The mission of the Center will be the advancement of German-American relations and the promotion of mutual appreciation through the collaboration of teachers, scholars, and artists.
We are seeking to offer a forum in which students, faculty, and the public at large can gain a greater understanding of the histories, the cultures, and political, economic, and social developments of German-speaking countries and their impact on past, present, and future America. In furtherance of this mission, we will adopt an interdisciplinary approach. We believe that the future of scholarly and scientific discourse lies in crossing cultural boundaries and transcending disciplinary borders. Therefore, it is crucial that today’s German Studies programs move toward inclusiveness and define new parameters across disciplines. This collaboration provides an intercultural dynamic to teaching and research as the way we think influences the way we approach our subject matter, the way we reason influences the way we conduct research: Denkstile sind auch Arbeitsstile.
While our program will primarily be designed to serve the needs of the members of our college community (that includes LVAIC, the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges, faculty and students) we will, whenever appropriate, invite high school teachers and students as well as the general public to participate in our programs. Lafayette College plans to invite a German-speaking author, who will serve as writer-in-residence, to the campus every other academic year beginning in Fall 2003. In alternate years we plan to invite a Max Kade Distinguished Professor. This will allow us to welcome a Max Kade-sponsored German-speaking writer or professor every year. It is expected that our distinguished guests will participate in Lafayette’s intellectual life in a multitude of different ways, including teaching courses, conducting workshops, and offering readings, lectures, or performances. Lafayette’s Max Kade Center for German Studies will not only expand but also greatly enrich our present German curriculum. With the assistance of the Max Kade Foundation, we will be able to offer a diversified, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary program and foster a greater intellectual exchange among diverse groups of students and faculty. Our students are hungry for this higher level of learning. The very nature of the Max Kade Center for German Studies instills excitement in our German faculty and students. They are particularly delighted that it will provide interdisciplinary studies of superior quality as almost all of our German students are double majors with economics, government and law, history, English, international affairs, engineering, sociology, art, art history, or music. Thus students from a wide range of departments will greatly benefit from Lafayette’s Max Kade Center for German Studies.
Physically the Center is housed in a large, newly renovated room in Pardee Hall, the earliest edifice at Lafayette College with its exterior intact as it was originally conceived, and one of the larger collegiate buildings of its era. This building has a rich and interesting history, having survived several disasters. It was named after Ario Pardee, a railroad and iron-manufacturing magnate, who donated $250,000 for its construction in 1871. It originally housed the college’s scientific departments, and currently is home to most of Lafayette’s humanities and social sciences departments.The Center displays an old world study/library atmosphere. Maple woods and comfortable chairs provide a warm and welcoming room for students, faculty, and/or guests to engage in informal discussion. At the same time, state-of-the-art technology is made available for formal presentations and lectures. Blackboards covered with sliding wood panels make the space versatile. It can serve as a classroom, reading room, conference room, informal discussion area, multi-media presentation facility, or library.The Max Kade Center for German Studies is the hub of German activity and learning at Lafayette College, the place where our students feel encouraged to chat in German and to engage in rigorous analytical inquiry, to perform plays and find their own voice in German, to present their independent studies and Honors research, and the EXCEL work performed with faculty. In addition, Lafayette College invites German-speaking writers-in-residence and distinguished professors into our academic program who significantly strengthen Lafayette College’s German program.