Campus Weeks 2017 provided an academic forum to engage with the federal election in Germany in fall 2017 and its implications for Germany, Europe, and a globalized world and to promote German Studies on campus and beyond.

Students in Dr. Rinner’s GER 422 “German Memory,” all lower-level German courses, the Lloyd International Honors College, the International and Global Studies Program, the German Club, and residents of the Global Village, a living-learning community for first year students, engaged with the topic in various ways in class, participated in Campus Competitions, and attended the guest lectures and film screenings. Participating in the 2017 Germany Making Choices Campus Weeks allowed us to complement our curricular offerings with these well-attended and well-received co-curricular events and the appropriate public outreach via traditional and social media. A marked increase in student interest and participation in this German Weeks speaks to the continued success of German Weeks.

Overall, all events reached more than 450 participants, and well-planned advertising of all events raised awareness of Germany, its federal election, and German Weeks. The strategic distribution of promotional materials, e.g. postcards and posters distributed widely on campus; press releases/articles in online weekly campus publications, tweets on university websites, emails to the North Carolina chapter of the American Association for Teachers of German (NCAATG) listserv; spots run on local NPR stations; and invitations sent to members of the German-American business community in Greensboro and the larger Piedmont Triad region reached audiences well beyond faculty and students at UNCG.


On Friday, September 8, 2017, Dr. Peter Pfeiffer, Professor of German at Georgetown University, Washington DC, presented a talk entitled “The Most Boring Election in Europe: The German Federal Election 2017.” His presentation was attended by over 100 students and faculty and staff and provided background information on Germany’s election system as well as context on the German election within contemporary Europe. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion with a number of UNCG faculty in order to discuss pertinent voter issues, such as the refugee situation, trade and energy, the environment, and NATO.

Panel Discussion with Dr. Peter Pfeiffer and UNCG Faculty Dr. Corey Johnson, Dr. Jerry Pubantz, and Dr. Susanne Rinner

Post-election Results Party with UNCG German students, Exchange Students from Germany, and German Faculty, September 25, 2018

On Friday, September 29, 2017, Minister Helga Barth, Head of the Political Department of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany presented on the federal election and its aftermath. We were fortunate to be able to add her perspective to our campus conversation.

Minister Barth with Minerva, UNCG’s symbol

Campus Competitions – Student Winners and German Faculty, 11/27/17

UNCG German students further engaged with the topic of making choices by writing and reciting poetry, focusing on the arts and their purpose and function in the public discourse. These projects served as a preparation for the filming of a video showcasing our students’ work and their contributions to the transatlantic dialogue. These activities also functioned as our “Campus Competitions”; hence, prizes were awarded to outstanding participants.