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University of Pittsburgh

Why Study German at Pitt?

Academic and Cultural Diversity

We are a diverse department offering a variety of degree and certificate options at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

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Why Study German at Pitt?


Through innovative instruction in German language and culture, we prepare our undergraduates and graduates for the challenges of the globalized world.

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Why Study German at Pitt?

World-Class Faculty

Graduate students work with a world-class faculty respected for their expertise in German literature, culture, film, and philosophy from the 18th through the 21st centuries.

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Why Study German at Pitt?

Individualized Mentoring and Training

Our Faculty offer students mentoring through all phases of their studies from study abroad, planning careers, to teacher and professional training.

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Why Study German at Pitt?

Dynamic Intellectual Atmosphere

We support a lively and collegial intellectual environment by hosting conferences, film series, essay contests, and inviting prestigious colleagues to share their research.

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Event Spotlight

Student Roundtable on German Unity/German Diversity

Join a roundtable discussion with students returning from internship and studying in the German-speaking world, Sept. 18, 3:00pm, CL 206.

Septemberfest! Sept. 24, 1:30-3:30pm, CL 1228

Annual welcome back party open to students in German courses, majors, minors, certificates, and just German curious are Willkommen.

Faculty Roundtable on German Unity/German Diversity

Join a roundtable discussion with faculty about their experience of German unification, Sept. 25, 3:00pm, 4130 Posvar Hall.

Lecture: Priscilla Layne, University of North Carolina

"Reunification for Everybody? Minoritarian Perspectives on German Reunification." Oct. 16, 3:00pm, 4130 Posvar Hall.

German and Careers: Tom Dzimian, German American Chamber of Commerce, New York

A presentation about German and career opportunities. Nov. 19, 5:30pm, Event Room, Fifth Floor Alumni Hall.

Meet Our People

Ljudmila Bilkic

Ljudmila Bilkic

Mila boldly traverses intellectual and disciplinary boundaries to study those who cross geographical and cultural ones. Read her profile.

Holly Yanacek

With intellectual coolness and composure she researches emotion, affect, and madness. Read her profile.

Portrait of Gavin Hicks

Gavin Hicks

Soccer, the World Cup, and the textuality of Turkish-German connections is the name of his game. Read his profile

Portrait of Katrin Mascha

Katrin Mascha

She is marking sites on the map of Berlin that memorialize some very different moments of German history. Read her profile

Portrait of Yvonne Franke

Yvonne Franke

Researching the imagined communities that make up our increasingly globalized and transnational world. Read her profile

Portrait of Prof. Müenzer

Prof. Muenzer

Following the footsteps of J.W. v. Goethe, Prof. Muenzer leads students to discover "was die Welt im Innersten zusammenhält." Read his profile

Portrait of Prof. Lyon

Prof. Lyon

Charts undiscovered spaces and places of the 19th century and maneuvers students through treacherous academic waters. Read his profile

Portrait of Prof. v. Dirke

Prof. von Dirke

Our discourse queen is the salt and pepper in the Department and lays the beat for a diversity of cultural vibrations. Read her profile

Randall Halle

Prof. Halle

The Berlinale has its Golden Bear, but Pitt has Prof. Halle. He envisions the impossible and makes students their own auteurs of critical thinking. Read his profile

Of Note

Farewell to Valued Colleague

The German Department is sad to announce the passing of a beloved teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend. Dr. Elizabeth Wylie-Ernst passed away on July 15, 2015, after a valiant battle with cancer. Beth was an invaluable colleague. She was tireless in her service to the department, serving at various times as Director of Language Studies, Director of Undergraduate Studies, TA/TF coordinator, German Club faculty liaison, representative to Pitt's College in High School program, and numerous other duties. She was a popular and effective teacher, consistently garnering excellent teaching evaluation scores and winning teaching awards. She regularly taught our large-enrollment courses and loved interacting with students both inside and outside the classroom. She built bridges across departments and programs at the university and was conscientious in her efforts to do her best in everything she did. Her loss will be felt keenly in the department.


The German Department has established a fund in her memory with the aim of helping the Pitt students to whom she was so devoted. If you would like to contribute, please do so at the following link:

Randall Halle Interviews Prominent German Film Director

During the 65th annual Berlinale Film Festival, Professor Randall Halle interviewed prominent German film director Andreas Dresen. To learn more, click here.

Randall Halle Publishes Latest Monograph

Professor Randall Halle, Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German and Film Studies, has published his most recent monograph, "The Europeanization of Cinema. Interzones and Imaginative Communities," with the University of Illinois Press.  From the book jacket: "In this innovative study...Halle advances the concept of 'interzones' as a mechanism for analyzing European cinema.  Interzones, he explains, are geographical and ideational spaces that develop from border crossing in the broadest sense.  They are places of transit, interaction, transformation, and contested diversity. Halle explicates this innovative concept by reinvigorating the theory of the cinematic apparatus, exploring anew the relationships between cinema and the social order.  Focusing especially on borders, borderlands, and cultural zones, he shows how interzones have manifested in distinct periods of cinema history."  One scholar praises the book as follows: "An original and ground-breaking view of the post-Wende central European landscape, drawn from a remarkable abundance of sources. Halle's writing is intelligent and even amusing - I couldn't put the book down until I had read it to the last page." - Janina Falkowska.

Holly Yanacek Accepts Fulbright Fellowship

Holly Yanacek, Ph.D. candidate, has accepted a Fulbright fellowship to study at the Free University of berlin and the Max Planck Institute during the 2014-2015 academic year.  Holly will be working on a dissertation about Emotional Communities in late 19th Century Germany.  In addition to the Fulbright fellowship, Holly was also offered a fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and a Mellon Fellowship.

John Wagner Receives Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship

One of our current seniors, John Wagner, has been named the recipient of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange scholarship. With this award, John will be spending the next academic year in Germany, continuing with German language study and working in the office of a Bundestagsabgeordneter. This is at second year in a row that one of our students has been selected (Currently, Jason Hutton is participating in this program.) Read More

Give to the Department of German

Cathedral of Learning

Gifts to the department have a direct impact on the daily lives of students and are applied in a variety of ways. See Give Online instructions.

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