Elke P. Frederiksen
Professor Emerita

Prof. Elke Frederiksen is an internationally known scholar who has lectured and published on issues of German and Austrian literature and culture in Europe, the United States, Canada, China, and Japan. Her discovery of an unknown manuscript by the 19th century German-Jewish writer Heinrich Heine in Kraków, Poland, drew attention all over Europe. Her research and teaching focus on German and Austrian literature and culture from the early 19th to the 21st centuries, with a particular emphasis on concepts of gender, class, race, ethnicity, and nationality.  During the last ten years, her research has centered on theoretical and methodological issues concerning German Studies/German Cultural Studies, and on Post-Colonialism and the literature of German-speaking countries.  Frederiksen's scholarly work has evolved over the years from a focus on the works of 19th century Austrian dramatist Franz Grillparzer to the investigation of texts (including letters and travel literature) by women writers within the theoretical frameworks of feminist and gender studies which resulted in publications on Bettina von Arnim, Rahel Levin Varnhagen, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Gabriele Reuter, Frieda von Bülow, Luise Rinser, Christa Wolf, and others.  She has published six books (two authored and four edited and co-edited) including Die Frauenfrage in Deutschland 1865-1915 (Stuttgart: Reclam, 1981; 2nd ed. 1994; 3rd ed. forthcoming), Bettina Brentano-von Arnim: Gender and Politics, co-edited with Katherine Goodman, (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1995; 2nd ed. forthcoming in 2014), and Facing Fascism and Confronting the Past: German Women Writers from Weimar to the Present, co-edited with Martha Wallach, (Albany: SUNY Press, 2000).  Her book edition Women Writers of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland received an "Outstanding Academic Book of 1989" award.  In addition, she has published more than fifty articles and book chapters.

Frederiksen's most recent project Within Global Contexts: Literature and Culture of German-Speaking Europe (forthcoming in 2014), consists of a collection of articles that contribute to the latest debates in German Cultural Studies by presenting various models for new readings of German, Austrian, and Swiss literature and culture within European and global contexts.  The volume features distinguished scholars such as Sara Lennox, Todd Kontje, and Frank Trommler.  She has also published several articles recently, including "Nation - Gender - Race: Ambivalente Diskurszusammenhänge in Frieda von Bülow's Texten," in Vielheit und Einheit der Germanistik weltweit. Ed. Franciszek Grucza. Frankfurt am Main, 2012, and "Journeys across Continents - Writing across Borders: From Europe to Africa - from Africa to Europe," an invited article that appeared in Chloe (Festschrift for Barbara Becker-Cantarino), Amsterdam, 2013. 

Professor Frederiksen is a "Distinguished Scholar-Teacher" (since1987); she was a Fellow in the Academy for Excellence in Learning (2004-2007), and she is the recipient of numerous campus and national research awards (DAAD, ACLS, University of Maryland GRB semester and summer grants - the latest GRB in 2006).  She was Distinguished Visiting Professor (Friedrich Kittler Chair) at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany in 1998/99 and in 2002.  Most recently, in 2012, she received the Graduate Mentor of the Year Award, a campus-wide recognition, based on the nomination by graduate students.  Over the years, Frederiksen has considered it a particular privilege to advise and mentor graduate students and she has watched with pride the professional successes of the Department's graduate students.  She has mentored more than forty graduate students in Germanic Studies (21 PhDs; 23 MAs) and they have found positions in many prestigious universities and institutions (e.g., University of Chicago, New York University, University of Delaware, University of Montana, Howard University, Gallaudet University, Renmin University (Beijing, China), the National Archives, Washington, D.C., the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the DAAD. 

Having served on many international, national, and campus committees (e.g., IVG, MLA, GSA, AATG, UMD-APT), she considers her service as Graduate Director of Germanic Studies (2001-2010) the most rewarding.  Presently, she is a member of the Executive Board of the North American Heine Society and since 2007, she has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of Cornell University Press.