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This archived information is dated to the 2008-09 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

German Studies

Emeriti: (Professors) Theodore M. Andersson, Gerald Gillespie, Walter F. W. Lohnes, Katharina Mommsen, Kurt Müller-Vollmer*

Chair: Theodore M. Andersson

Director of Graduate Studies: Amir Eshel

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Márton Dornbach

Professors: Russell A. Berman, Elizabeth Bernhardt, Amir Eshel (on leave, Autumn), Orrin W. Robinson III (on leave, Spring)

Assistant Professors: Adrian Daub, Márton Dornbach, Charitini Douvaldzi (on leave)

Senior Lecturers: William E. Petig, Kathryn Strachota (on leave, Autumn)

Lecturers: Sarah Pourciau (Humanities Fellow), Shafiq Shamel

Visiting Assistant Professors: Wolf Dietrich Junghanns (Autumn), Markus Joch (Spring)

Affiliated Academic Staff: Henry Lowood (Curator, History of Science and Technology Collections and Film and Media Collection)

* recalled to active duty

Department Office: Building 260, Room 212

Mail Code: 94305-2030

Phone: (650) 723-3266


Web Site:

Courses offered by the Department of German Studies have the subject codes GERGEN and GERLIT. Courses in German General are listed in the "German General [GERGEN] Courses" section of this bulletin. Courses in German Literature are listed in the "German Literature [GERLIT] Courses" section of this bulletin. For courses in German language instruction with the subject code GERLANG, see the "Language Center" section of this bulletin.

The department's goal is to provide students with the linguistic and analytic ability to explore the significance of the cultural traditions and political histories of the German-speaking countries of Central Europe. At the same time, the interdisciplinary study of German culture, which can include art, history, literature, media theory, philosophy, and political science, encourages students to evaluate broader and contradictory legacies of modernity, such as how the literary, artistic, and cultural responses to the belated and rapid modernization of Germany allow for reflection on the modern condition in general.

Similarly, the German experience of national identity and political unification sheds light on wider issues of cultural cohesion and difference, as well as on the causes and meaning of phenomena such as racial prejudice, anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust. In general, an education in German Studies not only encourages the student to consider the effects of German-speaking thinkers and artists on the modern world, but also provides a lens through which the contours of the present and past can be evaluated.

The department offers students the opportunity to pursue course work at all levels in the languages, cultures, literatures, and intellectual histories of the German-language traditions. Whether interested in German literature or the influence of German thought on other fields in the humanities, students find a broad range of courses covering language acquisition and refinement, literary history and criticism, cultural history and theory, history of thought, continental philosophy, and linguistics.

By carefully planning their programs, students may fulfill the B.A. requirements for a double major in German Studies and another subject. An extended undergraduate major in English and German literature is available, as are coterminal programs for the B.A. and M.A. degrees in German Studies. Doctoral students may elect the Ph.D. program in German Studies and Humanities, and Ph.D. minors in Comparative Literature, Linguistics, and Modern Thought and Literature.

Special collections and facilities at Stanford offer possibilities for extensive research in German Studies and related fields pertaining to Central Europe. Facilities include the Stanford University Libraries and the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. Special collections include the Hildebrand Collection (texts and early editions from the 16th to the 19th century), the Austrian Collection (with emphasis on source material to the time of Maria Theresa and Joseph II, the Napoleonic wars, and the Revolution of 1848), and the Stanford Collection of German, Austrian, and Swiss Culture. New collections emphasize culture and cultural politics in the former German Democratic Republic. The Hoover Institution has a unique collection of historical and political documents pertaining to Germany and Central Europe from 1870 to the present. The department also has its own reference library.

The Republic of Austria has endowed the Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Austrian Studies. The professorship rotates on a yearly basis through several departments.

Haus Mitteleuropa, the German theme house at 620 Mayfield, is an undergraduate residence devoted to developing an awareness of the culture of Central Europe. A number of department courses are regularly taught at the house, and there are in-house seminars and conversation courses. Assignment is made through the regular undergraduate housing draw.

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