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 2022-23:

Kristin Skottki, University of Bayreuth

Kristin Skottki is a Juniorprofessor of Medieval History, working at the University of Bayreuth (Germany) since 2016. Her thesis was published with Waxmann under the title Christen, Muslime und der Erste Kreuzzug. Die Macht der Beschreibung in der mittelalterlichen und modernen Historiographie in 2015. She is co-editor of the book series Transcultural Medieval Studies (Brepols) and Global Histories before Globalisation (Routledge). Her current research focuses on late medieval Christian piety and Jewish-Christian relations, crusader medievalism as well as Intersectionality and Global History as approaches to past and present historiographies.

Spring 2023: Jews and other "Others" in the European Middle Ages

According to the stereotype of Medieval Europe this was a uniform, purely Christian society, but of course the reality was much more complex. During the 1,000 years of history under consideration, ‘Europe’ needs to be reframed as part of the ‘Eufrasian world zone’, as at least Europe, Western Asia and North Africa were closely connected through migrations, trade and expansions. For example: We know for sure that Jewish people from Israel/Palestine already migrated to cities in the Western part of the Roman Empire in the first and second centuries A.D., but it is unclear whether these communities persisted throughout the so-called Barbarian Invasions north of the Pyrenees or Alps, respectively. From the 11th century onwards, Jewish life is well attested in most parts of the Euro-Mediterranean area. In this seminar we will mainly investigate the history of Jewish people living under Christian rule in Western Europe as well as under Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula and in the Eastern Mediterranean. Most written source materials, which are still extant today, were produced by Christians (or Muslims respectively) who either ruled over their Jewish subjects or who most likely recorded atrocities against their heterodox neighbors. Very often these sources are distorted through an inversion of perpetrators and victims. They therefore need to be read with greatest attention and care. It is one aim of the seminar to enable students to deconstruct these distortions and reconstruct the real power relations which shaped the events and their recordings. This of course also holds true for other individuals and groups which were presented as ‘others’ to the respective mainstream society. As religion played an important role as a marker of identity and group formation throughout this period, we will also address the portrayal of alleged heretics and so-called ‘pagans’ in Christian sources. But we will of course also listen to medieval Jewish voices and scrutinize their portrayal of the surrounding societies and their actions. We will use these medieval examples to critically analyze and discuss how these societies dealt with individuals and groups which they perceived and constructed as ‘other’. Finally, we will also discuss if certain forms and phenomena of anti-Jewish discrimination and violence might justly be understood as premodern forms of Anti-Semitism.

Past Max Kade Visiting Professors

Alexander Fischer, University of Basel

Fall 2021: "Philosophy and Narrative"

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 2016: "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”