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William Anthony

College Lecturer Emeritus

College Lecturer, German | 1986-1997
Director, Study Abroad Office | 1997-2016
Retired | 2016

 William (Bill) Anthony has a PhD in German literature from Johns Hopkins University. His dissertation, supported by a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service, focused on narration of the marvelous in pre-Grimm literary fairy tales. A College Lecturer in the German Department for 11 years, he coordinated the first-year German language program, exploring new pedagogical techniques—many of which are still in use—to engage beginning students and foster the active use of German from day one. Anthony also taught second-year German and courses on short fiction and the fairy tale. He was the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the German Department (1992-4) and the first Chair of the Committee on Language Proficiency (1995-97). He served as a faculty associate and the associate master of Willard Residential College, where he taught a tutorial on oral history. 

With his colleague, Franziska Lys, he co-produced several innovative instructional oral-history documentaries: Drehort: Neubrandenburg (1991); Azubi: Apprentices in Berlin (1994); and Drehort: Bern (1997); Drehort: Neubrandenburg 2002 (2004)—which were designed to expose students to authentic spoken German and vignettes from contemporary post-reunification Germany and Switzerland. Funded by a DAAD research grant in 1995, Anthony recorded oral history interviews with Turkish immigrants in Hamburg. These were later donated to the Museum der Arbeit in Hamburg and DOMID e.V.—Dokumentationszentrum und Museum über die Migration in Deutschland in Cologne.

In 1995, Northwestern University named Anthony the Charles Deering McCormick University Distinguished Lecturer for his innovative teaching and contributions to the German Department.

In 1997, Anthony was tapped to serve as the founding director of Northwestern’s first central Study Abroad Office and, in that role, oversaw the rapid expansion of study abroad opportunities available to our undergraduates. At the national level, Anthony chaired the Standards Committee for the Forum on Education Abroad and helped write the Forum Standards and the Code of Ethics for the field of education abroad.

After retiring in 2016, Anthony began spending more time in Maine, where he is a docent at the Pemaquid Point lighthouse. His monthly column, “The Midcoast Boaters Journal,” based on his experiences with his old wooden boat, the SUSAN B, on the Damariscotta River, appeared in the Lincoln County News from 2021 to 2022. Bill’s novel, Farnsy, about a policeman in Damariscotta, was published by Maine Authors Publishing in 2022. Anthony continues to write and paint and, as the poet Walter von der Vogelweide wrote, pauses now and then to wonder, “Wo sind verschwunden, alle meine Jahre?...