About Us

Our faculty is nationally ranked for its research productivity, and recognized for its teaching record and intellectual contributions to the field. Through a wide range of courses, we provide our undergraduates with an excellent background in German culture, literature, and language to educate them to live and work in an increasingly global world. Graduate students engage in advanced study in German, preparing them for a variety of professions, including teaching, translation, and foreign service. Through our High School Day and other public events, our department acts as a resource for German culture in the greater Chicago area. We are grateful to earn significant donor support for our students and programs.

Research:

Our faculty has an active research profile. We are currently nationally ranked for our research productivity, and we strive to continue to excel in this area. In addition to our publication record, our faculty members have long been active in their fields. They hold or have held important positions in their professions, including the presidency of the Modern Austrian Literature and Culture Association, the presidency of the Hegel Society, the presidency of the Goethe Society, vice-presidency of the North American Heine Society, vice-presidency of the Kafka Society of America, and vice-presidency of the Internationale Vereinigung für germanische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft, and the editorship of the German Quarterly, the Women in German Yearbook, and the “New Studies in the Age of Goethe” book series.

Teaching:

The Department provides its undergraduates with a solid background in German culture, literature, and language and prepares them to live and work in an increasingly global world. It offers a wide-range of courses, including ones that focus on literature, gender, minority issues, film, and business. Small class sizes ensure close interaction between students and faculty. The Department offers free tutoring hours and a weekly social hour where students may practice their language skills in a friendly setting. About half of our faculty members have won teaching awards.

The Department offers its graduate students advanced study in German culture, literature, and applied linguistics and prepares them for a variety of professions, including teaching (at the high school and college-level), translation, and foreign service.  Graduate concentrations are available in Gender and Women’s Studies, Central and Eastern European Studies, Jewish Studies, and Second-Language Acquisition. The Department prides itself on the professional training and individualized mentoring of its students. Students are trained in teaching methodology and may participate in internships and professional development workshops.

Our fundraising efforts are focused on rewarding strong students at all levels: in 2012, we gave out over $75,000 in scholarships and prizes.

Service:

We are proud to act as a resource for German culture in the greater Chicago area. We work with area high schools and offer professional development opportunities for local teachers. We partner with several of the area consulates and cultural institutes to offer German cultural events that are open to the public. Every year, we sponsor an annual “German High School Day,” where several hundred high school students compete in German-speaking events.