Guenter George Pfister

Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures
Professor and Chair

Dr. Günter Pfister died on June 21, 2022, at the age of 84. He came to the University of Maryland in 1972 as a faculty member in Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, a department that he served for many years as Chair, including the year following his “official” retirement in 2006. He previously held a faculty position at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Professor Pfister earned a PhD from the University of Kansas and a BA from Bowling Green State University. Professor Pfister was an enthusiastic and devoted teacher and scholar of German language and culture pedagogy, and he transmitted this passion to the many graduate students and TAs he mentored. His book Second Language Acquisition Through Cultural Awareness (1981) provided groundbreaking innovative uses of cultural perspectives in language teaching. He collaborated with younger colleagues at area universities and former students on volumes such as Culture, Proficiency, and Control in FL Teaching (1987) and The Individual within Multi-Socio-Cultural-Realities: Culture Analysis as a Reading Strategy (2002). A people's man, Dr. Pfister was an avid participant in weekend soccer games at the University of Maryland where TAs, students and faculty came together for soccer followed by pizza and beer at local restaurants.

Gunter Pfister