I am a historian with a PhD from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and I am an editor at the German Historical Institute.
My job requires me to be a cultural translator of sorts. I don’t just fix writing mistakes. I help nonnative speakers in particular to communicate their scholarship in a different linguistic and rhetorical context, and under different market conditions in publishing.
First, there is the educational part of a transatlantic life: I came to this city so I could study at Georgetown. Before that, I earned an MA at the University of Augsburg in Germany and an AB at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.
My private life has moved between different contexts of another order too. If I am an Ivy League graduate and am living in the U.S. capital, I grew up in a very small town and later spent four years as an enlisted man in the field artillery.
The cultural translation and code switching skills this life has fostered have been reinforced by many years of teaching—initially English to speakers of other languages, then history.
Working in two worlds and between them represents an ongoing, but rewarding challenge, one that extends to my binational, bilingual, and bicultural family life.1
- Meanwhile, my son has begun his own journey, having married someone on another continent who speaks yet another language. ↩