Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Course on German Immigration to Wisconsin, 2013

Here is information on a course about the immigration experience of German-speaking peoples, offered by Prof. Johannes Strohschänk and Bill Thiel at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. Their honors course, titled "From the Feudal to the Federal State: 19th Century German Immigration to Wisconsin," will be offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:45 beginning January 23, 2013, and will be taught in English.

Prof. Strohschänk offers this detailed description of the intent of the course:

"Why in the course of a century would some 7 million people pick up and move to the other side of the world and begin a new life? And why Germans? And why so many of them to Wisconsin? In this course we will try to find answers to these and other questions by looking at German history, U.S. history, and at the history of our state from the common people’s point of view. We also will try to retrace the emigrants’ every step, from their painful departure to the arduous sea voyage to raising the first primitive cabin in the woods of Wisconsin. (And – where were the Native Americans?) In the end we should be able not only to have a more sophisticated assessment of the German element in Wisconsin beyond beer and bratwurst, but also to see today’s migrations with a more educated and critical eye, as well. Maybe even more important in our modern world of infinite restlessness will be an appreciation of what “home” really means."

If you live in the Eau Claire area and are interested in auditing the course (offered at a reduced cost), you may find information on this opportunity here:

Once again, we would very much like to hear about other courses offered on the topic of German immigration and/or the German American experience!

[Note: Strohschänk and Thiel are also the authors of
The Wisconsin Office of Emigration 1852–1855 and Its Impact on German Immigration to the State]