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Meet our Graduate Students

Caroline Blount


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: caroline.blount@duke.edu

Caroline earned her B.A. in German and English from the University of South Carolina in 2017. For her Carolina Honors College thesis, she compared James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans and Karl May’s Winnetou I, focusing on both books’ metanarratives and cultural receptions. As an undergraduate, she worked at USC’s Center for Digital Humanities on the “Lone Woman and Last Indians” project which created a digital archive centered around the Lone Woman of San Nicholas Island and Scott O’Dell’s novel Island of the Blue Dolphins, which fictionalizes her life. Before coming to CDG, she spent a year as an English Teaching Assistant in Lower Bavaria through the Fulbright Program. She is interested in German-American relations, regional identities, political theory, and the cultural history of literature. Outside of her studies, she enjoys traveling, playing piano, and searching for the South’s best Mac & Cheese.

Martin Dawson


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student; German Teaching Fellow, 2015-2016

Full Bio

Email: martn@live.unc.edu

Martin earned his B.A. in German and Music at the College of Charleston in 2013. While there he received a grant to study the first French translations of Mozart’s Zauberflöte at the Bibliotheque nationale de France. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Martin taught English and American culture in Austrian secondary schools as part of a teaching assistantship offered by the Austrian Fulbright Commission. His research interests include the interaction of music and literature, the history of translation practices, and drama and theater studies, particularly the function of sound design in modern theater.

Nathan Drapela


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

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Email: nathan.drapela@duke.edu

Nathan earned his B.A. in Philosophy at Western Washington University in 2014. He wrote a senior thesis on the narrator of Hermann Hesse’s Das Glasperlenspiel, which he later published. Before coming to the Carolina-Duke program in 2017, he spent two years teaching English in Bregenz, Austria. Nathan is particularly interested in intersections between literature and philosophy. On the philosophical side, his research interests include Kant, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, aesthetics, and moral psychology. On the more literary side, he finds himself drawn to questions pertaining to the novel, narrative theory, and modernism. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys running, hiking, and honing his Vorarlbergerisch.

Tim Ellison


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio
Email: tim.ellison@duke.edu

Tim graduated summa cum laude with Distinction in Literature from Yale University, where he also earned an M.A. in Comparative Literature. He held a Paul Mellon Fellowship at Clare College, University of Cambridge, where he earned an M.Phil. in English with Distinction. He is interested in literary theory and criticism, hermeneutics, psychoanalysis, rhetorical reading, Romanticism, comparative and intertextual approaches to literature, tragedy, the philosophy of dialogue, and lyric poetry. He especially likes to trace the critical history of a text and to synthesize the readings—from the ingenious to the perverse—produced by a text’s major readers. Questions of pedagogy, the ethics of teaching, and injustice in education are also major concerns, issues he confronted when earning his Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Duke. He has studied authors from a range of traditions, including Plato, Racine, Rousseau, Wordsworth, Shelley, Leopardi, and Flaubert, and hopes to add, among others, Goethe, Lessing, Hölderlin, Kleist, Rilke, and Freud to the list in the Carolina-Duke program, which he joined in the Fall of 2020. He looks forward to discovering new interests along the way.

Natasza Gawlick


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio
Email: natasza.gawlick@duke.edu

Natasza earned her B.A. in English and Psychology at Boston College in 2016. She completed her M.A. in English Literature at Simmons University in 2019, writing her honors thesis on the way cinematic qualities facilitate an exploration of German victimhood in Günter Grass’ Im Krebsgang. After working for several years as an editor for a magazine while attending school, Natasza will be joining the UNC-Duke family in the fall of 2019. Her current research interests include the effect of trauma and war on consciousness and identity formation in 20th Century novels, particularly in work by Heinrich Böll, Thomas Mann, and Christa Wolf. Aside from her literary interests, Natasza enjoys playing violin, weightlifting, and trying a variety of chocolate.

