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GERMAN HISTORICAL INSTITUTE WASHNGTON, D.C. ANNUAL LECTURE SERIES No. 8 - page 15 / 46

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appointed a German, Francis Lieber, professor of history and political science.4 In 1884 Harvard hired a young German, Kuno Francke, who had spent two years working in the Monuments Germaniae Historica as its professor of German history and literature.5 Likewise, Bryn Mawr, the womens college most closely connected with the Johns Hopkins Seminar, imported the medievalist and Low German philologist Agathe Lasch to instruct its students. 6

However, in the course of little more than a generation, this German tradition and the scholars who practiced it fell into ill repute and oblivion in North America. German history in general and medieval German history in particular were deemed of little value to Americans, especially when such studies were in the hands of Germans or German-trained Americans. Charles Homer Haskins, Americas greatest medievalist of the early twentieth century and himself a product of the Hopkins Seminar, wrote in 1923 that many phases of German history needed re-examination and noted that American scholars of his generation were making important contributions, in part because, unlike their predecessors, they were not exclusively trained in Germany.7 By the 1930s, few American historians knew any-

more limited privilegeof studying with him in Baltimore. Gettleman, ed.,

4 5

, vol 1, 13. Schulin, German and American Historiography,14. See his autobiography, Kuno Francke,

(Leipzig, 1930),

2, where he explains that his charge was to interpret his position as instructor in German

  • in the widest sense, ... that is, to interpret it as a collective term for political, social,

intellectual, and artistic phenomena of German history; my instructional duty was then, in essence, in the service of German cultural history.

6 Robert Peters and Timothy Sodmann, eds., (Neumünster, 1979), ix. Scholars [of German history] of the present generation have contributed more that is independent than did their predecessors, who were 7

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