CENES WRAPPED: 2023-2024

And just like that, the 2023-2024 Academic Year has come to an end.

This past year has been one for the books, and now it’s time for the first edition of CENES Wrapped. There are so many people to thank for making our events, programming and courses feel so special, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni. In this Wrapped edition, CENES is reminiscing on the memories of the past year to celebrate the milestones our department has reached.

CENES has been able to create a welcoming community and host a variety of meaningful programming. Every week you could count on a full house in the CENES Lounge for Fika and Plauder-Treff, or our monthly Slavic Tea and Kaffeestunde. There are many more events dedicated to engaging CENES students and faculty where each initiative has its own purpose and seeks to align with the CENES Strategic Plan. In 2021 the department began formulating this document which articulates our goals as CENES moves into the future, outlining our commitments to community and defining our purpose here on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam).

CENES Faculty at Imagine Day 2023.

As a department we consistently attempt to uphold our guiding values: students are leaders, truth is multilingual, responsibility is local, believing in justice, telling stories well, having a sense of public responsibility, and aiming for better-than-consensus. Through this framework, the CENES community has sought to bring you our 2023-2024 story, filled with important initiatives hosted by faculty and student leaders alike. We treasure the work everyone has done and continues to do, and we hope to keep up this convivial momentum as we make our way into 2024 and beyond.

Enjoy this summary of just some of the amazing things that the CENES community has made together. Thank you to everyone who joined us this year and here comes our first CENES WRAPPED.

CENES 2023-2024 Highlights:

CENES Advisory Council Members at Vanier Student Residence for CENES Language Day Event.

  • CENES Advisory Council: We know that higher education is rapidly changing before our eyes, and keeping up with students’ needs is important to CENES. In 2022 the department started the CENES Advisory Council, where students communicate their ideas and views on curricular institutional matters.
  • CENES at Vanier Residence: The CENES Department and students from the CENES Advisory Council made a splash at Vanier Student Residence for an exciting event introducing the vibrant language courses offered by the department.
  • CENES x Feed Forward – Trivia Night to Battle Food Insecurity: Led by the Modern European Studies program (MEST), CENES partnered with Feed Forward in hopes to raise awareness about the urgent issue of global and on-campus food insecurity.
  • CENES Alumni Night: Success through Community: CENES hosted it’s second alumni and careers night in January 2024. This opportunity allows alumni, students, and faculty to get together and to share their experiences to help navigate their way through university, and plan for their future.
  • Arts Multilingual Week: Led by CENES from March 4th to March 8th, the Arts Student Centre was jam-packed with events to celebrate multilingualism. This was a joint effort with multiple units from the Faculty of Arts to feature a plethora of activities designed to engage with the diverse range of languages spoken at UBC.
  • Eyes of Mariupol Exhibit: Opening Night: Led by the UBC Ukrainian Student Union in collaboration with the Maple Hope Foundation and UBC CENES, the “Eyes of Mariupol” exhibit was dedicated to the defenders of Mariupol and Azovstal, aiming to show the world that Ukrainian defenders are not imaginary combat units but real, beautiful, loving, and alive people who are currently defending not just Eastern Ukraine but the entire democratic world.
  • “Researching Indigenous Literatures: What Studying Abroad Taught Me About Home”: UBC CENES’ Nordic program invited Sámi scholar Mathilde Magga, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Washington, for our first in-person lecture in recognition of Sami National Day 2024.
  • Ending the Silence. German & Germanophone Legacies: Students from our Major Controversies in German-speaking Culture course (GMST 427) have been working hard on their research projects under Prof. David Gramling and Dr. Uma Kumar. The exhibit will be displayed from March 27th to May 27th at Koerner Library, Vancouver Campus.
  • CENES Lecture Series: In 2023-2024, the Department had the pleasure of hosting 10 guest speakers for our annual Sawchen and Ziegler Lecture Series.

CENES Community Achievements:

CENES x AMNE Festival of Frights.

CENES Students:

Professor and Director of Nordic Studies Tim Frandy teaching students how to make rings out of birch bark at Into the CENESverse, 2023.

  • Congratulating CENES 2024 Graduating Students: It’s May, which means that UBC’s spring graduation is almost upon us. CENES asked a few graduating students about their time in CENES, what they took away, and advice for both current and future students.
  • Meet the 2023-2024 CENES Student Program Assistants: Many of CENES’ accomplishments are thanks to our student Work Learns and Program Assistants! Over the past year, these students have worked closely with the department leadership team on enhancing undergraduate programming and intellectual life across our programs.
  • The Cenies, CENES Community Awards: In April CENES held the first ever ‘Cenies’, an awards night to recognize and honour the amazing achievements and contributions from all of our students, faculty, and staff in the CENES community!
  • Augenblick Publishes 2023 Yearbook & Releases Special Issue: The 2023 Yearbook includes eight articles published during the journal’s inaugural year. All articles are written by undergraduate students from UBC and elsewhere. In their very first special issue featuring the theme of Gender and Sexuality in German Literature, enjoy a mix of creative work and academic-style essays, written by undergraduate students across Canada.
  • RUSS 410A Students Present at 19th-Century Style Salon: RUSS 410A is a course that focuses on 19-century Russophone women’s writing. During this time period, salons were one of the main spaces where women could share work and engage with literature and art. In lieu of a midterm, Dr. Katherine Bowers hosted a 19th-century style literary and artistic salon for her students.