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Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholars

We are very pleased announce that Jürgen Overhoff will serve as the 2022 Max Kade Visiting Professor. Professor Overhoff teaches the history of education and specializes in German-American relations at the University of Muenster. He has written books on Benjamin Franklin, as well as a comparison between Frederick the Great and George Washington. His other books include a collection of essays on the Catholic Enlightenment in Germany and North America, as well as many essays on eighteenth-century German-American topics.

Professor Overhoff will hold the following talks:

  1. “German and American Ecological Awareness: Understanding Sustainability and Climate Change from Benjamin Franklin to today”

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 5:30-6:30 PM, in 157 Burrowes Building
Co-sponsored by the Schreyer’s Honors College

Professor Jürgen Overhoff will compare German and American environmental policy today while showing that worry about the impact humans have on nature has long been part of Pennsylvania history. Benjamin Franklin, the founding father, was very concerned about the dangers of man-made climate change and was focused on sustainability. As a scientist, he cultivated a deep understanding of natural processes and warned that it humans interfered with the natural world, we had to be “very circumspect lest we do more harm than Good.” His concerns can form the basis for American and German environmental policy as we face the risks of modern science in the Anthropocene.

  1. Prussia’s Hidden Slaves: The Lives of Africans in Berlin and 
    Königsberg in the Eighteenth Century

Friday, March 25, 2022, 10:00 AM
The Grucci Room, Burrowes Building,
Co-sponsored by the College of the Liberal Arts Dean’s Office

  1. “Frederick the Great, George Washington and Prussian-American 
    Relations in the Eighteenth Century: Two Concepts of Enlightenment”

Monday, March 28, 2022, 4:00-5:30 PM in 102 Weaver Building

Dr. Johannes Schülein (Spring 2018) serves as a research associate in philosophy at the University of Bochum and the book review editor for the journal, Hegel-Studien. His first book on the critique of metaphysics in Hegel and Derrida appeared in 2016 with Meiners Verlag.  In addition to his research on Hegel, Dr. Schülein has written on metaphysics in German Romanticism, Schelling and Spinoza.  As the Max Kade Visiting Professor, Dr. Schülein, lectured on “The Logic of Difference: Reconsidering Derrida’s Critique of Hegel” while contributing also to a Philosophy Department workshop on Schelling’s later philosophy (after the so-called Freedom Essay of 1809.

Dr. Walter Demel (Spring 2015) served as Professor for Early Modern History at the Bundeswehr University in Munich, where he has also served as Dean and University Ombudsman. He studied chemistry at the Technical University in Munich and history, law, and German philology at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich as well, earning his PhD in 1981. His research examines European perceptions of East Asia during the early modern period, the emergence of race theories, and the history of the German aristocracy.  His important essay on “How the Chinese became yellow” tracing the development of European reports about East Asia established a new field of study. Over the last twenty-five years, Professor Demel has continued to write extensively on the history of German-, Chinese-, and Japanese relations. In February 2015, he came to Penn State as the Max Kade Visiting Professor to hold a workshop on China and Japan in Early Western Racial Theories.

Dr. Gita Dharampal-Frick (Fall 2013): Gita Dharampal-Frick acquired an interdisciplinary academic training in German literature, philosophy (Manchester, England and Leipzig, East Germany), social anthropology (Cambridge, England) and Indian cultural history (SOAS, London and Paris, Sorbonne, PhD 1980), and completed her Habilitation (= German professorial dissertation) in early modern history (Freiburg, Germany in 1992). Her published research into pre- and early colonial European documentation on India underscores the continuities and discontinuities between early proto-ethnography and later scientific Indology. She has also researched (as a Heisenberg Fellow) into modernizing processes and resistance movements in post-independence India. Her current interests, as Head of the Department of History at the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, deal with topics ranging from maritime cultural history of the Indian Ocean region (1400-1800), medical history, gender studies, religio-ritual transformations (1500-2000) and the socio-cultural and political history of the colonial period, in general, with a special emphasis on Gandhi’s movement of political and cultural resurgence. She served as the Max Kade Guest Professor in the Fall of 2013, delivering a lecture on “Early Modern German Empirical Discourse on India (1500-1750)” and participating in the international conference in memory of the late Kumkum Chatterjee, Penn State Professor of Earl Modern Indian History. For list of publications, click here

