Dr. Achim Kopp
Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Director of Classical Studies Program
Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
Born and raised near Heidelberg in southwestern Germany, Achim Kopp double-majored in Latin and English at the University of Heidelberg. As an undergraduate, he spent a year as a German assistant teacher at two high schools in Birmingham, England. During his graduate studies, he added another year abroad, this time as a German teaching assistant at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. In 1988, he passed the state examination for high school teachers in his home state of Baden-Württemberg, followed by the Ph.D. in English and Latin from the University of Heidelberg in 1994. After a three-year teaching engagement at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, he joined the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures of Mercer University in 1997.
Dr. Kopp’s primary research interest has been in German-American studies. A revised version of his dissertation entitled The Phonology of Pennsylvania German English as Evidence of Language Maintenance and Shift was published by Susquehanna University Press in 1999. In 2008, he published Francis Lieber’s Brief and Practical German Grammar with Peter Lang-Verlag in Frankfurt. Since 2004, he has been collaborating with his colleague in the Mercer History Department, Dr. John Thomas Scott, on a research and publication project on the Moravians in colonial Georgia. While Dr. Kopp has not published in the fields of Latin and classical literature, he has supervised several undergraduate research projects in these areas over the past two decades, especially on Vergil’s Aeneid and Catullus.
At Mercer, Dr. Kopp is currently serving as a Professor of Foreign Languages & Literatures, teaching all levels of Latin courses as well as classical literature in translation. He also serves as Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts. He has been both chair of the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures and director of the Great Books Program. One of Dr. Kopp’s passions is to take Mercer undergraduates abroad. Together with Dr. R. Scott Nash (Department of Religion), he has offered five Mercer on Mission summer programs in Corinth, Greece since 2009. Over the years, he has also taken numerous groups of Latin and classics students to Rome, Campania, Sicily, Turkey, Florence, Venice, and Paris on summer and spring-break programs.
In his spare time, Dr. Kopp enjoys reading and travelling with his wife Kristen. Having been interested in sports (particularly team handball and tennis) all his life, Dr. Kopp more recently picked up running, with several 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, and marathons under his belt. He is proud to say that he has served as a long-standing coach of all his children’s recreational soccer teams.
- Erstes Staatsexamen, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
- Ph.D., Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Classics, German-American studies, Pennsylvania German language and culture, linguistics, running, tennis, and team handball
Lectures and publications
- “The archaeology of Troy and Homer’s Iliad.” Lecture delivered to the students and faculty of the Great Books Program at Mercer University on Sept. 26, 2013 (with Mercer colleague Dr. Charlotte Thomas).
- “Moravian missionary activities among the Native Americans of coastal colonial Georgia.” Thirty-seventh annual symposium of the Society for German-American Studies. New Orleans, Louisiana (May 2013).
- “The archaeology of Troy and Homer’s Iliad.” Lecture delivered to the students and faculty of the Great Books Program at Mercer University on Sept. 26, 2012 (with Mercer colleague Dr. Charlotte Thomas).
- “The Pennsylvania Germans: The people, their history, and their language varieties.” Invited lecture delivered at the Foreign Languages School of Ludong University, Yantai, China, on April 10, 2012.
- “Die Pennsylvaniadeutschen: Die Menschen, ihre Geschichte und ihre sprachlichen Varietäten.” Invited lecture delivered at the German Department of Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, on March 26, 2012.
- “A sourcebook on the Moravian mission in colonial Georgia: A Mercer University publication project.” Thirty-fifth annual symposium of the Society for German-American Studies. Newark, DE (April 2011).
- “Abraham Reeser Horne’s Pennsylvania German Manual.” Thirty-fourth annual symposium of the Society for German-American Studies. New Harmony, Indiana (April 2010).
- “The Moravian experience in early colonial Georgia: Insights from the Dober, Töltschig, and Eckstein diaries.” 2009 Lilly Fellows Program regional research conference “The Pietist impulse in Christianity,” Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota (March 2009).
- “Wie soll mer’s s(c)hreiwe?: Three centuries of Pennsylvania German orthography.” Thirty-second annual symposium of the Society for German-American Studies, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia (April 2008).
- “Three Moravian travel diaries from early colonial Georgia.” Thirty-first annual symposium of the Society for German-American Studies, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas (April 2007).
