Alicia E. Ellis, Assistant Professor of German, holds degrees from Amherst College (A.B. in German and Women’s and Gender Studies) and Yale University (M.A. in African American Studies; M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures). In addition, she has studied at the Universities of Göttingen, Konstanz, and Heidelberg in Germany. Prior to her arrival at Colby in August 2016, she was a Five College Fellow in German Literature (2006-2007) and taught in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Amherst College (2007-2008) before joining the faculty at Hampshire College, MA. Professor Ellis is a former Junior Fellow of the Max Planck/Humboldt Research project, “Geschichte + Gedächtnis” (History + Memory) at Konstanz University and served as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago (2012-2014). Alicia Ellis teaches German literature of the long 19th century (1789 – 1918). Additional teaching and research interests include African American and Caribbean literatures, the Black Atlantic, Gender Studies and speculative fiction. She has written and lectured on Albert Camus, Edwidge Danticat, ETA Hoffmann, Andrea Levy, Sam Selvon, Rahel Varnhagen and Christa Wolf. Her current book project, Figuring the Female: Language and Identity in Franz Grillparzer’s Classical Plays, is under contract with Peter Lang.
Arne Koch, Associate Professor, received his education in German Studies at Kenyon College (B.A. 1995), the Pennsylvania State University (M.A. 1997), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D. 2001). Before joining Colby’s German and Russian Department, he taught at the University of Kansas where his courses reflected his interdisciplinary interests with foci on word and image studies, eco-criticism, (post)colonialism, and film studies. At Colby, he continues to teach all levels of German, from beginning language courses through senior seminars. With an emphasis on modern literary and cultural studies, he has published a book on national and regional identities, a co-edited volume on E.M. Arndt (with Walter Erhart, Bielefeld), and an edition of a nineteenth-century crime novel set in N.Y. and New Hampshire (with Meredith Fast ’11). He has also presented and published research on a range of topics that include concepts of loyalty in medieval literature, erotic literature of the fin-de-siècle, the role of faculty-student collaborative research in German (with James Violette ’11), the German Road Movie, the filmmakers Fatih Akin and Michael Haneke, the Krautrock Band Faust (with Sei Harris ’11), and human-animal relations. For more on Professor Koch’s interests, course offerings, Business German and Colby’s WiDaF Center, internship opportunities, or his love for the liberal arts, simply visit his directory page or stop by his office!
Cyrus Shahan, Assistant Professor of German, earned a B.S. in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1999) and his M.A (2004) and Ph.D. (2008) in German Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests in the twentieth century began with German expressionism and have since led to a monograph titled Punk Rock and German Crises: Adaptation and Resistance After 1977 (Palgrave 2013) that assays West German punk’s investment in cultural representation and its role in a complex matrix of occupied political and aesthetic spaces. His additional research focuses on the aesthetics and politics of twentieth and twenty-first century literature and culture, literary and cultural theory, film and media studies, modern European intellectual history, and cultural studies. He has forthcoming articles on terrorism and punk, Elfriede Jelinek and September 11, 2001, Alexander Kluge, and is currently writing on Thomas Meinecke and DJ Spooky, the birth of Autotune, and a monograph on globalization titled Containment.
Courses required for the German Studies Major are also taught by Raffael Scheck, Audrey Wade Hittinger Katz and Sheldon Toby Katz Distinguished Teaching Professor of History, who serves as Chair of German and Russian for 2017-18. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative European History from Brandeis University and a Masters in History and German Studies from the University of Zurich. His research focuses on African- French prisoners of war in German hands during World War II and on German right-wing movements before the rise of the Nazis (1914-1933), topics on which he has published three books and over a dozen articles. His latest book is Hitler’s African Victims: The German Army Massacres of French African Prisoners in 1940 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006). To learn more about Professor Scheck and his courses relating to German history and culture, please view his homepage.
Jennifer Yoder, Robert E. Diamond Professor of Government & International Studies, joined the Colby faculty in 1996 after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. The courses she teaches in the German Studies curriculum are based on her expertise in German politics, German unification, postcommunist developments in the Eastern European countries, and transitional justice. Her book, From East Germans to Germans? The New Postcommunist Elites, was published in 1999 by Duke University Press.
Office: Lovejoy 452
Johanna Pimpi joins the Department as the 2017-18 German Language Assistant. Johanna grew up in Munich and the Bavarian Alps and continues to be a big fan of outdoor activities. Following her Abitur in 2013, she completed a voluntary social year in an integrated school in Ecuador where she taught English and Arts. Since that time she has studied toward completing her teaching certification in Spanish and English at the LMU in Munich where she also offers tutorials at the university. In her free time, Johanna is active as a volunteer for the German Alpine Club and as a musician in a choir and on the transverse flute. This year, Johanna will be offering two one-credit conversation courses each semester (Fall 2017: German 129, Tues. 7pm-7:50pm; German 329, Thurs. 7pm-7:50pm) and coordinate the weekly German Table (TBD). She will be during daily office hours for tutorial and any questions regarding German, the German Club and more.