Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies of Germanic Languages and Literatures
Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Comparative and World Literature
Media and Cinema Studies
European Union Center
Criticism and Interpretive Theory
Jewish Culture and Society
Ph.D. University of Chicago
Specializations / Research InterestsModern German culture, literature, and film; Holocaust studies; memory and affect; postcommunist transnational studies; Humanities as field, theory, and practice; educational philosophy; mass incarceration
Distinctions / Awards
- Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities Fellow, "Transforming the Humanities Through Higher Education in Prison," 2012-2013
- Giles Whiting Postdoctoral Fellowship, Franke Institute for the Humanities at the University of Chicago, 2001-2002
- Dr. Arnold O. Beckman Research Board Award, University of Illinois, 2000
Anke Pinkert holds an M.A. degree from the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle, Germany (1989) and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (2000). Before joining the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Illinois in 2000, she taught courses in German Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago and at Macalester College, MN. In 2001-02, Professor Pinkert returned to Chicago as a Research Fellow at the Franke Institute for the Humanities.
Anke's research and teaching is currently situated within two major tracks -- Memory Studies with a focus on post-Holocaust and postcommunist Germany AND Theories and Practice of the Humanities. Paying particular attention to the aftermath of two turning points in modern German and European history, “1945” and “1989,” her scholarship examines aesthetic and political responses to collective feelings of loss and trauma. Her book Memory and Film in East Germany (Indiana UP, 2008) offers an understanding of how East German film transformed the historical experience of war violence and mass death into an elegiac public memory. Her current book project "New Vision: Postcommunist Travel and Displacement" traces memories of earlier utopias in transcultural post-1989 literature and film in order to think through newly emerging notions of social change at a moment of global crisis.
In her second major area of inquiry, Anke explores recent shifts in Humanities education and research. She is an instructor and active faculty member of the Education Justice Project at the University of Illinois http://www.educationjustice.net. Anke is particularly interested in developing a new model of publically-engaged Humanities that cultivates an integration of scholarship and experience, research and teaching, theory and practice. Based on her teaching at Danville Correctional Center and on her experience of collaborating with students in EJP on the transformative effects of Holocaust education, Anke is currently writing a book-length essay on "Rethinking the Humanities through Higher Education in Prison." This project has been supported by a 2012-13 fellowship in the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.
At the University of Illinois, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on 20th/21st century German literature, film, and culture; critical theory; Holocaust representations; and mass incarceration in film and media.
Anke is also an affiliate faculty of the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies and the Program in Jewish Culture and Society and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory.
- Pinkert, Anke. Film and Memory in East Germany. Bloomington, IL: Indiana University Press, 2008.
- Pinkert, Anke. Literary Intellectuals, Resistance, and the East German State: Legitimation and Dissent in the Works of Christa Wolf and Franz Fühmann . University of Chicago: Dissertation, 2000.
- "The Humanity of Teaching: Reflections from the Education Justice Project." An Illinois Sampler: Talking about Teaching on the Prairie. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2014. 40-49.
- Pinkert, Anke. "Family Feelings: Kinship, Gender, and Social Utopia in DEFA Film." DEFA at the Crossroads of East German and International Film Culture: a Companion. Comp. Marc Silberman and Henning Wrage. Boston: DeGruyter, 2014. 107-32.
- Pinkert, Anke. "Toward a Reparative Practice in Post 1989 Literature: Christa Wolf’s City of Angels." Memory and Postwar Memorials: Confronting the Past as Violence. Comp. Marc Silberman and Florence Vatan. New York: Palgrave, 2013. 177-96.
- Pinkert, Anke. "Vacant History, Empty Screens: German Postcommunist Films of the 1990s." Postcommunist Nostalgia. Comp. Maria Todorova and Zsusza Gille. New York: Berghahn Books, 2010. 263-277.
- "Rubble Film as Archive of Trauma and Grief: Wolfgang Lamprecht’s “Somewhere In Berlin." German Postwar Films: Life and Love in the Ruins. Comp. Wilfried Willms. Ed. William Rasch. New York: Palgrave, 2008. 61-76.
- Pinkert, Anke. "Re-viewing the Margins: Peripheral Memory and Remnants of War in the East German DEFA Film Carbide and Sorrel (Frank Beyer, 1963),." Hagar: Studies in Culture, Polity and Identities 12.Winter (2014): 17-40.
- Pinkert, Anke. "Rethinking the Humanities through Teaching the Holocaust in Prison." Studies in Law, Politics, and Society Special Issue."The Beautiful Prison," ed. Doran Larson (2014): 49-66.
- Pinkert, Anke, Mike Brawn, Jose Cabrales, and Gregory Donatelli. "The Transformative Power of Holocaust Education in Prison: a Teacher – Student Account." Radical Teacher 95.(Special Issue on “Teaching Inside Carceral Institutions,” ed. by Kate Drabinski and Gillian Hawkins (2013): 60-65.
- Pinkert, Anke. "Tender Males: Jewish Figures as Affective Archive in East German DEFA Film." Studies in Eastern European Cinema 3.2 (2012): 193-210.
- "Can Melodrama Cure?: War Trauma and Crisis of Masculinity in Early DEFA Film." Seminar: a Journal of Germanic Studies (special issue: “Discourses of Masculinity in German Literature and Film”) 44.1 (2008): 118-36.
- Pinkert, Anke. "Waste Matters: Defilement and Postfascist Discourse in Works by Franz Fühmann." Germanic Review, 80.3 (2005): 254-74.
- "Pleasures of Fear: Antifascist Myth, Holocaust, and Soft Dissidence in Christa Wolf’s Kindheitsmuster." German Quarterly 76.1 (2003): 25-37.
- Pinkert, Anke. "Postcolonial Legacies”: the Rhetoric of Race in the East/West German National Identity Debate of the Late 1990s." German Quarterly 76.1 (2003): 25-37.
- Pinkert, Anke. "Excessive Conversions: Antifascism, Holocaust, and State Dissidence in Franz Fühmann’s “Das Judenauto." Seminar: a Journal of Germanic Studies 38.2 (2002): 142-53.
- Pinkert, Anke. Rev. of The Humanities and Public Life, ed. Peter Brooks. Educational Theory 66.3 (2016):
- Pinkert, Anke. "Auschwitz and Visual Language." Rev. of Cinema and the Shoah: An Art Confronts the Tragedy of the Twentieth Century, ed. Jean-Michel Frodon. H-Judaic (2011):
- Memory and Ethics of Healing in Post-1989 Literature, GER 575/CWL 593
- Prison Break: Incarceration and Justice in Film and Public Media, LAS Discovery Course for Freshmen, GER/MACS 199
- The Holocaust in Context: Postwar Representations in Literature and Film, GER 260/CWL 271, GEN ED, ADV COMP
- Divided Screen: East and West German Postwar Cinema, GER/MACS 494
- Rethinking Exile: Travel and Displacement in Postwar German-speaking Literature since 1945, GER 575/CWL 593
- Studies in Critical Theory: Cultural Memory and Representation, GER/CWL 570
- Imagining Dissent: History, Ideology, and the Literature of East Germany, GER 575/CWL 593
- Introduction to Graduate Studies: Literary & Cultural Theories, GER 510
- Weimar Culture: Experience, Perception, Decline, GER 575
- Action Heroes: Popular Movies and Global Change, LAS Discovery Course for Freshmen, GER/MACS 199
- Translation in Theory and Practice, GER 403
- German Literature from the 1920s to Today: Aesthetics and Politics, GER 473
- German Popular Culture, GER 201, GEN ED: Literature and Arts, Western Comp Culture
- Global Issues in German, GER 401