Elisabeth Krimmer, Ph.D

Elisabeth Krimmer, Ph.D

elisabeth krimmer

Position Title

  • German
411 Sproul Hall

Education and Degree(s):

  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Course(s) Taught:

  • HUM 13: Witches: Myth and Reality
  • GER 109: Business German
  • GER 114: German Women and Film
  • GER 10: Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm to Walt Disney
  • Graduate Courses: Goethe; Kleist; Bildungsroman; Body Theory


Professor Krimmer works mainly on the culture and representation of war in German literature from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, but has wide-ranging secondary projects, including gender studies and film. Her bibliography includes 8 books and numerous articles. Professor Krimmer was awarded a Humboldt Fellowship in 2007 and a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellowship in 2014. In 2008, she was selected as one of four Chancellor’s Fellows campus-wide for a five-year term.

Professor Krimmer’s first book, In the Company of Men: Cross-Dressed Women around 1800 (Wayne State Univ. Press, 2004) analyzes constructions of gender, body and identity in German literature and culture around 1800. Her second book, The Representation of War in German Literature from 1800 to the Present (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010) investigates the aesthetic, theoretical, and historical challenges that confront writers of war. Most recently, Professor Krimmer co-edited a volume on warfare in eighteenth-century literature and culture. She has also co-authored two books on Hollywood film entitled Hollywood Divas, Indie Queens and TV Heroines: Contemporary Screen Images of Women (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004) and Hollywood Masculinities: Gender, Genre, and Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). She is currently working on a book on German women and war.

Professor Krimmer’s articles have appeared in venues such as PMLAThe German QuarterlySeminarGerman Life, and Letters and Eighteenth-Century Studies. Her article on castrati in German literature and culture around 1800 was awarded the essay prize of the Goethe Society of North America, and her article on warfare and gender in Kleist’s Hermannsschlacht and Penthesilea received the Max Kade essay prize for best article in The German Quarterly. She also received a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award for Contemporary Hollywood Masculinities. 

Professor Krimmer teaches a wide range of courses including lecture courses on the history of the witch persecutions and on fairy tales, undergraduate seminars on German Women and Film, German Drama, and Business German, and graduate courses on the novel of Bildung, Kleist, Goethe and Romanticism. She has also taught a course on “Body Theory” in Women’s Studies and Critical Theory. Before coming to Davis, she taught at Mount Holyoke College, Georgetown University, University of Missouri, and Amherst College.

Selected Publications:


  • In the Company of Men: Cross-Dressed Women Around 1800. Detroit: Wayne State Press, 2004.
  • Hollywood Divas, Indie Queens, and TV Heroines: Contemporary Screen Images of Women. Co-author Susanne Kord. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.
  • The Representation of War in German Literature from 1800 to the Present. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • Contemporary Hollywood Masculinities: Gender, Genre, and Politics. Co-author Susanne Kord. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  • Enlightened War: Theories and Cultures of Warfare in Eighteenth Century Germany. Co-Editor: Patricia Simpson. Rochester: Camden House, 2011.
  • Religion, Reason, and Culture in the Age of Goethe. Co-editor: Patricia Simpson. Rochester: Camden House, 2013.
  • Goethe Yearbook. Vol. 21. Co-editor Adrian Daub. Rochester: Camden House, 2014.
  • Goethe Yearbook. Vol. 22. Co-editor Adrian Daub. Rochester: Camden House, 2015.


