Faculty of Modern Languages Institutes/Departments

English Department

The English Department was founded in 1924 and currently has nearly 1,700 students. Heidelberg English Studies has two chairs in linguistics as well as three chairs in literary studies, one of which focuses on American Studies. In addition to the core areas of British and North American literature and literary and cultural theory, the Department’s research and teaching in literary studies covers the new Anglophone literatures and cultures. Increasingly, research and teaching in linguistics at the Department of English has been investigating recent international varieties of English in addition to the traditional, central description of British and American English and the regional varieties thereof.

Department of German Studies

The Department of German Studies (Germanisches Seminar) was founded in 1923 as the Deutsches Seminar, but goes back to predecessor institutions from 1877 (Germanisch-Department of Romance Studies) and 1873 (Seminar für neuere Sprachen, ‘Seminar for Modern Languages’). The first chairholder was Karl Bartsch, appointed in 1871 as Full Professor of Germanic and Old Romance, especially Old French Language and Literature. Currently, about 1,800 students are receiving their education at the Department. There are seven professorships in three sub-fields: German Linguistics, Modern German Literature, and Language and Literature of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period. Currently, the following degree courses are offered: German Studies (Teacher Training and Bachelor/Master), Edition Studies & Textual Criticism, Medieval Studies, and Classical and Modern Literary Studies.

Department of Computational Linguistics

The Department of Computational Linguistics has existed since 1988 and currently has nearly 300 students. The subject of Computational Linguistics can be studied as a Bachelor’s degree and as an in-depth Master’s degree. The Department of Computational Linguistics has three chairs and two junior research group-leader positions, which are located at the Leibniz ScienceCampus founded in 2015.

Institute of German as a Foreign Language Philology

The Institute of German as a Foreign Language Philology (IDF) was founded in 1975 and currently has about 900 students. At the IDF, there is one professorship each for Literary Studies, Linguistics and German as a Second Language, respectively. The teaching and research emphases of the Institute are, on the one hand, on psycholinguistics, comparative linguistics, and second language acquisition; on the other hand, the Institute teaches and conducts research on German-language literature and culture in the context of international relations. The Institute is characterized by a high degree of internationality.

Institute for Translation and Interpreting

The Institute for Translation and Interpreting (IÜD) was founded in 1930 as the “Interpreting Institute” at the Mannheim School of Management before becoming part of the University of Heidelberg and relocating to Heidelberg in 1933. With seven language departments, the Institute comprises five professorships and currently has approximately 1,600 students. At the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, intensive interdisciplinary research is carried out in the fields of translation studies and linguistics, and cultural studies as part of international conferences, research projects, and dissertations. The disciplines of Translation Studies, Interpreting Studies and Terminology Management form the focus of the Department’s research.

Department of Romance Studies

The subject of Romance Studies has been represented at Heidelberg University since 1842, but the Department was only officially founded in 1924. As early as 1804, Anton Sar, a Heidelberg professor of theology, moved to the Faculty of Philosophy and became the first modern linguist to receive a full professorship in French. Emil Ruth was the first Romance philologist to receive his habilitation in Heidelberg, in 1844. Currently, the Department of Romance Studies educates approximately 1,100 students. The Heidelberg Department of Romance Studies is committed to the full breadth of Romance Studies and offers Galician, Catalan, Portuguese and Romanian in addition to the ‘major’ Romance languages of French, Italian and Spanish. The Heidelberg Department of Romance Studies provides research and teaching in the field of Romance languages, literatures, and cultures. Attention is now also paid to Romance language varieties and their literatures outside of Europe, for example in Latin America, Canada, and North and West Africa. Five chairs of linguistics and literature are based at the Department.

Institute for Slavic Studies

The programme of studies at the Institute for Slavic Studies of Heidelberg University combines sound language education with knowledge and working techniques in the fields of linguistics, literature, and cultural studies. Over time, the course content provides insights into the development of the Slavic languages, literatures, and cultures, from works of medieval literature to present-day of Eastern European societies. Great importance is attached to comparative and interdisciplinary approaches in research and teaching. The Institute for Slavic Studies is committed to the full breadth of Slavic studies and offers students the opportunity to choose from among six Slavic languages and cultures of the West, South and East Slavic regions (Bulgarian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Polish, Czech, Russian, Ukrainian). Thanks to numerous partnerships, education in Slavic Studies Heidelberg can be complemented by a study stay at a foreign university (Cracow, Poznan, Warsaw, Prague, Opava, Sofia, Zagreb). The following degree courses are offered at the Institute for Slavic Studies: a Bachelor’s in Slavic Studies; a Bachelor’s in Slavic Studies with a concentration in Russian Studies and teacher training; and the interdisciplinary Bachelor’s in Eastern European and East-central European Studies, conducted jointly with the Department of History. You can continue your studies with a Master’s degree in Slavic and Eastern European Studies (focus on Linguistics, Literature, or in cooperation with the Chair of Eastern European History, focus on Eastern European History) or with the Master of Education in Russian. It is possible to study part-time. The Institute for Slavic Studies has a chair for literary studies and a chair for linguistics. All languages offered are represented by their own language lectureships.

Other Institutions

The interdisciplinary European Linguistics Centre (EZS) is part of the Faculty.

Additionally, the Faculty is involved in the Heidelberg Center for Cultural Heritage (HCCH) and the Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies (HCIAS), which are central academic institutions of Heidelberg University.

Contact persons for students and staff

The individual subject advisors subjects of our Faculty can answer questions about the content and structure of your subject, about course requirements and examination procedures. You can also obtain the necessary certificate for a change of subject from them, as well.

Each department also elects one or more representatives of the academic middle-management staff, who are available as contact persons for staff:

English Department: N.N.

Department of German Studies: Tillmann Heise

Department of Romance Studies: Priv.-doc. Dr. Herle Jessen, Dr. Cora Rok

Institute for German as a Foreign Language (IDF): Dr. Martina Engelbrecht

Institute for Translation and Interpreting (IÜD): Dr. Anja Holderbaum, Priv.-doc. Dr. Iris Plack

Institute for Slavic Studies: N.N.

Furthermore, the academic staff is represented by elected representatives in the Faculty Council and in the Commission for Studies.