A graduate of St. Olaf College in 2005 (Phi Beta Kappa, History and German), Erik earned his Ph.D. in German Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University in 2015.  Erik joined the Institute in 2020 after having taught at both Hamline University (St. Paul, MN) and Furman University (Greenville, SC). His doctoral work explored the relationship between literature and politics in nineteenth-century Germany, specifically the role narrative prose fiction played in helping middle-class Germans attune liberal ideology. His courses have routinely addressed the complex Enlightenment legacies of German liberalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As Assistant Director, Erik is looking forward to assisting with public programming, supporting faculty and students on collaborative projects, and serving the goals and mission of the Institute however he can.