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Russell Berman's research interests include German literature and politics of the 19th and 20th centuries and cultural and political relations between Europe and the United States. More broadly, he is interested in the sociology of modern culture, considering literature, history, and critical theory.

Berman is an expert on German literature and culture and on cultural relations between Europe and the United States. He is also the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities, with appointments in Comparative Literature and German Studies and courtesy appointments at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Hoover Institution. He is currently the faculty director of the Introduction to the Humanities Program, and previously served as associate dean and as director of Stanford's Overseas Studies Program. Berman received his B.A. from Harvard in 1972 and his Ph.D. from Washington University in 1979, when he also joined the faculty at Stanford. Awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he was also honored by the German government, which presented to him the Federal Officer's Service Cross. His publications have twice been awarded the distinguished book award of the German Studies Association.

Berman lived for many years in Germany, Austria and France and has published extensively on their literature and culture. His interests range widely, including the modern novel, the history of journalism and the media, poetry, and film, as well as comparisons between German, French, and American literature. His published work includes treatments of many periods in German cultural history, including the Nazi era and German unification.

He has written widely on modern German and European literature and politics, as well as on issues in contemporary cultural theory, in more than 80 articles and five books. This includes The Rise of the Modern German Novel: Crisis and Charisma (1986), which is regarded as one of the most important contributions to the study of 20th-century literature by an American Germanist. Both The Rise of the Modern German Novel and Enlightenment or Empire: Colonial Discourse in German Culture (1998) won the Outstanding Book Award of the German Studies Association (in 1987 and 2000, respectively). Most recently, he has published research on the cultural phenomenon of anti-Americanism. He is also the editor of the academic journal TELOS, a quarterly journal of politics, philosophy, critical theory, culture, and the arts. His current projects are on problems in literature, cultural history, and democracy as well as anti-Americanism, antisemitism and jihadist radicalism.

Key works

Fiction Sets You Free: Literature, Liberty, and Western Culture. University of Iowa Press, 2007

Anti-Americanism in Europe: A Cultural Problem. Hoover Institution Press, 2004

Cultural Studies of Modern Germany: History, Representation, and Nationhood. University of Wisconsin Press, 1993

Modern Culture and Critical Theory: Art, Politics, and the Legacy of the Frankfurt School. University of Wisconsin Press, 1989

The Rise of the Modern German Novel: Crisis and Charisma. Harvard University Press, 1986

Prof. Berman in the News

July 28, 2014
Russell Berman, professor of German and of comparative literature, and senior fellow at the Hoover...
July 21, 2014
Russell Berman, professor of German and of comparative studies and senior fellow at the Hoover...
June 5, 2014
Russell Berman, professor of German and comparative literature, and senior fellow at the Hoover...
June 4, 2014
Russell Berman, professor of German and of comparative literature, and senior fellow at the Hoover...
June 4, 2014
Russell A. Berman, professor of German and of comparative literature, and senior fellow at the...
May 28, 2014
Russell Berman, professor of German and of comparative literature and senior fellow at the Hoover...
May 27, 2014
Stanford University has used grant funds from the Teagle Foundation to pair professors and graduate...
February 17, 2014
The story cites Russell Berman, professor of German and of comparative literature, senior fellow at...
June 18, 2013
The New York Times
June 5, 2013
Awards given during commencement will honor faculty, students, and staff for their exceptional...
May 24, 2013
Stanford will encourage and pay for humanities graduate students to pursue careers as high school...
November 17, 2011
Inside Higher Ed, November 17, 2011
January 13, 2011
Times Higher Education, January 13, 2011
December 8, 2010
Chronicle of Higher Education, December 8, 2010
December 1, 2010
Language Magazine, December, 2010
April 12, 2008
Telos, April 12, 2008
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 30, 2004
Stanford Daily, February 29, 2008
Stanford Multidisciplinary Teaching and Research, Spring 2007
Inside Higher Ed, December 8, 2010
Stanford Report, February 27, 2008
Stanford Daily, February 23, 2007
Inside Higher Ed, November 23, 2010
Academe Online, September/October, 2011
Stanford Daily, January 14, 2005

Expertise

  • Nazi Germany
  • Humanities
  • German Literature
  • German Culture
  • German Politics
  • German Film
  • U.S. / European Relations
  • Anti-Americanism
  • Franz Kafka
  • Frankfurt School
  • Theodor Adorno
  • Walter Benjamin
  • Thomas Mann
  • Role of Literature
  • Ghost Stories
  • Totalitarianism
  • Antisemitism
  • Critical Theory

Education

B.A., Harvard University, 1972
M.A., Washington University at St. Louis, 1976
Ph.D., Washington University at St. Louis, 1979