Undergraduate courses in German were offered at Queen's as early as 1870 and were taught on a regular basis after 1888 by John Macgillivray, who founded the Department of German in 1902.
In 1950, the department became the first academic unit at the University, apart from the School of Nursing, to be led by a woman, when Hilda Laird, a former Dean of Women and long-time German professor, was appointed Department Head.
The department offered a comprehensive range of undergraduate courses in German language and literature and, in conjunction with the Departments of art, history, philosophy, and political studies, also offered an interdisciplinary degree program in German Studies. It engaged in research in a variety of fields and had a lively graduate program, offering both MA and PhD degrees that prospered for 40 years.
The Department was also home to the Russian program until 2001.
The implementation of a new Department of Languages Literature and Cultures on July 1, 2011, saw the integration of the administrative structure of six disciplines - Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Linguistics, and Spanish- with each maintaining its own disciplinary integrity.
Learn more about the history of the German program...