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The Concordia German Program is at Stake

This petition had 1,414 supporters

Effective as of 2018, admissions to the German program will be suspended.

Over the years, the German program has experienced several detrimental changes, as listed below:

In 2003, the German Program experienced the first of a series of obstacles, when the German Major was cancelled leaving us with a 30-credit German Minor comprising of literature and language courses.
Throughout the existence of the Program, there has never been an Extended Term Appointment (ETA) professor. ETAs would significantly contribute to the development of our academic community and stabilize the program. Moreover, they would provide German language students and alumni with permanent mentors to ensure their success and encourage in-depth, independent studies of German culture.

Despite these limitations, our enrollment numbers have only increased during the past four academic years:

2013-2014: 393 students
2014-2015: 422 students
2015-2016: 410 students
2016-2017: 487 students

With only the minimum amount of courses available, the German Program has nevertheless raised the interest of students throughout the Concordia community. The Program’s myriad of cultural studies courses attracts numerous students. These courses not only explore German culture and literature, but also engage in contemporary issues in academia, such as the contribution of women to the literary canon. These courses include:

Most recently, during 2016/2017, we offered courses on Dandies, Tricksters, and Flâneurs in German Literature and Of German Witches, Ghosts, Daemons and Vampires, both of which were cross-listed with the English Department.  

In 2015/2016, three interdisciplinary courses were taught, one entitled Cyborgs, Robots, and Automata in German Literature, Film and Video Games.
In 2014/2015, two courses were offered, including German Women Writers across the Ages.

These classes complement other disciplines, as they expose and familiarize students from other fields of study to German culture.

Furthermore, the courses are an important asset when applying for fellowships to study in German-speaking countries, namely through the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst - German Academic Exchange Service). The DAAD provides funding to students wishing to study in Germany, in order to advance their academic and professional horizons. Many of our students have benefited from their financial support and our annual initiatives to invite the DAAD’s representatives to our cultural events has attracted all Concordians, especially noteworthy are the many students from the John Molson School of Business.

Recently, the CGLSA has expanded the scope of our activities to create a community that reaches beyond the Concordia student community.

In 2016 we collaborated with the Goethe Institute and the Pro Helvetia Swiss Foundation to invite Swiss author Christian Kracht to read from his book Imperium. Such an event was made possible through initiatives taken by the current German Program Coordinator, Professor Dr. Stefan Bronner. This event was part of a Canadian University Tour that Professor Bronner organized in collaboration with McGill University.

The viewing attracted a large audience, with students and faculty from Concordia University and representatives from other institutions, notably the General Consulate of Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Our collaboration with the Goethe Institute fostered the development of a strong relationship. In April 2016, the Institute hosted our End of the Year Party, where we celebrated the winners of our annual essay competition. At the end of the Winter 2017 semester, we will again be hosting our End of Year Party at the Goethe Institute.
The Goethe Institute has expressed their support in the efforts being made to secure the German Program at Concordia. Please find the letter from the Director of the Goethe Institute attached.
This year, the Austrian Embassy has provided funding for our March 2017 conference with award-winning Austrian film director, screenwriter and author David Schalko. The enthusiastic attendance, seen in the sheer numbers of attendees and the presence of notable political figures, such as German Deputy Consul Cornel Barth and Honorary Consul General of Austria Marc Andrew Bissel, Swiss Deputy Consul General Urs Wüest, marked a second successful event. We hope to continue building relationships with German cultural organizations outside of Concordia to enrich students’ experiences.

Dr. Bronner is presently working on developing a summer exchange program in collaboration with a German university, which would benefit future students of our program and those interested in earning credits in German-related studies.

Nonetheless, the Concordia German Language Student Association (CGLSA) requires the support of the Concordia community to ensure that the German program will continue to offer a quality education and environment for Concordians. Obtaining professors with an ETA, would be the first steps towards stability. We ask that you take a moment to sign our petition in order to revoke the suspension of the German Minor as of the Fall 2018 semester.

Thank you for your support,

The CGLSA Executive


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