Published: Nov. 19, 2019
First Encounters Art Exhibit

What did the first encounters between German immigrants and the local American population look like? How did Germans adjust to their new environment abroad? And what challenges and problems occurred during these transnational and transcultural encounters? Students of CU Boulder’s second-year German language course sought answers to these and other questions during their visit to the traveling exhibit First Encounters: Menschen Begegnen Sich currently on display at the Anderson Language and Technology Center in HLMS 159. The project—created by a group of German pedagogues and researchers (including Dr. Berit Jany, GSLL faculty) and organized by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG)—is part of the Year of German-American Friendship in 2018/19, a comprehensive and collaborative initiative of the German Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe-Institute, and the Federation of German Industries (BDI), highlighting the relationship between the two countries. Through the exhibit and extensive teaching materials, German learners from different parts of the USA investigate the continuing history of migration and its effects in shaping the German-American transatlantic relationship. Students explore the individual case studies presented in the exhibit and learn about complex and at times problematic aspects of German immigration to the US.