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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 February 2019

Paul Michael Lützeler
Affiliation:
Washington University
Peter Höyng
Affiliation:
Emory University
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Summary

THE FIFTEEN ESSAYS IN THIS VOLUME present and document the emancipation of German studies from Germanistik over the past half a century. They do so, however, in an unusual way: the individual scholars were part of a vanguard group that transformed our discipline. They now bear witness to this dynamic process. The colleagues reflect back on their own academic careers as far as the profession as a whole is concerned, and thereby bring to mind a pluralistic history from the inside. In short, the scholars give testimony to the profession and to the capacious discipline of German studies that it has become.

Thus this volume complements the recent Taking Stock of German Studies in the United States, edited by Rachel J. Halverson and Carole Anne Costabile-Heming in 2015, with its primary focus on aspects of teaching German as a foreign language. Likewise, this collection of essays should be seen in light of its predecessors, among them German Studies in the United States, edited by Peter Uwe Hohendahl in 2003, or its corresponding Teaching German in America, edited by George F. Peters in 2002. Both of these latter-named works provide comprehensive handbooks, and both are published by professional organizations, the former on behalf of the Modern Language Association (MLA), and the latter by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG). If these two handbooks together are all-inclusive in nature, special accounts such as that of the Brandeis Symposium of 1997, published by Stephen D. Dowden and Meike G. Werner in 2002, focused on Jewish critics and their relationship to German Literature, or thematized the discipline in crisis mode, as John van Cleve and A. Leslie Willson did in their Remarks on the Needed Reform of German Studies in the United States in 1993. With less alarming overtones but equally concerned and committed were John McCarthy and Karin Schneider in The Future of Germanistik in the United States: Changing Our Prospects, their edited volume based on a symposium at Vanderbilt University in 1995.

Type
Chapter
Information
Transatlantic German Studies
Testimonies to the Profession
, pp. 1 - 4
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2018

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