Fall 2022 - Spring 2023 Awards

Goethe Essay Prize

Endowed in 1935 by Ludwig Vogelstein, is awarded annually for the best essay

on any topic in German literature or culture.  Originally it was awarded for

 essays on Goethe—no surprise there!—and was only open to graduate students

and seniors.  We thought that more of you deserved recognition for your effects

and so we have expanded the scope over the years.

Freshman/Sophomore Category

1st Prize - Rares-Stefan Bucsa

The Power of Literature: Fighting Totalitarianism in German Literature and Beyond

1st Prize - Caitlin Sigda

Stepmothers & Maidens & Werewolves, Oh My!: An Analysis of the Morality Assigned to Gender Non-Conforming Characters in Fairy Tales

Junior/Senior category

1st Prize - Hui Yuan

Poetry after Auschwitz: Memory, Trauma, and Testimony in W. G. Sebald’s Austerlitz

2nd Prize - Magda Kossowska

Wallraffs (Alis) Doppelidentität in Ganz Unten

2nd Prize - Lindy Liu

Reconcile with Myself - Searching for “What is Real” and Human Nature in the World of Cinema and Arts

Graduate Category

1st Prize - Nora Siena (Romance Studies)

Parables and/as paradigms: The Role of Kafka’s Parables in Agamben’s Biopolitical Project

Simmons Award

Simmons Award in German is given to the student who has done the “best work in German” in the College of Arts & Sciences.  This year’s recipient was Magda Kossowska.


Fall 2021 - Spring 2022 Awards

Goethe Essay Prize

Freshman/Sophomore Category

1st Prize - Emily Hong (HE)

Politics of Pleasure: Sexual Power and Possession in Elfriede Jelinek’s The Piano Teacher

2nd Prize - Andrew Shim (EN)

The evolution of self-expression in foreign environments: Applying Miguel Sicart’s “play” into Amo’s life in Yoko Tawada’s “The Shadow Man”

Junior/Senior category

1st Prize - Viktoria Catalan (A&S)

Kant on Seeking the Unconditioned as a Transcendental Illusion: Is It Justified?

Graduate Category

1st Prize - Mariaenrica Giannuzzi (German Studies)

Kleist in Italy: An Icon of Gendered Conflicts

2nd Prize - Dennis Wegner (German Studies)

Queer Constellations, Cosmic Contacts: Trans-Forming Greek Mythology and the Narrative of Europe in Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s Meteoriten

Simmons Award

Simmons Award in German is given to the student who has done the “best work in German” in the College of Arts & Sciences.  This year’s recipient was Fabio Santiago Cabrera (A&S)


Fall 2020 - Spring 2021 Awards

Goethe Essay Prize

Freshman/Sophomore Category

1st Prize - Kelly Lu (A&S)

Nietzsche, Truth, and the Individual

2nd Prize - Eli Pallrand (A&S)

With and Above Culture

Junior/Senior category

1st Prize - Zelai Xu (A&S)

Kant vs. Berkeley on Idealism

2nd Prize - Sammy DeLorenzo (A&S)

Das Echte Leben der Anderen: Ostdeutscher Kultur in West- und Ostdeutscher

Graduate Category

1st Prize - Emir Yigit (German Studies)

To Stand Above One’s Own: The Possibility of Self-Judgment, Self-Mastery and the Right to One’s Life

2nd Prize - Shirley Le Penne (Government)

What Constitutes Equality in a Context of Punishment? Deciphering the Hidden Calculus in Kant

3rd Prize - John Anspach (English)

Love and Belief in Freud’s Delusions and Dreams


Fall 2019 - Spring 2020 Awards

Goethe Essay Prize

Freshman/Sophomore Category

1st Prize - Fabio S. Cabrera

From Camels to Children: The Bad Conscience and Nietzsche’s Life-Affirming Spirit

Honorable Mentions: 

Casey Martin

A Noble Struggle: Comparative Morality in Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals

Rory Sheppard

Nietzsche and the Will: Exploring Strength through Self-Control

Junior/Senior category

1st Prize - Leo Levy 

Eine Subversion des Struwwelpeters. F.K. Waechters intertextuelle Kritik an Childismus

Graduate Category

1st Prize - David Dunham

The Data and Narratives of Cases: Karl Philipp Moritz and Johann Georg Zimmermann

Honorable Mentions: 

Tamar Gutfeld 

Dunkele, sehr dunkele, ziemlich dunkele Dinge – Family and Language in Stifter’s Turmalin

