Ambika is a first-year PhD student in the German Department. Her central interests are related to multilingualism and translation. A secondary line of inquiry concerns literary reflections, particularly in the 19th century, of emerging ideas in scientific, mathematical and economic thought. She is also particularly eager to explore areas of overlap with Latin American Studies and South Asian Studies. Prior to joining Berkeley, she completed a Masters in Economics at the University of Arizona, and a Masters in German Studies at Vanderbilt University.
Andrew Blough is a graduate student in the German Literature and Culture program. He joined the department in 2019 after receiving an M.A. in Philosophy from Duquesne University that same year. He is interested in the interrelation of mediality and knowledge construction, particularly as they pertain to historical interpretation and the construction of political spaces and temporalities. This includes the relation of science, technology, and political thought; legal dramas; and translation theory. He plans on pursuing the critical theory Designated Emphasis. He has also worked as a writing tutor.
Queen Beatrix Professor in Dutch Studies; Professor in German Studies; Faculty Academic Director of Study Abroad; Director of the Institute of European Studies; Director of the Center for Portuguese Studies
From New Amsterdam to New York: Race, Culture, and Identity in New Netherland; Anne Frank and After: World War II and the Holocaust in the Netherlands; The Indonesian Connection: Dutch Dutch (Post)colonial History and Culture in Southeast Asia; The Dutch-Speaking Caribbean: Dutch (Post) colonial History and Culture in the Caribbean; Introduction to German Reading Culture; The Multicultural Netherlands; Cultural History of the Low Countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg); “Minor Literatures” – Austrian and Swiss Literature and Identity
Anna Lynn Dolman is a second-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of German who plans to pursue Designated Emphases in Dutch Studies and Gender & Women’s Studies. Before coming to Berkeley she received her B.A. in Deutsche Sprache und Literatur and English Studies from the University of Cologne, and her M.A. in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Washington University at St. Louis. Her major research interests include late 18th- to 20th-century German literature, psychoanalysis, exile literature, women’s and gender studies, translation theory and practice, poetry and poetics, ecocriticism, creativity studies, and film. At Berkeley, she particularly likes to work on marginalized female writers such as Irmgard Keun and Annette von Droste-Hülshoff in order to explore the subversiveness of their feminist poetics through the lenses of psychoanalytic and feminist theory while examining processes of canonization and exclusion. Lynn is currently working on a project that seeks to reframe Irmgard Keun as an exile writer, honing in on her time in Dutch-speaking exile and the fashioning of a decidedly antifascist poetics. Outside of her academic work, Lynn enjoys writing poetry and the occasional piece of prose.
Fay Fuselier Yurwit grew up in the borderlands of southern New Mexico and received Bachelors degrees in political science and foreign languages at New Mexico State University. She studied abroad at the Philipps-Universität Marburg. She earned a Master of Arts in German Studies from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Her current interests as a first-year PhD student in German at the University of California, Berkeley center around translation, environmental humanities and film studies. She has a particular interest in horror and the grotesque in literature and cinema. Fay is also studying Russian and Yiddish.
Molly Krueger is a PhD candidate in the Department of German with a Designated Emphasis in Jewish Studies. She received her MA from UC Berkeley in 2019 and her BA in German from Bowdoin College in 2013. She is currently at work on a dissertation that focuses on questions of history, memory, temporality, and literary form in contemporary German-Jewish writing.
Sean Lambert is a PhD candidate in the German department, with a Designated Emphasis in Film and Media Studies. His research focuses on modernity, technology and everyday experience. He is co-managing editor of TRANSIT, UC Berkeley’s graduate student journal of migration studies in the German-speaking world. He is also the co-organizer of the interdisciplinary Townsend Center working groups on the Emergence of German Modernity (which collaborates with members from Tübingen, Harvard and Vienna), and (formerly) the working group on Fear, Horror and Anxiety. His academic writing has been published in the German Studies Review, Post45 Contemporaries and Docalogue. In addition to his academic work, Sean is also a creative writer whose fiction and criticism have appeared in the Chicago Review, Reading in Translation and the Cleveland Review of Books.
Linus Mao joined the Department of German in 2023 after receiving their B.A. in College of Letters (Comparative Literature) and German Studies from Wesleyan University. Their research interests center around twentieth century and contemporary German literature and film, with a theoretical focus on Marxist aesthetic theory, the Frankfurt School critical theory, psychoanalysis, and narrative theory. Particularly, they are interested in the works of director Rainer Werner Fassbinder and writer W.G. Sebald. They plan on pursuing Designated Emphases in Critical Theory and Film and Media Studies.
