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December 14, 2012

Jochen Schulte-Sasse: In Memoriam

Our colleague Jochen Schulte-Sasse, who retired in May 2012, passed away on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at the age of 72. He had been ill for several years. He was with his family in the San Francisco area when he passed.

Schulte-Sasse cropped.jpg

Born in Salzgitter, Germany, Jochen received his Ph.D. in 1968 from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, where he would complete his Habilitiation in 1976. He first came to the University of Minnesota already in 1968-69 to teach on an exchange. In 1978 he was hired by what was then the German Department (now GSD); within a year he was promoted to full Professor. He soon was teaching for both German and the Department of Comparative Literature (now the Department of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, or CSCL); at one point he served as chair of Comparative Literature. For both departments, his teaching, like his scholarship, covered a wide range of subjects in German and European literary, aesthetic, and cultural theory and history: from Kant, Schiller, and German Romanticism to Lacan, poststructuralism, and the postmodern.

An internationally recognized scholar of German cultural and intellectual history, he authored seven books on literary theory and criticism, and he helped establish Minnesota as a center for innovative research in German Studies and Comparative Literature. As co-editor of the University of Minnesota Press's acclaimed series, "The Theory and History of Literature," he introduced many European literary and cultural theorists to the American academy. He co-founded the journal Cultural Critique. His devotion to social justice and independent thinking endeared him to his students, who honored him with a colloquium in 2011 titled "Felix Aestheticus," the happy aesthetic practitioner.

He will be sorely missed by his colleagues at the University of Minnesota and by generations of students he taught and mentored.

A memorial service has been planned for Saturday, March 9 at 4:00 PM in the Macalester chapel.

Contributions to the the Jochen Schulte-Sasse Fellowship in German Studies may go to the University of Minnesota Foundation, C-M 3854, P.O. Box 70870, St. Paul, MN 55170.
More information: http://www.giving.umn.edu/giving_opps/outright_gifts/index.html.

Obituaries:

German Quarterly: In Memoriam: Jochen Schulte-Sasse (1940-2012) (PDF)

Sueddeutsche Zeitung: Von Kitsch zu Kant

Frankfurter Allgemeine: Zum Tod von Jochen Schulte-Sasse Aufklärung als Inspiration

University of Minnesota Press: Jochen Schulte-Sasse, renowned intellectual, dies at 72

Star Tribune:

Revierpassagen: Damals in Bochum - eine Erinnerung zum Tod des Germanisten Jochen Schulte-Sasse

Jochen discussed many aspects of his life and career in this 2003 interview for the GSD Magazine: http://www.gsd.umn.edu/news/mag2003Schulte-Sasse.html.