Gabrielle Hibbert ’17 Senior Profile: German Studies & Russian and Post-Soviet Studies

IMG_0696After studying abroad in Niedersachsen, Germany during my junior year of high school, I knew that I wanted to continue studying German culture, language, and history. Upon my arrival at the College of William and Mary I declared my major in German Studies my sophomore year along with my major in Russian Post-Soviet Studies. Not only did I learn more about the German cultural tradition, but I also stumbled upon new subjects that I fell in love with, such as German philosophy.

My concentration in Russian Post-Soviet studies was part chance and part registration snafu. However, I would not have changed it for the world. After my first week of Russian 101 and my freshman seminar “Russian Women’s Studies,” I was hooked. Since my initial freshman Russian classes, the Russian Studies department quickly became my home away from home, both literally and figuratively. During my sophomore year I lived in the Russian House, where I enjoyed the Russian traditions and culture that I had learned and discussed in my Russian classes. My time at W&M would have been drastically different had it not been for a chance encounter with the Russian Department my freshman year.

By the end of my junior year I decided to do a senior honors thesis that would encapsulate my training in both the German Studies and in Russian and Post-Soviet Studies. My thesis grew out of Professor Campbell’s class on German Culture, where I researched the East German punk movement. In my thesis entitled, „Alternative Notions of Dissent: Punk Rock’s Significance in the Soviet Union and East Germany“ I analyze the punk movement and its impact in the Soviet Union and East Germany, looking specifically at the two foundational bands Grazhdanskaya Oborona ‚Civil Defense‘ (Siberia, Soviet Union) and Zwitschermaschine ‚Whirring Machine‘ (East Germany). I hope to work in the field of cultural politics and German studies in the future.

Due to my love of Russian studies, I will be embarking on an eight-week program at Middlebury’s Russian School after graduation.

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