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ERIC Number: EJ972737
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan-1
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1931-1362
Saving German Studies, via Europe
Donahue, William Collins; Kagel, Martin
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan 2012
By most accounts, the position of German studies in the American academy is no longer secure. To a large extent, that is due to reasons beyond the control of individual faculty or departments, including the general crisis faced by the humanities and the diminished importance in the eyes of the public of literary criticism, a vital part of the study of a language and its culture. Add to that the corporatization of higher education, with its focus on the bottom line, the shifting enrollments in languages over the past two decades, and the waning significance of the nation-state as a model for political and economic interaction, and one has a mixture that has led to the marginalization of a field of study that used to be a prominent player in the liberal-arts curriculum. German studies, like Germany itself, is best considered in a continental context. In this article, the authors propose a configuration called "transnational European studies," a program combining existing departments that focus on Europe whose shared intellectual goals could lead to meaningful interaction on an interdisciplinary level. Compared with the generic "language, literature, and culture" model, such programs would be well-defined in their focus, yet reach beyond the limitations of individual units. Taking in social-scientific as well as humanistic approaches to European culture, the transnational study of Europe would allow individuals to account academically for the political, social, and cultural reality of its countries, including the bilingual or multilingual backgrounds of artists, writers, and leading cultural figures who migrate within and between European cultures.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany