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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University



Sonja Fritzsche

DEGREE: Ph.D. in Germanic Studies, University of Minnesota; M.A. in Modern European History, University of California - Los Angeles; B.A., Indiana University.

POSITION: Department Chair/Professor of German; affiliated with the Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities program

CAMPUS ADDRESS: B-304 Wells Hall


Her research focuses on (East) German literature and film, Heimat discourse, ecotopia, and science fiction. She is the editor of the new book series World Science Fiction Studies with Peter Lang. Her publications include: The Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film, editor (Liverpool University Press, 2014),  Science Fiction Literature in East Germany (Peter Lang, 2006); articles in the German Quarterly, German Politics & Society, German Studies Review, Women in German Yearbook, Film & History, ExtrapolationUtopian Studies and Filmforum.  She has received grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Fulbright, among others. She currently serves as President of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL). She is also on the editorial advisory boards of Extrapolation and the Brazilian science fiction journal Zanzalá. See her talk about German science fiction and her interview with Europa SF.

She has taught all levels of German language as well as upper division courses in 20th and 21st century German literature and film, German for Human Rights, and German Business Culture. She also has taught courses in English on German and Russian utopia/science fiction, Central European Women's writing, and German cinema. She recently taught a course for the Freie Universität Berlin internationale Sommerschule (FUBiS) 2015 entitled “Filming Berlin – Berlin and Film: Genre, History, Form, and Style.”


adam gacs

DEGREE: M.A., University of Tennessee, M.A., University of Szeged, Hungary

POSITION: Instructor of German and Online/Blended Learning Technology Specialist (CeLTA)

RESEARCH INTERESTS: language teaching, blended & online language learning, instructional technology support

CAMPUS ADDRESS: B-480 Wells Hall

PHONE: (517) 884-6317


Adam Gacs is currently teaching German language classes at the intermediate/advanced levels at the Department. He has joint appointment with MSU's Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA), where he collaborates with a new cluster of language specialists and other language faculty in developing hybrid and online language courses/activities, while also supporting general technology integration into the language curriculum.

Adam received Masters degrees from the University of Szeged in Hungary and from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Adam is a Ph.D candidate at the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His dissertation project is a corpus-based investigation of discourse particles in spoken language and language textbooks. Adam gained extensive experience working with technology and in language teaching as Head Teaching Assistant, Language Program Coordinator, and as Graduate Assistant at the Instructional Technology Lab.

Adam received grants from the DAAD, the Max Kade Foundation, and the AATG during his graduate studies.

Senta Goertler

Senta Goertler

DEGREE: Ph.D., University of Arizona

POSITION: Associate Professor of Second Language Studies and German Studies

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Language learning and technology

CAMPUS ADDRESS: B-266 Wells Hall

PHONE: (517) 355-5079


Senta Goertler is an Associate Professor of Second Language Studies and German Studies. Her main research interest is in language learning and technology, especially blended and online learning and computer-mediated communication. Additionally she is interested in language learning in a wide variety of contexts such as through service-learning, in study abroad, and in community language classes. In her research she combines questions of second language acquisition and language program administration. For a complete list of publications see her website (

Senta teaches courses on teaching methods (including methods of teaching culture), second language acquisition, computer-assisted language learning, program administration, and German language courses. The courses are offered in face-to-face, blended, and online formats.

Besides her research and teaching interests, Senta has also been involved in language program administration (e.g., Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik), outreach and engagement (e.g. Community Language School), and service to the profession (e.g. CALICO). During 2013-14, Senta served as Resident Director of the Academic Year in Freiburg program in Freiburg, Germany.


matthew handelman

DEGREE: Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

POSITION: Assistant Professor of German, Core Faculty in Digital Humanities

RESEARCH INTERESTS: 19th and 20th-Century German and Austrian Literature and Philosophy, Digital Humanities, Jewish Studies, History of Science

CAMPUS ADDRESS: B-263 Wells Hall

PHONE: (517) 355-5184


Professor Matthew Handelman is Assistant Professor of German and a member of the Core Faculty in the Digital Humanities Specialization at MSU. His research interests include German-Jewish literature and philosophy in the early twentieth century, the intersections of science, mathematics and culture in German-speaking countries, as well as the digital humanities and the history of technology. Matthew has published on these topics in international journals such as Scientia Poetica and The Leo Baeck Yearbook. Currently, he is working on two major projects. The first is a book on the link between mathematics and Enlightenment in German-Jewish intellectual history, focusing on the writings of Gershom Scholem, Franz Rosenzweig, and Siegfried Kracauer. The second is a collaborative digital project with scholars in Israel and Germany - together they are working to design and build a social edition of Franz Rosenzweig's Star of Redemption.

