Anne Rothe

Anne Rothe

Associate Professor of German


453 Manoogian Hall

Curriculum vitae

Anne Rothe

Always in favor of transgressing disciplinary boundaries, I teach German across the curriculum but conduct research outside the realm of German literary studies and work on American popular culture and in the qualitative social sciences. I’m currently working on a transdisciplinary interview project tentatively titled Being German in Israel: Life Histories between Interethnic Migration, Religious Conversion, and Holocaust Memory.

My research for this book project was supported internationally by a post-doctoral fellowship from Haifa University, Israel and internally by a Humanities Center Summer Faculty Fellowship, a Career Development Chair, and the President’s Research Enhancement Program in the Arts and Humanities. My first monograph, Popular Trauma Culture: Selling the Pain of Others in the Mass Media, published by Rutgers University Press in 2011, was an original project rather than a revision of my dissertation. It explored the ethics of depicting victimhood and violence as melodramatic spectacles of trauma kitsch in American popular culture. I will continue this line of inquiry in a third book project with the working title Survivors Made in America: Intersections of Holocaust Memory, Social Darwinism, and Popular Culture.

I also serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Jewish Identities. Most recently, I began co-authoring a textbook, tentatively titled Writing as Social Action: Advanced German Composition in Professional Contexts, with Donnie Johnson Sackey from the English Composition Program. The textbook will integrate Professional and Technical Composition Studies with Second Language Acquisition Studies and is intended to overcome curricular bifurcation in German Studies into lower-level language courses and upper-level and graduate content courses that solely focus on literary and film analyses.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Popular culture and media studies
  • Interview-based qualitative social sciences
  • Memory studies
  • Post-unification East German culture
  • Holocaust studies


  • B.A., German and English, Rostock University (1992)
  • M.A., Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany (1997)
  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (2003)

Awards and grants

  • WSU Career Development Chair Program (CDC) (2015/16)

  • WSU President’s Research Enhancement Program (REP) Grant (2014/15)

  • WSU Humanities Center Faculty Fellowship (2013/14)

Selected publications


Popular Trauma Culture: Selling the Pain of Others in the Mass Media (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2011) reviewed in: H-JHistory [Jewish history] listserv (2013),, Choice, 49, 9 (2012): 401

H-SozKult [European listserv in social and cultural history],


Chapters Invited

“Das Dritte Reich als antifaschistischer Mythos im kollektiven Gedächtnis der DDR – Christa Wolfs Kindheitsmuster  als Gegendiskurs.” [The Third Reich as Antifascist Myth in East German Collective Memory – Christa Wolf’s Patterns of Childhood as Counter Discourse]. In Moshe Zuckermann (ed.) Deutsche Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts im Spiegel der deutschsprachigen Literatur [20th-Century German History as Reflected in German-Language Literature] Göttingen: Wallstein 2003, pp. 87-111.



“Popular Trauma Culture: The Pain of Others Between Holocaust Tropes and Kitsch-Sentimental Melodrama,” Ataria, Yochai et al (eds.), Interdisciplinary Handbook of Trauma and Culture. Berlin and New York: Springer, 2016

“Irresponsible Nonsense: An Epistemological and Ethical Critique of Postmodern Trauma Theory” Ataria, Yochai et al (eds.), Interdisciplinary Handbook of Trauma and Culture. Berlin and New York: Springer, 2016.

“The Third Reich and the Holocaust in East German Official Memory.” In Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek and Louise Vasvari (eds.) Comparative East European Holocaust Studies. Purdue UP 2009, pp. 79-94.


Refereed Journals

Narrative Silences Between History and Memory in Schumann's Being Present: Growing Up in Hitler's Germany” CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 11, 3, 2009.

Currently teaching

  • German 1010 Beginning German I
  • German 5390/7390 Holocaust Studies (“Memory, Trauma and Holocaust Representation”)

Courses taught


  • German 1010 Beginning German I (winter 2012, winter 2014, winter 2016)
  • German 2010 Intermediate German I (winter 2005, fall 2005, winter 2006, winter 2007)
  • German 2720 Survey of German Culture II (every semester since fall 2004)
    • German Cultural History from the Enlightenment to the Present
  • German 3100 Conversation and Composition I
    • Counter-Discourses in Post-Unification East German Culture (fall 2015, fall 2016)
    • 20th-Century German Identities” (every fall semester 2004-2012)
  • German 3200 Conversation and Composition II (winter 2010, winter 2011)
    •  Introduction to the Economic, Political, and Social Culture of Contemporary Germany
  • German 4600 Proseminar in German Studies (fall 2013)
    • Counter-Memories: Literary and Filmic Representations of East Germany before and after Unification


  • German 5100 Advanced Conversation and Composition (fall 2014)
    • Translation Studies
  • German 5600 Research in German Studies (fall 2014)
    • Counter-Memories: Literary and Filmic Representations of East Germany before and after Unification
  • German 5390/7390 Holocaust Studies
    • Memory, Trauma and Holocaust Representation (winter 2008, winter 2016)
    • The Third Reich and the Holocaust in German Discourse (fall 2004)
  • German 5390/7390 Texts and Contexts since 1945 (winter 2012)
    • Remembering East Germany in Post-1990 Discourse

No classes taught in WS 2016 because on leave with Career Development Chair Funding and in WS 2015 because on leave with Research Enhancement Program.

Other qualifications directly relevant to courses taught

Zertifikat Zusatzstudim "Deutsch als Fremdsprache" (Certificate in Teaching German as a Freign Language), Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, 1996