Skip to:

Russell Berman

People

Contact:

Building 260, Room 201
Phone: 650 723 1069
berman@stanford.edu

Office Hours:

M 10:00-11:00 and by appointment

Focal Groups:

Affinity links:

history
critical theory
German literature
20th century
19th century

Russell Berman

Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities
Professor of Comparative Literature and German Studies
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Professor Berman joined the Stanford faculty in 1979. In 1982-83 he was a Mellon Faculty Fellow in the Humanities at Harvard, and in 1988-89 he held an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship in Berlin. In 1997 he was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany. Professor Berman is the editor of the journal Telos.

Education

1979: Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis
1972: B.A., Harvard University

COURSES

GERMAN 120Q Contemporary Politics in Germany

This course provides an opportunity to engage with issues and actors, politicians and parties in contemporary Germany, while building German language abilities. We will work with current events texts, news reports, speeches and websites. Course goals include building analytic and interpretive capacities of political topics in today's Europe, including the European Union, foreign policy, and environmentalism. Differences between US and German political culture are a central topic. At least one year German language study required.

GERMAN 132 Dynasties, Dictators and Democrats: History and Politics in Germany (COMPLIT 132A)

Key moments in German history through documents: personal accounts, political speeches and texts, and literary works. The course begins with the Prussian monarchy and proceeds to the crisis years of the French Revolution. Documents from the 1848 revolution and the age of Bismarck and German unification follow. World War I and its impact on Germany, including the rise of Hitler, as well as the aftermath, divided Germany in the Cold War through the fall of the Berlin Wall. Taught in German.

GERMAN 132 Dynasties, Dictators and Democrats: History and Politics in Germany (COMPLIT 132A)

Key moments in German history through documents: personal accounts, political speeches and texts, and literary works. The course begins with the Prussian monarchy and proceeds to the crisis years of the French Revolution. Documents from the 1848 revolution and the age of Bismarck and German unification follow. World War I and its impact on Germany, including the rise of Hitler, as well as the aftermath, divided Germany in the Cold War through the fall of the Berlin Wall. Taught in German.

COMPLIT 132A Dynasties, Dictators and Democrats: History and Politics in Germany (GERMAN 132)

Key moments in German history through documents: personal accounts, political speeches and texts, and literary works. The course begins with the Prussian monarchy and proceeds to the crisis years of the French Revolution. Documents from the 1848 revolution and the age of Bismarck and German unification follow. World War I and its impact on Germany, including the rise of Hitler, as well as the aftermath, divided Germany in the Cold War through the fall of the Berlin Wall. Taught in German.

COMPLIT 132A Dynasties, Dictators and Democrats: History and Politics in Germany (GERMAN 132)

Key moments in German history through documents: personal accounts, political speeches and texts, and literary works. The course begins with the Prussian monarchy and proceeds to the crisis years of the French Revolution. Documents from the 1848 revolution and the age of Bismarck and German unification follow. World War I and its impact on Germany, including the rise of Hitler, as well as the aftermath, divided Germany in the Cold War through the fall of the Berlin Wall. Taught in German.

GERMAN 285 Environmentalism, Literature and Cultural Criticism

Concern for environmental threats increasingly draw on traditions of cultural and civilizational criticism. This course explores literary and cultural dimensions of environmentalist discourse, especially in German-speaking Europe but with opportunities for comparative treatments of ecological tendencies in other countries. Topics include: Environmentalism as progressive or as conservative; ambivalence toward technology; sustainability and the critique of growth; humans and animals. Authors such as F. Jünger, Jahnn, Wolf, C. Amery, Dath, with comparisons to Leopold, Atwood, Ghosh, Latouche and others. Reading knowledge of German or permission of instructor.

GERMAN 223 GERMANY BETWEEN EAST AND WEST

A consideration of German political culture and its contradictory orientations toward alternative poles: the Russian East and the American West. How historical traditions inform current debates, such as the response to the Ukraine crisis. Conflicts between liberal and populist paradigms, enlightenment and romantic legacies. Germany and its geopolitical imagination. The German image of Russia. Texts such as Th. Mann, ¿The German Republic,¿ Carl Schmitt, Land and Sea, Wolf, Divided Heaven, and documents of contemporary popular culture.

GERMAN 80N Modern Conservatives

How do conservatives respond to the modern world? How do they find a balance between tradition and freedom, or between stability and change? This seminar will examine selections from some conservative and some classically liberal writers that address these questions. At the center of the course are thinkers who left Germany and Austria before the Second World War: Friedrich Hayek, Leo Strauss and Hannah Arendt. We will also look at earlier European writers, such Edmund Burke and Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as some recent American thinkers. Taught in English.

GERMAN 130N Nobel Prize Winners in German Literature

Readings from some of the best German-language authors, including Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Heinrich Boll and Herta Muller. How imaginative literature engages with history, and how great authors address the major questions in politics and philosophy in modern Germany. Taught in German. German language equivalent to high school AP.

GERMAN 116 Writing About Germany: New Topics, New Genres

Writing about various topics in German Studies. Topics based on student interests: current politics, economics, European affairs, start-ups in Germany. Intensive focus on writing. Students may write on their experience at Stanford in Berlin or their internship. Fulfills the WIM requirement for German Studies majors.

GERMAN 116 Writing About Germany: New Topics, New Genres

For Seniors who are declared German Studies majors. How to write about various topics in German Studies for a wide public through opinion pieces or blogs. Topics based on student interests: current politics, economics, European affairs, start-ups in Germany. Intensive focus on writing. Taught in English. Fulfills the WIM requirement.

GERMAN 298 Writing Workshop

Open only to German majors and to students working on special projects, including written reports for internships. Honors students use this number for the honors essay. May be repeated for credit.

COMPLIT 37Q Zionism and the Novel (JEWISHST 37Q)

At the end of the nineteenth century, Zionism emerged as a political movement to establish a national homeland for the Jews, eventually leading to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. This seminar uses novels to explore the changes in Zionism, the roots of the conflict in the Middle East, and the potentials for the future. We will take a close look at novels by Israelis, both Jewish and Arab, in order to understand multiple perspectives, and we will also consider works by authors from the North America and from Europe.