Letter from the Director

Letter from the Director

Welcome to the home page of the Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies at USC’s Dornsife College!  Founded as a German Center in 1975 by the late Cornelius Schnauber, with a generous grant from the Max Kade Foundation, it became a research institute in 1984.  The Institute has focused above all on the lives, experiences and contributions of German-speaking exiles in Southern California, providing a “Pacific perspective” on German history, literature, theater, film and music.  Indeed, the Institute conceives of German studies broadly, and situates German history, culture and political life within interdisciplinary and broader European and global frameworks.  Our ongoing programs continue to emphasize the study of exiles, and our other areas of interest include: Cold War studies; German-Jewish relations; and German and European culture, history and film. 

Located in a beautifully restored building several blocks north of campus, the Institute houses USC Dornsife’s three German language instructors.  It also possesses its own open access library of German literature and an institutional archive, housed within USC’s library system.

The Max Kade Institute organizes lectures, symposia, screenings, and performances and hosts visiting scholars in a variety of fields.  We are, in short, a resource for all things German/Central European on campus and around LA.  We work closely with other institutions at USC, including the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, the Shoah Foundation Institute, the Casden Institute, and the Resisting Genocide Research Cluster.  We also develop scholarly and public programs with local museums and educational and cultural institutions, including Villa Aurora, the Wende Museum, the LA Goethe Institut, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, and the Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies at LACMA. 

Please feel free to call or email with any queries.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Paul Lerner
Associate Professor of History
Director, Max Kade Institute
(213) 740-1653, plerner@usc.edu

  • Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies
  • University of Southern California
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0351