The Department of German Studies offers a Ph.D. program which both provides a coherent perspective on major developments in German literature and culture in the modern period (1650 to the present day) and gives students the opportunity to develop their own specialized interests in German Studies. The program requires a secondary field of study consisting of a coherent sequence of four courses outside the department. With guidance from the Director of Graduate Studies each student plans this sequence in a specialized interest. Some examples of possible specialized programs of study are Media Studies, History, Jewish Studies, Visual Arts, Philosophy, Music, or Theater. Drawing on the expertise of eminent scholars in these fields, who are teaching at Brown, the program thus fosters an interdisciplinary approach in the field of German Studies.
The guiding principle of our curriculum is a conscious exploration of those topics and moments in the history of German culture which define its uniqueness, exemplify broader issues in the humanities, or have resonated most strongly in other cultures. A field which unifies these goals – aesthetics – is currently one of our strengths.
The program is designed to prepare students for a diverse and ever changing workplace, within academia and outside. To become first-rate scholars and researchers, students are trained to develop their writing skills and to deliver publishable work early on in their graduate career. To turn into mature and innovative teachers, they are exposed to a rigorous program of theoretical and practical approaches to teaching. To enable them to become high-performing professionals, students will learn to perform research and to process information effectively and efficiently and to communicate highly complex subjects to a variety of audiences.