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Professor Peter McIsaac appointed director of Centre for German & European Studies

Professor Peter McIsaac appointed director of Centre for German & European Studies

Peter McIsaac, a professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies’ Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics, has been appointed director of the Canadian Centre for German & European Studies (CCGES) at York University. The appointment became effective July 1.

"I am truly excited to be taking on the directorship of CCGES, which is both a privilege and a challenge,” says McIsaac. “My sense is that CCGES has begun to establish itself as a nexus of crucial research into a variety of important questions, but we have not begun to exhaust the possibilities of the York community. While Germany retains a central place in the centre's research agenda, we need to welcome the intellectual curiosity of colleagues working on other European questions under the CCGES umbrella. The European Union Centre of Excellence project, housed at CCGES, provides a perfect example of what is possible.”

Right: Peter McIsaac

McIsaac holds a PhD in Germanic languages and literatures from Harvard University and a bachelor of science in physics and German from the University of Michigan. In addition to numerous articles, book chapters and book reviews, McIsaac is the author of Museums of the Mind: German Modernity and the Dynamics of Collecting and has served as guest editor for the journals New German Critique, LiLi: Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik and German Politics and Society. He came to York in 2007 from Duke University, where he was an assistant professor. During the past year, McIsaac was a visiting associate professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

CCGES fosters and disseminates critical knowledge about Germany in its European context while examining Europe as a geographical, political, social, cultural and economic entity. Promoting new research into these core lines of inquiry is at the heart of McIsaac’s plans for the centre.

McIsaac succeeds Professor Roger Keil, director of the City Institute at York University and professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, who has served as interim director for the past year.

"CCGES’ focus on European Union studies and affairs reflects the complexity and diversity of meanings attached to Europe in the modern world,” says David Dewitt, associate vice-president research (social sciences & humanities). “Its research supports York’s international focus while its student exchanges provide valuable opportunities for students from York and European countries to enhance their student and research experience through travel.

“I commend Professor Keil for his great service over the past year and am pleased to welcome Professor McIsaac into this new role.”

Submitted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer