Professor of German Modern Languages & Literatures

Patricia A. Simpson, Professor (Ph.D., Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Yale University, 1988) received her M.Phil. in 1985 and her M.A. in 1984 from Yale University. Her A.B. in English Literature and German Civilization was earned at Smith College.


Refereed Books

  • Re-imagining the European Family: Cultures of Immigration
    European Families Book This volume examines the effects of recent patterns of immigration on the representation of the family in Europe, with a focus on common trends that are becoming legible throughout the European Union, including the decline of the male bread-winner, the effects of two-parent careers on the family, the role of women at home and in the public sphere, and the increasing reliance on immigrant labor to supplement the roles of carer/nurturer at home. Examples are drawn from contemporary film, music, and literature, but also are framed by social science scholarship and demographic studies to situate their cultural arguments in a larger context (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
  • Cultures of Violence in the New German Street
    Cultures of Violence BookIn recent years, the reality of violence in an otherwise placid post-war Germany has had an impact on cultural production, from literature to film and popular music. Simpson argues that the representation of violence among German "subcultural" identities is specifically inflected by contested notions of gender, ethnicity, and national identity (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012).
  • The Erotics of War in German Romanticism
    German Romanticism BookThis monograph examines the ways in which the historical event of war informed theories of violence, gender, and desire in the literature and philosophy oflate 18th and early 19th century German culture. Chapters focus on Hegel, Goethe, Holderlin, Kleist, Bettina Brentano-von Amim, and Karoline von Giinderrode (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2006). Reviews on, Eighteenth-Century Studies, GSR, Goethe Yearbook, and Monatshefte.

Refereed Edited Volumes

  • Co-editor, with Helga Druxes (Williams College), Digital Media Strategies of the Far Right in Europe and the United States
    Digital Media Strategies BookThe essays in this volume focus on the way right-wing political and cultural extremists use popular music, sports events, political rallies, but also comic books/graphic novels, YouTube, social media, and other means of mechanical and digital reproduction to form virtual and face-to-face communities and disseminate their political message. While right-wing movements can be fiercely local, we are also interested in commonalities among the different nationalist projects in Europe and North America. Recent studies tend to focus on the relative isolation of extremist activists and activities-until an act of terrorism or a public trauma occur-at which point the popular culture and the personality of the perpetrator and (usually) his cultural practices come into the foreground. The purpose of this collection is to compile a variety of perspectives on how right-wing extremists are using popular media to advance their platform now (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015).
  • Co-editor, with Elisabeth Krimmer (UC, Davis), Religion, Reason, and Culture in the Age of Goethe (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2013). CHOICE Rank: Essential.
  • Co-editor, with Elisabeth Krimmer (UC, Davis), Enlightened War: German Theories and Cultures of Warfare from Frederick the Great to Clausewitz.
    (Rochester: Camden House, 2011 ).
  • Co-editor, with Evelyn K. Moore (Kenyon College), The Enlightened Eye: Goethe and Visual Culture. Amsterdamer Beitriige zur neueren Germanistik 62 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007). Review in GSR.M
  • Guest Editor, Special issue of Michigan Germanic Studies (XX], No. 1/2: Spring/Fall, 1995), Gegenwartsbewaltigung: The GDR after the Wende, with contributions from Holger Teschke, Peter Rossman, Ulrike Poppe, Birgit Teschke, Therese Homigk, Marilyn Sibley Fries, Christiane Zehl Romero, Ute Brandes, Barton Byg, Phil McKnight, and Marc Silberman, in memory of Marilyn Sibley Fries.

Refereed Data Base Entry

  • "Albert Schoenhut," 9000-words, with images and documents; entry on the German American toy maker; "Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present," vol. 3, edited by Giles R. Hoyt. German Historical Institute, Washington, DC (published August 2015).

Refereed Book Chapters

  • "German is the New Green? Language, Environmentalism, and Cultural Competence," co-authored with Marc James Mueller, abstract accepted for MLA volume on Foreign Language Teaching and the Environment, edited by Charlotte Melin (in progress).
  • "Provocations for the Future," in Women in German Yearbook Volume 30 (2014): 225-235.
  • "Die Toten Hosen, Rammstein, Azad, and Massiv: German Rock and Rap Go Global for Social Justice," co-authored with Jill E. Twark, in Envisioning Social Justice in Early Twenty-First Century German Culture, edited by Axel Hildebrandt and Jill E. Twark (Rochester NY: Camden House, 2015), 88-118.
  • "Enlightened Streets: Public Art and International Anti-Violence Campaigns," in Return to the Street, edited by Sophie Fuggle and Thomas Henri (London: Pavement Books, 2015), 143-68.
  • "Religion, Reason, and Culture in the Age of Goethe," co-authored with Elisabeth Krimmer, Introduction to Religion, Reason, and Culture in the Age of Goethe (Rochester: Camden House, 2013), 1-18.

