Erik Grell

Erik Grell earned his BA in History and German from St. Olaf College and his PhD in German Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. Before arriving at Furman, Erik served as a Lecturer at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. In addition to teaching all levels of German language, from beginning to advanced courses, Erik also teaches a wide variety of courses on linguistics, literature, and philosophy. His principle area of research is nineteenth-century German narrative fiction. He is specifically interested in uncovering the strategies by which literature helped foster political identities and vice-versa. A recent article on Adalbert Stifter’s Brigitta appearing in The German Quarterly offers a taste of his current project, which explores the connections between allegory, liberalism, and erotics in German realism. Erik is thrilled to be a part of the Modern Languages and Literatures faculty at Furman, and excited to support a fantastic group German learners! ​

Name Title Description


Fairy Tales & Childhood

Examination of fairy tales in the context of the history of childhood, practices of education, and socialization of the modern subject. The work of the Brothers Grimm, but also fairy tales drawn from other traditions and periods will be included. Critical approaches include psychoanalysis, historical models of childhood, the evolution of specific tale types, and the 'medial' history from oral traditions through print to film.


Elementary German I

Introduction to the sound system and grammatical structure necessary to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in German. An appreciation of German-speaking culture underlies the orientation of the course.


Elementary German II

Continuation of the skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing) developed in German 110, with increased emphasis on vocabulary expansion, idiomatic expression, and cultural differences.


Intermediate German I

Continuation of the development of proficiency in listening and speaking, while expanding the reading and writing skills using materials of a literary or cultural nature.


German for the Professions

Linguistic and cultural aspects of working for German companies in the US and abroad. Skill building important for navigating the workplace including, but not limited to, German resumes, business letters, and communication during interviews.


German Literature since 1750

Survey providing initial exposure to the development of German literature from the Enlightenment to the present. Students read representative texts by major authors of the various literary periods and movements.


German Poetry

Poetry by authors from all periods and movements of German literature. The goal is a basic understanding of the development of German poetry and a sensitivity to and appreciation of the poem as an artistic expression.


Age of Goethe

Introduction to the literature and culture of the classical period in German literary history from 1750 to 1832. Appreciation for the development of great classical writers during an in-depth study of the major works produced in this period.


Readings in German Language

In-depth focus on a period, movement, author, or genre. Offerings in the past have been post-1945 German literature and the literature and culture of the Weimar Republic. May be repeated for credit based on change of topic.


Nat Environ German Lit & Thoug

A green" survey of German literature and thought exploring exploring the complex relationship between human beings and the natural world. Eco-critical reading examine how Germans "invented nature" amidst changing modes of natural inquiry; spans German Romanticism to present-day Green Party politics."


Summer Undergraduate Research


I owe my achievements as an instructor, both the tangible and intangible ones, to the rapport and self-understanding that takes shape between students and myself. My classroom exhibits the conviction that successful learning is a joint enterprise, in which both teachers and students must meet obligations and set goals. I expect students to take responsibility for their abilities by seizing the opportunity to learn, but as a teacher, I see it as my duty to create a structured environment that provides students with the greatest possible resources to act upon their willingness to learn.​​

Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
St. Olaf College

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