University of Rochester

Gustafson Appointed to Named Professorship in German Studies

May 4, 2005

Susan E. Gustafson, professor of German and director of the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Rochester, has been named the Karl F. and Bertha A. Fuchs Professor of German Studies. A member of the University faculty since 1987, she has received several honors for her work in German literary and cultural studies.

Gustafson is the author of Men Desiring Men: The Poetry of Same-Sex Identity and Desire in German Classicism (2002), which has been hailed as a groundbreaking approach both to German Classicism and to gender and gay studies. In 2004, Gustafson was awarded the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Biennial Book Prize from the German Studies Association for the work. The DADD award is presented for the outstanding book on German language, literature, or cultural studies.

Previously, she has received fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for research study in Bonn and from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Gustafson is the recipient of the Florence Howe Award for Feminist Scholarship for the article “Beautiful Statues, Beautiful Men,” which appeared in PMLA, the journal of the Modern Language Association of America.

Gustafson also is the author of the book Absent Mothers and Orphaned Fathers: Narcissism and Abjection in Lessing’s Aesthetic and Dramatic Production, as well as numerous articles and reviews published in academic textbooks and journals. In addition to lecturing and presenting at institutions in the United States, Canada, and Germany, Gustafson has served as advisory editor to the Eighteenth-Century Studies Journal and on the executive committee of the Modern Language Association.

“Professor Gustafson’s innovative contributions to German literary and cultural studies have been widely recognized,” said Thomas J. LeBlanc, Vice Provost and Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty for the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. “Her original and stimulating work is in the spirit of the Fuchs chair to promote fresh insights in German literature and language.”

At Rochester, Gustafson teaches courses in comparative literature, German literature and culture, and women’s studies. She has served as director of the Susan B. Anthony Institute since 2002, is an associate faculty member of the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies, and is an affiliated faculty member of the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies. In her current research she continues to focus on major figures of German Classicism and Romanticism. In addition, she has turned her attention recently to bestsellers in German by contemporary women writers.

Gustafson earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, a master’s degree from the University of California at Davis, and her doctoral degree from Stanford University. She was a Charles Taft Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cincinnati.

The Fuchs Chair was created in 1980 by Mr. and Mrs. Fuchs, two residents who were instrumental in fostering opportunities for Germans and Americans in education and business. Born in the Black Forest area of Germany, Mr. Fuchs came to Rochester in 1925. He co-founded and was the retired chairman of Alliance Tool and Die, which was acquired by the Gleason Works in 1979. Long interested in higher education, Fuchs supported student awards for achievement in German studies as well as in technologies.

Note to Editors: Gustafson is a resident of Rochester.