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Max Kade Center

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.

Center Faculty


Rochelle Tobias
Modern Languages and Literatures

Christiane Frey
Associate Professor, Head of Section
Modern Languages and Literatures

Steering Committee

Jane Bennett
Political Science

William Egginton
Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities
Spanish and Latin American Literatures

Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei
Professor and William Kurrelmeyer Chair in German
Modern Languages and Literatures (German)

Jacob Haubenreich
Assistant Professor
Modern Languages and Literatures (German)

Peter Jelavich

Dean Moyar

Katrin Pahl
Modern Languages and Literatures (German)

Affiliated Faculty

Wilda Anderson
Modern Languages and Literatures (French)

Jennifer Culbert
Political Science

Mitchell Merback
History of Art

Matthew Roller

Bernadette Wegenstein
Modern Languages and Literatures (Italian and Media Literacy)