Skip to main content


Our Programs and Curriculum


Our Department


The Department of German owes its international reputation to a combination of path-breaking research, award-winning teaching, and engaged students.  In addition to hosting our graduate program in German Literature and Critical Thought, our undergraduate major and minor programs, and our German-language program, the department interacts with a wide variety of disciplines, departments, programs, and clusters throughout the humanities and beyond.  Graduates of our PhD program have secured prominent positions and fellowships in North America, Europe, and Asia.  Our majors and minors combine their passion for German language, literature, and culture with kindred interests in numerous other fields of study.  And the students in all of our classes are eligible for an enticing ensemble of study-abroad programs, fellowships, stipends, and internships that, each in its own way, add an inestimable value to their educational experience.  We welcome inquiries into the full range of our departmental offerings.

Featured Stories


Words From Friedman Kline Winner Ace Chisholm

As a recipient of the Friedman-Kline Family Foundation Fellowship, I wanted to extend my deepest thanks for your aid, which made it possible for me to participate in the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) program Summer in Bonn at the Akademie für internationale Bildung (AiB).

The culture course, Bonn - Cultural Capital of the Rhineland, was a very fast-paced course, meeting only a couple times a week with only an hour and a half to cover material and filling the other days with relevant excursions. It was a bit of a survey course, having only four weeks to cover significant architecture, art, poetry, music, and history. I wish there had been more time to delve deeper into each topic, but it did well with the time it had available. My interest was piqued the most during the section on the Rhine in music and poetry, and I and two classmates led a presentation and class discussion on Romanticism and the Lorelei, examining her development from a story of a girl inspired by the landscape of the Lorelei rock to her literary transformation into a siren to her voice as an alert to political danger to her pop culture image as a femme fatale figure. In addition to learning the historical factors of Bonn’s appointment as the provisional German capital, I also learned about and personally observed some of the impacts of its time as a capital city and its remaining status as a UN city. 


Professor Weitzman’s most recent book garnering positive reviews

Professor Weitzman’s most recent book, At the Limit of the Obscene: German Realism and the Disgrace of Matter (Northwestern University Press, 2021), has been garnering positive reviews in scholarly journals in the U.S., Germany, and Denmark. The book investigates the conflicted representation of matter and materiality in German-language literature from 1857 to 1926 through the fraught concept of the “obscene.” As Bradley Harmon writes in MLN: “keeping one analytical foot in the traditional modes of German realism while extending the other into new territory, Weitzman innovates the scholarly paradigm for how we address and interrogate a wide variety of contemporary entanglements with the multivalent notion of materiality.” Similarly, Alyssa Howards writes in Journal of Austrian Studies that the book “truly breaks new ground, expanding and complicating our understanding of realism and the task of literature to represent the material world.” Meanwhile, Roman Widder writes in Zeitschrift für Germanistik that Professor Weitzman “has produced a standard work with the potential to reorient the study of realism: away from the epistemological aporias of poetic realism and towards realism’s ethical and political implications.” Jason Groves addresses some of these implications directly, writing in German Quarterly that the book “exposes—in realist literature’s repeated relegation of gendered and racialized bodies to ‘mere matter’ in a way that accords all too well with past and present histories of subjugation and dehumanization—something that can no longer be whitewashed as an intellectual tradition nor be assimilated into the framework of a humanist enterprise.” Finally, Svend Erik Larsen writes in Orbis Litterarum that “Weitzman’s study [deserves] a full round of applause,” calling it a “[sign] of the productivity of realism as a literary movement in an ongoing transformation.”

Spotlight on our Research


News and Events


Enroll in Summer German Language Courses!


You can complete the Beginning German 101 series in 9 weeks!

By completing 101-3, you can register for Intermediate German 102-1 in the fall

View Summer Courses

Upcoming Events


There are no upcoming events at this time

All Events

Latest News

Erica Weitzman wins Kaplan Faculty Fellowship
Professor Ryder promoted to Associate Professor of Instruction
Professor Anna Parkinson receives the Harris Endowed Lecture Fund
Professors Lys and Kerlova Receive Grant Awards to Replace Grammar Platform
Cole Edelstein wins Northwestern University Undergraduate Language Grant to study in Berlin

All News