Ohio State University

College of Humanities

Germanic Languages and Literatures


Sullivant Hall, 1813 North High Street

230 N Oval Mall

Columbus, OH 43221

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Track A: German Studies Track B: Yiddish and Ashkenazic Studies, Track A: German Studies Track B: Yiddish and Ashkenazic Studies, Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Second Language Studies

Format: Campus

Program Description:

In addition to choosing from a wide array of courses taught by distinguished scholars and award-winning faculty, students in German at The Ohio State University receive extensive training and experience as teachers of language. Students completing our MA in German participate in introductory coursework in literary forms and theory, linguistics, genres, and historical surveys, as well as at least one pro-seminar and one seminar, each of which scrutinizes a specific topic in-depth. Regardless of whether they opt to write an MA thesis or take an in-house exam, students receiving an MA at OSU are well prepared as teachers and generalists in literature with a concentration in an area of their special interest. Those who continue in the PhD program take additional seminars in preparation for the candidacy exam, which is designed to develop areas of specific historical and thematic expertise and set the work on the dissertation in motion. We encourage all PhD students to spend at least one year of study at a German university through one of our study-abroad programs. Our faculty has made significant contributions to all areas of twentieth-century studies. Anchoring our strengths in modernist literature is Helen Fehervary, whose standing in GDR studies has been underscored by her role in editing the critical edition of Anna Seghers. Among our many professors working in post-WWII literature, Gregor Hens has earned special recognition in Austrian studies for his monograph on Thomas Bernhard. In addition, he has published three novels and a volume of short stories. The historical interface between German and Jewish cultural traditions also receives a great deal of attention in our department. In addition to the offerings of Neil Jacobs and David Miller in Yiddish and Ashkenazic studies, Paul Reitter explores the rhetorical and literary results of this interaction in Viennese modernism and in Germany between 1850 and 1950. In another contribution to this area, Bernd Fischer recently offered a seminar on "Jewish Emancipation and German Nation," which drew on his extensive work on literature and philosophy from the Enlightenment to the present. Another key figure in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature is Barbara Becker-Cantarino, whose pioneering explorations of literary women in the ages of Enlightenment and Romanticism have put her at the forefront of historically grounded feminist work in German. The philosophical strains generating from this period are the milieu of Kai Hammermeister, who has published on Hans-Georg Gadamer and German aesthetic theory. May Mergenthaler works on Romantic readings of Romanticism—a deliberate return to the original interplay between author and reader in Friedrich Schlegel and his circle. Bernhard Malkmus is a student of the picaresque form, with a dissertation from the University of Cambridge on the journeying rogue in Melville, Kafka, Mann, Bellow, Kosinski, Grass, and others. Anna Grotans works on medieval literary and cultural topics and teaches courses on the history of the German language. Merrill Kaplan teaches courses in Folklore and Medieval Norse Culture and language. John Davidson, GLL faculty member who is also Director of the Film Studies Program, writes on German film and film theory and teaches popular courses on these subjects as well as 19th and 20th century German culture; Marilyn Blackwell is a Bergman-expert and also teaches courses on Strindberg and Swedish. One of our strengths is undoubtedly our TA-training program, under the direction of Kathryn Corl and Carmen Taleghani-Nikazm, which is one of the most extensive and successful to be found anywhere. Both Corl and Taleghani-Nikazm also teach in the Second Language Studies, in which students can earn a graduate certificate. There are other areas in which we have a great deal of support from fine faculty in related fields and programs, such as Comparative Studies, Film Studies, Women's Studies, History, History of Art, the Humanities Institute, the Melton Center for Jewish Studies, Center for Religious Studies, the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the "Project Narrative Group." The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures considers all of its graduate students for financial support, which is given either via a University Graduate Fellowship, a departmental Fellowship, a Graduate Teaching Associateship, or a Graduate Research Associateship. A tuition and fee waiver would also be provided. Applicants are automatically considered for these forms of support. Another prestigious funding opportunity is the University Fellowship, which also carries no departmental duties; it is offered by the Graduate School of The Ohio State University. Applicants do not apply directly for the University Fellowship.


The Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

International Student Requirements:

* Ohio State online application. * Provide Official Transcript(s)—English translations must accompany foreign documents, official TOEFL scores, three Letters of Recommendation—from individuals acquainted with your academic program and scholastic ability, a CV no longer than 2 pages, and a Statement of Intent in which you outline your academic interests and career plans. Include relevant biographical information related to education, work experience, language knowledge, and study abroad. Finally, include a Scholarly Writing Sample—Please submit a hard copy, no longer than 30 pages (email attachments or diskettes cannot be accepted).

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 40,000+

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