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
  • Hermann Broch
  • Contemporary German Literature

contact info:

office hours:

  • Monday & Wednesday
  • 1:30 - 2:30 pm​
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mailing address:

  • CB 1104
  • ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899

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, postcolonialism, globalization), and cultural studies in general.

He 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 bio-bibliographical information see the American and the German Wikipedia entries about Paul Michael Lützeler.

recent courses

German Literature and the Modern Era (German 340C)

Introduction in English to German writers from 1750 to the present. Discussion focuses on questions like the role of outsiders in society, the human psyche, technology, war, gender, the individual and mass culture, modern and postmodern sensibilities as they are posed in predominantly literary texts and in relation to the changing political and cultural faces of Germany over the past 250 years. Readings include works in translation by some of the most influential figures of the German tradition, such as Goethe, Kleist, Heine, Kafka, Thomas Mann, Brecht, and Christa Wolf.

    The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair: German and Austrian Art Exhibited (IAS 4224)

    The St. Louis World's Fair of 1904 (The Louisiana Purchase Exposition) was one of the greatest events of its time. At the beginning we will deal with the historical development that lead to the purchase of the Louisiana Territory in 1803, will review the developments of World's Fairs since 1851 and will have a look at the grand dimension of the 1904 World's Fair (connected with the Olympic Games). Of central importance are the Art Exhibits from Germany and Austria with their cultural-political implications. The German Emperor had a hand in selecting the German paintings to be sent to St. Louis, and his opposition against modern movements like Impressionism caused opposition in Germany. Austria was different: In their Art Nouveau Pavilion they included secessionists (Hagenbund). The Wiener Werkstaetten (Vienna's Workshops) attracted a lot of attention. Different from the paintings, German Arts and Crafts represented avant-garde movements. We will visit libraries, archives, and museums in St. Louis that have World's Fair holdings.

      Seminar in Romanticism: Kleist in Context (German 525)

      We will discuss selected essays, dramas and novellas by the author and see them in the literary, art historical, social, and political contexts of their times. In order to better understand Kleist's aesthetics we will include works by Schiller and Goethe that had an impact on the author. Kleist's position within the Romantic movement will also be dealt with. The German Romantic era coincides with the time of Napoleon's rule in Europe. Kleist's resistance against the French politician is a dominant theme in some of his works. As far as questions of religion, mythology, and the supernatural, the concept of love, the idea of the family, the vision of freedom, the problem of colonialism, and the understanding of political resistance is concerned, Kleist articulates the tension between enlightenment and romantic trends.


        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)