The modern research university is a global institution with a rich history that stretches into an ivy-laden past, but for as much as we think we know about that past, most of the writings that have recorded it are scattered across many archives and, in many cases, have yet to be translated into English. With this book, Paul Reitter, Chad Wellmon, and Louis Menand bring a wealth of these important texts together, assembling a fascinating collection of primary sources—many translated into English for the first time—that outline what would become the university as we know it.
The editors focus on the development of American universities such as Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and the Universities of Chicago, California, and Michigan. Looking to Germany, they translate a number of seminal sources that formulate the shape and purpose of the university and place them next to hard-to-find English-language texts that took the German university as their inspiration, one that they creatively adapted, often against stiff resistance. Enriching these texts with short but insightful essays that contextualize their importance, the editors offer an accessible portrait of the early research university, one that provides invaluable insights not only into the historical development of higher learning but also its role in modern society.
About the Author
Paul Reitter is professor of Germanic languages and literatures at the Ohio State University. He is the author and editor of many books, including The Anti-Journalist: Karl Kraus and Jewish Self-Fashioning in Fin-de-Siecle Europe.
Chad Wellmon is professor of German studies and history at the University of Virginia. He is the author and editor of many books, The Rise of the Research University: A Sourcebook and Organizing Enlightenment: Information Overload and the Invention of the Modern Research University.
Praise for The Rise of the Research University: A Sourcebook
“The Rise of the Research University charts how unpredictable and unstable university systems have been on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. It reveals that academic soul-searching about the role of research universities is as prevalent now as it was 150 years ago. But it also shows how important these bodies remain, in both the United States and Europe, in advancing understanding of the world.”
"[T]racks the history of the research university through a well-curated collection of documents on subjects ranging from core curricula to coeducation. Short enough to read and not just consult, the book tells a story that begins with the German universities that inspired ours. It ends in Veblen's time, when American universities took on the shape we recognize today. The editors focus on description, not commentary; you'll be able to supply the latter for yourself."
— Chronicle of Higher Education