June 21, 2011
Todd Heidt, Knox College visiting assistant professor of German, has received a German-American Fulbright Commission grant to attend a two-week seminar in Germany. The Baden-Württemberg Seminar offers professional development to a specially selected group of German instructors at U.S. colleges and universities.
"We will be focusing on contemporary issues in teaching German, how to represent contemporary German culture in our classrooms meaningfully," said Heidt, who has been at Knox since 2009.
The seminar will be based at Tübingen University and will include visits to other universities.
Participants will learn about recent developments in German secondary and post-secondary education, and they will become acquainted with teaching methods at institutions offering classes in German or German as a foreign language.
"Obviously you need a textbook, and you need that basic, structured approach," Heidt said. "However, this will be an opportunity for me to reconnect with colleagues to discuss contemporary issues in and classroom methods for teaching German as a foreign language."
The prestigious Fulbright Program, created in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between people from the United States and other parts of the world, offers various international opportunities for faculty members and students. More than 50 permanent organizations, including the German-American Fulbright Commission, support the work of the Fulbright Program on the bi-national level.
Funding for the Baden-Württemberg Seminar is provided by the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin and the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Württemberg.
After finishing the seminar, Heidt will stay in Germany to conduct research about Weimar Germany, the time period between 1919 and 1933. For that project, Knox College gave Heidt a grant funded through an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation award to Knox College to support faculty research, scholarship, and professional development.
Heidt is researching how documentary films of that era utilized fiction to enrich their stories. He also is trying to compile a biography of photographer Mario von Bucovich, who put together a 1928 photo book depicting Berlin, in preparation for an article about his work.
"There were a lot of these photo book projects at the time, this fascination with photography, a fascination with the changing urban landscape over the course of the 1920s in Germany," Heidt said.
Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 48 states and 51 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.