LLC28: Re-Imagining the Discipline: German Studies, the Humanities, and the University


This Working Group examines the disciplinary and institutional contexts that make up Anglo-American German Studies in our day. Since the 1970s, the field has developed a unique profile as an umbrella term for interdisciplinary endeavors that have driven critical conversations informed by the German intellectual tradition, helping frame momentous trends that in the last decades have reshaped humanities studies and the institution of the university in North America. This historical trajectory makes German Studies an optimal lens for appraising the state of the humanities in the current landscape of higher-education, as they meet the challenges and seize the opportunities created by profound changes in the structure and funding of the university; the technological and institutional developments that have reshaped the ways we teach and conduct research; the diversification and stratification of our student population; and the shrinking support for public education displayed by politicians and the public at large.

Open to New People

Active since: 2019

  • Cornell University
  • Colgate University
  • Hamilton College

Collaborative Goals

The collaborative goal of LLC28 is to leverage the diversity of institutions across the Corridor -- from larger research units like Cornell, Syracuse, and Rochester to the smaller liberal arts colleges like Hamilton and Colgate -- to probe, reflect on, and advocate for the future of smaller fields like German Studies within the humanities landscape of the 21st century. Some are independent departments (e.g. Cornell, Colgate), other are programs or parts of larger units (Syracuse, Rochester, Hamilton). This diversity of institutions, perspectives, and programs is a source of strength in addressing a field in its diversity of instantiations.

Group Organizers

Paul Fleming

Taylor Family Director of the Society for the Humanities; L. Sanford and Jo Mills Reis Professor of Humanities; Professor of Comparative Literature and German Studies, Cornell University

Franziska Schweiger

Assistant Professor of German Studies, Hamilton College

Matthew Miller

Associate Professor of German, Colgate University

Peter Gilgen

Director of the Institute for German Cultural Studies & Associate Professor, Cornell University