Anne Engel

Anne Engel

Associate Professor of German


453 Manoogian Hall

Curriculum vitae


Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Anne Engel

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


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

Courses taught by Anne Engel

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Winter Term 2024

Fall Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022