GDGSA Conference

German and Dutch Graduate Student Association Conference


 The 18th Annual Conference of the German and Dutch Graduate Student Association

at the University of Wisconsin-Madison






Living, Loving, & Leaving Home



The German and Dutch Graduate Student Association at the University of Wisconsin-Madison host an annual conference that brings together scholars from different disciplines related to German and Dutch Studies to present their work and exchange ideas.


This year's conference will be held October 21-22, 2016, in the Pyle Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The topic is Heimat: Living, Loving, & Leaving Home, which explores both literal and metaphorical homes as well as concepts of belonging as they relate to Germanic Studies. The GDGSA is pleased to welcome our own Prof. Mark Louden as keynote speaker. Among other subjects, Prof. Louden in his research explores issues of nativity and domesticity in Pennsylvania Dutch, straddling the cultural and the linguistic domains. Prof. Louden will give the following address:


"Heimat, Heemet, Home: Where Are the Pennsylvania Dutch?"
In German-speaking Europe, the concept of Heimat is often bound up with language, more specifically dialects and regiolects. In earlier times, the German language was also linked to ethnicity and family history. That is less true today, but the association of Heimat with forms of language endures. In this presentation we will explore how a form of German that evolved in North America, Pennsylvania Dutch, is or is not regionally defined. We will pay special attention to uses of the Pennsylvania Dutch word Heemet, comparing it to Heimat and also to home and related words in English, in order to determine to what extent the German concept of Heimat endures in Pennsylvania Dutch society.