Matthew received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in German literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the present. During his graduate work, he was a fellow at the Leo Baeck Institute in London, the DAAD, and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv, Marbach am Neckar. He received his B.A. from Hamilton College with a dual major in mathematics and German literature.

Tom Lovik

Thomas Lovik

DEGREE: Ph.D., UC Berkeley

POSITION: Professor of German

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Germanic linguistics and applied linguistics

CAMPUS ADDRESS: B-267 Wells Hall

PHONE: (517) 355-3809


Thomas Lovik is Professor of German at Michigan State University. He has published in the area of contrastive pragmatics German/English. He is lead author (with J. Douglas Guy and Monika Chavez) of a first-year college German textbook Vorsprung 3rd Ed. (Cengage, 2014). He regularly teaches first-year German, Linguistic Analysis of Modern German, teaching methods for undergraduates and graduate students and graduate courses on the German language. His departmental duties include coordination of the first-year German language program at Michigan State University as well as training German teaching assistants. He is active locally in the AATG-Michigan and the Michigan World Language Association. He is a member of several national organizations – AATG, ACTFL, MLA and the American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators. He was the editor of Die Unterrichtspraxis / Teaching Germanfrom 2005-2010. He served as Department Chair from 2010-13.


kathryn mcewen

DEGREE: Ph.D., Vanderbilt University 

POSITION: Visiting Assistant Professor of German 

RESEARCH INTERESTS: 18th to 20th-century German-language literature and culture, critical and feminist theories, visual culture, and the anthropology of the body

CAMPUS ADDRESS: B-330 Wells Hall

PHONE: (517) 355-4762


Katie McEwen's research interests center on 18th- to 20th-century German-language literature and culture, particularly questions of gender and genre, as well as lesser-known works, visual culture, and anthropology of the body. Her co-authored case study on blended learning and massive open online courses (MOOCs) is forthcoming in the Journal of Online Learning and Technology. She is currently working on a book manuscript on the female hand, which positions the hand as central both to a gendered reading of the embodied subject, as well as to a more general reconsideration of the cultural body as a space for negotiation. Her next project examines the work of Charlotte Wolff as documenting one version of German-Jewish exile in the 20th century. She is also the co-editor and translator of an upcoming English-language edition of Rahel Levin Varnhagen's correspondence.


Elizabeth Mittman

DEGREE: Ph.D., University of Minnesota

POSITION: Associate Professor of German; affiliated with the Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, the Center for Gender in Global Context, and the Peace and Justice Studies program; Director of Graduate Studies for German

RESEARCH INTERESTS: 20th century and contemporary German literature & culture

CAMPUS ADDRESS: B-262 Wells Hall

PHONE: (517) 355-5170


Liz Mittman's teaching and research interests include East German and postsocialist studies, film and visual culture, autobiography and life writing, memory cultures, and gender studies. She has published articles and review essays inSigns,Seminar,Monatshefte,German Politics and Society, theWomen in German Yearbook, andForeign Language Annals. She is currently completing a book project on gender, voice, and the search for "authenticity" in representations of the German Democratic Republic. An emerging new project explores the relationship between music and cultural memory in post-Holocaust German and American contexts. She has served on the editorial board of theGerman Quarterly and was lead organizer of the Women in German annual national conference, 2009-2011. Liz is currently the Director of Graduate Studies for the German program.


