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Nineteenth Century Echoes: German Settlers and Explorers in South America

April 18 @ 8:00 am - April 19 @ 3:00 pm

Co-sponsored by Center for German and European Studies and Center for European Studies with the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic+, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program, along with Friend of the Max Kade Institute.

During the 1800s, emigrants from German-speaking Europe came not only to the United States and Canada; they were also drawn to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, and other countries in South America. At the same time, German explorers, scientists, and businessmen crisscrossed the Atlantic and traveled between the Northern and Southern continents, sharing experiences, and creating networks of knowledge.

This two-day, in-person symposium will focus on German-speaking minority populations, travelers, and explorers in South America and their enduring influence into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Scholars from the Americas and Europe will give 40-minute presentations that touch on questions in anthropology, education, history, linguistics, natural science, and other fields. In addition, the presenters will participate in a panel discussion that will focus on issues of (minority) identity and global connections today that hark back to migration and travel over a century ago.

Participating Scholars:

  • Walter Kamphoefner, Texas A&M University
  • Sandra Rebok, Independent Scholar
  • Göz Kaufmann, Albert Ludwig University
  • Katharina Löschner, Ruprecht Karl University
  • Patrick Wolf-Farré, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Mark L. Louden, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • H. Glenn Penny, University of Iowa
  • Karen Pupp Spinassé, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)

Click here for a full programming schedule.

No registration required! If you have questions, please contact Antje Petty: apetty@wisc.edu.


MONDAY, April 18, 2022

9:00 – 9:50 Welcome
10:00 – 10:50 Walter Kamphoefner, Texas A&M University: “Germans in the Americas: Contrasts and
Commonalities, North and South”
11:00 – 11:50 Sandra Rebok, Independent Scholar: “German Naturalists in South America: Alexander
von Humboldt, Eduard Otto, and Fritz Müller”
Lunch Break
1:30 – 2:20 Göz Kaufmann, Albert Ludwig University, Freiburg, Germany: “Edelgund or Celinha:
How Naming Practices Among Pomeranians in Brazil Are Influenced by Their Multiple
2:30 – 3:20 Katharina Löschner, Ruprecht Karl University, Heidelberg, Germany: “Uruguay’s
German Language Press, 1880–1913”
3:30 – 4:20 Patrick Wolf-Farré, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany: “The German Speakers of
Chile: from ‘Language Islands’ to ‘Minority’”

TUESDAY, April 19, 2022

9:00 – 9:50 Mark L. Louden, University of Wisconsin–Madison: “Language Maintenance Among
Mennonites in South and North America”
10:00 – 10:50 H. Glenn Penny, University of Iowa: “Being German in South America During the
Interwar Period: 1919–1939”
11:00 – 11:50 Karen Pupp Spinassé, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto
Alegre, Brazil: “Language and Society in Focus: German-Speaking Brazilians in the 21st
Lunch Break
1:30 – 2:50 ROUNDTABLE
“Echoes Heard in the Twenty-First Century”
Walter Kamphoefner, Göz Kaufmann, Katharina Löschner, Mark L. Louden, H. Glenn
Penny, Karen Pupp Spinassé, Sandra Rebok, Patrick Wolf-Farré
Reflecting on the presentations in this Symposium, presenters will gather with the audience
to discuss questions of (minority) identities in German-speaking South-America and global
connections today.


April 18 @ 8:00 am
April 19 @ 3:00 pm


Pyle Center
702 Langdon St
Madison, WI 53706
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