Testimonials from Kress Fellowship Recipients
I needed to make significant progress in as little time as possible, and, without question, Middlebury’s German School helped me achieve my goal. This year I will begin writing a doctoral dissertation on the well-known German contemporary artist-photographer Candida Höfer, and I should be the first art historian to write a committed, book-length analysis of her life and art. In light of this, I am especially grateful for having had the opportunity to experience such breathtakingly rapid improvement in my German language skills.
The quality of linguistic instruction and the dynamism of the overall environment at the Middlebury French School were unlike anything I had experienced before, and will continue paying dividends throughout my academic career. I have started planning a pre-dissertation research trip to Europe next summer, and the knowledge accumulated over the last seven weeks has greatly facilitated the process of navigating and sorting through the online resources offered by French archives.
I cannot imagine a better place to learn Italian. Having studied in Rome for a semester before this program, I can say with confidence that I have learned more Italian in seven weeks in Vermont than four months living in Rome. In the beginning, I felt very isolated. A curious type of discomfort is produced when one cannot communicate at the level to which one is accustomed. Then something strange happened. The language descended, manifesting itself in my dreams, my personality, my gestures, my thoughts, and my memories. I now have the tools and support necessary to continue developing my fluency.
My experiences at Middlebury’s German School have fulfilled an essential component of my training as an art historian. My facility with German will be critical, not only to my research but also to my future career as a museum curator, wherein I hope to be able to form and foster relationships with curators, scholars, and other arts-related professionals in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.