From Heidelberg to Duquesne: Philosophy Exchange Enriches Both Universities

The first faculty members are in place as part of a new international exchange between the philosophy departments at Duquesne and Germany’s Heidelberg University. The program will encourage faculty and students to grow in their disciplines as well as to enrich their experiences, said Duquesne Philosophy Chair Dr. Ronald Polansky.

Dr. Jennifer Bates

“The orientation of our department is contemporary Continental thought, along with the history of philosophy, so exchanges with Europe fit very well with preparation of our students,” Polansky said.

Faculty exchanges also present an opportunity for the institutions to share and broaden their knowledge, and Heidelberg, which is the oldest university in Germany, is considered among the top schools in the world.

“We have both graduate and undergraduate students involved in the exchange, and now we have inaugurated an exchange of professors between the two institutions,” said McAnulty Dean Dr. James Swindal. “The University of Heidelberg is a storied program in Continental philosophy, a focus of our department, so this collaboration brings us a significant advancement in our preparation of students. We hope that this collaboration can inspire other exchange opportunities for our students, both graduate and undergraduate.”

As part of the collaboration, Dr. Markus Herrmann from Heidelberg University is teaching a graduate course on Kant this semester, and the philosophy department also is hosting Heidelberg student Ines Woide. In addition, Duquesne student Paul Zipfel will study at Heidelberg University for their spring semester, which begins in March. Last fall, Heidelberg University hosted philosophy Ph.D. student Peter Libbey as the first exchange student of the collaboration.

Dr. Lanei Rodemeyer

This coming fall semester, Dr. Miriam Wildenauer of Heidelberg will teach in the University’s philosophy department, and Dr. Anton Koch, managing director of the philosophy department in Heidelberg, will present a special lecture. Dr. Lanei Rodemeyer, associate professor of philosophy at Duquesne, will teach at Heidelberg for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Associate Philosophy Professor Dr. Jennifer Bates, who studied at Heidelberg University as a Ph.D. student, organized the student and faculty exchanges after being invited by Heidelberg Alumni International Research to forge collaborations between the two schools.

An undergraduate Spring Break Away course also is planned as well as exchanges with additional doctoral students for the 2014-2015 academic year.

In addition to the Heidelberg collaboration, the philosophy department operates exchanges with the University College Dublin, Belgium’s Leuven University and Cologne University in Germany.