Office: LA3074Email: bmberg
Contract Assistant Professor of German
As a sixteen-year-old, I traveled to Germany for the first time with an ex-change program between my home state of Minnesota and the German state of Baden-Württemberg. When I arrived at the airport and passed cus-toms, my exchange-mother greeted me with a hearty ―Grüß dich!
I was thoroughly bewildered and could not understand the greeting, so I simply stared at her with a blank face and blurry eyes, thinking to myself, ―What have I gotten myself into?! Thankfully, my father, who happened to be stationed with the Army Reserve in Germany, told me that this cheery woman was merely trying to say hello. It was a daunting experience, being sent into a German family with no direct aid from my teacher or anyone else; I was on my own.
After those three months, I decided that I had found my first love – German – and that I would do anything to continue my love affair with the language. In college at Valparaiso University, I had a wonderful mentor named Henning Falkenstein, whose glinting enthusiasm, biting humor, and infectious laughter convinced me that I wanted to become a German professor like him. In graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis, I learned from mentors like my “Doktormutter,” Lynne Tatlock, who showed me how to smile while I prod others to do better work. Eventually, I completed my dissertation on environmentalism in nineteenth-century Austrian literature; my expertise spans the fields of cultural production from the eighteenth century up until the present with a strong emphasis in nineteenth century literature. Additionally, I am interested in second language acquisition and foreign language teaching methods. I am thankful to be here in Evansville and look forward to forging a strong connection to the community. Most of all, I look forward to inspiring success in my students and others at USI while I learn from them as well.