As a part of my honors thesis in German, which focused on the implications of ambiguity in poetry in the transmission of multidimensional political messages in the GDR, I studied the works of Carlfriedrich Claus, a German artist experimenting with visual and concrete poetry.
The study grant the Department of German awarded me made it possible for me to travel to Chemnitz, Germany, and visit Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Stiftung Carlfriedrich Claus-Archiv, which are the archives with the collected works of Carlfriedrich Claus. There I could research his visual poetry thoroughly, decipher some of the text he used in his works, study some of the correspondence of the artist — in which he described his work — and ask questions about and discuss his art with the workers at the archives.
In addition to this, the visit at the archives has improved my personal and intellectual development, as it has raised my interest in East German literature and art, and has improved my understanding of the political context from which they emerged. This subject area has also become the defining focus of my German Studies, and the study grant has given me the opportunity to get a more complex and personal experience with it.