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The Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago is made up of a small group of core faculty members working at the cutting edge of literary and cultural studies. They bring together expertise in literary history, intellectual history, literary and cultural theory, the German philosophical tradition, opera, theater and performance studies, cinema studies, psychoanalysis, and visual studies. The department has also recently developed considerable strengths in Scandinavian Studies and Yiddish language and literature.

The faculty and students are supported in their work—in large part through team-teaching--by an extraordinary constellation of resource faculty, scholars working with German materials across the disciplines: philosophy, history, theater studies, musicology, art history, history of science, sociology, religious studies, and political theory. There may, for example, be no better place in the world to study German Idealism or German-Jewish intellectual history than the University of Chicago.

A selection of faculty publications may be found here

Department Chronik

Recent contributions of all department members to the field of Germanic Studies.

April 17-18, 2019

David Wellbery, “Zur Anekdote in Dichtung und Wahrheit,” Workshop on Dichtung und Wahrheit, Klassikstiftung Weimar, April 17-18, 2019.

April 11-12, 2019

Daniel Burnfin, “Hegel’s Critique of Understanding / Metaphysics,” Conference: The Autobiography of Thought: Hegel's Science of Logic, University of Coimbra, April 11-12, 2019.

April 2019

Alexander Sorenson, “The Bride by the Water: Duty, Procession, and Sacrifice in Theodor Fontane’s Unwiederbringlich.” Article appearing in German Life and Letters 72.2 (forthcoming, April 2019)

April 9-10, 2019

Noah Zeldin, “The Poverty of Art: Towards a Materialist Critique of a Fetish,” paper delivered to conference: “Hegel-Marx: Dead Dogs Still Live,” University of Lisbon, April 9-10, 2019


Emily Dreyfus: DAAD short-term grant 2019, Film University Babelsberg "Konrad Wolf", May-October 2019.

David E. Wellbery. Through his interdisciplinary approach to analyzing the work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, David E. Wellbery has transformed scholarly understanding of a pivotal cultural period in Europe surrounding the dawn of the 19th century. In recognition of his groundbreaking research, Wellbery will receive the Golden Goethe Medal from the Goethe Society on June 13, 2019, at the National Theater in Weimar, Germany.

Emily Dreyfus has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant in Film Studies at the Humboldt University for 2017-18 and a one-year dissertation research fellowship from the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies beginning in April 2018.

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