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College of Arts and Humanities

Nicholas Vazsonyi, Ph.D.

Nicholas Vazsonyi, Ph.D.

Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities

CAH Office of the Dean
Office: 108 Strode Tower
Phone: 864-656-3084

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (1993)

Curriculum Vitae


Nicholas Vazsonyi began his tenure at Clemson University on July 1, 2020 as dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. During the 2022-23 academic year, he helped facilitate the decision by the Clemson Board of Trustees to dissolve the College and create two new Colleges: the College of Architecture, Art and Construction and the College of Arts and Humanities. Starting July 1, 2023, Dr. Vazsonyi became founding Dean of the new College of Arts and Humanities. Before coming to Clemson, he served as chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of South Carolina, Columbia from 2013 until 2020. Vazsonyi first joined the USC faculty as an assistant professor of German and Comparative Literature in 1997 and was later named the Jesse Chapman Alcorn Memorial Professor of Foreign Languages (2011-20). Before coming to South Carolina, he was a visiting assistant professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville (1994-97).

Vazsonyi earned a master’s degree in German in 1988 and a Ph.D. in Germanic Languages in 1993 at the University of California, Los Angeles. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University Bloomington in 1982 with a B.A. in German.

Vazsonyi was born in the United States to a family of musicians and received his early education at Westminster School in London. While at Indiana University, he worked behind the scenes at its internationally known opera theater. He later completed apprenticeships at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Deutsche Oper in Berlin.

As a scholar, Vazsonyi’s research interests include composer Richard Wagner; literary figure Goethe; German national identity; Enlightenment and Romanticism; and cultural intersections in music, literature and film. He is the author of two books, more than 30 peer-reviewed articles, and conceived and edited several volumes, including “The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia” and the “Cambridge Companion to Wagner’s ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen.’”

College of Arts and Humanities
College of Arts and Humanities | 108 Strode Tower, Clemson, SC 29634