Pia Nordblom

German School Faculty

Pia Nordblom gained her PhD in history at the University of Heidelberg. Today she is a tenure lecturer at the Department of History of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. Her main fields of research and teaching are European and German history in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her publications in general deal with contacts and conflicts between the spheres of culture and politics, in particular with Nazism, the history of the resistance, minorities and border areas (regional studies), transnational relations, Franco-German relations, the history of political Catholicism, the history of the press and publishing, and economic history.



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

GRMN 6601 - Adv Language Practice      

Advanced Language Practice for Academic Work

This course will focus on various forms of German academic writing and performance, with an emphasis on the special academic lexicon and stylistics. In a scaffolded approach, students will learn how to summarize, analyse, and discuss academic topics both in written and oral form. The mechanics of writing, including proper quotation techniques and the special demands of German academic writing, will be discussed and practiced. Towards the end of the summer, students will present their research in a German-style research paper, in oral presentations and in a school-wide “science slam”.

A course reader will be made available. Language & Stylistics

Summer 2013

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GRMN 6612 - 19 & 20C German History      

"Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit": German History of the 19th & 20th century*

This course will focus on developing an understanding of the most siginificant contexts, developments, continuities and discontinuities of German history during the nineteenth and twentieth century. „Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit“ – the beginning of the German national anthem’s third stanza – will be the starting point of the discussion and German history will be analyzed against this background. What did unity, justice and freedom signify during the two centuries under the ever changing rules of government and during a time when modernity changed the lives of most people dramatially and fundamentally? Which hopes, anxieties and infractions were and are assoicated with these terms and their application and interpretation for German life in the areas of state, society, culture and economy? Finally,the course will investigate if the triad „Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit“ is actually a suitable formula to define German history since the 19th century. Area Studies

Summer 2012

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GRMN 6661 - The River Rhine      

The River Rhine – Biography of a River in Historical Perspective

The river Rhine counts among Europe’s most famous rivers - it has been called „Nile of the Occident“ and „Heart of Germany“. Carl Zuckmeyer, German writer and emigrant who escaped from National Socialism to Vermont, referred to the river even as „große Völkermühle“ (a “blender of nations”) and „Kelter Europas“ (“Europe’s wine press”). But what is this river’s enigma, which seems to nourish so many myths? And: can a river actually „write“ history?
This course will explore exactly this question. We will try to unlock the river’s biography since the 19th century against its transnational and multifaceted historical background. On the one hand we will investigate the river’s problematic history in the realm of politics, environment, traffic/infrastructure and economy. On the other hand we will look at its cultural history and what the river means and has meant on a more abstract level. There are numerous relicts (i.e. Loreley, the Rhine as a romantic icon) which are associated with the dreams and longings of people who came in contact with the river. What role has the Rhine played over the past two centuries in the formation of a peoples’ soul and place of memory („Erinnerungsort“), and in that sense how important has the river been in the self-definition of a people, especially Germans? And finally, what is the Rhine’s current role within Europe? Area Studies

Summer 2013

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The German School

Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury College
F: 802.443.2075

Mailing address
German School
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT  05753

Tina Ellison, Coordinator