The German graduate curriculum at Johns Hopkins is unique in its dual emphasis on critical theory and cultural phenomena from the seventeenth to twenty-first centuries. The program attends to the multifaceted relations between literature and philosophy, aesthetics, art history, media theory, cultural criticism, and the sciences. This exceptional interdisciplinarity has led to German’s extraordinary placement record.
Our PhD students are offered five years of guaranteed and generous funding as well as additional summer scholarships to conduct research at archives, libraries, and museums in Europe. Students take three years of courses to gain broad familiarity with literature from the early modern period to the digital age as well as philosophy from the Enlightenment to contemporary environmental and political theory. Seminars within the German program are offered on a wide range of literary genres, authors, cultural phenomena and issues in poetics and aesthetics.
In addition to their seminars within the German program and other offerings within the Modern Languages and Literatures Department, students are encouraged to develop a strong interdisciplinary perspective through courses in departments such as Anthropology, Comparative Thought and Literature, English, History of Art, Philosophy, Political Science and Women, Gender and Sexuality, as well as the Peabody Conservatory. The final two years of graduate study are devoted to the dissertation, the first of which is spent abroad to enable students to gain international exposure. Students frequently spend summers and their fourth-year dissertation leave at one of our international partner universities.
Faculty work closely mentoring students throughout their studies and are attuned to their intellectual and professional development. Students are encouraged to attend conferences as well as organize their own biannual conference, and are invited to participate each semester in graduate colloquia in which they present their latest work to faculty and peers. The colloquia have served as a springboard for publishing articles and hone professional presentation skills. Graduate students also help with the production of the German Issue for the highly regarded journal MLN.
“Alles ist jeden Tag tagtäglich eine Wiederholung von Wiederholungen.”
— Thomas Bernhard