Max Kade Professor

The Max Kade Professorship

Since 1999, the University of Notre Dame has benefited from a close relationship with the Max Kade Foundation. For the past quarter century, we have hosted a scholar from the German-speaking countries as a Max Kade Visiting Professor for one semester every academic year.

About the Max Kade Foundation

Max Kade Commons

Max Kade (1882-1967) was born in Steinbach/Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, and emigrated to New York in 1907, where he founded the successful pharmaceutical company, Seeck and Kade, Inc. Mr. Kade obtained the rights for the manufacture and distribution of the cough medicine “Pertussin” and became very successful as an entrepreneur and distributor of pharmaceuticals.

In 1944, Mr. Kade and his wife, Annette, established the Max Kade Foundation, initially to help Germany recover from the effects of World War II as well as to improve international understanding and promote cultural exchange between the United States and German-speaking countries in Central Europe. His objective was “to sow the seeds of friendship where there had been enmity.” In 1956, Mr. Kade left his business and turned his full attention to philanthropy, for which he received many honors. He considered the exchange of knowledge among scholars and scientists to be of great importance.

The Foundation has also generously endowed the Department’s current home on campus, the Max Kade Commons in Decio Hall, which opened in 2021.  

Academic Year 2021-22:

Alexander Fischer, University of Basel

Alexander Fischer teaches philosophy at the University of Basel, Switzerland, with a co-appointment at the University of Bamberg, Germany. He has held a past visiting professorship at Bond University in Australia. His dissertation was on the topic of “Manipulation: Zur Theorie und Ethik einer Form der Beeinflussung” (“Manipulation: Theory and Ethics of a Form of Influence”). In addition to his academic work, Alexander Fischer also works as a psychotherapist and counselor.

Fall 2021: Philosophy and Narrative

In this class we will examine the relationship between philosophy and narrative and the impact of narrative on change in ourselves and in the outside world. Although western philosophy is seen as the primary apologist of pure rationality, it had a close relationship to literature throughout times, beginning with Plato and his dialogues. However, there has often been (and still is today)  a fight between philosophers cultivating a literary style (e.g. Rousseau) and those who condemned this form of writing as a “pseudo-science” (e.g. Voltaire, Rousseau’s arch-enemy). Our goal is to take a close look at this quarrel. During this journey, we will discuss the how, what-for, and why of philosophy and narrative, employing an interdisciplinary perspective that also includes psychology and literature.

Past Max Kade Visiting Professors

Annika Hand, University of Koblenz-Landau

Spring 2020: “Love and Authenticity”

Gertrud Roesch, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg

Spring 2019:  “Fact and Fiction in German Literature of the 20th/21st Century”

Julia Faisst, Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt

Spring 2018: “The Holocaust in German and American Cultural Memory”

Frank Wolff, Universität Osnabrück

Fall 2017: "A Nation Divided Against Itself?” Block Confrontation and Social Life in Divided Germany,1945-1989

Tim Lörke, Freie Universität Berlin

Spring 2016: "Refugees and German Identity”

Daniel Fulda , Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

Fall 2014: "Resonances. Literature as a Medium of World Experience"

Sabine Doering, Universität Oldenburg

Spring 2013: “Hölderlin: Werke und Briefe”

Susanne Kaul, Universität Bielefeld

Spring 2012: “Poetische Gerechtigkeit bei Kleist und Kafka”

Michael Jeager, Freie Universität Berlin

Spring 2011: “Faust and Religion”

Dirk Oschmann, Universität Jena

Spring 2010: “Images of America in German Literature; from Goethe to W.G. Sebald”

Carsten Dutt, Universität Heidelberg

Spring 2009: “Hermeneutics and Literary Theory”

Hartmut Zelinsky, Independent Scholar – Munich, Germany

Fall 2006: “Siegfried: How Richard Wagner’s Opera Became A Code Word of Anti-Semitism”       

Helga Finter, Universität Giessen

Spring 2006: “Voice in Text and Theater”

Joachim Dyck, Universität Oldenburg

Fall 2004: “19th - Century German Literature”

Wolfgang Braungart, Universität Bielefeld

Spring 2003: “Literature and Religion”

Monika Schmitz-Emans, Universität Bochum

Spring 2002: “Kaspar Hauser”

Friedhelm Marx, Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Fall 2000: “The Young Goethe”

Hermann Pottmeyer, Universität Bochum

Fall 1999: “Ecclesiology”

Walter Haug, Universität Tübingen

Spring 1999: “The Faust Theme Before Goethe”