Texas Tech University

Faculty Focus


Charles Grair - Associate Chair


Dr. Charles Grair assumed the role of Associate Chair of CMLL this fall when Dr. Pereira-Muro went on a research leave.

Dr. Grair earned his BA at Northwestern University and his PhD in German literature at Washington University in St. Louis, though he also spent a few years studying abroad in Germany, in Munich and later in Berlin. His dissertation examined Johann Goethe's drama, Faust, the Tragedy Part Two, and he still feels most comfortable doing research on the period from 1750 to 1830, which in Germany is referred to simply as the "Goethe-time."

Dr. Grair came to Texas Tech twenty years ago, and in the time since he has taught almost every course in the German program, from beginning language courses to over ten different topics in graduate seminars. One of his favorite courses is Northern Myths and Legends, a lecture course taught in English to students from the entire campus. The course explores the myths, legends and folklore of northern Europe and examines the process of putting such originally oral literature into writing. The course is particularly exciting for students because they can follow the transformations of characters and stories over centuries as they are reshaped for different cultures, different audiences, and different media – culminating in contemporary motion pictures, fantasy novels, and computer games.

Dr. Grair has directed the German summer study abroad program many times, first in the small village of Wust in Saxony-Anhalt (in a program set up by Dr. McClain shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall), and later in Munich, where his previous experiences provided the backbone of a culture course that takes the students around Bavaria and eastern Austria in a quest to see and learn as much as possible in the 5 short weeks of the summer semester. A short video of the program and some of the sites seen by the students can be found online here.