Erin McGlothlin

Erin McGlothlin

Vice Dean of Undergraduate Affairs, College of Arts & Sciences
Interim Chair and Interim Director of Graduate Studies, German
Professor of German and Jewish Studies
PhD, University of Virginia
research interests:
  • 20th- and 21st-Century German Literature
  • Holocaust Studies (Literature, Film, and Theory)
  • Jewish Studies (Contemporary German-Jewish and Diasporic Jewish Literature)
  • Narrative Theory
  • Autobiography
  • Memory Studies
  • The Graphic Novel
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    contact info:

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
      CB 1104
      One Brookings Drive
      St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Professor McGlothlin's main research interests are in the areas of Holocaust literature and film and German-Jewish literature.

    In addition to a comparative focus on Holocaust representation, McGlothlin’s research interests include postwar and contemporary German literature, Jewish Studies, narrative theory, autobiography, and the graphic novel. She is the author of Second-Generation Holocaust Literature: Legacies of Survival and Perpetration (2006) and The Mind of the Holocaust Perpetrator in Fiction and Nonfiction (2021). Further, she has co-edited three volumes: After the Digital Divide?: German Aesthetic Theory in the Age of New Digital Media (2009, with Lutz Koepnick), Persistent Legacy: The Holocaust and German Studies (2016, with Jennifer Kapczynski), and The Construction of Testimony: Claude Lanzmann's Shoah and its Outtakes (2020, with Brad Prager and Markus Zisselsberger). Additionally, she has published articles in major journals and edited volumes on fictional and non-fictional works of Holocaust literature and film as well as on such topics as the generational discourse on the Holocaust, the narrative structure of Holocaust literature and film, perpetrator representation and perpetrator trauma, and ethical questions related to Holocaust representation.

    McGlothlin was a research fellow in residence at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies in 2006, was a co-leader with Anita Norich of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Hess Faculty Seminar on Holocaust Literature in January 2014, and was an instructor at the Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization at Northwestern University in 2016, 2018, and 2021. She has received additional research grants from the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Washington University Center for the Humanities. In Summer 2010, she was a DAAD Guest Professor at the Universities of Dortmund and Paderborn. She is also co-editor (with Brad Prager) of the Camden House book series Dialogue and Disjunction: Studies in Jewish German Literature, Culture, and Thought, and she serves on the editorial board of German Studies Review and on the Academic Council of the Holocaust Educational Foundation at Northwestern University.

    With Anika Walke, McGlothlin created a year-long, first-year Ampersand seminar on the Holocaust that culminates in a study trip to Holocaust-related sites in Germany, Poland, and Lithuania.

    Spring 2021 Course

    Seminar in 20th Century Literature: Between Transmission and Transgression - Representing the Holocaust (German 527)

    As the Holocaust recedes into the historical past, our knowledge of the event becomes increasingly dominated by literary and cinematic representations of it. This course will investigate artistic mediations of the Holocaust, focusing in particular on questions of ethics, aesthetics and history and concentrating on two objectives. First, we will examine the various debates and controversies surrounding the issue of artistic representation of the Holocaust and discuss some of the theoretical and philosophical texts that have formed the core of Holocaust Studies. Second, we will explore the ways in which literature and film, both fictional and documentary/testimonial, have attempted to narrate the events of the Holocaust. Central to our exploration of these texts will be issues of representation, the role of memory, the problems and limits of language, questions of trauma, the phenomena of postmemory and multidirectional memory, and the notion that a "master narrative" of the Holocaust has emerged in public discourse. Readings in German and English for graduate students in German; readings in English for graduate students of Comparative Literature or other programs/departments. Discussions in English.


      Hold That Thought Podcast

      "Postmemory" and the Second Generation

      How do the memories of one group affect future generations? Erin McGlothlin explores Second Generation Holocaust Literature and discusses the concept of "postmemory."