Our faculty is widely published and internationally active in the major fields of German Studies, including literature and culture, film studies, historical and applied linguistics, and Second Language Acquisition (SLA). Research specialties include: environmental humanities; avant-garde visual traditions; the relationship between law, politics, and literature; German-Jewish Studies; 19th-century intellectual history; Romanticism; gender studies; fin de siècle Vienna; literary theory, especially narrative theory; medieval education; remakes, remixes, and adaptations; post-war literature; paleography; interactional competence in L2; conversation analysis. As a department, we are committed to both the core of the German tradition and interdisciplinary work.
The diverse theoretical approaches of our faculty and our active program of guest speakers and visiting scholars ensures that our students are exposed to the rich variety of research in German Studies while gaining mastery of the foundational works of the field. We are proud to be among the few programs in the country that offer full coverage of the field. Every semester, we sponsor a number of influential guest lecturers and provide students the chance to meet with the speakers to discuss the topic in more detail. We also host several conferences each year, bringing scholars from across the globe to Columbus. Through these events, our students learn the latest developments in the field related to their own scholarly interests.
The faculty also work beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to reach a broad academic and general audience. Our faculty publish in the leading German and interdisciplinary journals. And they write for the popular press and have collaborated with contemporary authors like Jonathan Franzen and the Austrian librettist and filmmaker Klaus Händl. Members of our department further collaborate with faculty and students across the university, including members of English, film studies, linguistics, East Asian studies, Project Narrative, popular culture studies, the Moritz School of Law, and the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. Graduate students are similarly encouraged to broadly pursue their interests and explore German Studies in innovative ways, as evidenced by the titles of our students’ M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations.
The selective graduate program has been carefully sized to guarantee a critical mass of students engaged in our seminars while maintaining a low student-faculty ratio. This allows our faculty to thoughtfully mentor and advise our students as they move through the program. All graduate students have different interests and needs. We work closely with our students to plan courses of study, counsel on career decisions including the Versatile PhD, and advise research projects and dissertations. In addition, our faculty are regularly engaged in independent studies, readings groups, and collaborative research with graduate students leading to joint presentations and publications.
Our students also regularly present at national and international conferences. We help our students through the process, from writing proposals to applying for travel funding. Our graduate students also work with each other to practice talks and workshop papers. Although our program is demanding and ideas are vigorously debated, it is exceptionally collegial. Our faculty supports students through exams and the job market. And we regularly socialize outside of the classroom, whether grabbing a beer at Columbus’s Oktoberfest, playing sports, or performing chamber music.
In short, our rigorous graduate program and the supportive environment we’ve cultivated ensures that our graduate students develop outstanding research, teaching, and writing skills. Our graduates are prepared to begin their careers as independent thinkers and successful professionals.
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