Paul Michael Lützeler, Ph.D., the Rosa May Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and professor of German in Arts & Sciences, received the Goethe Medal on March 22 in Weimar, Germany.
The Goethe Medal is an official German award of merit. It is the highest medal a foreigner can receive for work done in the field of cultural exchange.
It is bestowed once a year on a maximum of five people by the president of the Goethe Institute, a worldwide organization that supports German culture internationally.
The medal is given to scholars, artists and writers who have merits in the area of cultural exchanges between Germany and other countries. This year marks the medal’s 50th anniversary.
Lützeler received the award along with Imre Kertesz, a Hungarian author and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in literature.
Lützeler also is professor of comparative literature and director of the Max Kade Center for Contemporary German Literature, both in Arts & Sciences.
He came to the United States in 1968. After earning a doctorate in German literature at Indiana University in 1972, he moved to St. Louis and is in his 30th year at Washington University.
Lützeler was director of the European Studies Program in Arts & Sciences for 20 years.
With the support of many American and German foundations, he has helped to bring more than 80 visiting professors and 200 exchange students to the German department and the European Studies Program.
He has organized 15 international scholarly symposiums at the University and abroad. He is the author of nine books and many editions, several of which have been translated into other languages.
He has directed 36 dissertation committees, was twice elected chair of the Faculty Senate Council and has received the University’s Distinguished Mentor Award and numerous awards and medals of merit.
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