Fifty-five out of sixty students in History 150b, "Modern German History," have signed letters asking the History Department to seriously consider giving their professor, Jonathan Steinberg '55, a permanent position at Harvard teaching German history. The letters, dated May 1, were presented to H. Stewart Hughes, head of the History Department.
Steinberg is a visiting lecturer here and holds a tenured post at the University of Cambridge in England. "I only heard about the letters on Tuesday," Steinberg said yesterday, "and naturally I am very pleased by them. It is always nice to know that one's course is successful. However, I intend to return to Cambridge next year."
The letters called Steinberg "stimulating, clear, and penetrating--excellent by all Harvard standards." Robert D. Manz '70, who together with Udayan Gupta '71 organized the letter writing, cited Steinberg for his efforts to establish personal rapport with his students. "He made an effort to get to know all his students by their first names, for example," Manz said.
The letters said that Steinberg "has shown more than cursory interest in our thoughts and reactions to the problems studied, in effect inviting us to a more active participation in the study of history."
Hughes said last night than the idea of students writing in such large numbers to express pleasure with a professor "is unique in my experience. I am very much impressed by it and pleased that they enjoyed the course."