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Sarah M Henneböhl

Teaching Assistant of Germanic Languages and Literatures

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Distinctions / Awards

  • Departmental Summer Research Grant, 2016
  • Departmental Summer Research Grant, 2015
  • Graduate College Conference Travel Award, 2015
  • SLCL (School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics) Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2013-2014
  • Departmental Fellowship, one-course release from teaching, 2012-2013
  • Ruth E. Lorbe Excellence in Undergrad Teaching Award, 2011
  • DAAD fellowship, 2008-2009


Sarah's doctoral thesis, “Weiße Weiblichkeiten:Afrika, deutschsprachige Schriftstellerinnen und ihre (post)koloniale Verortungvon Geschlecht,” concentrates on an important chapter of German postcolonial history and offers a gendered perspective on German (post-)colonial works thatfeature the figure of the white female vis-à-vis Africa from the beginning ofthe German colonial expansion in the late nineteenth century until the present.Her analysis examines the category of gender in this context in relation to the categories of “race” and “class.” She examines the works of four German-speaking writers: Frieda von Bülow, Claire Goll, Ingeborg Bachmann, and Stefanie Zweig. She demonstrates how all four authors portrait their white heroines as victims, and do this in ways that not only mirror the historical background of their novels, but also reveal the critical, political, and sometimes personal agenda of the authors. Colonial stereotypes shape the portrayal of the female protagonists and trigger an atmosphere of colonial nostalgia that, on the one hand, is highly uncritical and, on the other, has contributed to the popularity of this figure. The project contributes to the field of critical whiteness studies and offers a new angle within the broader field of German postcolonial studies.

In her M.A. thesis entitled "Die Darstellung der Südsee in der englischsprachigen Reiseliteratur" (Representations of the South Seas in English Travel Literature), Sarah offers a postcolonial discussion of the works of Herman Melville and Paul Theroux. During her MA-studies, she spent a year at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.


PhD Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Illinois (dissertation successfully defended on April 24, 2018)

Magistra Artium/MA in English and American Literature, German Literature and Philosophy, University of Konstanz, Germany

Conference Presentations & Talks

“Werner Egk’s Peer Gynt: Anti-Semitism in Komponist des Wiederaufbau’s Work.“ (with Hesam Sharifian) at the 39th Annual Comparative Drama Conference. Stevenson University. Balitmore, MD, March 26, 2015. 

“The Colony as White Gender Utopia: Frieda von Bülow’s Colonial Writings.” DeutschesSeminar. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, October 30, 2014. 

“Claire Goll’s Prose Work: White Femininity, Avant-garde ‘Negrophilia’and Female Surrender.” KFLC, The Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Conference. University of Kentucky. Lexington, KY, April 11, 2014.


Journal Articles

  • Henneböhl, Sarah, and Hesam Sharifian. "Werner Egk’s Peer Gynt: Anti-Semitism in Komponist des Wiederaufbau’s Work." New England Theater Journal (2016):


  • German for Economics, GER 321
  • German for Business, GER 320
  • German Conversation and Writing I, GER 211
  • German Conversation and Writing II, GER 212
  • Intermediate German I, GER 103
  • Beginning German, GER 101
  • Intensive Foreign Language Instruction Program (IFLIP), Beginning German
  • The Grimm’s Fairy Tales in Their European Context: Discussion section, GER 250 (taught in English)
  • The Holocaust in Context: Discussion section, GER 260 (taught in English)
  • German Popular Culture, GER 201 (taught in English)