Welcome to the German Language and Literature Program!


In Progress

Christiane Fischer. Seeing Nothing: Violence and Representation in Harun Farocki, Yoko Tawada, Hito Steyerl, and Christian Petzold 

Adviser: Michael Levine

Stefanie Populorum. Ökonomien des Untergangs. Krisennarrative bei Franz Kafka, Fritz Lang und Joseph Roth 

Adviser: Nicola Behrmann 

Thomas Wallerberger. Warten auf ein Wunder. Die österreichische Literatur der ‘Zwischenzeit’ 1930–1940 

Advisers: Nicholas Rennie, Nicola Behrmann 

Eva Erber. Die neue Arbeit der Frau. Literarische Produktivität und Fürsorge bei Vicki Baum, Hilde Maria Kraus und Rahel Sanzara 

Adviser: Nicola Behrmann 

Arielle Friend. The Childhood of Psychoanalysis: Play Technique and Unconscious Phantasies in Postwar German Literature 

Adviser: Nicola Behrmann 

Elisabeth Oberlerchner. Einstimmig mehrstimmig? Das Motiv der Koautorschaft in der neuesten Gegenwartsliteratur: Anna Baars Nil, Monika Helfers Vati und Kim de l’Horizons Blutbuch 

Advisor: Martha Helfer 

Recent Dissertations


Steven Weinberg: An Ersatz Kabbalah: The Dialogue between Gershom Scholem and Walter Benjamin 

Adviser: Michael Levine


Anna Mayer: Vom Raster zum Netzwerk. Der westdeutsche Überwachungsapparat der 1970er Jahre in den Werken von Volker Schlöndorff, Margarethe von Trotta, Friedrich Christian Delius und Rainald Goetz 

Adviser: Fatima Naqvi 


Tanja Rommelfanger: Wie bauen? Eine kritische Auseinandersetzung mit der unmittelbaren Nachkriegszeit in Film, Radio und Zeitschrift 

Adviser: Fatima Naqvi 


Susan Doose. Framing Realism: The Motif of the Frame in the Works of Gottfried Keller, Adalbert Stifter, and Theodor Storm 

Adviser: Martha Helfer 

Damianos Grammatikopoulos. Franz Kafka zwischen den Medien. Film- und Comicadaptionen der Werke Kafkas 

Advisers: Michael Levine, Henry Sussman (Yale University)

Sascha Hosters. Short Circuits of Reality: Reproducibility, Simulation, and Technical Images in Villiers de L’Isle-Adam’s L’Eve Future, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Welt am Draht, and Michael Haneke’s Caché 

Adviser: Fatima Naqvi 


Christina Mandt. Unwritings, Unscreenings: Gender in Contemporary Adaptation Practice 

Adviser: Fatima Naqvi 

Mareen Fuchs. Dazwischen: Between the GDR and a United Germany 

Adviser: Michael Levine 


Shambhavi Prakash. Ethnographic Orientalism: Ulrike Ottinger’s Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia and Freak Orlando and Hubert Fichte’s Petersilie and Die Palette 

Advisers: Michael G. Levine, Gabriele Schwab (U of California Irvine) 

Veronika Jeltsch. Verschweigen, Versagen, Verkörpern: Silence, Speechlessness, and Body Language in Fontane’s Effi Briest, Schnitzler’s “Fräulein Else,” and Wedekind’s Lulu-Plays. 

Adviser: Michael Levine 


Devin O’Neal. Rewriting Orthodoxy: German Romantic Mythology and the Aesthetics of a Pantheistic Education. 

Adviser: Martha Helfer 


Rebecca Steele. The Politics of Ambiguity: Representations of Androgynous Women in Early 19th Century German Literature 

Adviser: Martha Helfer 

The Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) offers eligible students the opportunity to take graduate courses at other distinguished universities throughout the greater New York area. The IUDC is open to doctoral students who have completed at least one year of full time study toward the Ph.D. Students in the program may take up to two courses at these partner institutions, after consultation with the Graduate Director. Participating schools are:

  • Columbia University, GSAS
  • CUNY Graduate Center
  • Fordham University GSAS
  • Graduate Faculty, New School University
  • New York University, GSAS
  • Princeton University-The Graduate School
  • Rutgers University, School of Graduate Studies
  • Stony Brook University
  • Teachers College, Columbia University

More information can be found at http://gsnb.rutgers.edu/academics/inter-university-doctoral-consortium.

