Ingrid Zeller Associate Professor of Instruction

Ingrid Zeller is an associate professor of instruction in the German Department. She studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music and German language, culture, and literature at Columbia University in New York City. At Northwestern University, she has taught courses at all levels, coordinated Beginning and Intermediate German, served as the director of the summer program Berlin: Global City in the Center of Europe, and is currently directing the German Department Writing Center. She has been elected to the Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll seven times since 2003 and received the Northwestern Alumni Association Teaching Award in 2005. In 2009, she received the national AATG/Goethe-Institute Certificate of Merit Award. She was selected a Charles Deering McCormick University Distinguished Lecturer for Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University (2011-2012) and a faculty fellow for the Center for Civic Engagement (2012-2014).

Ingrid’s teaching and research interests include the engagement with architecture,  cities, and film in the context of language acquisition, as is reflected in her courses Berlin - Faces of the Metropolis and East and West-Identities in Flux. She also teaches a course involving architecture and German influences on the Chicago skyline and is developing a website documenting the history of the Bauhaus and German-American connections and multicultural influences on the Chicago skyline. She has co-produced (with Denise Meuser and Franziska Lys) Bauhaus and Beyond, a series of web–based, interactive videos of a German architecture tour in Chicago.

Ingrid further has a strong interest in the intersection between music, culture, literature, performance, and language learning. Her freshman seminar Music, Magic, and the Mysteries of Language is a cultural studies course with an emphasis on music in German history as represented through and in relation to different media. In collaboration with the School of Music, she devised the course Intensive Beginning German through Musical Journeys in Vienna. She also co-designed the course German through Opera and organizes interdisciplinary, student-driven musical events.

Among her ongoing goals are the meaningful integration of a Lernort and blended learning in the curriculum, resulting in student projects and innovative teaching materials, especially in the context of architecture and German heritage in Chicago. She is a certified volunteer docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) and conducts, both in English and German, “Rise of the Skyscraper” and “Chicago Modern”, and “Combination Historic/Modern Skyscraper” tours with an emphasis on German influences on the Chicago skyline as well as “Town and Gown: Historic Lakeshore in Evanston” tours. She is currently training to become a river docent for the CAF.

At Northwestern University, Ingrid is an active member of the Council on Language Instruction (CLI), has served as freshman adviser, and is currently the faculty adviser for the German Undergraduate Advisory Board (GUAB) and a faculty fellow for Chapin Hall.

She has a long association with the Association for Teachers of German (AATG). After serving as Testing Chair and Program Chair, she is currently the Vice-President and President-Elect of the Northern Illinois Chapter of the AATG. She is a co-founder of the annual Northern Illinois College German Student Immersion Day for area colleges which took place for the first time in 2013.

She serves as an AP reader, participates in national and international seminars, and collaborates as a teacher trainer with the Goethe-Institut Chicago.

She regularly presents on films, architecture, music, and other topics in the context of language acquisition and also publishes on these topics.