Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

Faculty and Staff Directory

DENNIS, David B.

Title/s: Professor

Office #: Crown Center 535

Phone: 773.508.3082 ext. 82234

E-mail: dennis@luc.edu

External Webpage: https://sites.google.com/a/etl.luc.edu/dbd/Home-Page


David B. Dennis (Ph.D., UCLA, 1991; B.A., University of Wisconsin, 1984) is a Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago where he teaches courses on modern European cultural history.

Having studied with scholars such as George Mosse, Harvey Goldberg, Robert Wohl, Eugen Weber, Saul Friedlander, Robert Winter, and others, Dennis’s own scholarship has focused on German cultural and political history. His Beethoven in German Politics, 1870-1989 (Yale University Press, 1996) examines evocations and uses of Beethoven’s biography and music by all of the major parties of 19th- and 20th-century German political culture.  The book attracted considerable international attention and was reviewed in both scholarly and popular media, including The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian, the New Statesman and Society, the Frankfurther Allgemeine Zeitung, Music and Letters, the American Historical Review, the German Studies Review, and other publications.    

Dennis’s most recent book Inhumanities: Nazi Interpretations of Western Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2012) provides an intense and comprehensive examination of the main publication of the Nazi Party, the Völkischer Beobachter, showing how that newspaper interpreted the History of Western culture, from the Ancient Greeks through the Weimar Era, in the context of Nazi ideology. It has received very positive critical attention from the Times Literary Supplement, the Literary Review, and other press and media outlets.  He has written numerous book chapters and articles appearing in a variety of journals including, the International Journal of Humanities, the Journal of Political and Military Sociology, and the German Studies Review. His current interdisciplinary project, Modern History of Computing and Its Cultures co-authored with George Thiruvathukal, surveys the stages of computing history with critical historiographical methods and explores the relationships between these developments and their social and cultural contexts.

Dennis also served as the Graduate Program Director in the History Department from 2011-2014.  He has been recognized for excellence in teaching and was a recipient of a Master Teacher Award in the College of Arts and Sciences in both 2000 and 2003. In 2010, he organized and moderated the film series Made in West/East Germany: Chicago-wide Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of German Reunification in conjunction with the Goethe-Institut Chicago, DePaul University, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois-Chicago. In 1993, he hosted the Topography of Terror: Gestapo, SS, and Reichssicherheitshauptamt on the Prinz-Albrecht Terrain Exhibit at Loyola University, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Chicago and the German Consulate in Chicago.


Research Interests

Modern German History, History of Western Humanities, Music and History, Beethoven Studies, History of National Socialism, History of Computing

Courses Taught

HIST 101: Western Ideas and Institutions to the 17th Century

HIST 102: Western Ideas and Institutions since the 17th Century

HIST 300: Germany in the 19th Century

HIST 321: Europe in the 19th Century

HIST 327: Europe since 1945

HIST 336: Germany in the 20th Century

HIST 433: Modern German History and Historiography

HIST 436: Cultural and Intellectual Histories of Modern Europe

HIST 436: The Art and Practice of Historical Writing

HIST 540: The Novel and Twentieth-Century European History

Selected Publications

Representative publications include:

Inhumanities: Nazi Interpretations of Western Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Beethoven in German Politics, 1870 – 1989 (Yale University Press, 1996).

“The Most German of all German Operas: Die Meistersinger Through the Lens of the Third Reich” in Nicholas Vazsonyi (ed.), Wagner’s Meistersinger: Performance, History, Representation (University of Rochester Press, 2003).

“Beethoven At Large: Reception in Literature, the Arts, Philosophy, and Politics” in Glenn Stanley (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Beethoven (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

“Moving Academic Department Functions to Social Networks and Clouds: Initial Experiences” in Computing in Science and Engineering, co-authored with George K. Thiruvathukal and Konstantin Läufer (Vol. 13, No.5, Sept-Oct 2011), pp. 84-89.