  • "'Schon wieder Krieg: Der Kluge hört’s nicht gern:' Goethe, Warfare and Faust II." Enlightened War: Theories and Cultures of Warfare in Eighteenth Century Germany. Eds. Elisabeth Krimmer and Patricia Simpson. Rochester: Camden House, 2011.
  • "Between Terror and Transcendence: A Reading of Kleist’s Michael Kohlhaas.” German Life and Letters. Eds. Sean Allan and Elystan Griffiths, forthcoming.
  • “God’s Warriors, Mercenaries, or Freedom Fighters? Politics, Warfare, and Religion in Friedrich Schiller’s Geschichte des Dreissigjährigen Kriegs.” Ed. Jeffrey High. Rochester: Camden House, 2011. 217-235.
  • “TV Nation: The Representation of Death in Warfare in Works by Peter Handke and Elfriede Jelinek.” Women and Death. Rochester: Camden House, 2010. 174-192.
  • "More War Stories: Stalingrad (1993) and Der Untergang (2004)." The Collapse of the Conventional: German Film and its Politics at the Turn of the New Century. Eds. Jaimey Fisher and Brad Prager. Detroit: Wayne State Press, 2010. 81-108.
  • "A New Kind of Woman: The Feminization of the Soldier in Works by Remarque, Jünger, and Böll." Edinburgh Yearbook. Eds. Sara Colvin and Peter Davies. Rochester: Camden House, 2008: 170-187.
  • "The Gender of Terror: War as (Im)Moral Institution in Kleist’s Hermannsschlacht and Penthesilea." The German Quarterly 81:1 (2008): 67-86.
  • "A Portrait of War, a Grammar of Peace: Goethe, Laukhard, and the Campaign of 1792." German Life and Letters LXI.1 (2008): 46-60.
  • "A Nation of Victims? Trauma and Narrative in Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum and Crabwalk," Seminar, accepted for publication, forthcoming.
  • "Transcendental Soldiers: Warfare in Schiller's Wallenstein and Die Jungfrau von Orleans." Eighteenth-Century Fiction, special issue on War, forthcoming.
  • "Abortive Bildung: Women Writers, Male Bonds, and Would-Be Fathers." Challenging Separate Spheres: Female Bildung in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Germany. Ed. Marjanne Gooze. Peter Lang, forthcoming.
  • "Eviva Il Cotello? Castrati in German Literature and Culture Around 1800." PMLA 120.5 (2005): 1543-1559.
  • "Female War Stories: Violence and Trauma in Works by Therese Huber and Caroline de la Motte-Fouqué." Internationales Jahrbuch der Bettina-von-Arnim Gesellschaft 17 (2005): 123-135.
  • "German Women Writers and Classicism." The Literature of Weimar Classicism. Ed. Simon Richer. Vol. 7 of Camden House History of German Literature. Rochester: Camden House. 2005. 237-264.
  • "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Bildung and Paternity in Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship." The German Quarterly 77.3 (2004): 257-277.
  • "Die allmähliche Verfertigung des Geschlechts beim Anziehen: Epistemologies of the Body in Kleist's Die Familie Schroffenstein." Body Dialectics in the Age of Goethe. Eds. Marianne Henn and Holger A. Pausch. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2003. 347-364.
  • "Digging the Undead: Death and Desire in Buffy the Vampire Slayer." (co-author: Shilpa Raval). Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Eds. David Lathery and Rhonda Wilcox. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002. 153-164.
  • "A Garden of Her Own: Noble Savages and Superior Europeans in Sophie von La Roche's Erscheinungen am See Oneida." Harmony in Discord: German Women Writers in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Ed. Laura Martin. Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main, 2002. 21-43.
  • "A Spaniard in the Attic: The Texture of Gender in Friederike Helene Unger's Rosalie und Nettchen." Germans at their Best: Making Use of Material and Mass Popular Culture. Eds. John Plews and Chris Lorey. Special Issue of the Journal of Popular Culture 34.3 (2001): 209-227.
  • "Who Wants to Be a Man Anymore? Cross-Dressing in American Movies of the 90s." Subverting Masculinity: Alternative and Hegemonic Versions of Masculinity in Contemporary Culture. Eds. Russo West and Frank Lay. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2001. 29-43.
  • "Officer and Lady: Pants and Politics in Caroline de la Motte-Fouqués Das Heldenmädchen aus der Vendée." Studies in Eighteenth Century Culture 30 (2001): 165-181.
  • "A Perfect Intimacy With Death: Death, Imagination, and Femininity in the Works of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff." Women in German Yearbook 17 (2001): 121-140.
  • "Bettina & Louise: Gender Constructions in Bettina Brentano-von Arnim's Clemens Brentanos Frühlingskranz." Conquering Women: Women and War in the German Cultural Imagination. Eds. Hilary Collier-Sy-Quia and Susanne Baackmann. Berkeley: Center for International and Area Studies at the University of California, 2000. 156-176.
  • "Ideology's Work is Never Done: A New Historicist Analysis of Mädchen in Uniform." West Virginia University Philological Papers 45 (1999): 38-46.
  • "Sartorial Transgressions: Re-Dressing Class and Gender Hierarchies in Masquerades and Travesties." Unwrapping Goethe's Weimar: Essays in Cultural Studies and Local Knowledge. Eds. Susanne Kord, Burkhard Henke, and Simon Richter. Columbia: Camden House, 1999. 191-212.
  • "Dangerous Practices: Annette von Droste-Hülshoff's Drama Bertha." Thalia's Daughters: German Women Dramatists from the 18th Century to the Present. Eds. Susan Cocalis and Ferrel Rose. Tübingen: Francke, 1996. 115-128.

