The Max Kade German-American Research Institute was founded in 1993 with an annual grant from the Max Kade Foundation of New York and continues to receive annual sustaining help from the Foundation.
It also received support from the Pennsylvania State University's College of Liberal Arts.
Mission of the Institute
The Max Kade Institute has two related but distinct missions. First, it engages in and promotes scholarly research and publication into the German-speaking populations and cultures in the Americas from the 1620s when German speakers arrived in the New Netherland colony to the 1820s. By the latter day, a distinct culture had emerged in Pennsylvania and adjoining states where German-speaking settlements were visible and numerous. This two-century period demarcates the research agenda and focus of the Institute at Penn State and is the only such Institute in North America dedicated to scholarly research on early German language settlements and cultures at a Research I University.
Second, the Max Kade Institute serves a broad public among Penn State's alumni and friends who have a general interest in "Pennsylvania Dutch" culture from the colonial period to the present day. The Institute carries out this second mission by sponsoring lectures, tours and presentations on current as well as historical issues including relationships between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Specifically, under its research mission, the Institute
- cooperates with academic departments within the College of Liberal Arts in promoting scholarship and teaching with an emphasis on the early modern era (1400-1800) within which the Institute's focus is found
- sponsors scholarly conferences of Germanists, historians, anthropologists, and students of music, art, and culture from the U.S. and abroad who pursue research in the German diaspora in the Americas, 1620-1820
- subvents and encourages publication of scholarship emerging from the Institute's research focus
- promotes the research into original printed sources for early German-American history and culture via an acquisitions program in connection with Penn State's Pattee Library
with the College and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities in
bringing Max Kade visiting professors to Penn State
- subvents school-related projects and materials to enhance interest in Pennsylvania German heritages and activities
- publishes the Max
Kade Institute Series with Penn State University
Press where we seek to publish the best new scholarship in areas of
German-American research that fits with the broader objectives of the
- offers lectures of broad interest to alumni and friends on contemporary and historical issues and personalities in Europe and the U.S., 1400-present
- cooperates with other Penn State units and beyond the College to encourage alumni and public participation in and support for international programs and initiatives at Penn State.