JSCheadshot.jpg   johanna schuster-craig

DEGREE: Ph.D., Duke University

POSITION: Assistant Professor of German and Global Studies

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Integration politics, immigration policy, race/racism/whiteness, gender studies, critical theory, postcolonialism

CAMPUS ADDRESS: B-261 Wells Hall

PHONE: (517) 355-4760


Johanna Schuster-Craig is Assistant Professor of German and Global Studies. Her research interests center around German integration politics and immigration policy, both from the top down (in the media, public policies and parliamentary debates) and from the bottom up (in social work projects and the work of local artists). She is particularly interested in how previous incarnations of integration politics have served as precursors for emerging right-wing xenophobic movements such as PEGIDA. Her work has appeared in German Life and Letters and is forthcoming in Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature. Her research has been supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the DAAD/Fulbright Commission, and the US Department of State. She is a member of the Delegate Assembly of the Modern Languages Association for the Central/Rocky Mountain region. She received her B.T.A. (Bachelor of Theater Arts) from the University of Michigan, but holds no animosity towards Spartans.


LYNN L. Wolff 

DEGREE: Ph.D., University of Wisconsin 

POSITION: Assistant Professor of German

RESEARCH INTERESTS: 18th and 20th century and contemporary German literature and culture; the representation of the Holocaust; text-image studies; theories of world literature and translation

CAMPUS ADDRESS:  B-265 Wells Hall

PHONE: (517) 353-3269

Lynn L. Wolff’s teaching and research interests encompass modern German-language literature and culture, in particular the relationship between literature and historiography, the representation of the Holocaust, theories of translation, and concepts of world literature. She explored these areas in her book W.G. Sebald’s Hybrid Poetics: Literature as Historiography, Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014 [Interdisciplinary German Cultural Studies 14] and further developed related questions in the volume Witnessing, Memory, Poetics: H.G. Adler and W.G. Sebald, Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2014, which she co-edited with Helen Finch. Together with Hans Adler she co-edited the volume: Aisthesis und Noesis: Zwei Erkenntnisformen vom 18. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart, München: Fink, 2013. She has also published articles and review essays in Eurostudia – Revue Transatlantique de Recherche sur l’Europe, Gegenwartsliteratur, Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der Literatur (IASL), Journal of European Studies, and Monatshefte. Prior to joining the department, she was an Alexander von Humboldt research fellow and taught in the Department of Modern German Literature at the Universität Stuttgart. Most recently she taught German language and literature at Middlebury College’s Summer German School.

KAW cropped photo - MUSES.jpg  karin A. Wurst

DEGREE: Ph.D., Ohio State University

POSITION: Professor of German

RESEARCH INTERESTS: 17th and 18th century German literature, women's studies, The Society for German Renaissance and Baroque Literature (SGRABL)

CAMPUS ADDRESS: B-469 Wells Hall

PHONE: (517) 884-4391


Karin A. Wurst's books have focused on representations of the family, women's drama, cultural consumption in 18th Century-Germany, and J.M.R. Lenz: Das Schlaraffenland verwilderter Ideen. Narrative Strategien in den Prosaerzählungen von J. M. R. Lenz (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2014); Fabricating Pleasure: Fashion, Entertainment, and Consumption in Germany (1780-1830), German Literary Theory and Cultural Studies (Wayne State University Press, 2005). Karin A. Wurst and Alan Leidner, Unpopular Virtues: J. M. R. Lenz and the Critics. A Reception History (Columbia, S.C.: Camden House, 1999). Edited and introduced Eleonore Thon's "Adelheit von Rastenberg." Texts and Translation Series. (New York: MLA, 1996). Edited and introduced J.M.R. Lenz als Alternative? Positionsanalysen zum 200. Todestag (Köln, Wien, Weimar: Böhlau, 1992). Frau und Drama im achtzehnten Jahrhundert (Köln, Wien: Böhlau, 1991). "Familiale Liebe ist die wahre Gewalt." Zur Repräsentation der Familie in Lessings dramatischem Werk" (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1988). Her articles focus on 17th and 18th century Germany and issues of gender, cultural and aesthetic representation. The have appeared in German Quarterly, Daphnis, German Studies Review, Lessing Yearbook, Text + Kritik, Seminar, Women in German Yearbook, Goethe Yearbook, Lenz Jahrbuch.  Her teaching interests include literary and cultural theories, feminist theory, women's literature and material culture. From 2006 to 2014 she served as Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at MSU; she currently serves as Special Advisor to the Provost on Intercultural Learning and Student Engagement.


Raimund Belgardt
Thomas W. Juntune
Patrick McConeghy
Patricia Paulsell
Kurt W. Schild