CGES Faculty

Director, Center for German and European Studies

Professor Sonja E. Klocke

Originally from Germany, Sonja Klocke received her Ph.D. at Indiana University – Bloomington in 2007, and taught at Knox College (IL) for five years before joining the Department of German in 2012. She is affiliated with the UW-Madison Gender and Women Studies Department. Her research and teaching interests range from the late eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries, and she specializes in twentieth to twenty-first century German culture with a specific focus on postwar and contemporary German literature and film. This includes the legacy of the GDR and the Holocaust, women’s writing, minority literature, and transnational literature. Her monograph Inscription and Rebellion: Illness and the Symptomatic Body in East German Literature (Camden House 2015) appeared in paperback in 2019. A co-edited volume, Christa Wolf: A Companion (with Jennifer Hosek) was published with de Gruyter in 2018, a co-edited volume entitled Protest and Refusal: New Trends in German Literature since 1989 (with Hans Adler) appeared in the fall of the same year, and a co-edited special issue for Colloquia Germanica, New Perspectives on Young Adult GDR Literature and Film (with Ada Bieber) was published in 2019. Currently, Sonja works on a co-edited handbook on GDR culture, and on her new project that revolves around the portrayal of contemporary female terrorists as witches and as victims of modern witch-hunts. She is also proud to serve as co-editor of the quarterly Monatshefte (with Hannah Eldridge, since 2019).

CGES Research Faculty

THEME ONE: Cultures in Motion: Migration, Exile, and Refuge

Sonja E. Klocke is the director of the Center for German and European Studies.

Venkat Mani is a Professor of German and his research interests include 19th to 21st Century German literature and culture, world literature in translation, migration in the German and European context, book- and digital cultural histories, and theories of cosmopolitanism, globalization, post-colonialism, and transnationalism. He received grants and awards for the Alexander for Humboldt Foundation’s Fellowship for Senior Researchers [2011-12; 2013; Host institution: Institute of Book Studies, University of Leipzig], and Andrew Mellon Foundation’s, Mellon Sawyer Seminar in Comparative Cultural Studies Grant for the project, “Bibliomigrancy: World Literature in the Public Sphere” (2014-16), and UW-Madison’s Kellett Research Award (2017-20). He is also serving as Director, Center for South Asia, UW-Madison.

Nâlân Erbil is a first-generation college graduate and the first in her extended family to have a PhD. As an interdisciplinary literary teacher-scholar by training, she teaches Turkish language, literature and film courses at UW-Madison. Her pedagogical interest lies particularly in social justice education in teaching Turkish cultures in the US. Nâlân is currently working on a project that investigates how and why understanding of literariness has changed in the Turkish literary history, and how this transformation has influenced contemporary writing and thought. Her second project will question the concept of Turkish-Germanness in the works of writers living in Turkey and writing in Turkish. She currently serves as the Pedagogy Director of the Arabic, Persian, and Turkish Language Institute and the Turkish Flagship Language Initiative.

THEME TWO: Cultural Transfers and Interdisciplinary Dialogues: German Thought on the Move

Florence Vatan is a Professor of French with specialties in 19th-century French fiction and poetry; literature and science (psychology, medicine, biology); literature and philosophy; 20th-century Austrian literature; European intellectual and cultural history; intellectual and cultural transfers.

Hannah Eldridge is an Associate Professor of German in the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She works on German literature and culture from the 18th to 21st centuries, with a focus on lyric poetry, philosophy and literature, and the interactions between sound and text. Her first book, Lyric Orientations: Hölderlin, Rilke, and the Poetics of Community appeared in Cornell University Press’s Signale series in 2015, and she has published articles on Friedrich Hölderlin, Rainer Maria Rilke, Stanley Cavell, Paul Celan, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Durs Grünbein, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, and Friedrich Nietzsche. She is currently working on a book project on metrical theory and practice in Klopstock, Nietszche, and Grünbein.

Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen is a Professor of History whose specialization is U.S. intellectual and cultural history. Her research and teaching interests include the history of philosophy, political and social theory, religion, literature, and the visual arts; the transatlantic flow of intellectual and cultural movements; print culture; and cultural studies. She teaches a range of courses on U.S. thought and culture, and intellectual and cultural history from a transnational perspective.

THEME THREE: Border-Crossers in Modern History 

Brandon Bloch is an Assistant Professor of History who is a historian of modern Europe, with an emphasis on Germany and its global entanglements. His research and teaching foreground questions of democracy, citizenship, and human rights. He is especially interested in how European national and religious identities have evolved against the backdrop of territorial conflict, divided sovereignties, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.

Giuliana Chamedes is an Associate Professor of History and is a historian of modern European and international history, with a special interest in the late nineteenth and twentieth-century European international order. In her research, she focuses on the entanglements of religion and politics in Eastern, Central, and Southern Europe.

Kathryn Ciancia is an Associate Professor of History and is a historian of modern Eastern Europe, with a research focus on Poland between the two world wars. Her current book project explores the ways in which Polish national identity was shaped by perceptions of—and encounters with—Poland’s multiethnic eastern borderlands. She is beginning work on a new transnational history of the relationships between the Polish interwar state, Polish citizens abroad, and members of the Polish diaspora.

Francine Hirsch is a Vilas Distinguished Professor of History. Her research and teaching interests include Russian and Soviet History, Modern European History, comparative empires, the history of human rights, and Russian-American engagement. She is currently completing a book about the role of the Soviet Union in the Nuremberg Trials and the postwar development of international law: Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg: A Cold War Story, forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

THEME FOUR: Claiming a Space in the Art World: Visual and Performing Arts in West Berlin 

Pamela Potter is a Professor of Musicology who also holds affiliations with the School of Music and the Center for Jewish Studies. Her interests concentrate on relating music, the arts, and the writing of cultural history to ideological, political, social, and economic conditions, focusing on twentieth-century Germany, Jewish music, and the impact of German emigration on American musical life.

Daniel Spaulding is an Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art who is a scholar of 20th and 21st century art, with a focus on Western Europe in the post-World War II era. In the broadest terms, his work addresses the entanglement of modern artistic strategies with the emergence of capitalism as a global economic and social order.

THEME FIVE: Crime, Immigration, and Local Justice 

Michael Light is an Associate Professor of Sociology. His work focuses on the legal and criminological consequences of international migration, the relationship between racial/ethnic stratification and crime, and the health consequences of major social and demographic shifts. Current projects in these areas examine the punishment of non-U.S. citizens before and after 9/11 as well as the relationship between undocumented immigration and violent crime.

THEME SIX: Political and Economic Crisis and the Rise of Populism 

Mark Copelovitch is a Professor, Trice Faculty Scholar, and the Goldy Faculty Fellow in the Department of Political Science and the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Professor Copelovitch studies international political economy and international organizations, with a focus on the politics of financial crises, global financial governance, and the political economy of international trade and exchange rates.

Nils Ringe is a Professor of Political Science, Jean Monnet Chair, and Director of the Center for European Studies. His research and teaching interests are European Union politics (in particular the institutions of the EU), legislatures, political parties, social networks, and elections.