Laura McGee, Ph.D.
Department Head / Professor of German
Office: 251 FAC
Ph.D. in German literature, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 1996
M.A. in German language and literature, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 1991
Research and Teaching Interests
Recent German Cinema / “Last generation” Directors of the former GDR / Cinema of Andreas Dresen / Pedagogies of Effective Study Abroad Design / Experiential Learning / Place as Text© /
Digital Media and Language Learning / Proficiency-Based Assessment (STAMP) / Post WWII Literature by Women in German / German Short Story / 20th Century German Literature
Beginning German I, II / Intermediate German I, II / Composition and Conversation / Advanced Stylistics / Business German / Germanic Civilization and Culture - Beginnings to WWII / Contemporary Culture of the German-speaking Countries / Introduction to German Literature / German-language Literature by Women / German Literature of the 19th and 20th Centuries / German Literature and Film / Introduction to German Cinema / Berlin in Film – Film in Berlin / The Cinema of Andreas Dresen / German Popular Culture / Advanced German Translation
Dr. McGee is Head of the Department of Modern Languages. She has been a faculty member in the German Program at WKU since 1997, where she has taught all levels of German language, literature, culture and business German. She is a Professor of German and Fulbright Scholar (2002-2003) who has published in journals such as Film History: An International Journal, German Studies Review, Colloquia Germanica, and Foreign Language Annals as well as in film anthologies appearing in Britain and Germany.
She revised the German curriculum at WKU to foreground contemporary topics and applied uses of the language, in order to better prepare graduates to use languages in their future careers. Dr. McGee is a passionate proponent of study abroad, having studied three languages in four countries, and having led seven study abroad programs for language learners and for teachers of world languages since coming to WKU.
Dr. McGee is a leader in the profession of world language teaching. She served as President of the Kentucky Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German from 2004-2006. From 2005-2007 she directed an Improving Educator Quality Grant that provided study abroad experiences and professional development to language teachers from across the state of Kentucky. She continued her leadership role in the state, as a contributor to Kentucky’s Program Review for World Languages. In recent years she convened Heads and Chairs of World Languages in Kentucky at the annual Kentucky World Languages Association Conference each September. In 2014-2016, Dr. McGee is serving as President of the Kentucky Fulbright Association.
Under Dr. McGee’s leadership as Head of Modern Languages since 2009, the department has expanded its offerings. It is now the academic home to 250 students majoring in Arabic, Chinese, French, German or Spanish. Four semesters of Japanese and Russian as well as two semesters of Korean are also offered. In cooperation with History and International Affairs, a Minor in Russian and East European Studies was revised. A project to gather stakeholder input for the design of a Certificate in Japanese is under way.
She has helped advance the agenda of proficiency-oriented instruction and assessment at WKU, and developed an increasing interest in measuring learning outcomes and in using data to improve programs.
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