The Max Kade Center for Modern German Thought explores the political, cultural, historical, and philosophical dimensions of the German discourse on knowledge. The center serves as an interdisciplinary forum that brings together scholars from the arts and sciences as well as engineering, music, and medicine.

A key concern of the center is how the various fields at the university have come to define their object of inquiry. This question lies at the heart of several disciplines that originated in the German-speaking world. These include: anthropology (Gehlen, Boas); classical and comparative philology (Auerbach, Wilamowitz, Wolf, Mommsen); psychology (Freud, Bühler, Ernst Mach); physiology (Helmholtz, Wundt); sociology (Simmel); history (von Ranke); and art history (Panofsky, Warburg).

In keeping with its interdisciplinary orientation, the Center invites a distinguished visiting professor every year whose work straddles multiple fields. The Max Kade Visiting Professor teaches a graduate seminar in the spring. Guests have included Christoph Menke, Juliane Vogel, Achim Geisenhanslüke, Anja Lemke, Martin Jörg Schäfer, Ethel Matala de Mazza, Annina Klappert, and Christian Moser.

The Center also regularly invites speakers and organizes conferences on topics as varied as the concept of Bildung, Hölderlin’s poetics of nature, Hegel and history, feminism and Democratic Socialism, and the feuilleton and daily life.

In addition to its academic mission, the center offers travel grants annually for undergraduates and graduate students to study German, pursue an internship, or conduct dissertation research in Germany.

Max Kade Center Undergraduate Summer Travel Grant

Deadline: April 1, 2023 

The German Program, with the support of the Max Kade Center for Modern German Thought, is pleased to announce 10 Travel Grants in the amount of $1,200 to support summer study abroad (German language courses, seminars in other disciplines, internships) in Germany. 

Eligibility: Applicants must be full-time undergraduates at Johns Hopkins University. Prior knowledge of German is not required to apply for the grant and students from across the university are encouraged to apply. Preference is given to students who are German majors, German minors or students enrolled in courses in the German program.

Application Process: Applications are due by April 1, 2023 and must include:

  • Application Form
  • Copy of Transcript
  • Name of Academic Advisor (as reference)
  • Statement of Purpose (reasons for studying German & studying in Germany, ½ – 1 page)
  • Information about the program applicant has applied to / intends to apply to.

For more information about the grant and/or eligible programs, contact Professor Jacob Haubenreich or Deborah Mifflin, the German Language Program Director.

Center Faculty


Steering Committee

Affiliated Faculty