Paul Michael Lützeler

Paul Michael Lützeler

​Director of the Max Kade Center for Contemporary German Literature
Rosa May Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities
PhD, Indiana University
research interests:
  • Late 18th and Early 19th Century in German and European literature
  • Exile Literature (1933-1945)
  • Hermann Broch
  • Contemporary German Literature
  • Contemporary Discourses in the Humanities
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contact info:

office hours:

  • On Leave in Fall 2019
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mailing address:

  • Washington University
    CB 1104
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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Professor Lützeler's published works include an award-winning biography of Hermann Broch, three books on the idea of Europe in German and European literature, and seven other books on topics of 19th and 20th century German literature.

Professor Lützeler is the author of Hermann Broch. A Biography, a book that appeared in German, English, Spanish, and Japanese, and received the DAAD Prize of the German Studies Association. He is the editor of the Collected Works of Hermann Broch. He wrote three books on the idea of Europe in German and European literature, as well as seven other books on topics of 19th and 20th century German literature, and edited many volumes in his areas of research.

He is the editor in chief of the yearbook, Gegenwartsliteratur (2002 ff), and serves on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals. He is the director of the Max Kade Center for Contemporary German Literature at Washington University’s German department. He teaches both in the German department as well as in European Studies and the Comparative Literature program. His research and teaching interests include German and European Romanticism, German/Austrian-Jewish exile literature, contemporary German literature, German American cultural relations, contemporary scholarly discourses (postmodernism, post colonialism, globalization), and cultural studies in general.

Lützeler received many fellowships (e.g., Fulbright, Woodrow Wilson, ACLS, Guggenheim) and awards both for his research and his teaching; he is an honorary member of the AATG; he is a member of two German academies, and of the Academia Europaea; President of the International Hermann Broch Society; on the Executive Committee of the Gesellschaft fuer interkulturelle Germanistik; as well as President of the American Friends of the German Literary Archive in Marbach.

For further biographical or bibliographical information see the American and the German Wikipedia entries about Professor Lützeler.

Spring 2020 Course

Graduate Seminar in Romanticism: German Romanticism - Novels and Stories (German 525)

German Romantic literature goes in many different directions. At its beginning, we have a new appreciation of the world of the arts by Wackenroder and Tieck, a literature that will have an impact on the Romantic Nazarene school of painters a decade later. We have (with Friedrich Schlegel, Dorothea Schlegel and Novalis) ambitious writers who want to give the educational novel (Bildungsroman) as established by Goethe a more poetic twist. At the same time, they are inventing and rediscovering the world of the fairy tale (Volks- und Kunstmärchen) in the case of Tieck, Fouqué, and the Grimm Brothers. Then there are authors like Chamisso, ETA Hoffmann, and Hauff who show the clash of a romantic concept of life with the new realities of capitalism in trade and industry. Finally, stories by Eichendorff are reflecting the cultural European heritage with its friction between Antiquity and Christianity. We will discuss these stories and novels in their literary and historical contexts (politics and art), and will consult theoretical writings both of the authors and from secondary literature. This is a graduate course, but undergraduate senior majors can be admitted with permission of the instructor.


    Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award, Washington University
    Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award, Washington University
    Outstanding Educator Award, American Association of Teachers of German
    German Cross of Merit 1st class
    Austrian Cross of Honor in Arts and Sciences 1st class
    The Goethe Medal


    Selected Publications

    Kontinentalisierung: Das Europa der Schriftsteller. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2007.
    Bürgerkrieg global. Menschenrechtsethos und deutschsprachiger Gegenwartsroman (2009)
    Transatlantische Germanistik : Kontakt, Transfer, Dialogik (2013)
    Publizistische Germanistik: Essays und Kritiken (2015)

    Transatlantic German Studies: Testimonies to the Profession

    Transatlantic German Studies: Testimonies to the Profession

    The decisive contribution of the exile generation of the 1930s and 40s to German Studies in the US is well known. The present volume carries the story forward to the next generation(s), giving voice to scholars from the US and overseas, many of them mentored by the exile generation. The exiles knew vividly the value of the Humanities; the following generations, though spared the experience of historical catastrophe, have found formidable challenges in building and maintaining the field in a time increasingly dismissive of that value. The scholar-contributors to this volume, prominent members of the profession, share their experiences of finding their way in the field and helping to develop it to its present state as well as their thoughts on its present challenges, including the question of the role of literature and of interdisciplinarity, pluralism, and diversity. Of particular interest is the role of transatlantic dialogue.