Articles in Refereed Journals

  • "Berlin Without Borders: Urban Anthems in 21st Century Popular Music," special issue on Berlin, Seminar (forthcoming November 2015).
  • "Looking Back at Orpheus: Opera and Cultural Integration," Journal of International Music Education, 31:4 (September 2013): 442-53.
  • "Reconfiguring Gender Roles in Russian-German Imaginary Families," Moravian Journal of Film and Literature (Prague), 2.2 (Spring 2011): 5-24.
  • "Brechtian Specters in Contemporary Fiction," Brecht Yearbook 29 (2007), 389-404.
  • "Manche Menschen werden Bruder: Popular Music and New Fraternities," German Politics and Society (Summer 2005): 54-75.

Invited Chapters/Encyclopedia Entries (Edited)

  • "Daniel Kehlmann," The Literary Encyclopedia, eds. Robert Clark, Emory Elliott and Janet Todd. London: The Literary Dictionary Company Limited, August 2007. Also four entries on his major works: Beerholms Vorstellung, Mahlers Zeit, /ch und Kaminski, Der fernste Ort, and Die Vermessung der Welt.
  • "Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel," The Literary Encyclopaedia, Eds. Robert Clark, Emory Elliott and Janet Todd. London: The Literary Dictionary Company Limited, December 2003.
  • "Marxist Theories," in The Feminist Encyclopedia of German Literature, ed. Friederike Eigler and Susanne Kord (New York and Westport: Greenwood Press, 1997), 306-307.

Works in Progress

  • Pedagogies of the Play World in Transatlantic Modernity
    This monograph begins in seventeenth-century Germany, proceeds through an analysis of eighteenth-century pedagogical theory; and then follows these developments into nineteenth-century gendering of play through maternal and paternal parenting roles. The debates about childhood, family, and play extend into the realm of religious orthodoxy, education, and even conversion. The religious discourses morph into an immigration narrative as individuals, ideas, and texts accompany Germans to the New World from the religious communities in the eighteenth to the wave of post-revolutionary exodus in the nineteenth century. The influence is legible in morally motivated discourses about adequate play spaces, the construction and protection of playgrounds, and also in the production of toys. My book carefully considers the extensive influence German theories exerted on American practices of play and institutions of early childhood learning. To this end, my research has been both extensive and selective; it has enabled me to take a transhistorical approach to this material while generating a transnational narrative about how, why, and where we play (book proposal in circulation.)
  • The German Colonial Unconscious: European Immigration in Transatlantic Modernity
    This monograph approaches comparative migration and post-colonial studies from an historical perspective that opens up new possibilities for understanding pressing contemporary issues of migration, mobility, and globalization. Specifically, it explores German-language sources about labor, the brief period of German colonial expansion, and immigration to Latin America from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries. These narratives have their sources in the newspaper articles, personal memoirs of travel and labor, letters, and books based on experience organized around the topic of life work and how productive, ethically performed labor constructs subjectivity and citizenship. These issues of personal identity shift in revealing ways in the context of immigration, diaspora, and migration, especially when impacted by the historical events of war.
  • Special Issue of German Politics and Society
    Based on the panel "Rhetorics of the Far Right: The Plural of PEGIDA," co-organized with Helga Druxes, the journal will publish a special issue on the Far Right in Europe. In progress.

Select Translations

  • Kinderkreuzzug. A libretto for an opera by Stefan Hakenberg, to be staged in Berlin, Alaska, and possibly Bozeman, with the help of young musicians, German students, and singers.
  • Konrad Weiss, "On the Power and Frailty of Utopias," trans. Frauke E. Lenckos and Patricia Anne Simpson, in Envisioning Eastern Europe, ed. Michael D. Kennedy (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994), 46-54.
  • Alev Tekinay, "Du machst dich, Madchen" ("You've Made It, Girl"), Michigan Quarterly Review (Winter 1993), 29-35.
  • Uwe Kolbe, "Sisyphos," Cross Currents (May 1986): 241.

