Assistant Professor of German and Comparative Literature

Alicia E. Ellis

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Alicia Ellis
Alicia E. Ellis
Assistant Professor of German and Comparative Literature
Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies
Mail Code HA
AE Ellis
Alicia E. Ellis is assistant professor of German and comparative literature at Hampshire College. She holds degrees from Amherst College, cum laude, A.B. in German and women's and gender studies; Yale University, M.A. in African American Studies; M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and literatures. After college, Ellis taught 3rd grade in Los Angeles as a member of Teach for America (1998-2000).  Her dissertation was a treatment of the framing of difference and desire in nineteenth-century German revisions of ancient Greek literary representations as articulations of linguistic, semantic, and gender anxiety. That expanded and revised doctoral work will be published as Figuring the Female: Language and Identity in Franz Grillparzer's Classical Plays with Peter Lang. Her next book project will be a series of essays on the role of intellectual in the public sphere. Ellis is currently involved with Five Colleges, Inc. Blended Learned initiatives funded by the Mellon Foundation and college-wide programming centered on student life. 

Professor Ellis was a Five College Fellow in German literature (2006-2007) and taught in the department of women's and gender studies at Amherst College (2007-2008) before joining the faculty at Hampshire College. In addition, she has studied at the Universities of Göttingen, Konstanz, and Heidelberg in Germany. She is also a former Junior Fellow of the Max Planck/Humboldt Research project, "Geschichte + Gedächtnis" (History + Memory) at Konstanz University. From 2012-2014, Alicia Ellis was a postdoctoral scholar in the department of Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago. She was a faculty affiliate at Yale University's Initiative on Race Gender and Globalization (IRGG) and currently serves on the steering committee of the Five College Women's Research Center housed at Mt. Holyoke College.

Teaching and research interests include German literature and intellectual history of the long 19th century (1789-1917); African-American and Caribbean (Francophone and Anglophone) literatures; theories of the Black Atlantic and the Africana Diaspora, the intersection of literature and historical thought from the Baroque to present; 20th century women's literary production as a mode of cultural critique. Other research topics include the creation and practice of race and racialized thought; identity and the body; race and visual culture; the digital as literary practice; adaptation, iteration and citation as the central theoretical gestures in narrative; and theories of genre. Ellis has written and lectured on Hannah Arendt, Albert Camus, Edwidge Danticat, W.E.B. Du Bois, Euripides, Paul Gilroy, Franz Grillparzer, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Andrea Levy, Osip Mandelstam, Oskar Panizza, Sam Selvon, Christa Wolf and Tiphanie Yanique.

Ellis has most recently taught courses that treat the writings of James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Heinrich von Kleist and Franz Kafka; a first year seminar on modern short prose; and an advanced seminar on the contemporary European novel. In 2015-2016, Ellis will teach seminars on women’s diasporic writing, speculative fiction, Caribbean literature and narrative systems.


Recent and Upcoming Courses