Lea Greenberg


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student; Royster Non-Service Fellow (UNC), 2015-2016

Full Bio

Email: lea.greenberg@duke.edu

Lea Greenberg earned her B.A. in German Studies with a Concentration in Russian, Central, and East European Studies at Grinnell College in 2014. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Vienna and worked as an intern at the International Fellowship of Reconciliation – Austria. Following graduation, she worked as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at the Georg-Büchner-Gymnasium in Berlin. During her time as a Fulbrighter, she also occasionally volunteered at the American Jewish Committee Berlin office.
In her graduate studies, Lea is focused on pursuing German-Jewish studies and examining conceptions of “Western” and “Eastern” Europe. She is also interested in the lands of the former Habsburg Empire and issues of identity in Central Europe. When not reading about or studying these regions of Europe, Lea enjoys traveling to them, particularly to Slovenia to be with her mother’s side of the family. She also enjoys collaging, drawing, throwing fabulous dinner parties, taking on creative projects around the house, and baking. (She makes a fierce carrot cake.)

Lukas Hoffman


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: lukas.hoffman@duke.edu

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Lukas Hoffman graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a Bachelors in German Studies and departmental honors of Magna cum Laude in May of 2016. His Honors Thesis was titled “Adorno and Augustine; Parallel Conceptions of Alienation and the Self,” where he explored intersections in thought between Adorno’s conception of alienated self-consciousness and Augustine’s conception of the effects of original sin. Lukas’ current research interests include Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School, specifically the work of Theodor Adorno and examining intersections in thought with theology. He plans to pursue further research with Adorno specifically, but also to continue to explore his general research interests of 18th- 20th century German philosophy, addressing questions of enlightenment and modernity, especially engaging Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Benjamin as well as engaging 20th century theology and patristic theology, particularly in reference to its intersections with modern political thought and critique.

John Jolly


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: john.jolly@duke.edu

John is native to Arkansas, where he attended the U of A and majored in philosophy, English literature, and German studies. He wrote his senior thesis on Moby Dick, developing a dialectical and lyrical method of analysis in dialogue with Ernst Cassirer, Kierkegaard, and St. Augustine. He received an MA in German studies from Mizzou in 2016. John’s research interests include ontology, hermeneutics, aesthetics, and Catholic theology, which dovetail in his work in sustained reflection on the trope of Gelassenheit. The works of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Ferdinand Ulrich are of special importance to him. John also plays pickup basketball quasi-religiously. He believes that Little Rock and Memphis are home to best amateur hoops in the world.

Amy Louise Jones


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student; First Year Fellow (Duke), 2015-2016

Full Bio

Email: alj41@duke.edu

Amy studied German and French at the Ohio State University, graduating with a B.A. in 2013. She then spent a year teaching English in Salzburg, Austria. She is interested in studying lyric poetry and the process of (poetic) creativity, with a focus on women writers in the Romantic era and contemporary Austrian poets, in particular Friederike Mayröcker. Her undergraduate thesis on the translation of musicality both analyzed the process of musical translation and essayed her theory on a selection of poems, and she hopes to deepen her knowledge of both translation and music at Carolina-Duke. Some of Amy’s other enthusiasms include sewing (a class in Salzburg helped her to make the dirndl pictured), knitting, baking, and exploring green places by bike.

Nicholas David Jones


Carolina Graduate Exchange Student; German Teaching Fellow (UNC), Spring 2016

Full Bio

Email: nicjones@live.unc.edu

Nick hails from northern England, where he received his bachelor’s degree in German Language and Culture from Durham University in 2012. He subsequently moved to Tübingen, where he had spent a year as an Erasmus student in 2010/11, and earned his master’s degree in German Literature (MA Deutsche Literatur) in 2015. While completing a two-semester stint as a graduate exchange student and TA at UNC in 2015/16, Nick applied successfully to join the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies. His research interests include twentieth-century German literature, especially literature of the Weimar Republic and the works of Alfred Döblin, and political aesthetics.

