Nicole Coleman

Nicole Coleman

Assistant Professor - German


 475 Manoogian


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Nicole Coleman


Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Born and raised in Germany, Nicole Coleman has always been interested in literature, history and cultures. During her undergraduate years, she spent one year at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic where she studied transitions to democracy. After she received her M.A. in Political Science (Development Policy), Modern History and Comparative Literature from the University of Bonn, Germany (2007), she spent one year in Montenegro where she taught German language and culture classes at the local university and traveled widely. Back in Germany, she taught German to immigrants in Berlin. Nicole was able to connect all these different interests (human rights, interculturality, migration, and literature) that developed through her studies and travels in her Ph.D. studies and continues to research and teach in these areas at Wayne State University. Nicole has been a member of Wayne State's Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures since August 2015.


Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  •  Contemporary German Literature

  •  Literature and Human Rights

  •  Intercultural Theory

  •  Student-Centered and Intercultural Pedagogy


Nicole's main research interests include 20th and 21st century German literature, intercultural literature including but not limited to migrant and minority literature, and the intersection of literature and human rights. Her current book manuscript, with the working title "The Right to Difference: Human Rights in Intercultural German Literature," analyzes the relation of alienness and human rights violations in intercultural German literature since 1990. She examines in what ways alienness is constructed to allow for the violation of specific groups of people and demonstrates to which extent literature can negotiate, overcome and reconcile human rights abuses as well as the underlying constructions of alienness.


  • Ph.D., German Studies, University of Connecticut, 2015
  • M.A., Political Science, Modern History and Comparative Literature, University of Bonn, Germany, 2007
  • Certificate for Teaching German as a Foreign Language, University of Bonn, Germany, 2007

Awards and grants

  • Humanities Center Faculty Fellowship, 2016, Humanities Center, Wayne State University

  • University Research Grant, 2017, Wayne State University

  • CLAS Award for Teaching Excellence, 2018, Wayne State University

Selected publications

“Filmische Stereotype im interkulturellen Landeskundeunterricht: Theorie und Praxis.” Unterrichtspraxis. 49.1 (2016): 47-56.

"The Political Tourist in Juli Zeh's Die Stille ist ein Geräusch." In Anxious Journeys: Contemporary German Travel Literature. Edited by Karin Baumgartner and Monika Shafi. Rochester: Boydell & Brewer, 2019.

Currently teaching

  • GER 1020: Beginning German II

  • GLS 2900: Intercultural Competence for a Global World

Courses taught

GER 2010: Intermediate German I

GER 3200: Intermediate Conversation and Composition II

GER 5780/7780: German Culture and Human Rights

FRE/GER/SPA 7010: Introduction to Literary Theory

GLS 2700: Introduction to Global Stories (online)