The German program at the Johns Hopkins University is among the most distinguished in North America. It has been a leading force in literary criticism and is internationally recognized for its strength in German and Yiddish literature from the Enlightenment to the present, as well as interdisciplinary approaches to the humanities.
Since the 1980s, the faculty members have spearheaded efforts to study the interface of literature with philosophy, psychoanalysis, religion, science, gender studies, and new media. The interdisciplinary orientation of the faculty has put the program at the forefront of the field in North America and abroad.
The German program is committed to the study of the hermeneutic tradition and its critique. It is also home to the Yiddish language, literature, and culture offerings at Johns Hopkins. In addition to its own distinguished faculty, the program hosts regular visitors from European universities, who offer seminars at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The German language program includes a wide range of courses from introductory German to advanced composition and conversation as well as classes focused on cultural topics, business, and the language of science.
The section has active graduate exchange programs with the Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, and Universität Hamburg. In collaboration with international partners, the program has hosted several workshops and symposia, including the 2012 conference “The Aesthetics of Bildung: Literature, Knowledge, and the Pleasure of Representation.” Future international conferences include “Traveling Concepts,” scheduled for September 2014, and “Failing Better.”
The department also participates in the Berlin Consortium, and undergraduates can study there for a semester or a year.