Edana Kleinhans


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student; German Teaching Fellow (UNC), 2015-2016

Full Bio

Email: edana@live.unc.edu

Edana Kleinhans has a wide range of interests, but at heart, she a medievalist. She is currently focusing on issues of gender, and the agency of women in relation to authorship and patronage during the medieval ages. Edana’s fascination with the medieval era began at Mount Holyoke College, where her senior thesis was a treatment of the influences of the Old English poem Beowulf on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Upon graduation, Edana took a brief break from academia to work at the literary agency Harold Ober Associates in New York, before deciding that too much German can never be enough. After two years abroad in Germany teaching English with the Fulbright Program and the German Pädagogischer Austauschdiesnst, she completed the Lehramt, or German teaching degree, with a double concentration in English and German literature and linguistics at the Universität Stuttgart. In Stuttgart, Edana particularly enjoyed researching power and female autonomy in Mahrtenehe, or fairy marriage, gender and identity in the poetry of the 19th century romantic Novalis, and reference and consciousness in the work of Abbott, Jackendoff, Chomsky, and Kant. In her spare time, Edana enjoys, gardening, cooking, German coffee and cake, and the running necessary to burn off all of the calories.

Andrea Larson


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: andrea.larson@duke.edu

Born in Munich, Germany, and raised near Garmisch Partenkirchen, Andrea is the published author of three narrative non-fiction books in German. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a MALS from Duke University, and has taught German at both UNC and Duke before joining the PhD program. In her research interest, she focuses on the juxtaposition of language and identity as it is reflected in German literary and philosophical thought, specifically as it pertains to exile literature and female authorship and representation. In her free time, Andrea loves travel, nature and family – ideally all combined.

Ameliah Leonhardt

Ameliah Leonhardt
Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: ameliah.leonhardt@duke.edu

Ameliah earned her B.A. in English for Secondary Teachers at Western Kentucky University in 2013. For her honors undergraduate thesis, she explored images of Jewish identity in literature from the Second Temple period. After teaching English abroad and at American secondary schools, her interest in Jewish Studies led her to Duke University, where she earned her M.A. in Religious Studies in 2019. She joined the Carolina-Duke program in 2020. She is primarily concerned with German and Austrian Jewish literature from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. All aspects of her research concern elements of Jewish identity as a nexus for broader European issues of modernism and gender/sexuality. She is also interested in tracing similar themes of Jewish identity in secular and religious Jewish writers, and specifically how female Jewish writers have adapted elements of the Hebrew Bible for modern audiences.

Undraa Lhamsuren


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: undraa.lhamsuren@duke.edu

Originally from Mongolia, I have lived in Bonn since I was 14. I received my master’s degree from the University of Bonn in 2011. In my master’s thesis I examined the aspects of loss and death in J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and compared it to the German classic of adolescence literature Die Neuen Leiden des jungen W. by Ulrich Plenzdorf. From 2012-2016 I have taught elementary to advanced German to adult immigrants, some of whom were refugees. My academic interests include 20th century German postwar literature and culture, contemporary literature, children’s and young adult literature.

Joseph Lund


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: joseph.lund@duke.edu

In 2019, Joseph earned his B.A. in German at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where he received the AATG Minnesota Undergraduate Student of the Year Award. For his senior capstone project, he analyzed the hidden poetics of the peculiar fairy tale in Ingeborg Bachmann’s Malina and its historiographical implications within the context of a post-1945 Europe. Joseph’s research interests include: Holocaust and Genocide studies, (post-)memory, German-Jewish studies, the development and lasting effects of fascism, and translation. As his studies progress, he hopes to write about silence and ways of engaging with the past in the post-war landscape by studying the works of Ingeborg Bachmann, W.G. Sebald, and Raymond Federman.

Michael Malloy


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: michael.malloy@duke.edu

Michael is native to “Amish Country” Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he earned his BA in German and Business from Franklin & Marshall College in 2015. As an undergraduate, Michael spent time at the Universität zu Köln and interned at a startup in Hanover, Germany. Before joining the Carolina-Duke program in 2017, Michael served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Dortmund and subsequently worked as a bilingual specialist at a nonprofit in Philadelphia. His research interests include: foreign language pedagogy, modernism, contemporary literature, German-American relations, and migration studies. With respect to migration studies, Michael’s weekly matches in Dortmund with Germans and Syrian refugees have engendered his interest in researching soccer’s power as an integration medium. In his free time, Michael enjoys playing sports, fishing, and eating ice cream.

