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On an Espresso with… Anja Janetzky

Portrait von Anja Vanetzky

Between 1992 and 1999, Anja Janetzky, born in 1972, studied cultural studies with minors in sociology, art, and sports and did postgraduate studies for scholars of the humanities in the field of economics and management (Magister Optimus) at the University of Bremen. After graduating, she moved to Australia for almost four years where she worked at the Adelaide Festival of Arts, among others. Mother of two children, she now lives in Germany again. At the Volkshochschule of the district Giessen, she is head of the program for the fields Work+Profession and Culture.


What has been the most formative experience at the University of Bremen?

Everything was so independent. I was able to choose what I wanted to do from a wide variety of offers. I thought that was really positive. When I started, I didn’t really know what it was that I was studying. I was just interested. Only later I truly understood the purpose and reason of the degree. I came to Bremen because the city is so beautiful. I had visited a friend and was biking along the Weser in glorious sunshine when I fell in love with the city. Little did I know then that it also rains a lot.

What of the things you gained from your time at the university has been most important for your career?

Interdisciplinary thinking. And the experience that everything is possible and doable. That helps me in my job today.

Which lecturers were of importance to you at the university?

Prof. Gerd Duwe, who took our class on an excursion to Florence. That was a very formative experience for me. And Prof. Rainer Alsheimer visited various conferences on cultural studies in Germany with us. That helped me a lot in grasping the broad scientific panorama of the field. Hans Joachim Schulte supported me in bringing cultural studies and sport together and in conducting research in the field of fan cultures.

What piece of advice can you relay to students today from your own experiences as a student?

Try things out. Do what is important to you. You don’t always have to have a clear goal in front of you. Go your own way, everything else will develop from there. Humans are formed not just as a student but by personal experiences.

What do you associate with the 50th anniversary of the University of Bremen taking place in 2021?

Tear down the walls again. I still felt an atmosphere of transparency, the contact to other departments. That was important to me. The university should trust that students enjoy studying and want to gain something from their time as a student.