Fellowships and Teaching Assistantships for Ph.D. Candidates

All Ph.D. candidates admitted to the Department of German are awarded up to six years of financial support in the form of fellowships and teaching assistantship for language instruction. Fellowships include the Charlotte M. Craig Graduate Fellowship, the Max Kade Scholarship, and the Juliana Ratych Memorial Fellowship. The package includes coverage of full tuition and health insurance. Ph.D. candidates may also have opportunity to serve as a part-time lecturer, renewable every semester, and as instructor in the department’s undergraduate programs at Rutgers.

In recent years our Ph.D. students have prestigious long-term fellowships such as the Bevier Dissertation Completion Fellowship, the ifk Junior Fellowship, the Fulbright-ifk-Junior Fellowship, and fellowships from the Botstiber Foundation. They were also awarded short-term research and travel grants from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, and the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry.

Rutgers University actively assists student applications for external fellowships and other merit-based grants that support their research through the GradFund database and the Office of Graduate Student External Grants and Fellowships.

Conference Travel Funding

The Department supports graduate student research, language study, and conference attendance. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to make use of the resources provided by GradFund at the School of Graduate Studies.


The Graduate Program in German Studies at Rutgers University is currently inviting applications for PhD candidates in German Studies starting September 2024.

The graduate program in German Studies offers a vibrant and comprehensive curriculum in 18th- to the 21st.century literature and literary theory, gender and media studies, Jewish studies, psychoanalysis, avant-garde and modernism studies. Our internationally recognized faculty offer cutting-edge training in research and teaching skills. The German Department includes several affiliated faculty members in Art History, Jewish Studies, History, and Political Sciences who offer courses within German Studies and work actively with our students. The German program has close ties to several interdisciplinary centers at Rutgers, including the Center for Cultural Analysis, the Center for European Studies, and the Digital Humanities Initiative. Every spring semester, the German Department hosts a Charlotte-M.-Craig Distinguished Guest Professor.

Graduate students are trained in cross-disciplinary, critical, and theoretical thinking and receive a thorough pedagogical training in language instruction. Our students explore a wide array of related academic fields in graduate seminars, colloquia, faculty-guided independent studies, and professional development workshops. They can enhance their training with graduate certificates in Cinema Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and World Language Teaching, and can courses in neighboring departments such as Princeton, Columbia, NYU, and CUNY through the Doctoral Consortium.

The German Department – together with the Ruhr-Universität-Bochum, the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, and the Universität Wien – holds an annual summer academy on “Media Philology” which allows Ph.D. candidate to present their dissertational work to an international faculty.


Students who are awarded doctoral fellowships are guaranteed four to five years of full support, comprising a combination of fellowship and teaching assistantship in German language instruction. Additional support beyond this guaranteed funding is available through instructorship and departmental fellowships. In addition to their stipend, graduate students receive remission of tuition and fees and health benefits. The German Department has a strong record of outside grant and fellowship acquisition, and our faculty members take great care in supporting graduate students in competitive applications. The Department provides further opportunities for summer research and conference attendance through language instruction on campus and abroad and individual research fellowships and travel grants.

Application Requirements

Please see the SGS online application portal where you will find the online application. The German Department requires the following documents:

  • a statement of purpose which includes educational objectives and academic career goals, professional reasons for choosing German Studies, and explains why this can best be done at Rutgers;
  • a writing sample which demonstrates skills in reading literary or philosophical works (ca. 15 pp.);
  • three letters of recommendation;
  • B.A. or M.A. degree certificates or equivalent in German or a related field that includes evidence of advanced German language skills for non-native German speakers;
  • copy of academic transcripts;
  • for non-native English speakers or non U.S. citizens: TOEFL test results or equivalent

The deadline for applications is January 15, 2024. Later applications will be given consideration with rolling admissions until late March. 

For further questions about the application process, please contact the department administrator Mary Mehalick: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about the graduate program, please contact Prof. Nicola Behrmann, Director of Graduate Studies: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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