Ian McArthur


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: iand@live.unc.edu

Ian graduated from Brigham Young University in 2014 with a degree in English and another in German studies. He then had the opportunity to further study at BYU and earned his Master’s in English Literature in 2017. During his studies, and especially his thesis, he found himself drawn to the Romantic and the relationship of narratives across languages, periods, and mediums. Utilizing adaptation theory and the concept of memes, his thesis focused on the evolution of Dracula through film with a particular focus on Murnau’s Nosferatu. He is now interested in expanding his knowledge of German literature and film. Other scholarly interests include music, pop culture, and science. While interested in scholarship, he discovered that his true love is teaching. He spent four years teaching rhetoric and composition at BYU and loved every minute of it. His other great love is writing, which he has been doing avidly since he was ten years old. When he isn’t reading—or writing the next great fantasy novel—Ian enjoys playing the violin, sparring, and playing with his children.

Ian Alexander McLean


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student; First Year Teaching Fellow (Duke), 2015-2016

Full Bio

Email: ian.alexander.mclean@gmail.com

Ian received his BA in German and Classics from Williams College in 2013. During his undergraduate career, he spent a year studying in Regensburg, Germany, where he worked to improve his Greek and Latin while expanding his knowledge of German literature into the middle ages. In 2014, he completed a Masters Degree in the Humanities at the University of Chicago, where he began to combine his knowledge of Roman and German literatures, culminating in a thesis: A Vergillian Echo in Wolfram’s Willehalm: The Slaying of Suppliants and Heroic Culpability in the Deaths of Arofel and Magus. Ian continues to be primarily interested in Medieval German literature, but is also interested in the reception of the Classics in general and looks forward to expanding his literary and theoretical interests. Outside of his studies, Ian enjoys musical composition, language learning, and tea.

Kajal Mukhopadhyay


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: kajal.mukhopadhyay@duke.edu

Kajal completed B.A. and M.A. in German Studies from JNU, India. His M.Phil. dissertation focused on representations of trauma in German literature of the post-Wende period. Kajal’s recent interests include cultural trauma studies, studies of caste, race, politics of discrimination and exclusion with particular reference to marginalized sections of Indian and German societies. His research hopes to explore how experiences of trauma are often rooted in the socio-cultural construction of identity of minorities and how ideological constructs such as race and caste function as determining factors of their exclusion from discourse of nation-building. Additional interests include literary economics and film studies.

Wei Quan


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: wei.quan@duke.edu

Originally from an industrial city in northern China, Wei received his B.A. there in German Studies at Shanxi University in 2016. Subsequently, he studied Germanistik, Popular Culture Studies and Gender Studies at the University of Zurich and graduated in 2020. During the time in Switzerland, he read the Gender thoughts of Judith Butler and Michel Foucault with great passion and then transferred his research interests to varied cultural topics and theories with focus on the Frankfurter School. In his M.A. thesis, he investigated how Americanised mass culture influenced the Halbstarken, a juvenile cultural phenomenon in the post-war Germany, and combined it with Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Pierre Bourdieu’s theories. At CDG, he hopes to explore more about conceptual transformation in the Germany of 20th century.

Katja Riegler


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: katja.riegler@duke.edu

Katja earned her MA in Film and Media Studies from the University of Vienna in 2006. After earning a second MA in German as a Foreign/Second Language in 2012 (University of Vienna), she worked as a German Language Teacher in Budapest, Moscow, and Vienna. In her time at the Department of Germanic Studies at Trinity College Dublin she taught several undergraduate classes with a focus on Film from the German speaking lands and coming to terms with the past in Austria. Next to her teaching duties, she was the organizer and artistic director of the German speaking student theater which staged Kathrin Röggla´s “Junk Space” in 2018 and Jura Soyfer´s “Der Weltuntergang” in 2019. Her latest talk on Günther Anders for the Douglas Hyde Gallery Dublin reflects another research interest, German Thought in the 20th century. In her free time, you will find Katja in the nearest cinema or coffeeshop.

Christoph Schmitz


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student; First Year Fellow (Duke), 2015-2016

Full Bio

Email: christoph.schmitz@duke.edu

Christoph Schmitz received his Magister in Philosophy, Chinese Studies and Cultural Studies from the University of Leipzig in 2012. He spent the 2010/2011 academic year in Tainan/Taiwan to refine his Chinese. After graduation, he taught German at the Goethe Language Center in Qingdao/China, and served as library assistant at Duke University Libraries. Joining the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies, his main research interests include the history of intellectual property rights, philosophy of language, literary theory, and modern German literature.

