Claudia Bornholdt

Claudia Bornholdt 760x760 (Added 7/30/19) JPEG

Claudia Bornholdt

Dean, Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts

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Hours: By Appointment



The Edwards College welcomes Claudia Bornholdt as its new dean on July 1, 2019. Bornholdt comes to CCU from the Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., and in her new role, she hopes to build on the positive momentum that she senses already exists on the CCU campus.

Bornholdt received her Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures, Medieval Studies, and Historical Linguistics from Indiana University-Bloomington and has held a progressive series of positions at CUA since 2007, including acting dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, chair of the Department of Modern Languages, and Endowed Walburg Chair of German Language and Literature.

Bornholdt’s research focuses on medieval German and Scandinavian as well as French and Latin literature. She is particularly interested in the early days of vernacular writing and the transfer of literary texts, motifs, patterns, and genres across languages and cultural boundaries.

Among other qualities, Bornholdt brings an international perspective to CCU. Born in northern Germany, just north of Hamburg, she completed her undergraduate studies at Christian-Albrechts Universität in Kiel, Germany. Her family ties span Norway, Germany, and the United States, and on a recent sabbatical, she and her husband, Brian Pilke, traveled to Spain, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Germany, and Norway. During that time, Bornholdt wrote three scholarly articles on three different continents.

When Bornholdt arrived on the CCU campus for the first time in January 2019, she was struck by the comfortable and familiar nature of the people she met.

“I noticed the sense of community that’s clearly here,” Bornholdt said. “I had the feeling people work together; people know each other really well. They talk to one another, and they were very welcoming – that was very important.”

During her tenure at CUA, Bornholdt worked to bring unity to programs and departments that viewed themselves as disparate, and she hopes to build on the connections that already exist at CCU as well as create new ones. She plans to focus on interdisciplinary programs, diversity among students and faculty, and connections between CCU and the surrounding community.


  • Indiana University Bloomington, Ph.D (Germanic Languages and Literatures, Medieval Studies, and Historical Linguistics)
  • Bowling Green State University, M.A. (German)
  • Christian-Albrechts Universität (Kiel, Germany)