At the Center for Liberal Arts, students have the opportunity to cultivate greater historical understanding, improved critical thinking and more articulate modes of individual expression through Webster University's Global Citizenship Program. Our multidisciplinary faculty supports the development of working methods and lines of inquiry that are both exploratory and innovative in character.

Global Cornerstone Seminars

Entering students begin their Global Citizenship Program (GCP) coursework with the Global Cornerstione Seminar class (code: GLBC 1200), formerly known as First-Year Seminar. Taught by faculty from a wide range of disciplines, the seminars introduce students to some of the problems and methodologies of scholarly inquiry they will confront and develop throughout their studies.

Knowledge and Skill Areas

In addition to GCP-coded courses within their own major field of study, students take coursework in the fields of philosophy, sociology, history, literature, science and the arts in order to strengthen their understanding of specific knowledge areas and skills sets essential to developing critical, creative and innovative ways of approaching pressing contemporary issues.

Global Keystone Seminars

To further integrate theory and practice and better prepare students for real-world problems, students complete their GCP coursework with a Global Keystone Seminar, a unique opportunity to apply the kind of multi-disciplinary, integrative learning methods so central to a liberal arts education.

Faculty and Staff — Center for Liberal Arts

Ryan Crawford

Ryan Crawford, PhD

Assistant Professor of Political Philosophy

  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Social and Political Philosophy
  • Contemporary Moral Problems: Why War?
  • Literature and Philosophy
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Introductions to Ethics
    The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment
  • Existentialism
  • Philosophy Reading Course: Capital and Its Discontents
  • Philosophy Reading Course: Freud’s Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
  • Philosophy Reading Course: Nietzsche
  • First-Year Seminar: A Genealogy of Scientific Understanding
  • First-Year Seminar: Crisis and Invention: Experiments in 20th and 21st Century Writing
  • First-Year Seminar: The Medium is the Message
  • First-Year Seminar: The Life and Death of Socrates
  • Keystone Seminar: Social Movements and the Impact of Technology Composition
  • Advanced Composition

  • Assistant Professor of Political Philosophy

Ryan Crawford studied philosophy, comparative literature and English, receiving his BA from Trinity College, CT (2006), and his MA (2010) and PhD (2012) from the State University of New York at Buffalo. At SUNY-Buffalo, he completed his dissertation under the supervision of Rodolphe Gasché and Joan Copjec, and served on the editorial board of umbr(a): a journal of the unconscious and theory@buffalo. Since he began teaching at Webster Vienna in 2012, he has been awarded the Schön Nobel Teacher of the Year Award three times by the Student Government Association. In 2016, he became Assistant Professor of Political Philosophy and Department Head of WVPU's Center for Liberal Arts.

His most recent essays can be found in Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, Radical Philosophy, Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences, Evental Aesthetics, The New Americanist and Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy.

In addition to teaching at WVPU, he also regularly teaches in the University of Vienna's Department of Philosophy.

Edited Books


  • “Chroniken einer Philosophie der Auslöschung: Swetlana Alexijewitsch” [Chronicles from a Philosophy of Extinction: Svetlana Alexievich], trans. Ella-Mae Paul and Eckardt Lindner, in Positionen der Geschichtskritik nach 1945: Deren gegenwärtige Aktualität und ihr Interesse für unsere >Nachkommen<, ed. Burckard Liebsch (Hamburg: Meiner Verlag) (forthcoming 2023)

  • “E.M. Cioran: Experimente der Antiutopie” [E. M. Cioran: Exercises in Anti-Utopia], trans. Ella-Mae Paul and Eckardt Lindner, in Positionen der Geschichtskritik nach 1945: Deren gegenwärtige Aktualität und ihr Interesse für unsere >Nachkommen<, ed. Burckard Liebsch (Hamburg: Meiner Verlag) (forthcoming 2023)

  • “Jean Améry: Die ausgebliebene Revolution" [Jean Améry: The Missed Revolution], trans. Ella-Mae Paul and Eckardt Lindner, in Positionen der Geschichtskritik nach 1945: Deren gegenwärtige Aktualität und ihr Interesse für unsere >Nachkommen<, ed. Burckard Liebsch (Hamburg: Meiner Verlag) (forthcoming 2023)

  • "Into the Looking Glass: The Mirror of Old Age in Beauvoir and Améry," Journal of French and Francophone philosophy / Revue de la philosophie française et de langue française 30(2), 16-43. (2022)

  • "The Reality of Disappearance: Critical Theory and Extinction," Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 18(1), 103-130. (2022)

  • "Liquidated Subjects" review of Liquidation World: On the Art of Living Absently, by Alexi Kukuljevic, Radical Philosophy 2.06 / Winter 2019, pgs. 111-113.