Michael (B.A., Vassar College; M.A., UC Berkeley) is a Ph.D. candidate in UC Berkeley’s Department of German with a Designated Emphasis in Film and Media Studies. Their dissertation, “Breakdowns and Short Circuits: Media and Modernity, 1895-1920,” argues that the concept of “breakdown” in turn-of-the-century German and Swedish literature and film was no longer exclusively a narrative terminus; instead, it became the very condition for expression. By drawing on the overlapping electrical and psychophysiological discourses of the time, Michael argues for a reevaluation of August Strindberg, Georg Kaiser, and Robert Reinert as critical theorists of affect in the age of electric media. Additional interests include the imagination and contemplative practices, the Frankfurt School, and contemporary German/Scandinavian literature and film. They have also worked as a freelance translator and as managing editor of TRANSIT: A Journal of Travel, Migration, and Multiculturalism in the German-speaking World.
Be is a PhD candidate in the Department of German with a Designated Emphasis in Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies. Before coming to Berkeley, they studied in Berlin, where they received their B.A. (2016) and M.A. (2019) in Art History and Comparative Literature. They work as a translator and editor, and often collaborate with artists. At Berkeley, they serve on the editorial boards of TRANSIT, Qui Parle and Ki. They teach German as well as composition classes, on topics such as “Women and Labor in 20th century German Culture” or “Trans Reading and Writing Practices”. Be studies modern and contemporary aesthetics and minoritarian styles. Their dissertation project re-considers avant-gardism since the 1970’s.
Lou Silhol-Macher is a seventh-year PhD candidate in the German Department at UC Berkeley with a Designated Emphasis in Film & Media. Her research engages with new media, installation art, film and video, queer theory, philosophy of media, critical race studies, and science and technology studies. Lou’s dissertation “Of Goo and Dust: Aesthetic Theories of Formlessness” investigates the role of form/lessness in film, video, and new media art, bringing into focus what emerges from the encounter between states of matter, minoritarian aesthetic practices, and racialized histories of technology.
Lou holds an MA in German Literature & Philosophy from Ecole Normale Supérieure and an MA in Film Studies from Université Paris VIII, France. In Spring and Summer 2022, she was a DAAD Visiting Researcher at the Cluster of Excellence “Matters of Activity” at the Humboldt-University in Berlin.
Elizabeth Sun is a graduate student in the Department of German. She received her B.A. from Columbia University with a Major in Comparative Literature and a Concentration in German. Afterwards, she spent time in Germany and Japan, where she researched philosophical and literary flows across Asia and Europe, and completed an M.A. in Transcultural Studies at Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg. Since 2018, Elizabeth has taught literature courses for high school students on the topics of World Literature and Comparative Literature. At Berkeley, Elizabeth will continue her research on 20th and 21st century literatures of migration and transculturality in the Dutch and German languages. She is currently the Managing Editor of TRANSIT: A Journal of Travel, Migration, and Multiculturalism in the German-speaking World.
Kayla Rose van Kooten is a first-year PhD student in the German Department. She received her B.A. in International Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Washington (2020). Prior to Berkeley, she taught English in Spain and was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany. Her central research interests are multilingualism, Middle Eastern immigration to Germany, translation, popular culture, and social media. She is also more broadly interested in bilingual education and language technologies. She plans on pursuing a Designated Emphasis in Digital Humanities.
Elise Thora Volkmann is a first year graduate student in the Department of German. She received her B.A in German Studies and her B.M. in Voice Performance from the Oberlin College and Conservatory in 2018. After graduating from Oberlin, she attended the Peabody Conservatory at John’s Hopkins University where she received an M.M. in Musicology and Voice Performance. Her research interests include women and gender studies in Weimar Cinema, 19th and 20th century music, and German-Jewish culture at the turn of the century. She plans to pursue a Designated Emphasis in Film & Media and continue her research on Weimar film, focusing specifically on the reconstruction of silent film scores.
Verena Wolf is a Ph.D. candidate of German Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. She received her Magistra Artium and Erstes Staatsexamen (Master’s of Education) in History, English, and Education from the Goethe University Frankfurt (2016), and her Master of Arts in German Studies from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (2013). Her Magister thesis Koloniale Völkerschauen in Frankfurt. Die Wahrnehmung des Fremden zwischen Konsum, Politik und Wissenschaft (Colonial ethnological exhibitions in Frankfurt. Perceptions of the Other in commerce, politics and science) was honored with the Stiftungsfonds Kopper Award. Before coming to Berkeley, she taught English, German, and History at the Colegio Alemán in Guatemala City and completed her teacher training in Freiburg. Her general research interests include late 19th – to 21st – century literary cultures, women and gender studies, postcolonial and critical theory, and ecocriticism.
Qingyang Freya Zhou is a PhD student in German with a Designated Emphasis in Film Studies. She joined the program in 2020 after receiving a BA in German Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Originally from Shenzhen, China, Freya is interested in the literary and cinematic interactions between Germany and East Asia, particularly as they pertain to socialist internationalism and migration studies.
Freya is currently the book review editorial assistant of the German Studies Review and the
managing editor of the website Multicultural Germany Project, Berkeley’s online forum that
fosters cross-disciplinary research on Germany’s changing cultural identity in the era of