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The Max Kade Center for German Studies will sponsor events next week with Turkish-German writer Zafer Senocak and Gunther Heissel, head geologist of the State of Tyrol, Austria.

Heissel will give a lecture entitled “Living in the Shadows of the Alps: Geologic Mass-Movements and their Environmental Effect” 8 p.m. Wednesday in Gagnon Lecture Hall, Hugel Science Center room 100. The talk is cosponsored by the geology and environmental geosciences department and the engineering program.

Austria is a small country with nine federal states such as Tyrol, which has a population of 700,000. The state lies in the Alps and attracts millions of tourists each year. Since only 12 percent of the state is inhabitable, Tyrol is the most densely populated region in Europe. Mass-movements like slope-creeping, rockslides, and debris flows endanger houses and hotels, roads, and skiing areas. Heissel will discuss the geologic and man-made reasons for these geo-hazards and explain the methods and technology used to minimize these risks.

Heissel will meet with students and faculty in the geology, engineering, and German disciplines during a four-day visit that starts Tuesday. In addition, he will give a 7 p.m. talk Wednesday sponsored by the geology and environmental geosciences department in Van Wickle Hall room 108.

A leading voice in German discussions of national and cultural identity, Senocak will give a literature reading in German accompanied by English translation from the award-winning translator of his work, Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright, 6 p.m. Thursday in the Max Kade Center, Pardee Hall room 429.

Matthias Konzett, associate professor of German at Yale University, will give an introductory presentation as well as lead a discussion session following the reading.

Senocak, who is serving as Lafayette’s first Max Kade Distinguished Writer-in-Residence this semester, is teaching the course Concept of Identity and “Heimat” in 20th Century German-Speaking Literature.

A widely published poet, essayist, journalist, and editor, his works have been translated into English, Turkish, French, Dutch, and Hebrew. His essays and articles often address Turkish-German issues and confront problems of multiculturalism in Germany. He has collaborated on a regular basis with several German newspapers and magazines, and in 1988, he founded Sirene, a literary magazine featuring works in many languages.

In 1984, Senocak was awarded the City of Munich Literary Prize for his first poetry collection, Elektrisches Blau. In 1988, he received the Adalbert von Chamisso Förderpreis of the Bavarian Academy of the Arts.

He previously served as writer-in-residence at Oxford University, MIT, Oberlin College, the University of California, Berkeley, and other institutions of higher education. Born in Ankara, Turkey in 1961, Senocak has lived primarily in Berlin and Munich since 1970.

Directed by Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger, associate professor and head of foreign languages and literatures, Lafayette’s Max Kade Center for German Studies was established through a $65,000 grant from the Max Kade Foundation.

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