German

Holly H. Liu

Holly Liu, associate professor of modern language (German and Chinese), taught at colleges and universities around the world before coming to Alma College in 2006. As an Alma faculty member, she says her students continue to motivate her to be the best professor she can be. 

“I appreciate that the students at Alma are so enthusiastic about learning,” she says. “It is the most rewarding moment to me to see a student who has no previous knowledge of German, but takes my course and starts speaking and writing German.” 

Liu’s own education has an international theme. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Peking University in Beijing, as well as a master’s degree from Texas Tech University and a doctorate from Vanderbilt University. She also studied for two years at the Free University of Berlin. 

Berlin by nightBerlin by night

“Berlin is amazing!” she says. “That is the kind of city one would die for. Its history and diversity not only opened my eyes, but also it changed me in many positive ways. I would have never become who I am if I had not studied and lived there.” In May 2014, Dr. Liu successfully taught her Spring Term course Holocaust and the Cold War in Europe while she lead 21 students to Berlin, Auschwitz and Krakow.    

 

A recent recipient of a Fulbright summer grant, Liu went back to Germany to attend an academic seminar for American professors and learned more about the European testing/grading system under Bologna Declaration, and how the German language is taught to international students at German universities. The experience was helpful, she says. 

“I am always curious to learn from other colleagues in the field, for example, how to work with media (such as a video clip) in a foreign language so that students can benefit the most from learning both the language and the content at the same time. The Fulbright Seminar offered many opportunities to discuss these issues and to exchange information. I want to adopt these new ideas in my film and culture courses whenever possible,” she says. “I also found some great programs that will allow Alma students to study abroad more cost-effectively. Thanks to my extensive travels to places like France, Poland, Greece, Turkey and the Czech Republic, I know how important it is to obtain firsthand cultural information.” “There is no doubt to say that to study a foreign language will eventually help us to understand our own language and culture better,” she adds. 

A frequent presenter at international conferences, Liu’s research and publications include postwar and contemporary German literature (East and West) and German films since the 1990s. Through her efforts and collaborations with Goethe-Institutes across the United States, she has brought prominent German writers, journalists and film directors to American campuses. 

“As a Chinese-Germanist in the United States, I have decided to dedicate my multicultural education to understanding different cultures and the academic achievements between continents,” she says. This is one of the reasons she accepted the offer from Fischer Verlag to translate Animal triste by Monika Maron from German into Chinese. The book was published by Yilin (译林出版社) in September 2014. 

Liu also enjoys working with a wide variety of colleagues across the disciplines.

In addition, in her spare time, she enjoys watching German films, surfing the web, baking, jogging, cycling, listening to classical and pop music, and dancing – in Berlin, of course!

Title

Associate Professor of Modern Language-German and Chinese

Discipline

German and Chinese

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., German Language and Literature, Vanderbilt University
  • M.A., German Language and Literature, Texas Tech University; Peking University
  • B.A., German Language and Literature, Peking University

Rank

Associate Professor

My career at Alma began in

2006

I'm an expert in

the twentieth century with focus on Postwar (East and West), Postwall and the contemporary German literature and culture;Memory and Narrative Theory;East German Cinema; Turn of the Century and Contemporary Vienna;

My expertise:

My research focuses on German Postwar literature including the GDR/East German literature, the contemporary German literature and film since 1990. I also taught courses on Chinese contemporary literature and film.  

Signature course(s):

GRM 350: Postwar Short Stories; HUM 180/GRM380: Holocaust and the Cold War in Berlin (Spring Term)

Recent publications:

Books:

  • Animal triste 《忧伤动物》by Monika Maron. Translated into Chinese by Holly Liu. Nanjing: Yilin, September 2014.

  • Erinnerung als Erzählstrategie: DDR-Vergangenheitsbewältigung seit der Wende bei Monika Maron, Helga Schütz und Brigitte  Burmeister. Germanistische Texte und Studien. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag.  (forthcoming).

  • Wir gehen ins Theater. Co-translator and Primary editor (from German to Chinese). Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 2010.

  • Wir gehen ins Museum. Co-translator and Primary editor (from German to Chinese). Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 2010.

  • Literatur im Jahrhundert des Totalitarismus. Festschrift für Dieter Sevin. Co-editor (with Elke Gilson and Barbara Hahn). Germanistische Texte und Studien 80. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 2008.

    Articles:

  • “The Voices of Love (爱的心语): Afterword for the Chinese Translation of Animal triste.” Nanjing: Yilin, September 2014.

