Nicole Coleman

Nicole Coleman

Associate Professor, German
Director of Global Studies


 475 Manoogian


Social media


Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Nicole Coleman

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 book, "The Right to Difference: Interculturality and Human Rights in Contemporary German Literature," was published in October 2021 by the University of Michigan Press. It 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

  • Humanities Center Residential Fellowship, 2019-2020, 2020-2021, Humanities Center, Wayne State University

  • President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2020, Wayne State University

  • Academy of Teachers, inducted 2021, Wayne State University

  • University Research Grant, 2021, 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.
  • With Ivett Guntersdorfer: "Intercultural Competence for Global German Studies." Unterrichtspraxis. 52.2 (2019): 138-145.
  • With Lisa Hock: "Introduction: German Studies Go Global." Unterrichtspraxis. 52.2 (2019): 124-129.
  • With Lisa Hock: "An Approach both Global and Pragmatic." German Quarterly. 92.4 (2019): 451-454.
  • With Niko Tracksdorf, Damon Rarick, and Friedemann Weidauer: Impuls Deutsch 1: Intercultural-Interdisciplinary-Interactive. Stuttgart, Germany: Klett, 2019.
  • With Niko Tracksdorf, Steffen Kaupp, and Damon Rarick: Impuls Deutsch 2: Intercultural-Interdisciplinary-Interactive. Stuttgart, Germany: Klett, 2020.
  • “Why is Critical Digital Pedagogy Relevant for German Studies?” Diversity, Decolonization, and the German Curriculum (blog), August 25, 2020.
  • With Silja Weber et. al. “Decolonizing German Studies Curricula: Report from a GSA Seminar.” German Studies Review. 44.1 (2021): 155-66.
  • The Right to Difference: Interculturality and Human Rights in Contemporary German Literature. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2021.

Courses taught by Nicole Coleman

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Spring-Summer Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022