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Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger, associate professor and head of foreign languages and literatures, will discuss the work of Elfriede Jelinek, recipient of the 2004-05 Nobel Prize in Literature, for three consecutive evenings next week at the Austrian Embassy.

She also will present “The Power of Language,” about Jelinek’s latest play, at the annual meeting of the American Association of Teachers of German in Baltimore Saturday.

Jelinek is the tenth woman writer to be recognized by the Nobel Prize committee as one of the most significant literary voices of her time. Lamb-Faffelberger was quoted extensively in newspapers around the country about the announcement of the Nobel Prize, including major newspapers such as the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Seattle Times, Buffalo News, St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, and Concord (N.H.) Monitor. The Washington Post article highlights her knowledge of the Nobel Prize winner.

Citing her as “one of the world’s experts on contemporary Austrian literature and film,” the University of Calgary hosted Faffelberger in March as she delivered its 2005 Humanities Nobel Lecture. Last December, she discussed Jelinek in the keynote address of a lecture series held by the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Throughout her career, Lamb-Faffelberger has presented numerous papers and published extensively on Jelinek, including the book Valie Export und Elfriede Jelinek im Spiegel der Presse. Zur Rezeption der feministischen Avantgarde Ă–sterreichs for Peter Lang Publishing’s Austrian Culture Series, of which she is general editor. She conducted a videotaped interview of the reclusive Jelinek in 1990.

Together with Matthias Konzette, she is working on a collection of essays about Jelinek’s writings, which is scheduled for publication by Farleigh Dickinson Press in 2006.

Lamb-Faffelberger is the author of five books, several of them anthologies dealing with contemporary Austrian literature and film. A member of the Lafayette faculty since 1992, she regularly includes students in her research and guides them in their own independent research projects. Recent examples include:

  • Dyan Argento ’05, a double major in history and German, who gave a presentation on “Leni Riefenstahl: The Visual Culture of Nazi Aesthetics,” at the 19th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research;
  • Nicole Kozyra ’05 (Marlton, N.J.), a double major in art and English, who collaborated with her as an EXCEL Scholar, reading and analyzing articles written about the Neisse region where Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia meet;
  • Alyson Gross ’04 (Killingworth, Conn.), a double major in German and international affairs, whom she mentored in a study of the common literary theme of the picaro in three novels for a yearlong honors thesis.

Another recent student, Teva Miller ’04, received a Fulbright grant enabling her to serve as a teaching assistant at two secondary schools in Graz, Austria.

Lamb-Faffelberger played an instrumental role in securing a grant for Lafayette’s Max Kade Center for German Studies, which was dedicated in 2003. In addition to funding the technologically advanced headquarters for the study of German at Lafayette, the Max Kade Institute awarded $5,000 to help fund a German library and a series of visiting scholars and writers-in-residence hosted by Lafayette’s department of foreign languages and literatures.

In 2002, Lamb-Faffelberger coordinated an internship program for Lafayette students with the University for Applied Sciences in Zittau/Görlitz, Germany. Peter Totev ’04, a civil engineering major from Oberursel, Germany, worked for Bombadier Transport, a company that builds locomotives and trains, while Gretel Raibeck ’03, a chemical engineering major from Albrightsville, Pa., worked for fit GmBH, a soap and detergent manufacturer.

Along with Javad Tavakoli, professor and head of chemical engineering, Lamb-Faffelberger has led Lafayette students to Germany and Austria through a three-week interdisciplinary course, Green Europe, over the May interim session.

The professor accepted an invitation by Austria Secretary of Education Elisabeth Gehrer to join a “think tank” focusing on sweeping reforms of the country’s university system.

“The secretary and her ministry are particularly interested in the Lafayette faculty’s strong relationship with students, our advising and mentoring programs, and our EXCEL Scholars program, as well as our special relationship with alumni and our success in raising funds for the institution,” says Lamb-Faffelberger.

She hosted 35 scholars from 11 countries at Lafayette for the sixth Annual Conference of Austrian Literature and Culture, “Visions and Visionaries in Literature and Film of Modern Austria.” She served as one of two co-organizers of the conference.

Lamb-Faffelberger was part of a three-person group that formed an international organization exclusively dedicated to the research and teaching of Austrian literature and culture studies. The trio established the constitution and by-laws for the Modern Austrian Literature and Culture Association.

A member of the Lafayette faculty since 1992, Lamb-Faffelberger holds a Ph.D. from Rice University and master’s from the University of Illinois. Her research interests include 19th and 20th century German literature and culture; modern Austrian literature and film; Austrian theater; feminist and minority discourse; and multi-media for foreign-language teaching.

Lamb-Faffelberger co-edited and wrote an introduction for Postwar Austrian Theater: Text and Performance, published in 2003 by Ariadne Press, as well as Out from the Shadows. A Collection of Articles on Austrian Literature and Film by Women Since 1945, published by Ariadne in 1997. She also edited Literature, Film, and Culture Industry in Contemporary Austria, published in 2003 by Peter Lang.

Lamb-Faffelberger has received the Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Faculty Lecture Award, established at Lafayette in 1966 to recognize superior teaching and scholarship, and the Delta Upsilon Award for outstanding teaching and mentoring.

Categorized in: Academic News