Dennis Wegner

Queer Gothic Realism: The Symbolic Heteronormative Order in Jeremias Gotthelf’s Die Schwarze Spinne


Fall 2018 - Spring 2019 Awards

Goethe Essay Prize

Freshman/Sophomore Category

2nd prize - Daniel Morton

Forbidden Fruit, or Natural Instinct? On the Genesis of Western Morality

Junior/Senior category

1st prize - John Yoon

Georg Trakls “Verfall”: Eine Interpretation

2nd prize – Reika Sullivan

Der Begriff der Bewegung in Hölderlins “Heidelberg”

2nd Prize - Griffin David Warren Smith-Nichols

Die Artikulierung der kulturellen Erneuerung in der Lyrik Stefan Georges:

Abrechnung mit dem Abgrund

3rd prize Senior - Joshua Sadinsky

Polarisierte deutsche Wahrnehmungen der amerikanischen Jazzmusik während

der Weimarer Republik: Jazz in Weimarer Kultur und Literatur

Graduate Category

1st prize – Daniel Friedman

„Betrachten Sie diese Dinge?“ – Lukács, Kracauer and the Difficulty of Realism

2nd prize - Mark Mandych

Translating Inheritance: Zafer Senocak’s Fiction of Family and Identity

2nd prize – Jette Gindner

Streaming Fictitious Capital: Christian Petzold’s Yella (2007)

Goethe Institute Exams

Elizabeth Schmucker

Simmons Award

Simmons Award in German is given to the student who has done the “best work in German” in the College of Arts & Sciences.  This year’s recipient was Marc Foley.     

Heidelberg Exchange

German Studies also has a direct exchange program with the University in Heidelberg and this year that scholarship was awarded to two students: Javier Agredo

Language Certificate in German Language Study

For having achieved an advanced level of language competence through course work at the 3000-level corresponding to the criteria set by The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (level B2+)


  • Hali Dietsche
  • Brendan Klein
  • Ryan Park
  • Jaylyn Tinker
  • Javier Villalpando-Hernandez
  • Emma Kennett
  • Zeke Lawrence
  • Alice Hu
  • Lulu Yuan
  • Adelyn Carney
  • Tenny Yin
  • Caleb Schmitt
  • Audrey Yin
  • Max Mandeville
  • Emily Hong
  • Alexander Joos
  • Zach Cheslock
  • Grace Hoedemaker
  • Sonia Talarek
  • Sonia Shneyerson
  • Phalguni Miraj
  • Mayumi Schaepers-Cheu
  • Naiqi Zhang, Grant Smith
  • Gabriel Montalvo-Zotter
  • Sofia Pereira


  • Katariina Alanko
  • Michael Cadogan
  • Juan Cancel
  • Viktoria Catalan
  • Samuel DeLorenzo
  • Yixiao Guo
  • Madison Keele
  • Johanna Keigler
  • Konstantin Kirovski
  • Alexander LaPorte
  • Julia Morse
  • Ryan Morton
  • Kate Siegel
  • Nicholas Sola
  • Lewis Wolf


  • Fiona Bishop
  • Patricia Corujo
  • Jeremy Coyle
  • Yiduo Ke
  • Brian Leffew
  • Skyeler McQueen
  • Emine Özen
  • Andrew Sheldon
  • Manya Weintraub


  • Yuqing Cao
  • Ariana Croese
  • Olivia Gillespie
  • Austin Haycox
  • Leo Levy


  • Hodol Kim
  • Julia Hermann
  • Ellie Schmucker
  • Reika Sullivan
  • Yujia Zhang
  • Alex Aliaga Auqui
  • Samuel Barnum
  • Hallie Black
  • Zhinsheng Ivy Deng
  • Yue Ding
  • Margaret Jia
  • Maura Roach
  • Justin Shin
  • Michael Stolkarts
  • John Woltornist
  • Caroline Dagmar Chang  


  • Anna Boucheva
  • Jared Gurba
  • Lewis Haber
  • Daniel May
  • Michaela Novakova
  • Neil A. Stilin
  • Emma Kim Tall
  • Maxwell Vega


  • Xinyi (Lena) Li
  • Joshua Sadinsky
  • Juliane Scholtz
  • Lauren Elizabeth Stechschulte
  • Emma Stillings
  • Eric Zimmermann


  • Constanza Andrea Arevalo
  • R. Delphi Cleaveland
  • Leighton Fernando Cook
  • Melanie Kauffeld
  • Edward Francis Klimowicz
  • Anjum Malik
  • Melissa Lucia Sermiento
  • Caitlin Johanna Wischermann