Christoph Irmscher was born in Germany and earned his M.A. in English and German, Dr. phil. in English, and Dr. phil. habil. in American Studies, all from the University of Bonn. He previously taught at the University of Bonn, University of Tennessee, Harvard University, and University of Maryland Baltimore County. Irmscher joined the Department of English at IU Bloomington in 2006 and was named Provost Professor in 2013. He was named director and George F. Getz Jr. Professor of the Wells Scholars Program in 2013, later receiving the Class of 1942 Wells Scholars Program Professor in 2019.
Irmscher is a biographer and author of non-fiction commentary whose work has made profound contributions to the fields of American literature, American and European history, environmental humanities, and the history of science. By intertwining the discourse of subjective aesthetics and objective science through textual analysis, historical context, and visual culture, his work has illuminated the crosscurrents of social relations in terms of class, race, gender, and human-nature interactions.
Irmscher is the author of 8 books, 9 edited volumes, over 50 scholarly articles, 5 exhibition catalogs, more than 100 reviews and articles in both English and German, and 10 curated exhibitions, including his Longfellow exhibition which received the Leab Exhibition Award from the American Library Association. He has given invited talks throughout the United States, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. His work is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and he has received the IU Trustee’s Teaching Award and the James Philip Holland Award for Exemplary Teaching and Service to Students. Elected to the Austrian Academy of Sciences and selected to serve in the European Forum, Irmscher has served as the NEH Institute Lead Faculty and NEH Institute Director for the IU Lilly Library. He has been listed in Who’s Who in America since 2005 and in Contemporary Authors (Gale) since 2001.