John is originally from the St. Louis area. He completed his undergraduate education at Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education (German). After that, he was a teaching assistant in Austria through the Austrian-American Fulbright Commission and after ten years of teaching high school German he has completed his M.A. at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Now John is working towards a PhD also at Illinois.
John has taught German 101, 102, 103, 104, 211, and 251 in addition to being the course coordinator for German 103 during the academic year 2016-2017 as a teaching assistant at Illinois. He aspires to teach college level German in the future. Since his arrival at the U of I Fall 2015, John has played a major role in the organization of Kaffeestunde (the weekly German conversation hour at Illinois). He studied at the Universität Greifswald during the 2017-2018 academic year where he taught a literature discussion section each semester with Zachary Hader. John passed preliminary examinations during the 2019-2020 academic year and as a result has ABD status. Now he is writing his dissertation about post-1989 German literature.
Conferences and Presentations (Literature)
“Deconstructing National Narratives in Jenny Erpenbeck’s Gehen, ging, gegangen.” Third Annual Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies Conference, The University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, September 4th, 2020.
"Space, Emotion, and Social Relationships in Jenny Erpenbeck's Gehen, ging, gegangen (2015)." NeMLA session Migration und Heimat, Marriot Copley Place, Boston, MA, March 5th-March 8th, 2020.
"The Light/Fading Light of Hope for Utopia: Sunsets in Christa Wolf's Der geteilte Himmel (1963) and Eugen Ruge's In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts (2011)." Graduate Student Conference Utopia Reconsidered 100 years after Weimar, Yale University, New Haven, CT, February 15th and 16th, 2019.
"Beleidigungen und Vorwürfe: über die Abwertung der (ehemaligen) DDR-Bürger_innen vor, während, und nach der Wende in Thomas Brussigs Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee (1999) und Christa Wolfs Stadt der Engel (2010)." German Studies Graduate Student Conference, The University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, November 9th and 10th, 2018.
"Solidarität gegen Kriminalität in der DDR Fernsehserie Blaulicht." Focus on German Studies Graduate Student Conference. The University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, September 15th and 16th, 2018.
"Rückblick in die Zukunft: zukunftsorientierte Nostalgie in Post-DDR-Literatur." Kolloquium für Neuere Deutsche Literatur, Universität Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 9. Mai 2018.
"The End of Life in Christa Wolf's Final Novel Stadt der Engel." German Studies Graduate Student Conference on Narrative Endings, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, November 11th and 12th, 2016.
"Mephistopheles, Faust, and the Peak of the Brocken on Walpurgisnacht: Goethe's Use of Symbolism in Faust I's Walpurgisnacht Scene." Focus on German Studies Graduate Student Conference, The University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, September 16th-18th, 2016.
Conferences and Presentations (Basic Language Pedagogy)
"Establishing Familiarity with Vocabulary: A Reading Comprehension Strategy." CLIC Language Teaching Share Fair, The University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, November 1st, 2019.
"The Review Minute." CLIC Language Teaching Share Fair, The University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, November 4th, 2016.
Global Solidarity for Justice, Heimat and Entfremdung in Post-1989 Literature, Second Language Pedagogy, GDR-Literature
Additional research interest on campus
HGMS: The Future of Trauma and Memory Studies Reading Group
John's dissertation project focuses on how various forms of pre-Wende alienation have been exacerbated by the post-Wende rhetoric of German reunification. In John's dissertation research, he has been exploring how cultural, literary discourses registered a crisis of belonging in the long aftermath of 1989. John's dissertation has the working title...Overcoming Alternativlosigkeit: From Heimatverlust towards Global Solidarity and Justice in post-1989 German Literature. In John's dissertation, four novels each have their own respective chapter to be the center of analysis. Those novels are Christoph Hein's Willenbrock (2000), Christa Wolf's Stadt der Engel (2010), Eugen Ruge's In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts (2011), and Jenny Erpenbeck's Gehen, ging, gegangen (2015).
M.A., German, University of Illinois
B.S., German Education, Missouri State University
Awards and Honors
- Fall 2020 Ranked as excellent by students (GER 211)
- University Fellowship (Spring 2020)
- Departmental Summer Fellowship (Summer 2019)
- Spring 2019 Ranked as excellent by students (GER 101)
- Conference Travel Award (Fall 2018)
- Max Kade Fellowship (2018-2019)
- Ernst Alfred Philippson Graduate Research Travel Award (Spring 2018)
- Ruth E. Lorbe Excellence in Teaching Award (2017)
- William W. and Imelde D.V. Langebartel Award: intended for student who plans to study or research abroad (2017)
- Fall 2016 Ranked as excellent by students (GER 103)
- University Fellowship (Spring 2017)
- Department Fellowship (Spring 2017)
- Delta Phi Alpha (German Honors Society) (2016)
- Fall 2015 Ranked as excellent by students (GER 101)
- CGES University of Minnesota Summer Institute in Lutherstadt-Wittenberg (2009)
- Beginning German I: GER 101 (Fall 2015) (Spring 2019)
- Beginning German II: GER 102 (Summer 2016) (Summer 2017) (Fall 2019) (Spring 2021)
- Intermediate German I: GER 103 (Spring 2016) (Fall 2016) (Spring 2017) (Fall 2021)
- Intermediate German II: GER 104 (Summer 2016) (Summer 2019) (February 2021: 2 weeks as substitute for colleague on parental leave)
- German Conversation and Writing I: GER 211 (Fall 2020) (Fall 2021)
- The Grimms' Fairy Tales in Context (Discussion section): GER 251 (Spring 2020)
- Übung Deutschsprachige Literatur seit 1989 at Universität Greifswald (Winter 2017/18)
- Übung Aufbaumodul III Neuere Deutsche Literatur at Universität Greifswald (Sommersemester 2018)