Book Reviews

  • "Catherine E. Rigby: Transgressions of the Feminine: Tragedy, Enlightenment, and the Figure of Woman in Classical German Drama." Women in German Newsletter Spring 1997.
  • "Susanne Kord: Sich einen Namen machen: Anonymität und weibliche Autorschaft 1700-1900." Goethe Yearbook 9 (1999): 438-440.
  • "Henriette Herwig: Das ewig Männliche zieht uns hinab: Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre: Geschlechterdifferenz, sozialer Wandel, historische Anthropologie." The German Quarterly 72.1 (1999): 90-91.
  • "Charlotte Marlo Werner: Goethes Herzogin Anna Amalia: Fürstin zwischen Rokoko und Revolution."Goethe Yearbook 10 (2001): 320-321.
  • "Marianne Henn and Britta Hufeisen, ed.: Frauen MitLesen? MitSchreiben?: Beiträge zur literatur- und sprachwissenschaftlichen Frauenforschung.Colloquia Germanica 32.1 (1999): 113-114.
  • "Catriona MacLeod?Embodying Ambiguity: Androgyny and Aesthetics from Winckelmann to Keller." Colloquia Germanica 32.4 (1999): 367-368.
  • "Gertrud Lehnert: Wenn Frauen Männerkleidung tragen: Geschlecht und Maskerade in Literatur und Geschichte; Andrea Stoll and Verena Wodtke-Werner, ed.: Sakkorausch und Rollentausch: Männliche Leitbilder als Freiheitsentwürfe von Frauen." The German Quarterly 72.3 (1999): 312-314.
  • "Todd Kontje: Women, the Novel, and the German Nation (1771-1871): Domestic Fiction in the Fatherland.Lessing Yearbook 33 (2001): 383-385.
  • "Helga Stipa Madland: Marianne Ehrmann: Reason and Emotion in Her Life and Works." Seminar 37.4 (2001): 355-356.
  • "Sigrid Damm: Christiane und Goethe: Eine Recherche." Seminar 37.4 (2001): 356-357.
  • "Ute Hechtfischer, Renate Hof, Inge Stephan, and Flora Veit-Wild, eds. Metzler Autorinnen Lexikon." German Quarterly 73.1 (2000): 126-127.
  • "Katherine R. Goodman: Amazons and Apprentices: Women and the German Parnassus in the Early Enlightenment." German Quarterly 73.4 (2000): 422-423.
  • "Margaretmary Daley: Women of Letters: A Study of Self and Genre in the Personal Writing of Caroline Schlegel-Schelling, Rahel Levin Varnhagen, and Bettina von Arnim." German Studies Review 23.3 (2000): 590-591.
  • "Claudia Breger: Ortlosigkeit des Fremden: Zigeunerinnen und Zigeuner in der deutschsprachigen Literatur um 1800." German Studies Review 24.1 (2001): 167-168.
  • "Mechthilde Vahsen: Die Politisierung des weiblichen Subjekts: Deutsche Romanautorinnen und die Französische Revolution 1790-1820." Seminar 38.4 (2002): 384-386.
  • "Christoph Lorey and John L. Plews, ed.: Queering the Canon: Defying Sights in German Literature and Culture." International Fiction Review, 29 (2002): 102-103.
  • "Angela Esterhammer: The Romantic Performative: Language and Action in British and German Romanticism." German Studies Review 25.2 (2002): 352-53.
  • "Robert Tobin: Warm Brothers: Queer Theory and the Age of Goethe." Colloquia Germanica 34.3/4 (2001): 339-340.
  • "Benedikte Naubert: Neue Volksmärchen der Deutschen: Kommentierte Studienausgabe der Erstauflage," ed. Marianne Henn et. al. Seminar 39.3 (2003): 261-262.
  • "Shawn C. Jarvis and Jeannine Blackwell, ed.: The Queen's Mirror: Fairy Tales by German Women, 1780-1900." The German Quarterly 76.1 (2003): 128-129.
  • "Dawson, Ruth P.: The Contested Quill: Literature by Women in Germany, 1770-1800." German Studies Review 27.3 (2004): 608-609.
  • "Stockhorst, Stefanie: Fürstenpreis und Kunstprogramm: Sozial- und gattungsgeschichtliche Studien zu Goethes Gelegenheitsdichtungen für den Weimarer Hof." German Studies Review 28.2 (2005): 396-397.
  • "Schneider, Thomas F. and Hans Wagener, eds.: Von Richthofen bis Remarque: Deutschsprachige Prosa zum I. Weltkrieg." German Quarterly, forthcoming.
  • "Tjeder, David: The Power of Character: Middle-Class Masculinities, 1800-1900." Colloquia Germanica, forthcoming.
  • "Preußer, Heinz Peter, ed.: Krieg in den Medien." The German Quarterly, in progress.
  • "Marianne Henn, Irmela von der Luehe, and Anita Runge, eds.: Geschichte(n)-Erzählen: Konstruktionen von Vergangenheit in literarischen Werken deutschsprachiger Autorinnen seit dem 18. Jahrhundert." Seminar, in progress.

