Patrick Erben

Patrick Erben, Ph.D.

Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies; Executive Coordinator of the Society of Early Americanists

Phone: 678-839-6144 | Fax: 678-839-4849


Office: Technology Learning Center 2239

Hours: Spring 2016: TR 11am-12pm; 2-4pm, and by appointment.

Follow Patrick Erben on Twitter

Selected Publications

  • MONOGRAPH: _A Harmony of the Spirits: Translation and the Language of Community in Early Pennsylvania_ (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012). [View Publication]
  • TEXTUAL EDITION: A Francis Daniel Pastorius Reader: Selective Edition of Published and Manuscript Writings. (under contract with Pennsylvania State University Press)
  • Re-Discovering the German-Language Literature of Colonial America. In: _A Peculiar Mixture: German-Speaking People in the Greater Mid-Atlantic Region from 1709 to the Revolution_, eds. Oliver Scheiding and Jan Stievermann (forthcoming with Penn State UP)
  • The Translingual Archive. In: _Teaching Early Modern English Literature from the Archives._ MLA Options for Teaching Series. Eds. Heidi Brayman Hackel and Ian Frederick Moulton. (Forthcoming: MLA, 2012).
  • Book of Suffering, Suffering Book: The Mennonite Martyrs Mirror and the Translation of Martyrdom in Colonial Pennsylvania [View Publication]
  • Educating Germans in Colonial Pennsylvania [View Publication]
  • Promoting Pennsylvania: Penn, Pastorius, and the Creation of a Transnational Community. _Resources for American Literary Study 29_ (2003-2004; published 2005): 25-65.
  • Honey-Combs and Paper-Hives: Positioning Francis Daniel Pastorius Manuscript Writings in Early Pennsylvania [View Publication]


A native of Germany, I attended Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet in Mainz and graduated with an M.A. in American Studies in 1997 and completed my Ph.D. at Emory University in 2003. During a two-year NEH fellowship at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture in Williamsburg, Virginia, I researched and wrote my first monograph, A Harmony of the Spirits: Translation and the Language of Community in Early Pennsylvania (University of North Carolina Press, 2012). A Harmony of the Spirits demonstrates that translation served as a practical tool and as a spiritual ideal for discovering and establishing links between seemingly incoherent languages, religious doctrines, genders, and ethnicities. My teaching interests lie in the multilingual beginnings of early American literature, language, and culture (colonial to 1865), as well as the intersections between religion and sexuality. I am currently completing the first ever published edition of the writings of Francis Daniel Pastorius, the founder of Germantown, Pennsylvania (the first German settlement in North America), forthcoming with Penn State University Press. My next monograph project will focus on the German Pietist influences on major works in early American literature, from Cotton Mather and Edward Taylor to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Emily Dickinson. I serve as the Executive Coordinator of the Society of Early Americanists ( and as the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English at UWG.


  • M.A., American Studies, Johannes Gutenberg Univ., 1997
  • Ph.D., English, Emory University, 2003

Courses and Sections

  • Courses Taught
    • ENGL-1102 (English Composition II)    
    • ENGL-2110 (World Literature)    
    • ENGL-3000 (Research and Methodology)    
    • ENGL-4106 (Studies in Genre-Travel Lit)    
    • ENGL-4109 (Film as Literature)    
    • ENGL-4385 (Special Topics*)    
    • ENGL-5106 (Studies in Genre-Travel Lit)    
    • ENGL-5109 (Film as Literature)    
    • ENGL-5385 (Special Topics*)    
    • ENGL-6399 (Thesis)    
  • Summer 2016 Sections
    • ENGL-6399 (Thesis) Section: 01
  • Spring 2016 Sections
    • ENGL-3000 (Research and Methodology) Section: 02W   [View Syllabus]
    • ENGL-4109 (Film as Literature) Section: 02W   [View Syllabus]
    • ENGL-5109 (Film as Literature) Section: 02
    • ENGL-6399 (Thesis) Section: 01
  • Fall 2015 Sections
    • ENGL-2110 (World Literature-HONORS) Section: 25H   [View Syllabus]
  • Summer 2015 Sections
    • ENGL-1102 (English Composition II) Section: 01   [View Syllabus]
  • Spring 2015 Sections