Q&A with Professor William Carter

CATEGORIES: September 2015

How did you decide to become a University professor?

As a first year student at the University of Virginia, I took a class called “The Crime of Writing,” which was a German literature in translation course taught by the eminent Goethe scholar Benjamin Bennett. He agreed to mentor me, and after learning German and finishing a German degree, I went on to earn my PhD at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A few years ago, we ran into each other at a Goethe conference.


What do you consider to be your most notable professional achievement?

Finally getting a tenure-track job after 7 years on the job market.

What has been your most memorable international experience?

Having my wallet stolen on a midnight train from Paris and then reporting it to the local German police—in German—during my first visit to Europe.

What is the last foreign country you visited? Is there a place in that country that you recommend anyone to visit?


Denmark, with my fiancée Adrienne, for a friend’s wedding. Copenhagen is fabulous, but wear comfy shoes. There are a lot of cobblestones.

What has been the most interesting or unusual course you taught at ISU?

I am currently teaching GER 371, “The Holocaust in Text, Image, and Memory,” which I am offering online for the second time since last summer. As perhaps the most meaningful course I teach, it has been great to see it flourish in its new format.


Make sure to read about “The Ethics of Debt” symposium that Dr. Carter is organizing together with Dr. Kate Padgett Walsh, Assistant Professor of Philosophy.