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Carl W. Hagge

Professor of Germanic Languages, Emeritus

UC Los Angeles

1904 – 2004



Carl William Hagge, professor emeritus in the Department of Germanic Languages, died August 8, 2004. He was born December 13, 1904, at Ogden, Iowa and received his A.B. (1926) and M.A. (1927) degrees as well as his Ph.D. in German from UC Berkeley in 1944. In 1931 he was a Sheldon Travelling Fellow at Harvard University and was enrolled at the University of Berlin. He was a member of the faculty at Harvard University (1930-1931), before he came to the Department of Germanic Languages at UCLA in 1932. He was chair of the Department from 1950 to 1956. In 1963, he was awarded the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award. He retired in 1972.


As a scholar he developed the strength of the department in eighteenth-century German studies that it still maintains today. He showed remarkable breadth teaching 18th-century German writing and thought: not only did he teach works by Lessing, Kant, Herder, Goethe, and Schiller, but also the influences of English and French literature and philosophy. His course on Goethe’s Faust that was required for seniors to graduate was among his most well known. He was a truly distinguished teacher who was so renowned that his students did not say that they took Goethe with Hagge, but Hagge with Goethe. Graduate students passed on their notes of his lectures from generation to generation.


Professor Hagge put equal emphasis on undergraduate and graduate teaching. He attracted students who were not necessarily majors, but were interested in German topics. His colleagues in the Department benefited immensely from his advice and were grateful for his service on many departmental and Senate committees (Graduate Council, Library Committee, and Legislative Assembly). From 1945-1949, he served on the Board of Editors of the University of California Publications in Modern Philology. He mentored a number of well-known Ph.D.s in his field, and is remembered by his colleagues and students with great respect and fondness.


Ehrhard Bahr