  • “Liberating Voices from East Germany and China - A Personal Perspective.”Belmont Humanities Symposium Journal 2 (2011). September, 2012.89-97.

  • „,Was nicht zum Leben taugt, das taugt zum Schreiben‘– Monika Marons neuer Versuch mit der Glückssuche.“ In gebrochener Synthese-Beiträge zur Literatur, Kultur und Sprache:Festschrift für Prof. Dr. habil. Klaus Hammer. Bd. 1. Słupsk: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Akademii Pomorskiej.Oktober 2009. 214-22.

  • “Aber Heidschi Bumbeidschi.”  TRANS-LIT2.  Vol. XV/No.1. April 2009. 82-83.

  • “Unter dem Namen Norma=Unter dem Namen Roman? Über die Nichtübereinstimmung von Erinnerung und Erzählen in der Romanstruktur von Brigitte Burmeisters Unter dem Namen Norma (1994).” Akten des XI. Internationalen Germanistenkongresses Paris 2005. Bd. 10. Bern: Peter Lang AG, 2007. 421-30. 

  • „‚Kindliches Denken poetisch einzufangen‘: Zur Erinnerungsstrategie von Helga Schütz in Jette in Dresden und Grenze zum gestrigen Tag.“ Kopf-Kino: Gegenwartsliteratur und Medien: Festschrift für Volker Wehdeking. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2006. 71-79.

  • “‘Auf den richtigen Blickwinkel kommt es an’ – Über die Nichtübereinstimmung von Realität und Erzählung in Brigitte Burmeisters Roman Anders oder Vom Aufenthalt in der Fremde.” Trans: Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. 16 (2006).  (http://www.inst.at/trans/16Nr/06_2/liu16.htm) .

  • “Erich Maria Remarque.” Lebensbeschreibung und Werkinterpretation der Dichter der Weltliteratur.  Fünfter Band. Hrsg. Prof. Fuheng Wu. ShangDong, China: Shan Dong-Erziehungsverlag, 1990. 85-106.

    Interviews:

  • Pollok und die Attentäterin – Brigitte Burmeisters Roman über die

    fundamentale und unweigerliche Nichtübereinstimmung von Realität und Erzählung.” The German Quarterly 73.3 (2000): 287-93.

  • “Erinnern und Vergessen: Ein aktuelles Thema in der deutschen Gegenwartsliteratur. Im Gespräch mit Monika Maron.” Berliner LeseZeichen. May 2000. 26-31.

  • “‘In einem gewissen Sinne hat der Osten uns lebenstüchtiger gemacht…’ Im Gespräch mit Helga Schütz.”Berliner LeseZeichen. April 2000. 17-31.

  • “‘Ich wehre mich …’ Ein Interview mit Brigitte Burmeister.” GDR Bulletin 26 (1999): 31-37.

    Reviews:

  • Pawels Briefe. Eine Familiengeschichte by Monika Maron. GDR Bulletin 26 (1999): 66-67.

  • “Familiengeschichte ohne Idylle: Rezension über Monika Marons neuestes Buch Pawels Briefe.Märkische Oderzeitung (Frankfurt/Oder) 1. März 1999.

     

Recent presentations:

  • Moderator of the forum discussion on Monika Maron’s works Flugasche (1981), Animal triste (1996), Geburtsort Berlin (2003), Bitterfelder Bogen (2009) with the author’s presence in Shanghai, Nanjing and Wuhan. Invited by Goethe Institut-China. September 2014.
  • „Germanistik in den USA - Studium und Forschung.“ Peking University, Beijing, China. February 25, 2013.
  • “Liberating Voices From East-Germany and China – A Personal Note.” Liberating Voices: The 10th Annual Humanities Symposium. Belmont University, Nashville, TN. September 2011.
  • „Wendeliteratur und Monika Maron.“ Zentrum für Deutschlandstudien, Peking University, Beijing, China. December 17th, 2009.
  • “‘Was nicht zum Leben taugt, das taugt zum Schreiben” – Monika Marons neuer Versuch mit der Glückssuche.” Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters Annual Conference. Wayne State University, Detroit. March 2009. (due to illness, paper was read in absentia).
  • “Im Labyrinth der Möglichkeiten: Monika Marons Ach Glück (2007).” Thirty-second German Studies Association Annual Conference. St. Paul, MN. October 2008.
  • „‚Vom Glanz der Elbe‘: Helga Schütz und Dresden.” Wissen, Kreativität und Transformationen von Gesellschaften (KCTOS). Vienna.  December 2007.
  • “Wieso kann man sich nicht tot lachen über den DDR-Alltag? Zum Kinoerfolg der Ostalgiekomödie seit den neunziger Jahren.” Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters Annual Conference. Ferris State University, Big Rapids. March 2007.

