Our ‘In Profile’ section features the people that make our DAAD network what is it: a vast and global net of connections between DAAD award winners, ambassadors, alumni, grant holders, future applicants – all united by their love for study and research abroad and all things German.
Meet Dr. Dana Weber, one of our dedicated DAAD Research Ambassadors. Dana Weber is Assistant Professor of German at Florida State University. Her research interests center on performance, theater, festival in contemporary German culture; cultural transfers, hybridity, ethnic representation and mimicry in theatrical performance and cinema; and folklore and literature. As a DAAD Research Ambassador, she helps advise students and fellow researchers on going abroad to Germany.
We asked Dana a few questions about her work and experience in Germany:
- When did you know that you wanted to be a German Studies professor?
When I started my PhD in 2003. I had two MA degrees by then. Every time I finished a degree, I was hoping that it would help me to finally start a ‘real life.’ But then it turned out that academia was the most exciting form of ‘real life’ after all (at least for me).
- What are you currently working on?
A book on German Wild West festivals.
- What is your favorite stereotype that the Western World has of Germany?
This question is the most difficult to answer. From a non-German perspective, that of German precision and punctuality. My favorite German self-stereotype: the desire for “Bildung,” for educating and cultivating oneself as a person.
- What advice would you give to students who are thinking of working in your field?
Only consider German Studies as a career if you are truly committed to and enthusiastic about German culture, literature, and language.
- What advice would you give to students who are thinking of studying abroad in Germany?
On an ideal level: Be prepared to rethink your cultural background and ‘self’ and ‘other’ assumptions you may have with critical distance. On a practical level: Always be aware of the application deadlines. Give yourself ample time to apply. Request recommendation letters in due time and send reminders to the writers.
- Which pictures, plants or unusual objects are there in your office? Posters from the Maxim-Gorki-Theater in Berlin; a cartoon from Karl Marx’s birth house in Trier; an image from my hometown.
- Can you cook a German meal without a recipe? If so, which one?
Chicken soup followed by Wiener Schnitzel or Backhendl with potato salad (this is more of an Austrian option). I can also make curry ketchup and French fries from scratch and prepare “Currywurst with Fritten” with them.
- What is your favorite film/theatre/literature quote?
“Mein Bruder!” (These are the words the Apache Winnetou and his blood-brother Old Shatterhand say to each other in theatrical dramatizations of May’s novel “Winnetou I” on outdoor stages. In May’s book, only Winnetou says them. This is a literature/theatre/film quote.)
Our DAAD Research Ambassadors are scholars and scientists in North America who have conducted advanced long-term research projects in Germany and are interested in promoting research in Germany at their home universities and among their peers and students.
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