Helga Druxes

You are a habit our students just cannot break. And they don’t want to. Your exuberance and passion bring them back for course after course: classes focusing on the German language; on literature and cinema; on cultures and ideas; and on issues and movements. Former students remember their experiences with you as some of the most influential of their lives.

Your classroom is always a stimulating and enjoyable place to be. The teaching is creative and motivating; the learning is immersive and rewarding. Your insightful feedback inspires students to analyze more closely and to think more critically.
We should also mention that your meals and baked goods are legendary.
And you’re just fun to be around. After all, as one former student says, it’s not every professor who can get first-years interested in accusatives, datives and genitives… at 8 a.m.

The breadth of both your teaching and your scholarship is phenomenal. Here are just a few of the many, many issues that you address—in five books, countless other scholarly projects and your courses—through the lenses of literature, film, culture and history: neoliberalism, feminism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, Holocaust memory, migration, digital media, hate speech and multiculturalism. Oh, and espionage.

You have an eye for style and a deep critical appreciation of literary and visual culture. Even more, you are known by your students and teaching assistants as generous and supportive, passionate and patient, humorous and dedicated. Your focus is on students’ growth both as scholars and as human beings. You always look for the opportunity to say, “Yes.” What more can we ask of a Williams professor?

I hereby declare you Paul H. Hunn ’55 Professor in Social Studies, Emerita, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.

June 5, 2022