Burkhard Henke

Education

Ph.D. University of California, Irvine
M.A. University of California, Santa Barbara

Background

I teach a variety of courses on German language, literature, and history as well courses in the Humanities program and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Teaching

Since coming to Davidson in 1993, I have been teaching a variety of courses on German language, literature, and history as well courses in the Humanities program and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. In 2012, I was awarded the AATG/Goethe-Institut's National Certificate of Merit for outstanding achievement in furthering the teaching of German in the United States.

Syllabi
For syllabi, consult the archive or email me.

Grading and Guidelines
For grading rubrics, policies, and other guidelines that apply to my courses visit the links below.
Selection of Courses Taught
  • German language courses
  • Introduction to German Literary Studies
  • Introduction to German Cultural Studies
  • Contemporary Germany
  • German Mass Media
  • The Age of Goethe
  • Friedrich Schiller
  • The Novel of Education
  • Romantic Poetry
  • Theory of Artistic Genius
  • Weimar: Classicism, Modernism, Nazism
  • Burning Books
  • Berlin-Past and Present
  • Martin Luther and the Peasant Wars
  • The Poetics of Murder
  • The Western Tradition: The Renaissance to the Eighteenth Century (third semester of a four-semester interdisciplinary course; incl. critical reading, writing, and analysis)
  • How Languages Are Learned (Charlotte Teachers Institute)
  • Hitler and Nazi Germany (July Experience, Davidson College)
Selection of Theses Directed
  • Erinnerungsarbeit. Eine Untersuchung von Shimon AttiesWriting on the Wall
  • Die WM 2006 als Auslöser eines neuen deutschen Patriotismus
  • Turkish Immigrant Language in Berlin
  • History in Black and White: The Development of a Racist Discourse in Germany
  • Was ist Deutsch, was ist fremd? Zur Geschichte des Fremdwörterbuchs im Deutschen
  • PISA and the German Educational System
  • Second Language Acquisition and the Rassias Method
  • Maladjusted: Pathology, Dilettantism and Childhood in Die Leiden des jungen Werthers
  • The Metaphor of Night in the Poetry of Novalis, Keats, and Hugo
  • Goethe in Italy: The Vision of Rebirth
  • Schiller's Political Rhetoric and the Conclusion of theÄsthetische Erziehung
Restricted Access

Professional Activities

My professional activities and publication record includes articles on Schiller and Goethe and a book on Goethe's Weimar, which I edited with Susanne Kord and Simon Richter. For more than 10 years I have been serving on the board of the Goethe Society of North America, and recently began work on the AP German Language and Culture Development Committee. In 2010, I concluded a two-year term as president of the North Carolina chapter of AATG.

Although I seem to be spending more and more time working in the areas of instructional technologies and second language acquisition (reviewing articles and textbook proposals, editing the American edition of Berliner Platz 1), my research interests still center on the 18th century. I have written and spoken mainly on Goethe and Schiller. In the past, the Goethe Society of North America has given me the opportunity to organize and chair a number of its panels at professional meetings. Since December 2001 I have been serving on the board of the Goethe Society as editor of the Goethe News and Notes and webmaster.

In 1997, I co-organized an international conference here on campus, entitled Approaches to Weimar: The Second Davidson German Studies Symposium. The volume that grew out of that conference is entitled Unwrapping Goethe's Weimar. Essays on Cultural Studies and Local Knowledge (eds. Burkhard Henke, Susanne Kord, and Simon Richter) and appeared with Camden House in 2000. I am currently working on a book project entitled, Schillers Tragödie des Usurpators. "Auf ein Wort: was fällt Ihnen zu Goethe ein?" - "Schiller."

Since coming to Davidson, I have served a three-year term as Representative in the Delegate Assembly of the Modern Language Association and have been an active member of the NC-AATG, the North Carolina chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German, of which I am a member for life. After serving on the executive council as Testing Chair and webmaster for several years, I was elected Vice President in 2005 and served as President from 2007 to 2009. In 2012, I was awarded the AATG/Goethe-Institut's National Certificate of Merit for outstanding achievement in furthering the teaching of German in the United States.

I recently began work on the AP German Language and Culture Development Committee and have greatly enjoyed it. Helping to strengthen the articulation between secondary and post-secondary education has been a long-standing interest of mine. In 2004, I founded the German Summer Institute, an annual opportunity for high school teachers of German to earn continuing education credits. As one might expect from middle-aged faculty, I have also sat on and chaired numerous committees here at Davidson.

I have been chairing the German Studies Department since 2002 while also serving as language coordinator and supervisor of teaching assistants. As the E. Craig Wall, Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, I am now also chairing the interdisciplinary Humanities program, which has been in existence at Davidson for over 50 years.

Personal Interests

I have been playing in one form or another all my life. Sadly, my scholarly interest in the theory and cultural significance of play has so far been no match for my practical obsession with games of all kinds: sports (I routinely hurt myself playing soccer on Sundays, then do laundry while watching football); cards (I love Bridge and Geman Skat), and board games (I collect more than I get to play).

Suggested Readings
  • Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch
  • Franklin Foer, How Soccer Explains the World
  • Friedrich Schiller, On Sentimental and Reflective Poetry 
  • Johan Huizinga, Homo ludens
  • Roger Caillois, Man, Play and Games
Links