Dr. Hartmut Lehmann (2012): A native of Reutlingen, Professor Lehmann came to the U.S. as a high school exchange student and after receiving his Ph.D. and Habilitation in Vienna and Cologne began a distinguished career as Professor of Medieval and Modern History at the University of Kiel. The founding director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., Professor Lehmann was also the Director of the Max-Planck-Institute for History in Göttingen, Germany and has also been a Fellow, Member, or Visiting Professor at many distinguished universities and institutes in the United States, Australia, and Great Britain. The author of many books and essays on early modern religious history and the thought of Max Weber and the issue of “secularization,” Professor Lehmann is offering an undergraduate course in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures on Martin Luther and representations of Luther from his day to the present. He is also teaching a graduate seminar for the Department of History on the “Little Ice Age” in early modern Europe and its implications for re-interpreting early modern history. Professor Lehmann ‘s wife Dr. Silke Lehmann who was a specialist in American history,  has accompanied him to the Penn State community. We wish to acknowledge again with gratitude the generosity of the Kade Foundation in New York City for their on-going support of the Visiting Professor program at Penn State. 

Dr. Ulrike Brunotte (Fall 2009): After visiting Penn State University in the Fall 2009, Professor Brunotte joined the University of Maastricht faculty and the Centre for Gender and Diversity as Associate Professor. Until 2007 she worked as Associate Professor at the Institute for Cultural Studies and as Associate Fellow at the Graduate Centre “Gender as a Category of Knowledge“ at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. From 1989- until 2000 she taught in different positions at Freie Universitaet Berlin, and also at University of Potsdam, Leipzig and Bremen. She got her PhD in Religious Studies, Philosophy and Literary Studies with a book on the “Mystery of Catastrophe in E. A. Poe’s Work” (Modern Transformations of the Sublime) the at Freie Universität Berlin 1993, and her Habilitation (Second Dissertation) on Puritan colonial discourse at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in 2000. She was also working on two other research projects – one on performativity and ritual theory the other on masculinity studies and German male-bonding discourses around 1900 – promoted by the German Research Foundation. Her recent research interests are in the field of gender- and cultural studies with a concentration on the dialectics, modern (re)inventions and appropriations – the afterlife of antiquity – in literature, film and in the corporal dynamics of ritual performativity. In this context, in her book Between Eros and War. Male-bonding and Ritual in Modernity (2004) and as editor/contributor in Holy War and Gender (2006) and Masculinities and Modernity (2008) she analyzed the modern (re)constructions and ‘Crises’ of masculinities within a (post)-colonial perspective.

Dr. Hermann Wellenreuther (Spring 2007): Professsor Dr. Hermann Wellenreuther was born in Freiburg im Breisgau and after schooling in Aglasterhausen studied at the Universities of Heidelberg and Cologne. His 1968 dissertation Glaube und Politik in Pennsylvania 1681-1776 was followed by his 1979 Habilitation Repräsentation und Grossgrundbesitz in England 1730-1770. In 1983 he received the call to the University of Göttingen where he held the Chair in Medieval and Modern History until retirement in 2006. The author of numerous books, edited collections and essays published in both Europe and North America, he was awarded the Schurman Prize by the University of Heidelberg in 2003 for his career accomplishments, and especially the multi-volume History of North America. Professor Wellenreuther served as the Max Kade Visiting Professor of History and German in the Spring semester of 2007. Three of his books, the co-edited In Search of Peace and Prosperity (2000); The Moravian Mission Diaries of David Zeisberger (2005), and the monograph Citizens in a Strange Land (2013) appeared in the Max Kade German-American Institute Series published by Penn State University Press.Dr. Hartmut Lehmann.