Russell Berman has called for fundamental reforms in graduate education in all humanities fields; in particular, time to degree, curricular design, moving beyond the traditional dissertation and broadening the career paths of PhDs significantly beyond the regular academic career. As director of Stanford's Thinking Matters program for freshman (formerly the Introduction to Humanities program), he also can comment broadly on undergraduate education. Berman’s research interests include German literature and politics of the 19th and 20th centuries and cultural and political relations between Europe and the United States. More broadly, he is interested in the sociology of modern culture, considering literature, history and critical theory. Berman lived for many years in Germany, Austria and France and has published extensively on their literature and culture. His interests range widely, including the modern novel, the history of journalism and the media, poetry and film, as well as comparing German, French and American literature. His published work includes treatments of many periods in German cultural history, including the Nazi era and German unification. Berman is president of the Modern Language Association for 2011-12.