Our Max Kade German Writer in Residence Program, the oldest in the country, constitutes a focal point in our curriculum and attracts students who want a genuine singular opportunity to learn from a living author. This artistic residency serves as a dynamic teaching and learning opportunity.

Each year, our students write a biographical text based on German-language interviews they conduct with the guest author. These biographies formed the basis of a book, Willkommen und Abschied: Thirty-Five Years of German Writers in Residence at Oberlin College, which was edited by Professor Heidi Thomann Tewarson and Dorothea Kaufmann, then-faculty in residence.

Published in 2005 by Camden House Press, the book has the original biographies as well as “After Oberlin” essays written by students and faculty members. It provides a fascinating view of German-American relationships as well as a chronicle of life in Oberlin, Ohio, since 1968. 

The Max Kade Foundation has been exceptionally generous to Oberlin College as part of its own mission to promote a “positive relationship between German-speaking countries and the United States.”

Additionally, graduates and friends of the German department have remained supportive of the program. We use these funds to enrich the learning experience of our majors and all students on campus.

The college began this residency in 1968.

  • 2019: Nora Gomringer
  • 2018: Peter Stephan Jungk
  • 2016: Tanja Dückers
  • 2015: Branwen Okpako
  • 2014: Anja Utler
  • 2013: Uwe Kolbe
  • 2012: Peter Wawerzinek
  • 2011: Susanne Schädlich
  • 2010: Esther Dischereit
  • 2009: Barbara Köhler
  • 2008: Jan Wagner
  • 2007: Uwe Kolbe
  • 2006: Gila Lustiger
  • 2005: Mariella Mehr
  • 2004: Katja Lange-Müller
  • 2003: Peter Stephan Jungk
  • 2002: Doron Rabinovici
  • 2001: Irina Liebmann
  • 2000: Zafer Senocak
  • 1999: Gert Loschütz
  • 1998: Werner Söllner
  • 1997: Anna Mitgutsch
  • 1996: Barbara Neuwirth
  • 1995: Thomas Rosenlöcher
  • 1994: Ralf Rothmann
  • 1992: Richard Wagner
  • 1991: Jürg Amann
  • 1990: Hanna Johansen
  • 1989: Josef Haslinger
  • 1988: Helga Schütz
  • 1987: Gernot Wolfgruber
  • 1986: Karl-Heinz Jakobs
  • 1985: Rainer Malkowski
  • 1983: Peter Rosei
  • 1982: Bernd Jentzsch
  • 1981: Walter Helmut Fritz
  • 1980: Christoph Geiser
  • 1979: Johannes Schenk
  • 1978: Jurek Becker
  • 1977: Max von der Grün
  • 1976: Barbara Frischmuth
  • 1975: Ulrich Plenzdorf
  • 1974: Christa Wolf
  • 1973: Helga Novak
  • 1972: Peter Bichsel
  • 1971: Christoph Meckel
  • 1970: Tankred Dorst
  • 1969: Fritz Hochwälder
  • 1968: Kuno Raeber