Professor & Director of Graduate Studies

Vice President of the Society of Early Americanists

Biography

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. I serve as the Vice President of the Society of Early Americanists (www.societyofearlyamericanists.org) and as the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English at UWG.

Education / Degrees

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