Invited Guest Lectures

  • "Berlin Without Borders: Urban Anthems in the 21 st Century." UC Davis, 25 May 2015.
  • "Goethe in Song." Lecture-Recital at MSU School of Music. Elizabeth Croy, soprano. 11 February 2015.
  • "Beispielhafte Bekehrungen: Interkontinentale Kolonialkulturen, 1840-1932," a lecture on "Exemplary Conversions: Intercontinental Colonial Cultures" to be presented at the conference organized by the Humboldt-Stiftung and international scholars, ,,Germanistik als Sprach- Kultur- und Geschichtswissenschaft. Der 'neue deutsche (Kolonial)roman' in kulturwissenschaftlicher, interkultureller undpostkolonialer Perspektive." Universite de Lome, Faculte des Lettres et Sciences Humaines in Lome, Togo, 12-16 April 2014.
  • "Race, Religion, and Revolution: German-American Images of Africa, 1840-1932." Williams College, Williamstown, MA. 19 February 2014.
  • "Walter Benjamin, Photography, and the Aesthetic of Realism," University of Mauritius, 17 September 2011.

Conference Papers

  • "Mobilizing Meanings: Translocal Identities of the Far Right Web." German Studies Association (GSA), Washington, DC. 1-4 October 2015. Revising for the Special Issue of German Politics and Society.
  • "Der globale Gaze: Fotografie und der europaische Blick auf Asien" (The Global Gaze: Photographing 'Asia' through a 'European' Lens"), paper to be presented at the Internationale Vereinigung der Germansien conference, Shanghai, August 2015 (not delivered due to visa issues).
  • "Immigration, Integration, and the Rights of Citizens: German Colonies in 19th-Century Chile," paper to be presented at the annual Congreso Internacional de Americanistas (ICA), 12-17 July 2015.
  • "Epistemologies of Evil: The Act of Killing and Post-Realist Documentary," paper to be presented at the annual conference, Visible Evidence XXI, 11-14 December 2014.
  • "The world is within us": World War II, Mennonite Identity, and Religious Practice in Paraguay," at the GSA annual conference, 30 September-3 October, 2014.

Select Conference and Conference Panel Organizer/Commentator

  • Panel Organizer, "Rhetorics of the Far Right: The Plural of PEGIDA," with Helga Druxes, GSA 2015. Panel selected as topic of Netzwerk discussion.
  • Invited Speaker, "Grant-Writing Bootcamp," July 2014. Organized by Suzanne Christopher, MSU, Health and Human Development.
  • Invited Speaker, "Grant-Writing Bootcamp," July 2013. Organized by Suzanne Christopher, MSU, Health and Human Development.
  • World Languages and Cultures: Outreach Workshop, MSU and Bozeman School District 7, 15 participants; supported by funding from Title VI Grant, 16 April 2011.
  • Invited Commentator for "Gender and Warfare around 1800," panel organized by Julie Koser for the GSA (Oakland, October 2010).

Other Honors, Commissions, Awards, and Publications

  • 2014: Reserve Champion, Division C: Montana Hunter/Jumper Association.
  • 2014: Invited to write a screenplay based on Cultures of Violence: Someone Else, Someone Good, in pre-production.
  • 2012: Publication of three poems in Literary Mama, under the title: "How to Waltz in Six Easy Steps."
  • 2008-2010: Librettist and dramaturgy for new opera, Schau nicht zuriick, Orfeo! Commissioned by the Bundesamt filr Migration und Fliichtlinge and Internationales Kammermusik Festival, Numberg. Choruses for the 3-act opera were written in conjunction with a school integration project in Nilrnberg, Schweinfurt, and Bamberg. Approximately 150 pupils, ages 10-16, participated in workshops in March 2009, and their 'York was incorporated into the final libretto. The opera premiered at the Internationale Gluck-Festspiele, July 2010. It has been nominated for a "Best Practices" award from Deutschland Radio for work with young people.
  • 2009: Researcher, Solving f/or X· How Numbers Matter in the Fight for Human Rights, dir. Theo Lipfert. Conducted research on human rights violations in Kosovo, Guatemala, and Liberia. See Lehrer Newshour of 25 March 2011, for first major reference.

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Professional Memberships & Affiliations

  • Latin American Studies Association {LASA)
  • Internationale Vereinigung der Germanisten (IVG)
  • American Association of Teachers of German (AATG)
  • German Studies Association (GSA)
  • Goethe Society of North America (GSNA)
  • Hegel Society of America
  • American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS)
  • Women in German (WIG)
  • Modem Language Association (MLA)
  • supporting member, Archiv der Jugendk:ulturen (Archive of Youth Cultures, Berlin)
  • Honorary Member Phi Kappa Phi/Michigan Chapter