Statement In Support of Colleagues and Students from Syria and Turkey

The department of German, Nordic, and Slavic+, where Turkish instruction is housed at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, extends our support to all our students, colleagues, and friends from Turkey and Syria. Our hearts break for the lives lost and for the grief you are experiencing. We ask all those on the campus community, and especially instructors and employee supervisors, to be mindful of the continued anxiety and uncertainty compounding that grief, and to offer their students and colleagues space to process this tragedy.

Please follow the Madison Association of Turkish Students on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter for information on how to provide material support. The International Division has a list of support resources for students and the Employee Assistance Office can offer support and resources for campus workers, including counseling specifically addressing the earthquakes at LifeMatters.

Congratulations, Spring 2024 GNS+ Graduates!

Gavrielle Lent
Jameson Lynch
Seth Maxfield
Morgan Mehlberg
Brandon Pahl
Nick Ott
Janelle Schmidt
Lisa Steiner
Benjamin Wilson
Cassandra Winkelman

Anthony Ammann
Anja Arnhold
Grace Bauernfeind
Bradley Bekkum
Margaret Brener
Lily Buehler
Nick Collier
Alexander Cook
Salma Delgado
Veronika Dethart
Jonathan Draeger
Chloe Angelique Edgington
Lauren Engle
Elissa Erickson
Marissa Faulkner

Drew Fox
Siena Finlayson
Abby Melissa Fitch
Ashley Fleming
Layne Gebert
Maria Gleason
Zach Halter
Lillian Herling
Katie Hickman
Zoe Jaeger
Yejin Jang
Chrystal Ji
Ellison Juern
Annika Kline
Jenna Kroeger
Rebecca Kubacki
Julia Lemanski
Olivia Ligman
Isaiah Lucre
Isabella Lubotsky
Fiona MacCrimmon
Johanna Mejias
Jack Mitchell
Adrianna Modelska
Alex Nadolski
Joseph Noeske
Aleks Nosek
Zachary Osborn

Augustus Pirlot
Victoria Rose Ochotnicky
Julia Paciorek
Zachary Paronto
Elinor Picek
Pilot Prabhu
Isabella Prenger
Colleen Quinn
Mara Rodewald
Maximilian Rountree
Will Schmitz
Ainsley Salisbury
Morgan Schafer
Taylor Schomisch
Evan Sidor
Paighten Smith
Emma Solcz
Lucille Steffes
Jules Szynal
Hailey Tang
Alexander Taylor
Wyatt Tierney
Nina Lee Ward
Kaitlin Westerbeke
Ella Wickstrom
Cole Witt
Emma Zwirschitz

Recent GNS+ Award Recipients

Mark Louden Receives Griebsch Bascom Professorship

Mark Louden is the recipient of the Griebsch Bascom named professorship.

Marcus Cederstrom Recognized by 2022 McBurney Center Forward in Access Awards

The McBurney Disability Resource Center’s mission is “Leading the campus community forward in access for students with disabilities.” Eight faculty and staff members were presented with a Forward in Access Award from the McBurney Center in 2022.

Pam Potter Awarded Fellowship at Institute for Advanced Study

Pam Potter was awarded a fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study for the 2023-24 year. The position allows for uninterrupted curiosity-driven research in a community of scholars at one of the world’s foremost centers for intellectual inquiry.

Hannah Vandegrift Eldridge Receives Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Award

Hannah Vandegrift Eldridge has been awarded the Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Awards, recognizing research and teaching excellence. The award provides flexible research funding for three years.

The Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic+ Statement on Diversity

The Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic+ strives to create inclusive excellence by valuing the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds based on their race, ethnicity, culture, veteran status, marital status, socio-economic level, national origin, religious belief, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and class.

This is an ongoing task that requires each of us to unlearn our socialization in cultures where privilege and opportunity are unequally distributed along many of those lines and then to put that learning into practice in our classrooms, syllabi, decision-making structures, and research.

GNS+ Commitment to Social Justice

Note: the vocabulary we use for identity is complex because identities are themselves complex. We use the terms Black and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and Person of Color) to reflect the multiple identities individuals may hold, and we use Hispanic/LatinX/Chican@ to reflect the broader use of the former term and the critique to it posed by the latter two.

The tumultuous year of 2020 has brought about a reckoning in virtually every sphere that shapes U.S.-American cultural and institutional life. As an academic community that is also part of a larger U.S.-American cultural and institutional fabric, we commit our voice and action to the social issues that are facing our faculty, staff, and students, as well as the people living in the United States. Our statement is a response to:

  1. the COVID-19 pandemic, which has underscored the racial inequities in health care and economic access for Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic/LatinX/Chican@ communities, triggered xenophobia and racism against Asians and Asian-Americans, as well as amplified anti-Semitism and Islamophobia;
  2. the latest chapters in a long history of police violence against Black people, which sparked protests for racial justice led by Black Lives Matter in the spring and summer of 2020;
  3. the xenophobic targeting of international students in repeated executive orders attacking their right to study and learn in the United States, which threatened thousands of students and scholars, and the university-internal discrimination against paying international students fair wages;
  4. the September 22 executive order forbidding the use of federal funding for any discussions or trainings on racism, gender discrimination or misogyny, which attempted to stifle the work to undo those injustices;
    and finally,
  5. the chaotic presidential election of November 2020, which underscored that voter suppression continues systematically to disenfranchise Black voters and other People of Color.

While the past year of 2020 has led us to focus on the urgency of anti-racist work in particular, we recognize the complex intersections of identity in the US and worldwide, which include not just race and ethnicity but gender identity, dis/ability, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation. We hold that our commitment to anti-racist work will also help us challenge misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia—including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia—, and prejudices about ability and religion.

Thus, we, the Department of German, Nordic and Slavic+ commit to the following concrete actions in the next two years:

  • We will mentor faculty in creating more inclusive syllabi that profoundly engage with race and its history.
  • We will formulate concrete steps toward fostering greater anti-racist and decolonizing pedagogy in our department courses and curricula.
  • We will invite lectures from Black and BIPOC scholars in our disciplines and promote those lectures.
  • We will develop criteria for evaluation and recognition of work in diversity, equity, and inclusion for hiring, promotion, and nominations for achievement awards. We will, further, feature such recognition in our nomination materials, newsletters, annual reports, and tenure dossiers.
  • We will pursue university funding (e.g., Target of Opportunity funding) to supplement departmental funds for hiring Black and BIPOC scholars and supporting them once hired.
  • We will prepare a grant application to UW–Madison’s Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement to match departmental funds for scholarships and support programs for Black and BIPOC students, especially current or potential PhD students.
  • We will use departmental meeting and other committee time for all GNS+ workers to undertake individual development, self-reflection, and scholarship, such as study groups on particular texts, hiring Black and BIPOC experts in racial justice training, or internal UW–Madison courses or trainings.
  • We will create an application process for funding for faculty, staff, and graduate students to pursue trainings in racial and social justice on the UW–Madison campus and elsewhere.

We once again remind ourselves and our colleagues that each of us shares the responsibility to advance anti-racism and social justice.

Black Lives Matter.