Kathryn joined the German Studies department in 2008. She received her B.A. from St. Olaf College in Minnesota, with majors in Franco-German Studies and German. Before coming to graduate school, she spent a year on a Fulbright scholarship in Saarbrücken, Germany, where she taught English at the Rotenbühl Gymnasium and at the Deutsch-Französisches Gymnasium. At Michigan she has taught in both German and History, and was awarded the Frank X. Braun Memorial Graduate Student Instructor Award (2009-10) as well as the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award from Rackham Graduate School (2012).
Kathryn's research interests include 20th-century literature and culture, autobiography and life writing, German modernism, history of emotions, and postwar literature. She received a Fulbright fellowship for 2011-12 to carry out dissertation research in Berlin and has also been supported by Rackham and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender to do further archival work. Her dissertation, “Rubble Texts: Writing and Narrating Defeat, 1942-1949," is a study of early attempts to address the radical openness brought about with the defeat of National Socialist Germany which moves beyond a model of 1945 as “Stunde Null,” or radical caesura, but rather reveals reflections on the end and new beginnings that cross this divide. Through a study of various media, including diaries, novels, short stories, film, political and theoretical essays, this project explores how texts work through the writing of the present and begin to narrate changes and challenges in German society in the aftermath of National Socialism. This interdisciplinary project includes work on Hannah Arendt, Karl Jaspers, Wolfgang Koeppen, Arno Schmidt and Victor Klemperer. Kathryn is a participant of the Avant-Garde Interest Group, and a member of the Coalition of Women in German.