A.B. 1969 & A.M. 1971 Tufts University; University of Tübingen Ph.D. 1977 Harvard University
Professor of German. On leave in the spring of 2015
A primary research interest of his has been German exile literature from the period 1933–1945, an area in which he wrote his dissertation and has published several articles.
Prof. Hansen's newest publication was spotlighted on the Wellesley College homepage, see content here.
Recent research projects have focused on the post-war German writer Arno Schmidt (1914-1979). I have been particularly interested in explicating Schmidt's life-long obsession with Edgar Allan Poe. Tracking this relationship led me to research Poe's own knowledge of German language and culture. The results of this have appeared as as book (with Burton R. Pollin): (Columbia, South Carolina: Camden House, 1995). In 2004 I finished a book on the German exile book designer, George Salter (1897-1967). After a brilliant beginning in Berlin between the wars, Salter came to the US in 1934 to change the face of American book design. The volume, which provides both biography and analysis of Salter's book jackets, is richly illustrated with over 200 German and American designs. Click here to visit the George Salter website.
In 2013, Prof. Hansen published The eNotated Death in Venice.
Courses taught at Wellesley College:
Elementary and intermediate language courses ; Advanced grammar and writing skills; Survey of literature from Old High German period through Storm and Stress; Modern Drama (1880-1960); Hugo von Hofmannsthal; Thomas Mann; Social Forces in German Literature: the 19th Century; German Exile Literature (1933-1945); Clashing Myths in German Culture; Postwar German Culture; Masterpieces of German Literature; Richard Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung; The Fantastic in Literature (Comparative Literature Seminar); The Culture of Turn-of-the-century Vienna: the Birth of Modernism.