  • “Aus Kindheitstraumata wird ‘Idylle’: Von Helga Schütz’ Vorwende-Roman Jette in Dresden zu ihrem neuesten Werk Knietief im Paradies.” Thirtieth German Studies Association Annual Conference.  Pittsburgh, PA. September 2006.

  • “‘Auf den richtigen Blickwinkel kommt es an’– über die Nichtübereinstimmung von Realität und Erzählung als Modell der romantechnischen Komposition in Brigitte Burmeisters Anders oder Vom Aufenthalt in der Fremde.” Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS). Vienna. December 2005.

  • “Unter dem Namen Norma=Unter dem Namen Roman? Über die Nichtübereinstimmung von Erinnerung und Erzählen in der Romanstruktur von Brigitte Burmeisters Unter dem Namen Norma (1994).” 11. Internationaler Germanistenkongress (IVG). Paris. August 2005.

  • “‘Kindliches Denken poetisch einzufangen’: Helga Schütz’ Jette in Dresden (1977) und Grenze zum gestrigen Tag (2000).” The Annual SEMLA Conference. Baltimore. November 2002.

  • “Wühlen in Erinnerung zwischen Städten: Die ‘Stadt als mnemotechnischer Behelf’ in Helga Schütz’ Vom Glanz der Elbe.”The Annual SEMLA Conference. Atlanta. November 2001.

  • “Monika Maron und die Postmoderne: Animal Triste – Eine romantische Elegie auf das große verschüttete Gefühl.” International Symposium: “Monika Maron: Im Dialog.” Universiteit Gent. Belgium. March 2001.

  • “‘In der DDR konnte man doch nur das Falsche tun!?’: ‘Sicherungsbereich Literatur’ und der Fall Monika Maron.” Berlin-Conference “East Germany Revisited: Research Perspectives Ten Years After.” Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. October 2000.

  • “Erinnern und Vergessen: Eine unentbehrliche Erzählstrategie in Monika Marons Jahrhundertwenderoman Animal Triste.” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference. University of Kentucky, Lexington. April 2000.

  • “Zwischen Utopie und Dystopie? – Das Lebens- und Kunstexperiment Christa Wolfs in Kein Ort. Nirgends.” The 14th International Conference on Utopia and Dystopia in Literature and the Visual Arts Including Cinema. State University of West Georgia, Atlanta. November 1999.

  • Krankheitsbedingtes Außenseitertum in der Vergangenheitsbewältigung bei Böll, Walser and Lenz.” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference. University of Kentucky, Lexington. April 1999.

  • “Die Kraft der Erinnerung: Brigitte Burmeisters Nachwenderoman Unter dem Namen Norma.” German Studies Colloquium. Emory University, Atlanta. March 1999.

  • Die Krise des bürgerlichen Intellektuellen Lenz: Ein vergeblicher Kampf gegen die Autorität. The Sixth Annual Graduate Student Conference. University of Virginia, Charlottesville. March 1999.   

  • “Dualismus und die Struktur desGlasperlenspiels.” The Third Annual Graduate Student Colloquium. University of Kansas, Lawrence. February 1999.

Recent grants:

  • Recipient of a Fulbright Award to participate in Baden-Württemberg Seminar for American Faculty in German and German Studies (June 20-July 2, 2011) at the University of Tübingen, Germany 
  • Recipient of a NEH Summer Institute Award (July 9-August 5 2006) in Vienna, Austria: “Melting Pot Vienna: Then and Now”
  • Recipient of Summer Research Grant from DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). March 2009; residency at Washington University Max Kade Center for Contemporary German Literature, May-June 2009
  • Winner of a Vanderbilt University Dissertation Enhancement Grant, Summer 1999 for research in Berlin
  • Winner of a German DAAD Fellowship in national competition, 1997-1998
  • Award recipient for Excellence as German Assistant for the Graduate Program in the Summer Institute of German Language and Culture at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Summer 1997
  • Winner of the Vanderbilt Graduate Student Exchange Scholarship with Freie Universität Berlin, 1995-1996
  • Recipient of the International Education Scholarship at Texas Tech University; traveled to Austria, Germany, and Switzerland in summer 1992
  • Recipient of the Qualia Scholarship for Academic and Teaching Excellence at Texas Tech University, 1991 

Other recent accomplishments:

  • Recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award at Alma College