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Pennsylvania German Studies Minor

Dr. William Donner, Program Coordinator
Rm 471, Old Main

T: 610-683-4249

E: donner@kutztown.edu

Pennsylvania German Studies Minor

Minor

Kutztown University's Minor in Pennsylvania German Studies offers opportunities to pursue intellectual and hands-on experiences in Pennsylvania German history, culture, language, crafts, and preservation. Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests within the structure of the program, through a variety of different disciplines, including anthropology, arts, geography, German language, history, biology, library science, and many others. Research projects and courses in any department with Pennsylvania German content may be taken "by contract." Students with the PA German minor often have majors in anthropology, fine arts, German language, history, and professional writing.   See the checksheet and also see some common paths to complete the minor.

Local/Regional Resources:        

Students are encouraged to use the resources of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, an open-air, folklife museum located on the north campus of Kutztown University. Featuring over 10,000 artifacts, a nineteenth-century farmstead, a one-room schoolhouse, and two log cabins, the Heritage Center tells the story of Pennsylvania German life. The Heritage Center publishes an annual volume, a newsletter and a Deitsch language journal, Hiwwe wie Driwwe, the only remaining publication of its kind in the world. The Heritage Center oversees many important projects and events including, an heirloom seed project, a summer camp and numerous community events throughout the year. The Kutztown Folk Festival also offers many opportunities for students. First opened in 1950, this is the oldest folklife festival in the United States. The Festival offers crafts, folklife demonstrations, food, entertainment, and numerous opportunities to explore the full range of Pennsylvania German culture. Students of Pennsylvania German culture at Kutztown University also can make use of other nearby institutions including the Kutztown Historical Society, Allentown Art Museum, Berks History Center, Lehigh County Historical Society, Daniel Boone Homestead, Conrad Weiser Homestead, Landis Valley Museum, Ephrata Cloister, Hopewell Furnace Historic Site, Peter Wentz Homestead, Henry Antes Plantation, and the Pennsylvania German collections of the Winterthur Museum.  

Internships and Research:  

The PA German minor provides opportunities for students to learn and participate in research projects. The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University provides students multiple opportunities for internships focusing on museum administration, collections management, hands-on restoration, preservation education, and historic site interpretation. Research and publications done at the Heritage Center and University have examined many issues concerning Pennsylvania German ethnicity, history and culture including "hex signs," healing and "powwowing" practices, art, food, Pennsylvania Barns, language expression and preservation, Groundhog Lodges and Versammlinge Deitsch language events, Deitsch language radio plays, Pennsylvania Germans in the Civil War, interviews about "growing up Dutch," Old Order Mennonites, women's studies, among other projects.  

Scholarships:        

Scholarship opportunities exist for students committed to the Minor in Pennsylvania German Studies. The David and Charlotte Valuska scholarship is awarded annually to partially fund a student in a selected area of Pennsylvania German Studies.  

Kutztown University's Minor in Pennsylvania German Studies offers opportunities to pursue intellectual and hands-on experiences in Pennsylvania German history, culture, language, crafts, and preservation. Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests within the structure of the program, through a variety of different disciplines, including anthropology, arts, geography, German language, history, biology, library science, and many others. Research projects and courses in any department with Pennsylvania German content may be taken "by contract." Students with the PA German minor often have majors in anthropology, fine arts, German language, history, and professional writing.   See the checksheet and also see some common paths to complete the minor.

Local/Regional Resources:        

Students are encouraged to use the resources of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, an open- air, folklife museum located on the north campus of Kutztown University. Featuring over 10,000 artifacts, a nineteenth-century farmstead, a one-room school house, and two log cabins, the Heritage Center tells the story of Pennsylvania German life. The Heritage Center publishes an annual volume, a newsletter and a Deitsch language journal, Hiwwe wie Driwwe, the only remaining publication of its kind in the world. The Heritage Center oversees many important projects and events including, an heirloom seed project, a summer camp and numerous community events throughout the year.   The Kutztown Folk Festival also offers many opportunities for students. First opened in 1950, this is the oldest folklife festival in the United States. The Festival offers crafts, folklife demonstrations, food, entertainment, and numerous opportunities to explore the full range of Pennsylvania German culture.   Students of Pennsylvania German culture at Kutztown University also can make use of other nearby institutions including the Kutztown Historical Society, Allentown Art Museum, Berks History Center, Lehigh County Historical Society, Daniel Boone Homestead, Conrad Weiser Homestead, Landis Valley Museum, Ephrata Cloister, Hopewell Furnace Historic Site, Peter Wentz Homestead, Henry Antes Plantation, and the Pennsylvania German collections of the Winterthur Museum.  

Internships and Research:  

The PA German minor provides opportunities for students to learn and participate in research projects. The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University provides students multiple opportunities for internships focusing on museum administration, collections management, hands-on restoration, preservation education, and historic site interpretation. Research and publications done at the Heritage Center and University have examined many issues concerning Pennsylvania German ethnicity, history and culture including "hex signs," healing and "powwowing" practices, art, food, Pennsylvania Barns, language expression and preservation, Groundhog Lodges and Versammlinge Deitsch language events, Deitsch language radio plays, Pennsylvania Germans in the Civil War, interviews about "growing up Dutch," Old Order Mennonites, women's studies, among other projects.  

Scholarships:        

Scholarship opportunities exist for students committed to the Minor in Pennsylvania German Studies. The David and Charlotte Valuska scholarship is awarded annually to partially fund a student in a selected area of Pennsylvania German Studies.  

PA German Minor

Eric Claypoole's hex sign stand, Kutztown Folk Festival.

PA German Minor

Groundhog Lodge stand, Kutztown Folk Festival

PA German Minor

Square dancing, Kutztown Folk Festival

PA German Minor

Quilt auction, Kutztown Folk Festival

PA German Minor

Keith Brintzenhoff, autoharp, Kutztown Folk Festival

PA German Minor

One-room schoolhouse, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center

PA German Minor

Patrick Donmoyer, presentation about hex signs/ barn stars

PA German Minor

Farm tools, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center

PA German Minor

Tinsmith, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center

PA German Minor

Hex sign, barn star display, Kutztown Folk Festival

PA German Minor

One-room schoolhouse, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center

PA German Minor

Children's activity, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center

PA German Minor

Children's activity, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center

PA German Minor

Cooking demonstration, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center

PA German Minor

Traditional garden, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center

Eric Claypoole's hex sign stand, Kutztown Folk Festival
Groundhog Lodge stand, Kutzotwn Folk Festival
Square dancing, Kutztown Folk Festival
Quilt auction, Kutztown Folk Festival
Keith Brintzenhoff, autoharp, Kutztown Folk Festival
One-room schoolhouse, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
Patrick Donmoyer, presentation about hex signs/ barn stars
Farm tools, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
Tinsmith, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
Hex sign, barn star display, Kuztown Folk Festival
One-room schoolhouse, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
Children's activity, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
Children's activity, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
Cooking demonstration, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
Traditional garden, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
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