Patrick Svoboda, an art history and studio art double-major and German minor, took part in Illinois Wesleyan University’s Fifth Annual German Undergraduate Research Conference from April1-2. The conference, held on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus in Bloomington-Normal, serves as an outlet for students from any field of research engaging with German Studies to present their research to their peers and receive feedback in an academic setting.
Wendy Westphal, Ph.D., director of study abroad and assistant professor of German, who attended the conference as well, was impressed by the wide variety of paper topics. The Illinois Wesleyan Undergraduate Research Conference is unique in that all papers and posters are written and presented in German.
Patrick Svoboda’s conference paper “Gestaltung als künstlerisches Konzept in psychiatrischen Anstalten am Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts” is based on his senior thesis for art history: “Gestaltung in European Psychiatric Asylums of the Early 20th Century,” which he completed last fall under Jamie Higgs, Ph.D., associate professor of art and art history.
At the conference, Svoboda had the chance to meet German majors from all over North America, as presenters came from as far away as California, Texas, and Massachusetts. He recommends the conference for any German-speaking students in the future. The conference organizers extended great hospitality to the out-of-town presenters, who were hosted by Illinois Wesleyan students and treated to delicious ethnic meals during the conference.