Mason’s ‘do Deutsch’ Week to Celebrate German Culture

Posted: October 5, 2011 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: October 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm

By Erin Cushing

October is a time for fall colors, football and Halloween. But in many cities around the world, it is also time for Oktoberfest, a festival that celebrates German heritage and brewing styled after the annual celebration held in Munich. Mason is joining in the Oktoberfest fun with “do Deutsch” week from Oct. 19 to 26.

Sponsored by the German embassy, “do Deutsch” week is designed to increase the visibility of German language on campus by exposing students to German culture. Mason is one of 40 universities and colleges across the country participating in the “do Deutsch” campaign.

“Mason, with its emphasis on global education, will definitely benefit from cultural events such as ‘do Deutsch’ Campus Week,” says German program coordinator Natalia Dudnik. “They make an intercultural dialogue possible and help students become global citizens who think beyond national borders.”

Mason’s weeklong celebration will feature activities ranging from academic to artistic to recreational. All events are free and open to the public. Dudnik encourages all members of the Mason community to participate in “do Deutsch” week.

“Germany has been a driving force in Europe both culturally and economically. Learning more about its language and culture opens new ways to look at history, conflict, progress, environment and national identity,” Dudnik says.

Some elements of the week will include:

  • As part of their course work, German language students will present projects and exhibitions across campus on various elements of German life.
  • A German film festival showing three recent films about the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) will take place throughout the week. Each screening will include an introduction and discussion led by a faculty member. The film screenings take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 19, Oct. 20 and Oct. 24 in the Johnson Center, Room C327.
  • On Oct. 23 at 7 p.m., American pianist Jeffrey Siegel will play and discuss works by German composer Franz Liszt in the Center for the Arts.
  • German language students, partnering with the University Libraries Special Collections and Archives, will present an exhibition of Cold War-era posters from the GDR. The posters will be on display for the public in the Johnson Center 123 Gallery from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25.

In addition, attendees will be able to cheer on contestants in the German speech contest to be held on Oct. 24 from 3 to 4:15 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Room E334. A German game night will be held on Oct. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Hub (Student Union Building II) Front Ballroom.

The week will conclude with the Oktoberfest Gala on Oct. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Center for the Arts. The gala will celebrate the students’ works throughout the week and honor the winner of the speech contest. Several faculty members will give talks, and Mason student-musicians will perform.

For a full schedule of events, visit the German program’s events website here.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu