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Christine Richter-Nilsson

Christine Richter-Nilsson

Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor of German Language, Literature, Theater, and Culture

315 HB Crouse Hall

    Research and Teaching Interests

    Christine received her Ph.D. in German Studies at Vanderbilt University. Her comparative research specializes in 20th and 21st century German language theater, transnational literatures and film with a focus on transculturality, multilingualism, and translation. Currently, she is working on her book project “Dramatic Palimpsests: Critical Adaptation in Contemporary German and American Theater.” Suggesting an extended concept of adaptation, she describes the transformation of a literary text into the semiotics of the stage as a critical writing act that questions traditional terms of authorship, work and canon. As a result, dramatic palimpsests appear as a means for post-colonial and feminist critique. Her next project is informed by her work as a literary translator and focuses on contemporary migration narratives and the role of translation and multilingual authorship in constituting transcultural identities.

     Christine’s teaching interests include German theater from the bourgeois tragedy to post-migrant theater, the German Shakespeare reception, stage and film adaptations, literary translation in theory and practice, migration narratives, women’s correspondences and diaries, pop(ular) culture, and creative writing. At Vanderbilt University, she previously taught German language, advanced German writing, translation workshops, and selected topics and genre courses, such as Remaking Theater Classics for the Modern Stage and Screen and Wiener Moderne: Literatur, Kunst und Kultur um 1900. At the University of Bremen (Germany), she led the courses Introduction to Dramaturgy and The Art of Translation.

     Christine is an award-winning literary translator. Her publications include a series of drama, essay and novel translations by American, Swedish and Norwegian authors. Together with Bo Magnus Nilsson, she newly translated works by August Strindberg. New translations of Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Peer Gynt are in preparation. In 2013, she was awarded the Internationaler Literaturpreis Haus der Kulturen der Welt for the German translation of Open City, a novel by Teju Cole. The award honors both an outstanding work of contemporary international literature as well as its German translation.


    GER 101
    GER 102
    GER 306: Germany Today: Conversation and Composition
    GER 306: “It’s complicated.” Relationships in New German Theater


    Vanderbilt University
    Ph.D. (with distinction)

    Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Germany
    Magister Atrium (M.A.)


    Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Languages, Literatures, and
                Linguistics, August 2018-present

    Lecturer of German Studies, Department of German, Russian and East European Studies, Vanderbilt University, 2017-2018

    Adjunct Lecturer of Theater and Translation, Universität Bremen, Spring 2006-2010, 2014

    Dramaturg and Curator of festivals Voices from Undergroundzero and Voices of Change, Theater Bielefeld, 2007-2010

    Dramaturg, Bremer Theater, Bremen, 2004-2007    

    Dramaturg, Theater in der Fabrik (TIF) / Staatsschauspiel Dresden, 2002-2004


    Yaddo Artist’s Community, Saratoga Springs NY, July 2013, July 2015

     OMI International Arts Center, Ghent NY, April 2011

    Selected Publications

    “Scheitern an der monolingualen Hölle. Feridun Zaimoglus Überschreibung von Othello mit

    deutschem ‘Dreck’, in: The Rise and Fall of Monolingualism. Special Issue of German Studies Review, 41.3 (2018), eds. Bethany Wiggin and David Gramling

     “Schändung, eine Übermalung. Botho Strauss’ theatralische Transformation einer Übersetzung”, in: Shakespeare as German Author. Reception, Translation Theory, and Cultural Transfer (IFAVL), ed. John A. McCarthy, Leiden/Boston: Brill Rodopi, 2018

     “Ei Mensch, ei tierische Mensch und doch ei Vieh, ei bête…“: Der Fall Mensch oder die Dramaturgie des Diskurses in Woyzeck, in: Büchner Lektüren für Dieter Sevin, ed. Barbara Hahn, Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 2012, 113-140

    Selected German Translations

    Edited Anthology

    Voices from Undergroundzero –Neue Theaterstücke aus New York City, anthology with eight

    American plays in German translation, ed. Christine Richter-Nilsson and Paul Bargetto, Berlin: Theater der Zeit, 2008

     Jeder Tag gehört dem Dieb (“Every Day is for the Thief”), German translation of a novel by   
    Teju Cole, Berlin: Hanser, 2015

     Schwarzer Körper (“Black Body: Rereading James Baldwin’s ‘Stranger in the Village’”),
    German co-translation of an essay by Teju Cole, Das Magazin 38 (2014), S. 10-17;   originally published in: The New Yorker, August 19, 2014

     Open City (“Open City”), a novel by Teju Cole, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2012

     Gloria (“Gloria”), a drama by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Berlin: Felix Bloch Erben, 2017