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The Transatlantic World of Higher Education

The Transatlantic World of Higher Education: Americans at German Universities, 1776-1914

Anja Werner
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 348
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  • Book Info
    The Transatlantic World of Higher Education
    Book Description:

    Between the 1760s and 1914, thousands of young Americans crossed the Atlantic to enroll in German-speaking universities, but what was it like to be an American in, for instance, Halle, Heidelberg, Gottingen, or Leipzig? In this book, the author combines a statistical approach with a biographical approach in order to reconstruct the history of these educational pilgrimages and to illustrate the interconnectedness of student migration with educational reforms on both sides of the Atlantic. This detailed account of academic networking in European educational centers highlights the importance of travel for academic and cultural transformations in nineteenth-century America.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-783-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-ix)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. x-x)
  4. List of Figures
    (pp. xi-xi)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xii-xiii)
  6. Note on Sources and Quotations
    (pp. xiv-xiv)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-17)

    On 16 October 1890, a young graduate of Princeton University by the name of Winthrop Moore Daniels registered at the University of Leipzig to take up history. That same fall, he joined Leipzig’s new American Students Club, a society whose main purpose was to set up academic networks—so its statutes pointed out explicitly. Possibly during one of the club meetings, Daniels made the acquaintance of Charles Newton Zueblin, a twenty-three-year-old graduate of Northwestern University and Yale who was a Leipzig-veteran already, having enrolled at the university’s theological department in October 1889. Zueblin is listed alongside Daniels as one of...

  8. Chapter 1 Movement and the History of Higher Education
    (pp. 18-44)

    Education is a dynamic phenomenon. It evolves over time in response to a given society’s changing needs. It evolves in contact with others, when students, faculty, and administrators move on to learned institutions elsewhere. Finally, it evolves as people exchange ideas about how to define the world. The history of education is therefore movement in atemporal,aspatial,and asubject-relatedsense.

    As a starting point, let me therefore revisit existing scholarship on the history of American higher education and US student migration abroad, whereby I will focus on the college and university level even if at times I...

  9. Chapter 2 US Student Numbers at Göttingen, Halle, Heidelberg, and Leipzig
    (pp. 45-75)

    In this chapter, I establish American student numbers at four important German universities in comparison with the total student numbers there from the late eighteenth century until World War I. In addition to that, I discuss US students’ backgrounds as derived from the Leipzig register, including the socioeconomic status of their parents, their religious affiliations, and their ages upon their first enrollments. While I collected the data for the Universities of Halle and Leipzig at the respective university archives, for the comparison with the Universities of Göttingen and Heidelberg I relied on published lists with the names and registration information...

  10. Chapter 3 The German University, Masculinity, and “The Other”
    (pp. 76-109)

    The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the experiences of white, able-bodied, heterosexual men—the target group of the nineteenth-century German university—on an equal par with those of African-American men, homosexuals, US women, and a few hearing-impaired and blind Americans, focusing specifically on their efforts to access the German university. No data on African-American women is available at this point for the universities that I examined in the context of this study. African-American women nonetheless also registered at German-speaking universities after the US Civil War.

    My goal in this chapter is to highlight obstacles (or the absence of...

  11. Chapter 4 Choosing a University: The Case of Leipzig
    (pp. 110-138)

    After having established the peculiarities in the development of US student numbers at four German universities, and after having elaborated on the increasingly diverse US student body especially at the University of Leipzig, the purpose of this chapter is to flesh out the statistical developments by portraying the University of Leipzig from different American perspectives in the course of the long nineteenth century, which then allows me to infer reasons that explain why US student numbers at Leipzig underwent such dramatic shifts as detailed in chapter 2.

    The main reason for opting for a German university—as derived from personal...

  12. Chapter 5 Transatlantic Academic Networking
    (pp. 139-168)

    The academic relationships between US students and professors at Leipzig and Halle are at the center of this chapter. In order to approach the subject systematically, I will first of all examine the preferred fields of study that US students chose upon their enrollment and trace how these subject interests changed over time. As a second step, I will establish US students’ routes of study. By this I mean the trajectories from an American university to one or several European universities and back to America with a specific focus on students’ specific subject interests. These routes of study would typically...

  13. Chapter 6 Networking Activities of Leipzig’s American Colony
    (pp. 169-201)

    Many US students registered at German universities mainly to advance their professional careers. Especially those who meant to stay in academia worked and studied hard with much focus on the question of how best to employ their time. The academic networking that I described in chapter 5 was certainly an important step toward that goal. But, as the example of the activities of the American colony in Leipzig shows, there was more to it.

    In this chapter, I explore different forms of formal and informal networking within American colonies such as the one at Leipzig. Besides US students, the local...

  14. Chapter 7 Forging American Culture Abroad
    (pp. 202-228)

    This chapter traces American perceptions of German student life and culture, focusing on the question of what US students found worthwhile to be adopted in order to advance the state of affairs in America. After all, besides their scientific and scholarly quests as well as active involvement in Leipzig’s American colony, US students also tried to get to the bottom of the German experience by observing German culture and student life, which they would subsequently mix with their own customs and activities. One could say that they were adjusting aspects of American culture in direct contact with the foreign culture....

  15. Chapter 8 Returning Home
    (pp. 229-259)

    In the course of the nineteenth century, reform movements in education were evident on both sides of the Atlantic, though German universities had begun to transform their organizational structures from older scholastic forms into modern research universities already in the eighteenth century. In the United States, reform activity became particularly pronounced after the US Civil War, a time that was also marked by a considerable student migration especially to German universities. Americans’ striving for a “New Education” is consequently part of a transatlantic phenomenon. “New Education” refers to the reformist wave of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It...

  16. Conclusion
    (pp. 260-267)

    In his 1925 novelArrowsmith, the Nobel laureate Sinclair Lewis introduces his readers to “John A. Robertshaw, John Aldington Robertshaw, professor of physiology in the medical school”¹ of the fictitious University of Winnemac in the fictitious state of Winnemac, which, like “Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana,” is “half Eastern and half Midwestern.”² Robertshaw is a living caricature of the US professor at the turn of the twentieth century. He “was rather deaf, and he was the only teacher in the University of Winnemac who still wore mutton-chop whiskers. … On all occasions he remarked, ‘When I was studying with Ludwig...

  17. Appendix 1: Figures
    (pp. 268-279)
  18. Appendix 2: List of Leipzig Professors of Interest to US Students
    (pp. 280-282)
  19. Appendix 3: List of Leipzig-American Dissertations
    (pp. 283-292)
  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 293-316)
  21. Index
    (pp. 317-329)