  • "Erdglob nun nun: Über die Naturgeschichte des Menschen" [Earth-Globe Now Now: On the Natural History of Man], Wespennest. Zeitschift für Brauchbare Texte und Bilder 176: Klima, trans. Sandra Lehmann (2019).
  • "Proust's Natural History Museum," Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences, 28:1 (June 2019)
  • "Index of the Contemporary: Adorno, Art, Natural History," Evental Aesthetics: Aesthetic Intersections 2. Vol. 7, No. 2 (2018)
  • "Moby-Dick, American Studies and the Aesthetic Education of Man," The New Americanist (2018)
  • “The Fossil and the Word: Toward a Concept of the Philosophical Fragment,” Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy, Volume 29: ‘Thinking with Style’: Philosophy, Style and Literary Form (2018)
  • "Time/Speech/Sentence/Screen," in Maske und Kothurn: Internationale Beiträge zur Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft, edited by Rainer Köppl and Randy Sterling Hunter (Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 2016).
  • "Dieses Bilderbuchland mit seinem imaginierten Boden. Europa – Adorno – Proust" [That Storybook Land With Its Imagined Soil: Europe/Adorno/Proust], in Bruchlinien Europas: Philosophische Erkundungen bei Badiou, Adorno, Žižek und anderen [Faultines of Europe: Philosophical Investigations through Badiou, Adorno, Žižek and others], translated by Anna Wieder and Sergej Seitz: edited by Erik M. Vogt and Gerhard Unterthurner (Vienna/Berlin: Turia + Kant, 2016).
  • "Words and Organs" in Adorno and the Concept of Genocide, eds. R. Crawford and E. Vogt (Amsterdam: Rodopi/Brill, 2016).
  • "Adorno as Alibi" in Delimiting Experience: Aesthetics and Politics, eds. R. Crawford, G. Unterthurner and E. Vogt (Vienna/Berlin: Turia+Kant, 2013).
  • "Make It Monstrous: Moby-Dick and 19th Century Psychiatry," in Monstrosity in Literature, Psychoanalysis and Philosophy, eds. Unterthurner & Vogt (Vienna/Berlin: Turia+Kant, 2012).
  • "The Terror of Animality: Sartre, Arendt and Badiou," in Metacide: Genocide in the Pursuit of Excellence, eds. Vogt & Watson (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010).
  • "Review: Eros and Ethics: Reading Jacques Lacan's Seminar VII, by Marc de Kesel," in umbr(a): a journal of the unconscious (2010).

Download résumé (PDF OPENS IN NEW TAB)

Julia Ruck

Julia Ruck, PhD

Assistant Professor of Second Language Studies, Language Center Coordinator

  • Elementary German: Levels I and II
  • Intermediate German: Levels I and II
  • Advanced German: Levels I and II
  • Culture and Civilization of German-Speaking Countries: Austrian Identities
  • Culture and Civilization of German-Speaking Countries: The Vienna Experience: Culture, History, Language
  • Introduction to Linguistics
  • Keystone Seminar: Crossing Borders: Language and Power
  • First-Year Seminar: Language and Identity

  • Assistant Professor of Second Language Studies
  • Language Center Coordinator

Julia Ruck holds a PhD in German Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MA in German as a Foreign/Second Language from the University of Vienna. Her research interests focus on sociocultural and discursive approaches to foreign-language teaching and learning, semiotics-based approaches to teaching language and culture, individual learner differences and linguistic variation in German language-teaching.

In her dissertation “Mindworld and Multimodality: The Complexity of L2 German Learners’ Individual Differences and their Engagement with Audiovisual Texts” she used a complex dynamic systems framework to explore how psychological and sociocultural learner background were related to elementary-level learners’ engagement with multimodal affordances in two genres of audiovisual texts.

She has two current research projects, with the first investigating learners’ beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions on learning (about) language and culture through different genres of audiovisual texts and the second exploring issues of linguistic variation and diversity in German-language teaching and learning.

Prior to joining WVPU, Julia Ruck taught German in the United States (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Russia (State Pedagogical University of Volgograd), Uruguay (Goethe Institut Uruguay), and Austria (Diplomatic Academy of Vienna).

Alongside her research and teaching activities, Dr. Ruck has been working in International German Teacher Education on behalf of the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research (program “Kultur und Sprache”) and she is a member of the “DACHL Gremium” of the International German Teacher Association that promotes the collaboration among international political and professional stakeholders on issues of German language teaching and learning.


