Michael G. Noll

Fall Semester 2023 was my last semester at VSU.

It has been a privilege to teach so many students since Fall 2000 when I joined its faculty.

I also enjoyed the challenges of leading study abroad programs to Germany from 2004 until 2017.

As of January 1, 2024, another journey has begun.

Contact info: mgnoll@valdosta.edu

Research Interests

My research focuses/focused on the narrated landscapes of Prince Maximilian of Wied (1782-1867), a German explorer and naturalist who traveled through the United States in 1832-34, accompanied by the Swiss painter Karl Bodmer (1809-1893). Another research interest centers on Germany’s remembrance culture, with a focus on Gunter Demnig’s “Stolpersteine” (stumbling stones) project.

Food for Thought

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness – all foes to real understanding. Likewise, tolerance or broad, wholesome charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in our little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” Daniel Boorstin

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” Stephen Hawking

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable an ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.” Albert Einstein

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral.” Dante Alighieri

“Where they burn books, so too will they in the end burn human beings.” Heinrich Heine

“They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them of their blindness.” John Milton

“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities.” Voltaire

“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.” Howard Zinn

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Dalai Lama

“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say ‘it’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?” Isaac Asimov

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” John Muir

“All things are subject to interpretation, and whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“Truth is a thing of this world: it is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint. And it induces regular effects of power. Each society has its regime of truth, its “general politics” of truth: that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true; the mechanisms and instances which enable one to distinguish true and false statements, the means by which each is sanctioned; the techniques and procedures accorded value in the acquisition of truth; the status of those who are charged with saying what counts as true.” Michel Foucault

“Silence in the face of evil is evil itself: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men.” Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.” Albert Einstein

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Unknown