Transitions: Farewells and Salutations

April 28, 2009

Farewells: Jochen Richter, who has served as the director of the German School since 1998 and as a faculty member and dean for many years prior to being appointed director, will be retiring from his Middlebury position at the end of summer 2009. A man of great charisma, intelligence, and humor, Director Richter is extremely popular with both faculty and students. Under his leadership, the school has flourished and developed in exciting directions: one well-known innovation is the German for Singers and Vocal Coaches program, now entering its 11th summer.

Richter did his undergraduate work in German and English literature at the University of Kiel in Germany; received his MA and Ph.D. in German literature from Syracuse University; and is currently Mary Biehler Professor of German at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he served as chair of the Modern Languages Department and the Humanities Division. He has been in charge of the international studies program at Allegheny since 1993. His research is primarily focused on 20th-century German literature, and his publications include articles on Barlach, Dürrenmatt, Goering, Herburger, Hildesheimer, Jens, Kunert, and Wondratschek. He has edited a volume of Günter Kunert's work entitled Schatten entziffern (1995) and published a book, Die Konzeption des "Neuen Menschen" in Ernst Barlachs dramatischem Schaffen (1992). Currently, he is editing a volume of essays on science and literature.

Associate Director Karl Obrath-well known by a generation of German School students-is also retiring at the end of the summer. Obrath studied in Salzburg and Hamburg, receiving his MA and Ph.D. in German literature from the University of Cincinnati, where he was also a lecturer. He is currently an associate professor of German at the University of Cincinnati, where he is a George B. Barbour Award recipient and has served as director of undergraduate studies, as well as director of the National Work-Study Program in Hamburg, Germany. His research interests include 20th-century German culture and literature, and the images of Mexico and the U.S. in German literature. He has taught in the Middlebury German School since 1981.

Please join us when we toast farewell to these two outstanding colleagues during Alumni Weekend, in July.

: Doris Kirchner, newly named director-designate of the German School, received her Ph.D. in German literature in 1989 from the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, and is currently an associate professor of German at the University of Rhode Island. Before joining the German Program and the International Engineering Program at the University of Rhode Island in 1993, she taught at Columbia University, the Joseph H. Lauder Institute for Management and International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and at the Huazhong Institute for Science and Technology in Wuhan, People's Republic of China.

Kirchner teaches all levels of the German language and has designed and taught many upper-level German studies courses.

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