Joshua Shelly


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: joshua.shelly@duke.edu

Joshua began his studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he received his BA in German and History in 2011. During his time at Wayne State, he spent the 2009-2010 academic year in Munich. Following his BA, Joshua completed a Master in Library Science (2013) and then a MA in Religious Studies (2015) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While at Illinois, his interest in German-Jewish studies developed, culminating in work on a 1920’s-era German-language translation of the Hebrew Bible by Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig. Joshua spent this past academic year (2015-2016) in Bonn, Germany where he worked as an English-language teaching assistant in a vocational school as a Fulbright recipient. Joshua’s research interests include: post 1945 Jewish life in German-speaking countries; multilingualism; German-Israeli relations; and memory studies.

David ‘Tako’ Takamura


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: dtaichi@live.unc.edu

David earned his BA in Liberal Arts from the Santa Fe campus of St. John’s College in 2015. His work there followed the college’s broad program of study in philosophy, literature, music, and the history of math and science. Following that he lived in both Seattle and Berlin for a year, receiving an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington after finishing his coursework on exchange at the Humboldt-Universität in 2017. He joined the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies the following fall. His research interests include idealism, romanticism, and comparative religion

Leonie Wilms


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: lfwilms@live.unc.edu

Leonie is originally from Frankfurt / Main, Germany. After completing a year of voluntary work at an Archaeological Museum, she moved to Tübingen where she received her BA in German Studies with a minor in Rhetoric at Eberhard Karls Universität. In her BA Thesis, she examined the correlation of spaces and metadramatic dimensions in Max Frisch’s play “Biographie: Ein Spiel.” As part of her Master’s program in Literary and Cultural Theory, Leonie came to UNC Chapel Hill as an exchange student and TA in 2016/17. She then successfully applied to join the CDG program. Her research interests include drama, theater and performance as well as spatial theories and narratology.

Shiqi Xu


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: shiqi.xu553@duke.edu

Born and raised up in Beijing, Shiqi first discovered her interest in German Studies when she was in middle school. She focused her undergraduate study on German and EU politics as well as political philosophy, and earned her bachelor degree in International Politics at Liaoning University in China in 2018. After that, she graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science with an MSc in European Studies. Her master thesis focused on post-war Germany’s self-understanding in Europe and took a multidisciplinary approach to examine the German Question especially based on Nietzsche’s and Habermas’s thought. Her academic interests involve romanticism, idealism, nationalism and modernism, and she has always been interested in Germany’s ideological role in Europe as well as an ideological rivalry between a “German Europe” and a “French Europe”. In her spare time, Shiqi enjoys travel and musicals, and she loves horses and almost everything in purple.

Stephen Zaksewicz


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: stephen.zaksewicz@duke.edu

Stephen earned his B.A. in German Studies and in French from Vanderbilt University in 2016. His honors thesis in German studies compared German and French representations of the First World War in novels published by soldiers in the interwar years, focusing especially on criticisms of war and literary refutations of resurging nationalism. After graduation, he worked for two years as an English Teaching Assistant in Linz, Austria through the Fulbright/USTA program. He joined the UNC-Duke family in the fall of 2018. He is interested in artistic movements and influence across art forms, processes of identity formation, and the relationship between the literary and the religious. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and biking, playing the cello and attending concerts, and playing volleyball.

Tatjana Zimbelius-Klem


Carolina-Duke Graduate Student

Full Bio

Email: tatjana.zimbeliusklem@duke.edu

A native Austrian, Tatjana received her BA in Comparative Literature and Film from UNC in 2016 after many years of working as a writer and editor. In her senior honors thesis, she examined Arthur Schnitzler’s novella Fräulein Else and Paul Czinner’s filmic adaptation of the text, looking at the ways in which readers and viewers comprehend texts through their senses and how authors and filmmakers use the tools at their disposal to influence such meaning-making. She has long had a special interest in Wiener Moderne and is planning to focus in her doctoral research on the Sprachkrise in literature, the visual and performing arts, and philosophy.