Welcome to the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
Initiated in 1825 and officially established in 1897, The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard continues to enjoy a prestigious and highly regarded reputation, offering undergraduate concentrations, secondary fields, and doctoral training in a broad variety of texts, media, and other cultural productions. Faculty share a number of intellectual engagements in both German and Scandinavian materials across the centuries, from the medieval period to the present day. Our curriculum is supplemented by cross-disciplinary interests in art history, music, and visual culture, critical theory and philosophy, the history of science, performance studies, folklore, anthropology, and ethnopoetics, taking fullest advantage of the incomparably rich and unique collections held at the Harvard Libraries, Art Museums and Film Archive.
In addition to rigorous training in theory and the interpretation of literary and cultural materials, both within and outside of the canon, graduate students are encouraged to develop individualized courses of study across the University in preparation for successful careers in teaching, research and related work. To this end, the Department consistently maintains a vibrant series of invited lectures, colloquia, conferences, and workshops. Moreover, theater productions, musical events, and informal social gatherings, including a bi-weekly Kaffeestunde, make an engaging and enriching contribution to our undergraduate concentrations and language programs.
The department is pleased to announce that alumnus Daniel Bowles has won the 2016 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize for his translation of Swiss novelist Christian Kracht’s Imperium. This annual prize is awarded each spring to honor an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the USA the previous year. The prize is administered by the Goethe-Institut New York and more information can be found here. Bowles is an Assistant Professor of German Studies at Boston College, and his academic publications focus on postwar and contemporary German literature.
In a recent interview graduate Matthew Pasquini discusses his Ruhr Fellowship and the importance it has played in his career path! The Ruhr Fellowship is a key internship experience in our new Special Joint Concentration in German for Students in Engineering and the Applied Sciences. Learn more about the new joint concentration and internships in Germany at our upcoming Roundtable Event!
Professor Stephen A. Mitchell has close ties to Aarhus University. He has been the head of the the Harvard Summer School (the Viking Studies Program in Scandinavia) at Aarhus University since 2007. He was a visiting professor in 2009, and he gave a keynote lecture at the 15th International Saga Conference at Aarhus University in summer 2012.
Warmest congratulations to the students who have been awarded fellowships and internships through the Department’s Work Abroad Program this year, with special thanks to our Work Abroad Program Officer, Ruth Sondermann, for making all this possible: Anna Lea Albright (Ausschuss für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit, Berlin); Xavier Cuan Martinez (Ruhrfellow intern with RWE); Ramsey Fahs (Navity Company, Vienna); Jennifer Hu (Ruhrfellow in mathematics); Elizabeth Hubbard (Research Internships in Science and Engineering [RISE], biology research at the TU-Dresden); Priyanka Kumar (RISE fellowship, biology research at the University-Rostock); Anisa Kureshi (Internship in Physics, Humboldt Universität-Berlin); Timothy Lavelle (Internship, Technische Universität-Dresden); Esther Lee (Value for Good, Berlin); Kevin Loughlin (Ruhrfellow intern for Energy with RWE); Matt Matsudaira (Ruhrfellow); Fred Metzger (Ruhrfellow internship with Evonic); Ana Olana (Technische Universität-Aachen); Jason Rosenberg (RISE fellowship, Friedrich Schiller Universität-Jena); Andrew Sanchez (RISE, chemistry at the Freie Universität-Berlin); Emma Silverblatt (Internship at Studio Other Spaces, Berlin); Sarah Stajcic (Internship at Brödermann Law firm, Hamburg); and Frank Zhou (Technische Universität-Aachen). Wishing you all a rewarding and productive summer abroad!