of University of Bremen

© GfG / Gruppe für Gestaltung

This year marks the 50th birthday of the University of Bremen. To celebrate half a century of Uni Bremen, the university offers a wide range of various events throughout the year.

The “50 reasons WHY” exhibition (in German: “WARUM? DARUM.”) throughout 50 different locations in Bremen, which started in March and will close in August, displays all of the achievements of people from and with the University of Bremen as well as where the Uni is involved and how it has changed Bremen since 1971. As of October, the exhibition will be brought together in the Lower Town Hall.

The fall program involves a wide range of research and teaching topics under the headline “CAMPUS CITY” which is scheduled from October 14, 2021 – 50 years to the day after the university was founded. More information about CAMPUS CITY will follow soon.

Moreover, Uni Bremen has set up the project “#IchBinUniBremen” (in English: “#IAmUniBremen”) in order to present the ‘human side’ of the University of Bremen: 50 different individuals affiliated with the University of Bremen give personal insights into its past, present and future. The project page and its social media sites can be found here:




Further information about 50 Years of University of Bremen can be found here:



When we will be able to travel again… Part I

by Dr. Janine Ludwig

At some point, the pandemic will be over, and we will be able to travel again. When that will be possible, we are looking forward to offering rich academic excursions for our students again, one of them our annual excursion to Berlin. Please see here what students can expect to see and learn in Germany’s capital:

Our Berlin excursion is usually centered around the once divided Germany, German and GDR history, culture, literature, and the process of reunification. We meet with politicians such as the last Premier, t.i. Chairman of the Council of Ministers, of the German Democratic Republic (DDR), Hans Modrow, and others. We visit the former headquarters of the Ministry of State Security (MfS, often called Stasi), including Erich Mielke’s office which is still intact. In the archives and basement, we look through authentic Stasi files and visit the former Stasi prison Hohenschönhausen. Of course, we also delve into current German politics, meeting the assistant of the governmental Coordinator for Transatlantic Relations in the State Department and attending parliamentary sessions.

Bremen’s Rhododendron-Park is in full bloom!

At the Rhododendronpark in Bremen, visitors get to enjoy one of the largest collection worldwide of these unusual, beautiful flowers: The park offers over 1,000 types of Rhododendron and Azalea bushes stretched over 46 hectares of parkland!

We highly recommend you to visit the park in the month of May: During this time of year, the Rhododendron starts to come into full bloom and shows its many vibrant colors.

For more information visit: https://www.rhododendronparkbremen.de/

Photo: Heinz-Josef Lücking, Creative Commons licence CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Meet the people behind the Durden Dickinson Bremen Program!

Running a successful Dickinson program in Bremen for more than 35 years now, is a team effort. That team includes: members and leaders of the CGSE, Dickinson’s German Department, and two on-site representatives on the ground, located at the University of Bremen: the Academic Director and the Program Coordinator.

With our new series, we want to show you the faces behind our program. Stay tuned!

Meet the people behind the Durden Dickinson Bremen Program: Dr. Janine Ludwig

Janine Ludwig is a literary scholar, co-editor of Dickinson’s literary journal Glossen (with Prof. McGaughey), Vice Head of the Institute for Cultural German Studies at the University of Bremen (ifkud), and Chairwoman of the International Heiner Müller Society. She studied Contemporary German Literature, Philosophy, and Theater Studies/Cultural Communication in Göttingen, San Diego, and Berlin. She is an expert on East German and post-war literature, but also an all-rounder with interests in medieval history, politics, and film.

Aside from numerous articles on a range of topics, she has published two books on the playwright Heiner Müller (“Ikone West” and “Macht und Ohnmacht des Schreibens”) and, together with Mirjam Meuser, two edited volumes on post-GDR literature: “Literatur ohne Land?”. Another edited volume with a colleague, Carsten Gansel, on the 68 movement is in print.

Dr. Ludwig teaches regularly at the Departments of Cultural and German Studies at Uni Bremen: seminars on German-American cultural history and relations, including German immigration, but also on literature, intercultural studies, German as a foreign language, and recently on Wende or post-reunification novels (publication underway).

She is a fan of the city’s soccer club “Werder Bremen” and a news freak; she enjoys trivia nights as well as a good German intensive debate on pretty much anything. Having been the Academic Director in Bremen since 2009, she was disheartened about the Covid break that the program had to take and misses students being around. She is looking forward to re-opening soon!

Meet the people behind the Durden Dickinson Bremen Program: Kamaal Haque, Ph.D.

“Servus!” Prof. Haque has been teaching at Dickinson since 2008. He teaches all levels of the curriculum. Some courses he regularly teaches include Mountains in German Culture, German Literature and Film of the First World War and German Intellectual History. His research focuses on the Alps in German-language film and literature. When he is in Europe, you can find him in Munich or the mountains of Germany, Austria and Northern Italy.  If he has to be somewhere flat, Bremen is a great place to be!

Meet the people behind the Durden Dickinson Bremen Program: Antje Pfannkuchen, Ph.D.

Prof. Pfannkuchen arrived at Dickinson in 2009. After living in Berlin, NYC and London, Carlisle was a bit of a change, but by now (and especially during the pandemic) small-town living has grown on her. At the moment, though, she is on leave as a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University, finishing her manuscript “Printing the Invisible.” This book studies the beginnings of photography in the early 19th century and how they were connected to research in electricity and to romantic poetry.

Prof. Pfannkuchen came to German Studies indirectly after a first degree in “Kulturwissenschaften” (Cultural History) with a focus on media theories and a second master’s from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) exploring technological innovations. Her current work is informed by her continued interest in the media-technological state of our world. That’s why students in her courses with topics as diverse as “German-Jewish Culture,” “Goethe Forever!” or “The German Political Landscape” are taught to produce podcasts and videos, instead of merely consuming them.

Normally she is back in Germany at least twice every year with regular stays in Bremen, Berlin, and her hometown Dresden.

Meet the people behind the Durden Dickinson Bremen Program: Sarah McGaughey, Ph.D.

Prof. McGaughey joined the German Department in 2007 and continues to appreciate being a part of creativity and interdisciplinarity of Dickinson’s liberal arts and sciences community. She enjoys teaching language, culture, and literary studies at all levels of the curriculum. Most recently, she has developed and taught courses such as German Environments, German in Performance, German Pop! and Architecture of the German-Speaking World. In her Intermediate German course, she created content on refugee history and Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) and changed the format of exams to focus on the skills of communication: reading, writing, and speaking. Students in her courses have created podcasts and presentations on topics such as Eurogames, Berliner club history, and 19th century nation building in German-speaking Europe. Creative student projects include a ghostly radio drama and a literary talk show modelled on Das literarische Quartett.

Most of her publications, including two books, focus on the early work of the Austrian Jewish author Hermann Broch (1886-1951), in particular the role of architecture and the environment in his pre-exile literary projects. Her current research focuses on homes and gardens in the interwar period in Central Europe. An additional area of interest is now contemporary young adult literature and environmental crisis. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, walking and hiking, cooking, and listening to lots and lots of German radio. She is also an avid fan of the longest running German crime series, Tatort.

Meet the people behind the Durden Dickinson Bremen Program: Ann Hudson

Her interest is bringing the German and French speaking worlds to the elementary levels of the Dickinson classroom. Her specialty in second language acquisition is teaching not only how to communicate in both languages, but to also make connections and comparisons between our culture and the various communities of those worlds, so that the students will one day be able to use their target language(s) globally.