Kurt Hollender

Academic Degrees:
Academic Interests:

Language pedagogy, German literature around 1800, literary theory, and drama.


If you have taken a class with me, you know that my saying is “once my student, always my student.” By this I mean that even when a class ends or a student graduates, I am still on call to help with letters of recommendation, advice about travel, work, and study in Europe, and even a refresher on German grammar! It has been a joy to teach humanities and languages classes as a graduate student at Illinois and NYU, as a lecturer abroad in Göttingen and Zurich, and now here at CSB/SJU. I am pleased that students do keep in touch and use their language and humanities skills across the United States and the German-speaking parts of Europe. What are those students up to?

Recent CSB/SJU German majors, minors, and advanced learners have used their humanities and language skills to: teach English in Hamburg, Freiburg, and Vienna, intern at the local Stearns County Historical Society, undertake summer research on language pedagogy, attend the Kierkegaard Summer Institute, speak German as a common language with Bavarian monks while volunteering in Israel, join the German American Chamber of Commerce, and teach German in schools across the United States, to name a few. Helping students locate these opportunities or sharpen their applications to them is the most rewarding part of my job. See our track record on awards and distinctions here and see our database of German and humanities opportunities here, it’s the largest such database in the country, according to the American Association of Teachers of German.

In the CSB/SJU German curriculum, I teach German culture from the beginning and German language to the end. Our courses engage with the German intellectual tradition and the stakes of our times: the ethics of Grimms’ Fairy Tales, Holocaust Studies, the nature of love, and the enduring popularity of the Germanic myths and legends like Thor. See all our classes here.

My research focus is on German literature and culture around 1800 and language pedagogy. I regularly travel the country to present at conferences and I also enjoy giving talks on campus. Look out for my annual MLK Day talk on civil rights and the Germany intellectual tradition.

I got into teaching languages as a German Assistant Teacher at my undergraduate institution, Kenyon College. As a senior, I taught the evening sessions of the main German class and then, after graduation, taught English in Hamburg at a middle school as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant. I’ve never stopped travelling and teaching languages or humanities classes since. The next step? I look forward to taking students to Berlin for two weeks in our new embedded study abroad class titled Genius, Innovation, and Creativity.

What was my saying again? Feel free to reach out and email, even if you haven’t yet been in my class!

Kurt Hollender, visiting assistant professor

SJU Quad 253C
[email protected]

German Studies

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Jeff DuBois
Chair, Languages and Cultures Department
CSB Richarda P32

Jennifer Schwichtenberg
Department Coordinator
CSB Richarda P38
SJU Quad 253A