Ingeborg C. Walther

Office Hours: 

Mon. 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. 
Wed. 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Ingeborg C. Walther

Professor of the Practice of Germanic Languages and Literature

External Address: 
116J Old Chemistry Building, Box 90256, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90050, Durham, NC 27708-0050
(919) 660-3163

Ingeborg Walther is Professor of the Practice of Germanic Languages and Literature. A graduate of Stanford University (B.A.), Tufts University (M.A.) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D.), she joined the faculty of Duke University in 1994. Since then she has served as German Language Program Director, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Chair of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature. From 2007 - 2016, she served as Associate Dean of Curriculum and Course Development in Trinity College of Arts & Sciences.  Her major research interests include German Romanticism, 19th and 20th century German theater, poetry, and art songs, second language acquisition, applied linguistics, and critical pedagogy.

Her book, The Theater of Franz Xaver Kroetz, deals with the intersections of language, culture, and identity with which she continues to be concerned. She has also published and presented numerous papers on issues of language acquisition, culture, curriculum, and pedagogy, exploring productive links among what are often perceived as separate and unrelated fields of inquiry. She has put these ideas into practice with the creation of a coherent, articulated German Language Program Curriculum which integrates language and culture at all levels, while introducing students to some of the primary concerns of our discipline: the relationships between culture and identity, language and power, reader and text, text and context. The workshops and presentations she has given on using poetry, music, and theater in the language classroom show how important cultural texts can be used even at beginning levels in substantive, intellectually challenging ways, while taking fuller account of the affective and extra-linguistic dimensions of communication and learning.

Professor Walther has served on numerous committees and task forces which have promoted and restructured foreign language study at Duke. She has also been an active member of the profession, having served on the Executive Committee of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages, and presented regularly at national and regional conferences of the Modern Languages Association, the American Association of Teachers of German, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and the American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators. She is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Robert B. Cox Distinguished Teaching Award for her excellence in the classroom and her contributions to undergraduate teaching at Duke.


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor 1987
  • M.A., Tufts University 1974
  • B.A., Stanford University 1973

Walther, I. Teaching Assistant Handbook. 2007.

Walther, I. Teaching Assistant Handbook. 2007.

Walther, I. The Theater of Franz Xaver Kroetz. Peter Lang, 1990.

Walther, I. "Developing and Implementing an Evaluation of the Foreign Language Requirement at Duke University." Towards Useful Program Evaluation in College Foreign Language Education. Ed. JM Norris, JM Davis, C Sinicrope, and Y Watanabe. National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2009. 119-140.

Walther, I. "Franz Xaver Kroetz." Encyclopedia of German Literature. Chicago, London, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2000.

Goethe-in-Song. Musician, Performing artist. (2011)


About the Program:
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) to the development of the German art song. This program—part lecture, part performance—is intended to explore intersections of Goethe’s poetry with the musical culture of the nineteenth century, directly juxtaposing highly individual responses to Goethe’s language evinced in settings by eight composers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Franz Schubert (1797-1828), Fanny Hensel (1805-1847), Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Clara Schumann (1819-1896), Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), and Hugo Wolf (1860-1903). The distinguished Germanist, Nicholas Rennie, of Rutgers University, will elucidate the poetry and establish a literary context for the engagement of these musicians with Goethe’s enduring legacy. The songs will be performed by Duke faculty Sandra Cotton (mezzo-soprano) and Ingeborg Walther (piano).