German Department faculty combine research strengths in 18th-21st century literature and culture, literary and cultural theory, and Second Language Acquisition with a high level of dedication to teaching and advising. All German Department faculty teach at all levels of the undergraduate and graduate programs, from first-year instruction to graduate courses in their areas of specialty, and participate in the education of graduate students as teachers.

Peter C. Pfeiffer, PhD (Department Chair)

University of California, Irvine
Areas of interest: 19th and 20th century German and Austrian literature, literary history, and literary representations of social change.

Dr. Pfeiffer also serves as the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Anja Banchoff, MA

Anja Banchoff
University of Bonn

Areas of interest: Foreign language pedagogy, German business culture, and telecollaboration.


D. Joseph Cunningham, PhD

University of Kansas
Areas of interest: Second language acquisition, interlanguage pragmatic development, technology-mediated language pedagogy, foreign language curriculum design, and teacher education.

Dr. Cunningham is on leave for the Fall 2023 semester.

Mary Helen Dupree

Mary Helen Dupree, PhD

Columbia University
Areas of interest: 18th and early 19th-century literature and culture, performance studies, sound and media, gender studies, and feminist literary history.

Dr. Dupree also serves as the Director of Graduate Studies.

Friederike Eigler, PhD

Washington University, St. Louis
Areas of interest: Literature and Culture from 1900 to the present with a special focus on post-1945 literature, memory studies, space and narrative, and gender studies.

Dr. Eigler is the George M. Roth Distinguished Professor of German and is the current editor of Gegenwartsliteratur / A German Studies Yearbook.

Dr. Verena Kick

Verena Kick, PhD

University of Washington
Areas of interest: 20th and 21st-century literature and culture, German modernism, film and media studies, and Digital Humanities.

Marianna Ryshina-Pankova

Marianna Ryshina-Pankova, PhD

Georgetown University
Areas of interest: Foreign language curriculum design, second language acquisition, advanced foreign language learner, second language writing, discourse analysis.

Dr. Ryshina-Pankova is also serving as the Director of Curriculum for the Fall 2023 semester.

Katrin Sieg, PhD

University of Washington
Areas of interest: Cultural theory, queer and feminist theory, theater and performance, post-1945 German culture.

Astrid Weigert, PhD

Georgetown University
Areas of interest: 18th and 19th-century literature, gender and genre, and business culture.


Heidi Byrnes

Heidi Byrnes, PhD (Emerita)

Georgetown University
Areas of interest: Applied linguistics, second language acquisition and pedagogy, advanced second language literacy, curriculum development.

Stefan R. Fink

Stefan R. Fink, PhD (Emeritus)

Georgetown University
Areas of interest: Research focused on the connectivity between theoretical and applied linguistic approaches and language acquisition and teaching.

Kurt R. Jankowsky

Kurt R. Jankowsky, PhD (Emeritus)

University of Münster
Areas of interest: His principal research interest has remained the field of Germanic linguistics, specifically the numerous dimensions of the history of language, which resulted in eight book publications and approximately 100 journal articles. He has also taught, done the research, and published on matters involving semantic theory, for instance, the interrelation of language and thought. Since the introduction of the Ph.D. program in German he mentored about 20 theses specializing on linguistic aspects. 

G. Ronald Murphy

G. Ronald Murphy, S.J., PhD (Emeritus)

Harvard University
Areas of interest: Early Medieval period, Romanticism, Classicism, early 20th-century literature, religion and literature.

Alfred Obernberger, PhD (Emeritus)

Affiliated Faculty

Students of German, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels, also benefit from Georgetown professors in a range of other disciplines who have research expertise pertaining to “things German” (incl. history, literature, art history, philosophy, political science) or in Applied Linguistics.