This volume has two related aims. The first is to honor Walter H. Sokel, one of the leading scholars and teachers in the study of German languages and literatures and a well-known figure in American academics in general. The second aim is to outline the emerging shape of cultural studies, and to suggest that Walter Sokel's work, especially in the field of intellectual history, has played a decisive role in that transition. This volume illustrates the process of transformation occurring within literary study. The book thus takes a position in the vertiginous debate concerning the purpose of education today.
Walter H. Sokel has been a distinguished teacher and researcher at various American universities, including Columbia, Stanford, and the University of Virginia. He has specialized in the study of German intellectual History, Expressionism, and Franz Kafka.