Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

Honorary Doctorate for Prof. David E. Wellbery (University of Chicago) from the University of Konstanz

7. October 2009

Professor David E. Wellbery, University of Chicago, will be awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Konstanz on 16 October 2009. The official ceremony takes place at 2:00 pm in the Audimax as part of the special festivities on the occasion of the Dies academicus. A further event will follow at 5:15 pm in Hörsaal A 701 of the Humanities Section, at which the literary scholar Wellbery will hold a special lecture on "Kafka's Wish." The laudatio for Professor Wellbery will be provided by Professor Albrecht Koschorke.

David E. Wellbery, who holds a professorship in German literature at the University of Chicago, is receiving the honorary doctorate on suggestion of the Department of Literature and the Humanities Section at the University of Konstanz. Wellbery is one of the most internationally renowned representatives of German literary studies, as stated in the rationale for the award. Through his scholarly work, he has been recognized wide beyond the boundaries of the discipline, playing an important role in academic exchange between the US and Germany. Wellbery is a co-editor of the Deutsche Vierteljahreszeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte (DVjs), probably the most important journal in German-speaking European in the field of German literary studies. He is associated with the University of Konstanz as a long-standing cooperative partner, as evidenced in recent years by several working visits. On two occasions (Summer Semester 2006 and Summer Semester 2007), Professor Wellbery was a Humboldt Prize guest of the University of Konstanz.

Wellbery, born in 1947, earned his Ph.D. in 1975 at Yale University. After that, he held professorships at Stanford and The John Hopkins University, from where he was appointed in 2001 to a chair at the University of Chicago. Visiting professorships have brought him to Princeton, Cornell, Rio de Janeiro, Copenhagen, and Bonn.

Wellbery’s oeuvre includes five monographs, a significant number of editorships, and over fifty essays. Wellbery’s work has always focused on aesthetic phenomena having to do with literary production. His most important research contributions include Lessing's "Laocoon": Semiotics and Aesthetics in the Age of Reason (Cambridge, 1984) and The Specular Moment: Goethe's Lyric and the Beginnings of Romanticism (Stanford, 1996).