case western reserve university




Our students do everything from research projects to making films! Keep an eye out for updates and additions to projects listed here.

Rachel Irwin: German Studies Senior Thesis:

What happened to the health care system in Germany when the the Berlin Wall fell down and the East and West were united?

How did the East deal with the transition from a Socialist to Capitalist state, with respect to health care financing and delivery of services?

What were the cultural and financial barriers to integration?

How was integration perceived in the West and in the East?

How could German Care policy translate into the American Health Care system?

"This fall I worked with Dr. White in the political science department on a project that answered these questions. Specifically, I looked at the financial issues concerning the unification of Germany with regard to insurance schemes and the costs of unification and I looked at how the system continues to develop. I particularly enjoyed this project, as I was able to draw upon what I have learned in both of my majors, medical anthropology and German studies."

Kelly Hill: Honors Thesis

Translation Project Judith Hermann: "Sommerhaus, später"

"The theme of Hermann's stories intrigued me:  wrestling with the past, trying to figure out how the past defines the present and how to separate the present from the past.  I think this theme is a crucial human experience, but also is uniquely important for Germany: how to deal with the country's past, as that past gets further and further away.  The question of what relationship the younger generations are supposed to have with their pasts-how do they break free of it, and can they ever?  How much of the past is inevitably part of them, how much, as Judith Hermann puts it, of their great-grandmothers' (and great-grandfathers') stories are also their stories?

     Being able to discuss and translate Sommerhaus, später with Dr. Ittner helped me to come closer to truly understanding these stories and changed my perspective on the characters.  I learned that there can be a huge difference between reading and working with the words of a story..."

"Kelly: My Experience of Translation"

Jason Haserodt, Anand Kulanthaivel

Final Project for GRMN 331 "Re/Constructing Reality:  German Documentary Film (Ittner)

Our documentary film explores the melancholy and mechanization of the postmodern, contemporary urban milieu in which we find ourselves daily. Drawing from such classic documentary sources as Walter Ruttmann's Berlin: Symphonie einer GroBßstadt" and Dziga Vertov's "Man with a Movie Camera," the film combines images of present-day Cleveland with a variety of music to express the personal vision of the filmmakers.  We combined our experiences from class with practical knowledge from Harald Friedl, the documentary filmmaker who taught a two-week seminar to the class in the Fall 2003 semester.

Brigitte Gerard: German Studies Senior Thesis

Investing in Germany's Future

My Thesis is an investigation and interpretation of birth rates in Germany--pre-unifcation, ten years post-unification, and after the change in the citizenship laws.

I compare the birth rates in terms of geography (East and West Germany) as well as ethnicity (ethnic Germans and non-ethnic Germans) as indicators of whether German citizens are feeling optimistic or pessimistic about their lives--that is, how they assess their personal situation and the future quality of life in Germany and Europe.