German Academic Visits, Lectures at TAMIU
Posted: 11/13/14

German Academic Discusses Study Abroad,
Literature, Hip-Hop with TAMIU Students

Dr. Horst Tonn, professor of American Studies at Germany’s prestigious University of Tübingen, recently visited Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) to present several lectures to University students.

Dr. Horst Tonn

Dr. Horst Tonn

A renowned specialist in culture and American literature, Dr. Tonn visited TAMIU Nov. 3-4 and gave a lecture entitled, “The American Culture Seen from Europe." TAMIU students from various disciplines who participated in Study Abroad programs or registered for it for next year attended the lectures.

He highlighted the importance of university students from any country traveling abroad and out of their comfort zone.         

"Traveling to other countries means learning different ways of viewing the world and life, breaking stereotypes as well as recognizing and respecting diversity," Tonn said.

The German academic recommended students traveling abroad take advantage of their stay and experiences and avoid being connected at all times with their everyday environment through social networks.

During his visit, Tonn also attended the graduate class, "Rudolfo Anaya and the Chicano(a) Tradition," led by Dr. Manuel Broncano, TAMIU professor and director of English and Spanish programs.

Students asked the visitor about his experience translating German texts of Anaya and discussed his German perspective on Chicano literature.

As part of his visit, Tonn, who in June hosted 14 students in TAMIU professor Dr. José Carlos Lozano’s study abroad class in Tübingen, Germany, also lectured on rap and hip- hop culture in Germany.

According to Tonn, the popularity of rap and hip-hop is related to a long tradition in German youths’ use of American music as a pretext to carry out social and political criticism.

In his lecture to students in the “Communication, Theory and Practice” class, Tonn showed YouTube examples where German groups harshly criticized the government and society’s discrimination of migrant groups.

Finally, Tonn spoke with students in Marcela Morán, associate professor of communication’s class, "Literature and Cinema." He discussed John Sayles’ film, “Lone Star” and the way in which the movie reflects history and local memory of the border.

Tonn also met with María Eugenia Calderón, TAMIU assistant vice president for global initiatives, and Dr. Lozano to explore options for undergraduate and graduate student exchange between TAMIU and the University of Tübingen, located in Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Tonn and Lozano pledged to increase contact between Tübingen and TAMIU students, who will travel there next summer. The students will collaborate on joint research projects through videoconferences and social media

"The idea is for students of both universities to exchange information and points of view before they meet in person in joint sessions in June and to promote a more intense and productive experience among them," said Lozano, who will lead the study abroad course.

For additional information, contact Lozano, chair of the Department of Psychology & Communication, at 956.326.3117, email jose.lozano@tamiu.edu or visit offices in Dr. F. M. Canseco Hall, room 301.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu