Katharina von Hammerstein

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor

German Studies


Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), 1991

Areas of Expertise

Eighteenth through early twentieth-century German literature and culture; Self and Other; women’s literature; colonial and postcolonial German-African connections; human rights/humanitarianism and literature; German film


Katharina von Hammerstein received her Ph.D. in German Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and holds a degree in Mathematics, German, and Education from the University of Goettingen, Germany. Her area of scholarly expertise is German-language literature and culture of the late eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her publications focus on German Romanticism (including extensive work on Sophie Mereau-Brentano); autobiographical writings as political practice in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century public discourses; the ways women have inscribed themselves into literary, social and political discourses in the nineteenth century; representations of female happiness from the Enlightenment to the turn of the century; colonial constructions of Self and Other as represented in the ways Black men and women have been represented in German-language literature, ethnology and visual arts around 1900; and human rights and humanitarianism in German-language literature. She has also published in the area of interdisciplinary curriculum development, i.e., on approaches to linking language learning to the learning in other disciplines, such as history, art history, political science, geography, film, etc. Her scholarly background comes to bear in her graduate courses on German Romanticism; Self-Writings and Writing Yourself; Colonial and Postcolonial German-African Connections; Gender and Literature; Love in Literature; the 1848 Revolution; and various other topics of eighteenth through twentieth-century literature and culture. Since von Hammerstein is also very interested in film, she includes film and other artistic representations (e.g., UConn’s extensive and precious Kaethe Kollwitz collection) whenever appropriate. Her research projects have regularly taken her to Germany, Austria, Poland, and Namibia. She has presented papers at national and international conferences ranging from all over the U.S., Canada and Germany to Russia, England, Spain, Italy, France, South Africa, and Namibia. For fun, she loves movies, inspiring discussions, roller-blading, skiing, and travel!

Curriculum Vitae


Contact Information
Phone+1 860 486 1532
Office LocationOak 253