Myron and Margaret Winegarden Visiting Professorship

2013-14 Myron and Margaret Winegarden Visiting Professor – Dr. Jürgen C. Wolter 

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Jürgen C. Wolter, Professor of American Studies at Germany’s University of Wuppertal has been appointed as the 2013-14 Myron and Margaret Winegarden Visiting Professor.  Dr. Wolter is a widely-published, internationally recognized scholar in American literature and culture, specializing in American drama, the American South, and the literary works of African-Americans.  Included among his dozens of research visits to the United States was a six-week tour funded by the Fulbright Commission. Dr. Wolter serves on the editorial boards of two American serials: Studies in American Drama (Ohio State University Press) and The Southern Quarterly (University of Southern Mississippi). 


Dr. Wolter received his M.A. in English and Latin and Ph.D. in English and American Literature from the University of Marburg, Germany.  Previous to his retirement in 2012, Dr. Wolter served as Dean and Vice Dean of Wuppertal’s Faculty of Languages and Literature and twice chaired its Department of English and American Studies.  During his academic career, Dr. Wolter taught American literature, in the English original, to thousands of German students on topics covering the entire history of American literature from discovery (Columbus) to Postmodernism (Delillo, Auster).  The courses he has taught include “The Short Story of the American Renaissance,” “Tennessee Williams,” “The Fiction of William Faulkner,” “U.S. Minority Literatures,” “Women Writers of the American South,” “The Harlem Renaissance,” and “Literature of the American South.”


During Dr. Wolter’s tenure as Winegarden Visiting Professor, his contributions will range across three fields of broad, interdisciplinary, cross-cultural interest:  American culture, university-level pedagogy, and campus-community engagement.  With Professor Wolter, we will see American culture and literature through the gaze of an informed European observer; we will gain a keener understanding of the mutual challenges of teaching humanities, in the modern German as well as the modern American university; and we will achieve a wider awareness of the mutual challenges of linking a university to a community that is transitioning from dependence on traditional heavy industry to service and specialized manufacturing. Wuppertal and Flint, both as cities and as universities, we will find, share much in common. Dr. Wolter, interestingly, was among the founding faculty of the University of Wuppertal. His reflections on American culture and his personal experiences building a program and university in the midst of an economically-challenged region will be of keen interest in a wide range of disciplines, not least language and literature, history, sociology, political science, Africana studies, education, and community engagement.


Tentative plans include a wide range of activities, including an upper-level course, a faculty seminar, and public lectures. Specifics will be announced as these are firmed up.  We personally want to thank Bob Houbeck and Jan Furman for nominating Dr. Wolter and look forward to meeting and interacting with this distinguished author and researcher.  Once dates are set, we will be hosting a Welcome Reception so that the campus will have an opportunity to meet Dr. Wolter and his wife, Sigrid. 

History and Application Process of the Winegarden Professorship

The Myron and Margaret Winegarden Visiting Professorship was established in 2001 through a generous gift from the estate of Margaret Winegarden.  This gift enables the University of Michigan-Flint to bring individuals of national and international reputation to our campus. 

The guidelines for the Professorship specify that the candidate contribute to the understanding and appreciation for the sciences and humanities in the context of the emerging global world economy.  Winegarden Visiting Professors will be expected to spend a significant amount of time on our campus during the fall or winter semester.  They will teach and/or interact with classes, participate in meetings with students and faculty, conduct lectures for students, faculty, staff and the community, offer seminars and colloquia for faculty, etc.

Candidates for this Visiting Professorship need not hold a traditional faculty appointment; however, they should be nationally or internationally acclaimed for their professional work.  The Provost, in consultation with the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, will appoint a faculty selection committee to determine the successful nomination.

The open window to submit applications normally occurs in the spring and will be announced by the Office of the Provost.  To submit a nomination, please complete the nomination form and mail the completed form to Sue Fabbro, Office of the Provost,, 229 University Pavilion.  The only supporting documentation needed is a brief biographical sketch and a statement addressing the question, “How would the nominee contribute to the understanding of and appreciation for the sciences and humanities in the context of the emerging global world economy?”  Please contact the nominee to be sure they would be interested in coming to our campus and to get a sense of the remuneration they would need.  Recipients typically spend the equivalent of one month on campus, which could occur by several visits during the semester or an extended stay.

Previous Winegarden Professors

Dr. Jürgen Wolter 2013-2014
Dr. James Elkins  2012-2013
Dr. Kenneth Waltzer  2011-2012
Christopher Paul Curtis - 2009
Tariq Ali - 2008
Will Power - 2007

Winegarden Nomination Form