Walter Schmitz

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Walter Schmitz

Walter Schmitz (born February 22, 1953 in Cochem ) is Senior Professor (Research) for Modern German Literature and Cultural History at the Technical University of Dresden .


Walter Schmitz studied German, Latin and general linguistics at the Universities of Trier (1971–1973), Munich (1973/1974) and Georgetown / Washington, DC After successfully completing this, he initially worked as an employee of Hans Mayer and worked on the edition of the collected works from Max Frisch with.

After receiving his doctorate (1981) and habilitation (1988) at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, he took over several professorships, including a. at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf in the winter semester 1988/1989, the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (summer semester 1989) and a visiting professorship at the KFW Wander Pedagogical University in Dresden (1991/1992).

Since 1992 he has been professor for modern German literature and cultural history at the Technical University of Dresden and retired on October 1, 2018. Walter Schmitz is currently working as a senior professor as part of a research professorship at the Central Europe Center of the Technical University of Dresden.

In 2000, Walter Schmitz and Ludger Udolph (holder of the professorship for Slavic literary studies at the Technical University of Dresden) founded the Central Europe Center as a center for interdisciplinary studies at the Technical University of Dresden and at the same time maintained the office of managing director, which he has been acting director since 2018 continues.

In addition to his academic teaching activities, he was Vice-Rector for Education for two terms (from 1994 to 1999) and was thus a member of the university management at the Technical University of Dresden. From 2006, Walter Schmitz was also a part-time professor for modern German literature and German studies at the Technical University in Liberec.

From October 1997 to December 1999 Schmitz took over the office of founding director of the Institute for Saxon History and Folklore, which was newly founded on the basis of a resolution by the Saxon State Parliament, together with Günter Wartenberg.

As a co-founder of the Central European Association of Germanists, he was its president from 2003 to 2010 and has been honorary president ever since.

Walter Schmitz pursues a large number of projects that correlate in particular with his work at the Central Europe Center. He is currently involved in various research projects, including a. on the functions of the culture of remembrance in Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th century (comparison of cities in Timisoara and Dresden), culture and rule in the 19th century, culture, dissidence and dictatorship in the 20th century, German-Jewish literary and cultural history in Central Europe, especially in Chernivtsi and Bukowina, as well as on the literature of migration in the German-speaking countries since 1945. As part of the latter project, the Chamisso Poetics Lecturer for Migrant Literature in Dresden was initiated from 2001 to 2011 by the Central Europe Center and in cooperation with the Technical University and the Saxon Academy of the Arts.

In an international context, Walter Schmitz works on various projects together with partners in the Ukraine, Tunisia and Tajikistan and has given guest lectures and seminars a. a. at the University of British Columbia, Georgetown University, the University of Wroclaw, as well as at the universities in Rome, Naples, Budapest, Iași, Olomouc, Prague, Leuven and Brussels. He also took on a visiting professorship at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.

Fonts (selection)

Monographic works

  • Walter Schmitz : Max Frisch: The Work (1931–1961). Studies on tradition and processing traditions. [= Europäische Hochschulschriften I / 570] Bern: Lang 1985.
  • Walter Schmitz: Max Frisch: Das Spätwerk (1962–1982). An introduction. [= UTB 1351] Tübingen: Francke 1985.
  • Walter Schmitz : The Wiesenstein House. Gerhart Hauptmann's poetic living. Dresden: Thelem 2006/2010.
  • Walter Schmitz: manual. 'Migration literature' in German-speaking countries since 1945. In three volumes . Dresden: Thelem 2018.


  • Hans Mayer with the participation of Walter Schmitz (ed.): Max Frisch. Collected works in chronological order. 6 vols. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp 1976.
  • Walter Schmitz / Johann S. Koch (eds.): Max Frisch. Collected works in chronological order, Volume 7. Special cover. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp 1986.
  • Walter Schmitz / Sibylle von Steinsdorff (eds.): Bettine von Arnim. Works and letters in four volumes . Frankfurt: Deutscher Klassiker Verlag 1986ff.
  • Stefan Nienhaus / Walter Schmitz (eds.) In collaboration with Paolo Chiarini: Theodor Däubler: Gesammelte Werke [in 7 volumes]. Dresden edition. Dresden: Thelem 2004ff.
  • Walter Schmitz (Hrsg.) : Ludwig Tieck: Historical-critical edition (Dresdner Tieck edition). Dresden: Thelem 2018.


  • Uwe Puschner / Walter Schmitz / Justus H. Ulbricht (eds.): Handbook of the ethnic movement in the German Empire. Munich u. a .: Saur 1996.
  • Jürgen Joachimsthaler / Walter Schmitz (eds. ): Zwischeneuropa / Mitteleuropa. Language and literature in an intercultural constellation. Files of the founding congress of the Central German Association of Germanists. Dresden: Thelem 2007.
  • Walter Schmitz (Ed.) : Another Europe. Innovation - Impetus - Tradition in Central and Eastern Europe. Documentation for the 3rd Saxon Central and Eastern Europe Day. [Central Europe Current; 2] Dresden: Thelem 2008.
  • Walter Schmitz (ed.): Walter Trier (1890–1951) and the children's world of images. Catalog book for the traveling exhibition. Dresden: Thelem 2008.
  • Jörg Bernig / Walter Schmitz (eds.) : German-German literary exile. Writers from the GDR in the Federal Republic. Dresden: Thelem 2009.
  • Jacques Lajarrige / Walter Schmitz / Giusi Zanasi (eds.): Central Europe. History of a transnational discourse in the 20th century. Volume 1. Trilateral Research Conference at Villa Vigoni, May 2009. [Central European Studies; 17] Dresden: Thelem 2011.
  • Joachim Klose / Walter Schmitz (eds.): Freedom, fear and provocation. On social cohesion in a post-dictatorial society . Dresden: Thelem 2016.
  • Joachim Klose / Walter Schmitz with the assistance of Kristina Kocyba (eds.): Who is Germany? Aspects of migration in culture, society and politics. Dresden: Thelem 2018.

Book series

  • Central European Studies (with Ludger Udolph; since 2003).
  • German Studies (since 2000)
  • Cultural Studies (since 2005)


Web links