Teaching Experience:

German Literature and Culture Courses

  • Germans at War 1792-2000: graduate course, taught in German, discusses the representation of warfare in German literature from the late eighteenth century to the present.
  • Nostalgia and Utopia: German Literature and Culture in the Early Nineteenth Century: survey course, taught in German.
  • German Romanticism: An Interdisciplinary Survey: graduate seminar, taught in German, introduces students to texts by male and female writers of German Romanticism; music, art, historical and philosophical documents complement literary readings (also taught as upper-level undergraduate seminar).
  • German Civilization: large lecture class taught in English; introduces students to German history, literature, and culture from the Middle Ages to the present.
  • The Uncanny in German Literature and Culture from the Eighteenth Century to the Present: undergraduate seminar; includes art and opera, introduces students to structuralist and psychoanalytic theories of the uncanny; literary texts from the eighteenth century to the present.
  • German Literature and Its Context from the Eighteenth Century to the Present: undergraduate seminar; introduces students to major genres and epochs of German literature from the eighteenth century to the present including social, political, and cultural contexts.
  • From Marlene Dietrich to Run Lola Run: German Women and Film: undergraduate seminar; explores the work of German women directors and actresses from the Weimar Republic to the present.

Interdisciplinary Courses

  • Pasts and Presences: Introduction to the Humanities in the West: seminar for first-year students; introduces students to canonical texts (Iliad, Oedipus, Antigone, Medea, 1 and 2 Samuel, Hamlet, Henry IV, Henry V).
  • Pasts and Presences: Introduction to the Humanities in the West II: seminar for first-year students; introduces students to canonical texts (Don Giovanni, Dangerous Liaisons, Faust, The Master and Margarita, Man and Superman, Arcadia).
  • Gender Benders: interdisciplinary seminar in English (Fidelio, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, Rosenkavalier, Orlando, arrasine).
  • Witches: Myth and Reality: first-year seminar; covers European pagan religions and the spread of Christianity; the Burning Times in early modern Europe; 17th century New England and the Salem witch trials.

Honors and Awards:

  • 2003 Mount Holyoke College Faculty Grant, to assist with scholarly work
  • 2003 Mount Holyoke College Faculty Grant, for design of a First-Year Tutorial
  • 2002 Mount Holyoke College Stipend for Course Development, for design of a First-Year Seminar
  • 2002 Mount Holyoke College Faculty Grant, to assist with scholarly work
  • 2001 Mount Holyoke College Faculty Grant, to assist with scholarly work
  • 1991 Grant for design of an undergraduate seminar, awarded by the University of Missouri
  • 1999 Mount Holyoke College Faculty Grant, to assist with scholarly work
  • 1998 Mellon Web Grant for designing a website on German Romanticism
  • 1996 University of Massachusetts Graduate School Fellowship