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Max Kade Center for Contemporary German Literature

Visitor Programs 

Over several decades, the Max Kade visitor programs have welcomed numerous preeminent writers, critics, and scholars to Washington University. For a look into this history, view all past visitors. These guests have and continue to contribute to our vibrant department and university community.
 

Max Kade Writers & Critics

Every spring since 1985, the Max Kade Center has invited one prominent writer and one leading critic from a German-speaking country to teach a graduate course on contemporary German literature. The visitors are supported by a grant from the Max Kade Foundation in New York. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Center in 1995, the authors returned to participate in a symposium on multicultural literature in the German-speaking countries. See: Paul Michael Lützeler (ed.) Multiculturalism in Contemporary German Literature, special issue of World Literature Today, (Summer 1995). In German: Schreiben zwischen den Kulturen (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch, 1996). In 2010, the Max Kade Center celebrated its 25th birthday with a symposium on Contemporary German Literature: eight former critics, eight former writers and eight scholars contributed. See: Paul Michael Lützeler, Jennifer Kapczynski (ed.), Die Ethik der Literatur. Deutsche Autoren der Gegenwart (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2011).
 

Max Kade Fellows

For twelve years the Max Kade Center was able to reinvite one former Max Kade Writer or Critic per year under the auspices of the Max Kade Fellowship. As a Max Kade Fellow, this writer or critic returns to spend four to six weeks at Washington University to finish a project and to interact with faculty and students.
 

Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, VolkswagenStiftung, and Robert Bosch Fellows

The Fritz Thyssen in Cologne, Germany, the VolkswagenStiftung in Hannover, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung in Stuttgart grant fellowships which bring leading scholars from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in the field of Germanistik to Washington University. These scholars conduct research and establish contacts with faculty and students. They also teach one weekend seminar on contemporary German literature. Travel grants are available for students who wish to attend the seminar. Some of the weekend seminars are conducted at the Deutsche Literaturarchiv in Marbach, Germany.

books

Unique to WashU

Collection of Contemporary German Literature

In 1980, the German Department's 5th St. Louis Symposium on German Literature and Culture focused on the topic of contemporary German literature since 1965. In the course of preparation for the conference, it became obvious that contemporary German literature was poorly represented at North American university and college libraries. To remedy this situation, Paul Michael Lützeler, director of the Max Kade Center for Contemporary German Literature in the German Department, built in cooperation with Olin Library the largest American collection of contemporary German literature since 1985. Every year, Olin Library catalogs the new publications, incorporating them into the general collection. One of the important aspects of this cooperative work is the commented annual bibliography (Editor: Brian Vetruba, MISt, MA), which is published online, ensuring that a wide audience can familiarize itself with the newest publications. See the Literature Resources section below for a link to the annual bibliographies.

Learn More about the Collection

Summer Grants

The center offers a select number of grants for summer research at Washington University. The application deadline is April 15, 2018, with research occurring between May and August 2018.

Max Kade Grant

One Max Kade Grant ($3,500) supports a US or Canadian faculty member, postdoc or doctoral candidate working on a dissertation in the field of contemporary German literature to do research in the Contemporary German Literature Collection at WashU’s Olin Library. The grant covers 4-6 weeks.

DAAD Grant

Two DAAD Grants ($3,000 each) support US or Canadian graduate students (including doctoral candidates) working in the field of contemporary German literature to do research in the Contemporary German Literature Collection at Washington University’s Olin Library. The grants covers 6-8 weeks.

Please send the director a CV and a short description of your research project or dissertation topic. PhD candidates and graduate students must also include a recommendation from their dissertation adviser or the faculty member in charge of the graduate program. 

Contact the director to apply
books

Gegenwartsliteratur: A German Studies Yearbook

In 2002, we started to publish the yearbook Gegenwartsliteratur. It deals with the last three decades of contemporary literature of the three German speaking countries: Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The scholarly contributions can be written in German or in English. It is a refereed journal and, as such, a member of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. The evaluation process is anonymous.

  • Paul Michael Lützeler (Editor-in-Chief, Founder)
  • Thomas W. Kniesche (Associate Editor for Book Reviews)
  • Soenke Parpart (Editorial Assistant)

We ask contributors to send us their manuscripts (the standard is 25 pages, double spaced, in Times New Roman, 12 pt, according to our guidelines) as an email attachment. Articles should be submitted to Paul Michael Lützeler (jahrbuch@wustl.edu), and reviews to Thomas Kniesche (thomas_kniesche@brown.edu). The yearbook always appears during the Frankfurt Book Fair (beginning of October).

Volumes and focus

Volume I:     Günter Grass
Volume II:    Multikultur
Volume III:   Jüdisch-deutsche Literatur
Volume IV:   Berlin-Literatur
Volume V:    Elfriede Jelinek
Volume VI:   W. G. Sebald
Volume VII:  Literatur und Film
Volume VIII: Neue ostdeutsche Literatur
Volume IX:    Nach der Postmoderne
Volume X:     Herta Müller
Volume XI:    Uwe Timm
Volume XII:   Peter Handke
Volume XIII:  Thomas Bernhard
Volume XIV:  Zeitkritische Autorinnen
Volume XV:   Christoph Ransmayr
Volume XVI: Daniel Kehlmann
Volume XVII: Emine Sevgi Özdamar

"Focus" does not mean "theme issue" — we do publish articles on other topics besides the focus in each volume. For further information about these volumes, visit here.

 

Advisory Board

The departmental advisory board consists of all the faculty members in the German Department. In addition, internationally recognized scholars in the field of contemporary German literature are serving on the international advisory board.

  • Günter Blamberger, Universität zu Köln (DE)
  • Rebecca Braun, University of Lancaster (UK)
  • Ibrahima Diagne, Université de Dakar (SN)
  • Bernhard Fetz, Österreichisches Literaturarchiv (AT)
  • Natasha Gordinsky, University of Haifa (IL)
  • Ortrud Gutjahr, Universität Hamburg (DE)
  • Isabel Hernández, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (ES)
  • Alexander Honold, Universität Basel (CH)
  • Suzuko M. Knott, Connecticut College (US)
  • Alison Lewis, University of Melbourne (AU)
  • Judith Ryan, Harvard University (US)
  • Paulo Soethe, Universidade Federal do Paraná (BR)
  • Herbert Uerlings, Universität Trier (DE)
  • Doren Wohlleben, Universität Heidelberg (DE)
  • Tomislav Zelić, Universität Zadar (HR)
  • Leilian Zhao, Renmin University of China (CN)

Literature Resources

  • American Literary Translators Organization

    A broad-based organization dedicated to the promotion of literary translation.

  • Frankfurter Buchmesse

    The leading international trade convention in the field of books and literature

  • Deutschlandradio

    In addition to a current calendar of cultural events, organized by state, the site’s Book Market Archive offers over 3,000 book reviews for reading and research.

  • Dimension 2

    A unique literature magazine that presents contemporary German language literature in bilingual format to the English-speaking public

  • German Book Office, New York

    The German Book Office New York, Inc. (GBO) serves as bridge between the German and American publishing industries

  • Goethe-Institut, New York

    Here you will find links to high caliber literary events nationwide, to reviews of new publications on the German book market and to programs advancing translation.

  • New Books in German

    Regular reviews of new titles recommended for translation into English

  • Annual Bibliography

    New publications cataloged by Olin Library