Selection of Recent Publications

  • Ruck, Julia (2021, forthcoming). Sprachenpolitische Implikationen zur Sprachvariation im Fremdsprachenunterricht. IDV Magazin 99.
  • Ruck, Julia (2021, forthcoming). Sprachenpolitische Kooperationen unter dem DACH-Prinzip. Deutsche Lehrer im Ausland, Frühjahr 2021.
  • Ruck, Julia & Shafer, Naomi (Eds.). (2020). National Standards – Local Varieties: A Cross-linguistic Discussion on Regional Variation in Foreign Language Studies. Critical Multilingualism Studies 8(1).
  • Ruck, Julia. (2020). The Politics and Ideologies of Pluricentric German in L2 Teaching. Critical Multilingualism Studies 8(1), p 24-56. [peer reviewed]
  • Ruck, Julia. (2020). Multilingualism and Affective Attitudes: The Sociocognitive Profiles of First-Year Learners of L2 German. Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, 53(2), p. 210-228. [peer reviewed]
  • Ruck, Julia. (2020). Elementary-Level Learners’ Engagement with Multimodal Resources in Two Audiovisual Genres. The Language Learning Journal, [peer reviewed]
  • Ruck, Julia. (2019). Eine Frage der Perspektive? Einstellungen Lehrender zu ‚guten’ Deutsch als Fremd-/Zweitsprache Lehrenden [A Matter of Perspective? Teachers’ Attitudes Towards ‘Good’ Teachers of L2 German]. KDV Info 27(52/53).
  • Ruck, Julia. (2017). Against All Standards: On Regional Variation in the German Language Classroom. Critical Multilingualism Studies, 5(1), p. 112–143. [peer reviewed]

Selection of Recent Conference Participation

  • 04/2022 (accepted). Language Ideologies and Pluricentricity in German Foreign Language Teaching, 11th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe, Vienna, Austria
  • 10/2021 (accepted). Linguistic Indifference in Language Policy Regimes: A Critical Discourse Analysis Approach to L2 German Teaching. German Studies Association 45th Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN
  • 08/2022 (accepted). Panel Co-Chair Sprachenlernen im universitären Kontext [Langugae Learning in Higher Education], XVII. International Congress for German Teachers (IDT) 2022, Vienna, Austria
  • 08/2021 (accepted). Sociocognitive approaches to L2 learners’ engagement with language and culture in audio-visual texts, World Congress of Applied Linguistics, Groningen, the Netherlands
  • 11/2019. Understanding Austria: How to Teach Austrian Regional Varieties, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Convention, Washington, D.C.
  • 11/2018. Multilingual perspectives on audiovisual media, ACTFL Convention, New Orleans, LA
  • 10/2018. Eine Frage der Perspektive? Einstellungen Lernender und Lehrender zu „guten“ DaF-LehrerInnen, Annual Convention of the Croatian German Teacher Association (KDV), Vodice, Croatia invited keynote and workshop
  • 11/2017. Authentic Film with Beginning Learners: Theory Meets Practice, ACTFL Convention, Nashville, TN, with Jeanne Schueller
  • 07/2017. Panel Co-Chair Landeskunde/Kulturvermittlung, XVI. IDT, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • 05/2017. Landeskunde und Kulturkonzepte im DaF-Unterricht: Wo stehen wir? Wohin gehen wir? Asociación Mexicana de Profesores de Alemán (AMPAL) Convention, Villahermosa, Mexico

For more information, please visit Julia Ruck’s profile.

Dr. Michael Zinganel
Contemporary History

Mag. Dr. Dieter Reinisch MRes

Aner Barzilay, PhD

Dipl. Soz. Izabela Korbiel
Sociology, Matej Santi, PhD
Music History

Christof Muigg, MA
Early Modern History

Dr. Viktoria Pötzl

Jean-Pascal Vachon MA
Music History

Dr. Barbara Rothmüller

Alexi Kukuljevic, PhD

Jana Reißmann, MA
German Language

Dr. Maxime Brami
Archaeology and Anthropology

MMag. Dr. Lisa Stuckey
Current Art

Dr. Sandra Lehmann

Dr. Edward Saunders
Comparative Literature

Dipl. Ing. Marlene Rutzendorfer
Art History

Mag. Khaled Hakami

Seth Weiner, BFA M.Arch

Fabian Faltin, MA
Creative Writing

Dr. Judith Albrecht
Social Anthropology

Claudia Slanar, Mag.a. MA, MFA
Contemporary Art and Film

Clara Holzinger, MA Lic.
German Language

Mag. Vanessa Winkler
German Language

Rafal Morusiewicz, MA
Sociology, Film and the Arts

Dr. Kerstin Kowarik
Archaeology and Anthropology

Dr. Elena Jirovsky
Medical Anthropology

Dr. Andrea Prutsch
Climate Change Science

Dr. Zorica Siročić
Women and the Law

Bettina Ludwig, BA MA
Cultural Anthropology

Mag. iur. Mag. phil. Maria Sagmeister
Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Mag. Katarzyna Gruszka, PhD
Global Climate Change

Dr. Melanie Sindelar BA MSc
Social-Cultural Anthropology

Dr. Sabine Bauer-Amin, MA
Social and Cultural Anthropology

Kate Walker, PhD

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