Paul Michael Lützeler

Paul Michael Lützeler

​Director of the Max Kade Center for Contemporary German Literature
Rosa May Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities
PhD, Indiana University
research interests:
  • Late 18th and Early 19th Century in German and European literature
  • Exile Literature (1933-1945)
  • Hermann Broch
  • Contemporary German Literature
  • Contemporary Discourses in the Humanities
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    office hours:

    • All being held via Zoom
    • Wednesday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
    • by appointment
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    • Washington University
    • CB 1104
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Professor Lützeler's published works include an award-winning biography of Hermann Broch, three books on the idea of Europe in German and European literature, and seven other books on topics of 19th and 20th century German literature.

    Professor Lützeler is the author of Hermann Broch. A Biography, a book that appeared in German, English, Spanish, and Japanese, and received the DAAD Prize of the German Studies Association. He is the editor of the Collected Works of Hermann Broch. He wrote three books on the idea of Europe in German and European literature, as well as seven other books on topics of 19th and 20th century German literature, and edited many volumes in his areas of research.

    Until summer 2020, he served as editor in chief of the yearbook, Gegenwartsliteratur (2002 ff), and serves on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals. He is the director of the Max Kade Center for Contemporary German Literature at Washington University’s German department. He teaches both in the German department as well as in European Studies and the Comparative Literature program. His research and teaching interests include German and European Romanticism, German/Austrian-Jewish exile literature, contemporary German literature, German American cultural relations, contemporary scholarly discourses (postmodernism, post colonialism, globalization), and cultural studies in general.

    Lützeler received many fellowships (e.g., Fulbright, Woodrow Wilson, ACLS, Guggenheim) and awards both for his research and his teaching; he is an honorary member of the AATG; he is a member of two German academies, and of the Academia Europaea; President of the International Hermann Broch Society; on the Executive Committee of the Gesellschaft fuer interkulturelle Germanistik; as well as President of the American Friends of the German Literary Archive in Marbach.

    For further biographical or bibliographical information see the American and the German Wikipedia entries about Professor Lützeler.

    Spring 2021 Course

    Literary Seminar: Kleist in Context (German 528)

    In this graduate seminar, we will discuss selected essays, dramas and novellas by the author and see them in the literary, art historical, social, and political contexts of their times. In order to better understand Kleist's aesthetics, we will include works by Schiller and Goethe that had an impact on the author. Kleist's position within the Romantic movement will also be dealt with. Part of the context we will discuss is Kleist's literary reception in the United States, and we will read E.L. Doctorow's novel "Ragtime" from 1974 that owes much to Kleist's Novelle "Michael Kohlhaas." As far as questions of religion, mythology, and the supernatural, the concept of love, the idea of the family, the vision of freedom, the problem of colonialism, and the understanding of political resistance is concerned, Kleist articulates the tension between enlightenment and romantic trends. This is a graduate seminar, but undergraduate senior majors can be enrolled with permission of the Director of Graduate Studies.


      Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award, Washington University
      Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award, Washington University
      Outstanding Educator Award, American Association of Teachers of German
      German Cross of Merit 1st class
      Austrian Cross of Honor in Arts and Sciences 1st class
      The Goethe Medal


      Selected Publications

      Kontinentalisierung: Das Europa der Schriftsteller. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2007.
      Bürgerkrieg global. Menschenrechtsethos und deutschsprachiger Gegenwartsroman (2009)
      Transatlantische Germanistik : Kontakt, Transfer, Dialogik (2013)
      Publizistische Germanistik: Essays und Kritiken (2015)

      Transatlantic German Studies: Testimonies to the Profession

      Transatlantic German Studies: Testimonies to the Profession

      The prominent scholar-contributors to this volume share their experiences developing the field of US German Studies and their thoughts on literature and interdisciplinarity, pluralism and diversity, and transatlantic dialogue.

      The decisive contribution of the exile generation of the 1930s and '40s to German Studies in the United States is well known. The present volume carries the story forward to the next generation(s), giving voice to scholars from the US and overseas, many of them mentored by the exile generation. The exiles knew vividly the value of the Humanities; the following generations, though spared the experience of historical catastrophe, have found formidable challenges in building and maintaining the field in a time increasingly dismissive of that value. The scholar-contributors to this volume, prominent members of the profession, share their experiences of finding their way in the field and helping to develop it to its present state as well as their thoughts on its present challenges, including the question of the role of literature and of interdisciplinarity, pluralism, and diversity. Of particular interest is the role of transatlantic dialogue.

      Publizistische Germanistik. Essays und Kritiken.

      Publizistische Germanistik. Essays und Kritiken.

      Publizistische Germanistik shows how the results of literary-historical and -theoretical research in the languages ​​and forms of critique and essay in the media can be conveyed. For decades, the author has published numerous articles in weekly and daily newspapers (DIE ZEIT, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, DIE WELT, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Frankfurter Rundschau, Tagesspiegel) and in cultural magazines (Neue Rundschau, Merkur), resulting from his scientific work on contemporary literature and exile poetry, to the classical and romantic, to the literary Europe discourse and to the Zeitkritik resulted. The documentation of these critiques and essays is meant as an encouragement for the next generation in German literature not to lose sight of the aspect of journalistic mediation. If research forgets the public, Forgets also the public the research. In the introduction, the author addresses the triad of criticism, poetry, and science, and argues for a more intense relationship between these three very different institutions of literary operation, that is, for a conversation in which prejudices are broken down, thereby facilitating mutual inspiration.

      Transatlantische Germanistik. Kontakt, Transfer, Dialogik

      Transatlantische Germanistik. Kontakt, Transfer, Dialogik

      Transatlantische Germanistik: Kontakt, Transfer, Dialogik thematizes the development of literary and cultural studies during the last decades on both sides of the Atlantic. The study provides selective comparisons on a variety of topics: How is cultural studies considered as a new paradigm shift in German and American literary studies? How do you publish Germanic magazines in the USA? How can German literary publishers get involved in America? How can the reading behavior in Germany and America be characterized? How has the relationship between American German Studies and European Studies developed? In which tension is the German university between European reform and American model? How do foundations and intermediary organizations promote academic exchange? What are the intentions behind German participation in an American World's Fair? Which possible effects do expatriate American writers in Europe and / or European exile authors in the US? How can representatives of transatlantic German politics cooperate with colleagues on other continents in the context of globalization? The book is based on the forty years of professional experience of a German-American literary scholar who has taught on every continent.