Eric J KlausProfessor of German Area StudiesChair, German Area Studies

Joined faculty in 2001

Ph.D., German Studies, Brown University
M.A., Germanic Studies, University of Maryland College Park
B.A., Major-German Minor-History, Dickinson College

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Contact Information

Smith HallPhone (315) 781-3635

Scholarly Interest

Gustav Meyrink
the bildungsroman
the uncanny
dance of death and vanitas motifs in the modern age

Areas of Expertise:
18th - 20th-century literature and intellectual history of German-speaking Europe
discourse of Bildung
the uncanny

Teaching Experience

Deutsche Sommerschule am Atlantik
Brown University
University of Rhode Island
University of Maryland College Park


Dissertations: Engineering Souls: Humanism, Allegory, and Specularity in Goethe's Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre and Gorky's Mother

Articles on Gustav Meyrink and forthcoming publications on the uncanny and the bildungsroman

Courses Taught

Beginning through Intermediate German
Madness and Mayhem in Modernity
Haunting Memories - revealing the uncanny


Europäischer Totentanz-Vereinigung


Being a teacher-scholar means many things: challenging students to break out of their comfort zones and to discover their full potential exploring novel and creative ways to introduce students to the themes and concepts of the discipline pursuing my intellectual interests and bringing them into the classroom. Because instruction at HWS involves each of these activities, it is a wonderful place to practice and to hone the craft of teaching and to explore my research interests. The colleges offer the freedom and flexibility to engage talented students in new and exciting ways. Along with instructing students in the language and culture of German-speaking Europe, I also have the opportunity to explore my research interests with students in my courses: Whether investigating the image of the somnambulist in German modernism or unraveling the narrative structure of the uncanny or tracing the shifting epistemological ground of the Self over time, working with students never fails to bear fruit. For all of these reasons I can count myself among the lucky few who look forward to going to work every day.