German Department

The Origin of a Poison

alison frank johnson

As part of German Week at Bowdoin, Harvard history professor Alison Frank Johnson explained how cocaine’s slide into infamy was a global process that illustrates the complicated relationship between the German and Austrian Empires.

Profile: John Harthorne ’95 (Bowdoin Magazine)

This profile originally appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of Bowdoin magazine. Hometown: Wayland, Mass. Bowdoin major: German (with a minor in Chemistry) Title: Founder & CEO, MassChallenge Inc. Website:

Bowdoin Trustees Honor Four Retiring Faculty Members

Four Bowdoin faculty members were elected to emeritus status during the May 12-14, 2011, meeting of the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees. Helen Cafferty was elected William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of German and the Humanities Emerita; John Turner was elected Professor of Romance Languages Emeritus; David Vail was elected Adams-Catlin Professor of Economics Emeritus; and June A. Vail […]

Departmental Awards Presented at 2011 Honors Day Ceremony

  Bowdoin College’s 15th annual Honors Day ceremony to recognize publicly the college-wide academic and extracurricular achievements of Bowdoin students and faculty was held May 11 in Kanbar Auditorium, Studzinski Recital Hall. Assistant Professor of German Jill S. Smith, recipient of the 2010 Sydney B. Karofsky Prize for Junior Faculty, gave a talk titled “Honor Among Thieves?” […]

Podcast: Prof. Steve Cerf Brings Home the Devastation of Holocaust

Professor of German Steven Cerf delivers a highly moving Common Hour Lecture titled, “Hearing My Grandparents’ Voices: Their Letters Before Deportation,” which traces his grandparents’ failed attempts to escape Nazi Germany in the years before their transport to a death camp. Listen to the podcast. Cerf, who has taught at Bowdoin for 40 years, has […]