- “Evidence of convergence in Pennsylvania German.” Thirtieth annual symposium of the Society for German-American Studies, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (May 2006).
- “Francis Lieber’s ‘A brief and practical German grammar’.” Twenty-ninth annual symposium of the Society for German-American Studies, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan (May 2005).
- “Language attitude across society and generations in a Pennsylvania German speech island.” International symposium on German settlement dialects (Sprachinselkonferenz 2001), University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas (March 2001).
- “‘. . . of the most ignorant stupid sort of their own Nation’: Perceptions of the Pennsylvania Germans in the 18th and 20th centuries.” Annual Conference of the Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (SEASECS), Savannah, Georgia (March 2000).
- “Language attitude then and now: The varieties spoken by the Pennsylvania Germans.” Third Germanic Linguistics Annual Conference (GLAC-3), University of California, Los Angeles, California (April 1997).
- “The matched-guise technique in practice: Measuring language attitudes within the Pennsylvania German speech community.” Symposium on the German Language in America 1683-1991, Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin (October 1991).
- “Phonologische Interferenzen im Englischen der Pennsylvaniadeutschen” (“Phonological interference in the English varieties spoken by the Pennsylvania Germans”). Heidelberger Soziolinguistentag (Heidelberg Sociolinguistics Symposium), University of Heidelberg, Germany (November 1990).
- Francis Lieber’s Brief and Practical German Grammar. 2008. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
- The phonology of Pennsylvania German English as evidence of language maintenance and shift. 1999. London: Associated University Presses.
- “Abraham Reeser Horne’s Pennsylvania German Manual.” Yearbook of German-American Studies 45. 2010. 107-27. Reprinted in Journal of the Center for Pennsylvania German Studies at Millersville University 19/2. 2013. 3-16.
- “Evidence of convergence in Pennsylvania German.” In: Joshua R. Brown and Leroy T. Hopkins, Jr., (eds.). Preserving Heritage: A Festschrift for C. Richard Beam. Supplemental issue of the Yearbook of German-American Studies, Volume 2. 2006. 49-65.
- “Language attitude across society and generations in a Pennsylvania German speech island.” In: William D. Keel and Klaus J. Mattheier (eds.) German language varieties worldwide: Internal and external perspectives / Deutsche Sprachinseln weltweit: Interne und externe Perspektiven. 2003. Frankfurt Peter Lang. 87-115.
- “‘. . . of the most ignorant stupid sort of their own Nation’: Perceptions of the Pennsylvania Germans in the eighteenth and twentieth centuries.” Yearbook of German-American Studies 35. 2000. 41-55.
- “Die Phonologie des Englischen der Pennsylvaniadeutschen als Indikator für Spracherhalt und Sprachverlagerung.” Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik 64/1. 1997. 1-36.
- “The matched-guise technique in practice: Measuring language attitudes within the Pennsylvania German speech community.” In: Joseph C. Salmons (ed.). The German Language in America, 1683-1991. 1993. Madison, WI: Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies. 264-83.
- Review of Schwetz mol Deitsch! An Introductory Pennsylvania Dutch Course by Joshua R. Brown and Douglas J. Madenford (Millersville, PA: Center for Pennsylvania German Studies, 2009). Journal of the Center for Pennsylvania German Studies at Millersville University 16/3. 2010. 8-10.
- Review of A word atlas of Pennsylvania German by Lester W. J. Seifert (Madison, WI: Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, 2001). H-Net Discussion List on German-American and German-Canadian Studies (H-GAGCS). 20 September 2002. Reprinted in Journal of the Center for Pennsylvania German Studies at Millersville University 11/1. 2004. 19-20.
- Review of Vom (Nieder-)Deutschen zum Englischen. Untersuchungen zur sprachlichen Assimilation einer ländlichen Gemeinde im mittleren Westen Amerikas by Birgit Mertens (Heidelberg: Winter, 1994). Anglia 115/3. 1997. 386-88.
- Review of Stability and change in the Pennsylvania German dialect of an Old Order Amish community in Lancaster County by Barbara Meister Ferré (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1994). Monatshefte 88/3. 1996. 391-93.
- Reviewer of the 2002 revision of the Georgia Quality Core Curriculum for Classical Languages (Georgia Department of Education). 2002.