Bruce Duncan Wins Fish Memorial Teaching Prize

Duncan, the Dartmouth Professor of German Language Emeritus, retired in 2015 after 46 years at the College—a career that included a stint as Associate Dean for the Humanities and a two-year tenure as Interim Director of the Hopkins Center for the Arts, as well as service as chair of the Department of German Studies.

Why study German language and literature? “I have always been attracted to the life of the mind, and German culture is a rich source for that. At the same time, a culture and its language are inseparable. My research has had two general focuses that feed off each other: on the one hand, late 18th- and early 19th- century German literature and thought; on the other, language pedagogy. The first includes studies of individual works, authors, and trends within intellectual history; I’ve also done translations. The interest in pedagogy has taken a variety of forms, but makes particular use of the computer. I was lucky enough to come to Dartmouth in the early days of BASIC, when freewheeling experimentation by faculty and students was part of the culture. At the same time, John Rassias was introducing his teaching methods and developing our language programs abroad.”

On teaching: “Teaching is my greatest joy, be it of language or literature, on campus or on our programs in Mainz and Berlin. It’s exciting to help students to discover new ways of encountering the world and to develop ways to articulate those encounters. The energy and openness that they bring to the process are infectious, and they continually furnished me with new insights.”


(Adapted from Dartmouth Now,)