Birgit Maier-Katkin

Birgit Maier-Katkin

Contact Information

Associate Professor
Office Location
Diffenbaugh 368
Office Hours

T & Th 3:45 - 5:00pm & By Appointment

Advisor and Coordinator

Birgit Maier-Katkin holds a Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University. Her research centers on 20th - 21st century German literature and culture with a special focus on the literary representation of historical memory and its impact on the cultural identity of a people whose collective past incorporates both the indelible mark of human rights violations and the great tradition of human dignity in Western Thought. Maier-Katkin also serves as the Coordinator of the German Program.

Research Interests

Exile studies
Transnational and ethnic writers
Memory studies
Literature by women and women in German literature
German Jewish literature and culture

Courses Taught

Dr. Maier-Katkin teaches courses on contemporary German culture and literature, this includes German Exile Writers, Postwar Remembrance and Silence of the Nazi Past, Nazi Crimes Against Humanity, Transnational Literature, The Metropolis of Berlin, Women Writers, German Humor as well as German language courses.

Selected Publications


  • Dr. Maier-Katkin’s book Silence and Acts of Memory focuses on Anna Seghers’ exile work and examines literature’s contribution to the representation of historical memory as well as its impact on cultural identity.


  • “Ruth Klüger: Reflections on Auschwitz.” Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques 39.2 (Summer 2013): 57-70.
  • “Sehnsucht nach dem zerütteten Europa: Erste Briefe von Anna Seghers.” Erste Briefe / First Letters aus dem Exil 1945-1950: (Un)mögliche Gespräche: Fallbeispiele des literarischen und künstlerischen Exils. Eds. Primus-Heinz Kucher, Johannes F. Evelein, Helga Schreckenberger. Munich: Edition text + kritik, 2011. 115-127.
  • “Über Polyglot und Mitteilbarkeit: Yoko Tawada im benjaminischen Kontext der Sprache. “ Etudes Germaniques 65.3 (July-September 2010): 455-464.
  • “‘Kahl und wild wie ein Mondgebirge.’ Exile and Mind Travel in The Excursion of the Dead Girls by Anna Seghers.” Exiles Traveling: Exploring Displacement, Crossing Boundaries in German Exile Arts and Writings. Ed. Johannes F. Evelein. Amsterdamer Beiträge zur neueren Germanistik. Eds. Gerd Labroisse, Gerhard P. Knapp, Rolf Jucker, Norbert Eke. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009. 297-311.
  • “Literary and Cinematographic Reflections on the Human Condition by Anna Seghers and Fred Zinnemann.” Processes of Transposition: German Literature and Film. Ed. Christiane Schönfeld. Amsterdamer Beiträge zur neueren Germanistik. Eds. Gerd Labroisse, Gerhard P. Knapp, Rolf Jucker, Norbert Eke. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007. 141-57.
  • “Debris and Remembrance: Anna Seghers’s Ausflug and Walter Benjamin’s Engel der GeschichteGerman Quarterly (79.1 Winter 2006): 90-108.
  • “Anna Seghers, Irmgard Keun: Literary Images on Emancipation and Social Circumstance.” Practicing Modernity: Female Creativity in the Weimar Republic. Ed. Christiane Schönfeld. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2006. 242-261.