    Contributors: Leslie A. Adelson, Hans Adler, Russell A. Berman, Jane K. Brown, Walter Hinderer, Peter Höyng, Robert C. Holub, Leroy Hopkins, Andreas Huyssen, Claire Kramsch, Wilhelm Krull, Paul Michael Lützeler, Mark W. Roche, Judith Ryan, Azade Seyhan, Lynne Tatlock, Liliane Weissberg.

    Paul Michael Lützeler is Rosa May Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities at Washington University, St. Louis. Peter Höyng is Associate Professor of German at Emory University.

    Buergerkrieg global. Menschenrechtsethos und deutschsprachiger Gegenwartsroman

    Buergerkrieg global. Menschenrechtsethos und deutschsprachiger Gegenwartsroman

    Die deutschsprachige Gegenwartsliteratur ist welthaltiger, innovativer und kosmopolitischer als die Kritik des wahrhaben will.<BR>Innerhalb der postkolonialen und globalen Tendenzen der internationalen Literatur überraschen die Romane aus den deutschsprachigen Ländern durch ihr seismographisches Erfassen von Krisen aus unterschiedlichen Kontinenten, die im Zeitalter der Globalisierung auch die heimische Kultur betreffen. Zum Beispiel die Bürgerkriege der letzten Jahrzehnte mit ihren Menschenrechtsverletzungen und zivilisatorischen Verwüstungen: Es sind die Romanschriftsteller, die durch das Erzählen individueller Schicksale differenzierte Einblicke in die persönlichen und gesellschaftlichen Katastrophen jener Konflikte vermitteln, und die gleichzeitig eine Ästhetik entwickeln, die die Schwierigkeit des Sprechens vom Krieg reflektiert. Es zeichnet sich dabei eine Poetik der Globalisierung ab, bei der historisches Wissen, politische Kritik und ästhetische Innovation durch ein Menschenrechtsethos miteinander verklammert werden. In der Einleitung des Buches wie im Ausblick am Schluss wird dieser Konnex thematisiert, wobei Theorien von Menschenrecht und Menschenwürde sowie Bürgerkrieg und Gewalt diskutiert bzw. mit aktuellen ethisch-ästhetischen Positionen in einen Zusammenhang gebracht werden. Im Zentrum des Buches steht die Detailanalyse von zwölf Romanen, die von zeitgenössischen Bürgerkriegen in Asien, Afrika, Lateinamerika und Europa handeln. Die Romanautoren sind: Norbert Gstrein, Lukas Bärfuss, Hans Christoph Buch, Jeannette Lander, Dieter Kühn, Nicolas Born, Christian Kracht, Michael Roes, Gert Hofmann, Friedrich Christian Delius, Uwe Timm und Erich Hackl.

    Transatlantische Germanistik

    Transatlantische Germanistik

    Transatlantic German Studies explores the transatlantic development of literary and cultural German studies over the past four decades. It portrays the dialogical relationships within the field of German studies, as evidenced in its journals, methods, publishing houses and reading behaviors, focusing on literary exchanges that have taken place between Germany and the United States. In addition, this volume also considers developments in German studies that have occurred on other continents.

    Publizistische Germanistik

    Publizistische Germanistik

    The study examines how insights from scholarship in literary history and theory can be communicated through essays and reviews in the media. The broadly based essays are drawn from academic works on contemporary and exile literature, the classical and romantic eras, literary discourse on Europe, and critical analyses of modernity. The author argues for more intensive interplay between criticism, literature, and scholarship.