Jonathan Hess is Professor of Germanic Languages and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies. He received his B.A. (1987) in German from Yale, M.A. in German (1989) from The Johns Hopkins University, M.A. (1990) and Ph.D. (1993) in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. He works on German cultural and intellectual history from the eighteenth century to the present, with a particular emphasis on the history of German Jewry from the Enlightenment to the Holocaust and beyond.
Professor Hess's book, Germans, Jews and the Claims of Modernity (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002) was awarded honorable mention for the Modern Language Association's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Germanic Languages and Literature and was also cited by Choice magazine as an outstanding academic title for 2003. He is also the author of Reconstituting the Body Politic: Enlightenment, Public Culture and the Invention of Aesthetic Autonomy (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999), as well as numerous articles on German literature, aesthetics and intellectual history. Professor Hess has received grants from the National Humanities Center, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Leo Baeck Institute in New York. He is currently working on a book entitled Fictions of a Middlebrow Fiction and the Making of Jewish Identity: Jewish Culture in Nineteenth-Century Germany.
Professor Hess has served as the Director of the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies since fall 2003. He regularly teaches both a first-year seminar on the German-Jewish experience and an undergraduate lecture course on Jews in German Culture, as well as more specialized seminars in German-Jewish cultural studies at the graduate level.
Jewish Studies Courses Taught:
GERM 006i. First – Year Seminar. “Germans, Jews, and the History of Antisemitism.”
JWST 61/GERM 61/RELI 85. “German Culture and the Jewish Question.”
JWST 247/GERM 247. “Topics in German-Jewish Studies.”