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"The home was speaking poetry": Prof. Robert Boschman delivers Canadian Summer Lecture

Under the title "Legacies of Abandonment in Uranium City, Canada," Canadian visiting professor Robert Boschman gave a fascinating lecture on the deserted mining town Uranium City. Located at the shore of Lake Athabasca in Saskatchewan, the town was created as a model city by Eldorado Mining Inc. in the 1950s and suddenly abandoned in 1982, which caused most of the population to leave town. Today, about 50 residents of the former 5000 inhabitants remain in the city which is slowly being reclaimed by nature. Acknowledging the resilience, determination and hospitality of the remaining inhabitants, Prof. Boschman showed documentary photo and video material of the decaying town, which he was able to visit during two recent field trips with colleague Bill Bunn. Comparing the area to an archeological site, Prof. Boschman stressed that they had taken great care not to disturb any of the artefacts and that no rearrangements of any objects had been done for the photographs. Showing photographs of the decaying high school, the ice rink and many former homes, Prof. Boschman was able to illustrate how the dichotomy between human-made inside and "natural" outside is slowly being deconstructed as buildings crumble and nature slowly returns into the former homes, creating a beautiful, yet haunting post-human landscape.
Prof. Boschman's photographs capture the strange beauty of Uranium City, but also document the environmental trauma that the area has undergone (and continues to undergo, as toxins and radioactivity from the abandoned mine continue to pollute the area). An open-access article in the Humanities journal that summarizes his findings and calls for remediation of the area can be found here.

 

View into a broken house. Through the window birch trees are visible. The ceiling is hanging down in flaps

 

Image of abandoned house in Uranium City. Tree visible through a window, light falling into a broken kitchen counter

Photographs by Robert Boschman

 

Hanna Bork receives certificate for North American Studies

Prof. Zimmermann was delighted to present Hannah Bork with her certificate for North American Studies. Ms. Bork had completed the course communicative skills and two classes in literary studies, earning the certificate and 10 ECTS.

Prof. Zimmermann and Hanna Bork, holding her certificate in front of a book case, smiling

Photograph: Jutta Zimmermann

 

Two students receive certificate for North American Studies

Heike Zierow and Arne Lüthje both completed the North American Studies module the Center for North American studies offers. Both students had participated in Communicative Skills and the Travel Writing Workshop that resulted in the publication of Feel Kiel.

Prof. Zimmermann and Dorothee Schneider were happy to present Ms. Zierow and Mr. Lüthje with their official certificates that earn them a total of 10 ECTS.

Mr. Lüthje Prof. Zimmermann Ms. Zierow and Dorothee Schneider

Photograph: Graham Howard

 

 

Canadian Summer Lecture 2017: "Notes from Underground: Circulation, Evasion and Impasse in Canadian Urban Fiction"

 

Canadian Visiting- Professor Domenic A. Beneventi of Sherbrooke University gave a talk about recent works of Canadian fiction that stage the "underground" as a material reality of dispossession and poverty. He discussed how the city as a space of victimhood also becomes a space of agency, resistance and subterfuge.

The lecture was followed by a round of questions and a lively discussion.

Prof. BeneventiZwei Studenten und eine Tasse Kaffee

 

 

 

 

Marit-Inga Suel receives Certificate of North American Studies

Zwei Studenten und eine Tasse Kaffee

Prof. Dr. Zimmermann and Dorothee Schneider were very happy to present Marit-Inga Suel with a Certificate of North American Studies. Ms. Suel had successfully completed the course Communicative Skills and two classes in American studies (American Renaissance and The Gothic Tradition), and thus earned 10 ECTS and the certificate.

Photograph by Graham Howard