Newsletter - Fall 2019

Dear Alumni and Friends of the Pitt Department of German,

„Herzliche Grüße“ from the Cathedral of Learning! As you’ll see from the articles in this newsletter, there is a lot going on in German at Pitt. With this newsletter, we want to share some of our news and successes with you and invite you to participate in and support them.


Our undergraduate program is thriving. With twenty-seven majors, seventeen certificate students, and even more minors, there is buzz and excitement about German on campus. Our program is holding strong and sees growing student interest. This comes from innovative courses and teachers (see the profile of Professor Lukics’ drama course); popular new offerings in study abroad (heading into its third year); faculty with cutting-edge research projects (see the spotlight of Professor Muenzer’s online lexicon of Goethe’s philosophical concepts); collaborations with outside partners such as the Goethe Institut, the German American Chamber of Commerce, and the German Embassy (see the piece on Campus weeks); numerous extra-curricular activities including a weekly conversation hour at Pitt’s new Global Hub, a bi-weekly game night in the Cathedral Commons, and a very active German Club; and a strong social media presence (please follow @UPittGerman on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). You will also note that our alumni are doing exciting things (see the spotlight on Rebecca Toto’s work in Leipzig); in future issues we hope to spotlight the interesting paths that your German degree has taken you down. We hope that you will reach out to us and share your latest news – best by contacting Professor von Dirke (, who is in charge of alumni outreach.

We appreciate your ongoing support for and interest in German at Pitt. Please let us know when you plan to visit campus so that we can learn about the exciting things you have done with your German. And please visit our website to see more about what is happening in German at Pitt and ways to support the program.
We wish you "Frohe Feiertage & ein Gutes Jahr 2020!"


John B. Lyon
Professor and Chair


Rebecca Toto

Alum Spotlight

Our alumni live all around the world and have fascinating careers. Learn how one of our alumnae of the class of 2017, Rebecca Toto, is applying her German degree.


Faculty Spotlight: Goethe Goes Digital Thanks to Professor Muenzer’s Goethe Lexicon of Philsophical Concepts.

Thanks to Professor Clark Muenzer, few German majors or certificate students have escaped the German Department without a good dose of Goethe, and rightly so. As one of the most prolific and challenging of the legendary “Dichter and Denker” in the German-speaking world, the “Sage of Weimar” produced a body of work that has exerted significant influence on German literature and culture up until today. Read More »


German and the Stage: German Drama Coming to Frick Fine Arts Auditorium April 15, 2020

Pitt students bring theory and practice together when taking the newly-developed German Drama course. Under the expert guidance of Dr. Lukic our students stage an entire play and all in German! Come see Pitt students perform Arthur Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardi on April 15, 2020, from 6:00pm-9:00pm in Frick’s Fine Arts Auditorium. Dr. Lukic and her students will surely repeat the success of its previous productions.

Pitt German students

Study Abroad Spotlight

Pitt’s Maymester in Munich integrates intensive language studies with fun and food for thought. Not surprising, this study abroad program is a clear winner with Pitt German students.

German Campus Week Poster Session

German Campus Weeks is in its 4th Year!

With sponsorship from the German Embassy in D.C., the German Department engages the Pitt community in all things German from the latest films (with subtitles) to panel discussion and student poster sessions during the month of October.