Dr. Anita McChesney

Assistant Professor of German


  • Ph.D., German Literature, Johns Hopkins University, 2005
  • M.A., German Literature, Bowling Green State University, 1999
  • B.A. English and German, Summa Cum Laude, Walla Walla College, 1997
  • University of Konstanz, Constance, Germany, 2004
  • University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria, 1997-1998; 2000
  • Seminar Schloß Bogenhofen, Braunau, Austria, 1994-1996

Areas of Research:

My main areas of research are contemporary German and Austrian literature and culture, with particular focus on the connections between narrative forms and visual media. I am currently working on a book that examines the impact of textual and visual media on the development of the detective genre from German Romanticism to contemporary Austrian literature. I have published articles on the detective novel, on media, and on Austrian history.

Current Courses:

  • Advanced German Conversation and Composition
  • German Protest Literature 1945-1989
  • German Literature and Culture after the Wall
  • German Film
  • The German Detective Novel

Recent Conferences:


  • “From the Island of the Blessed to the Underworld: Transforming Austria’s Global Image in Gerhard Roth’s Orkus.” (Long Beach, CA April 2012)
  • “‘Wie bei einer schlecht belichteten Fotografie.‘ Austrian History and Media in Gerhard Roth’s Orkus.” GSA Annual Conference (Louisville, KY. September 2011)
  • “Criminalized Austria in a Criminalized Europe: Gerhard Roth’s Orkus.” MLA National Convention. (Los Angeles, CA. January 2011)
  • “Early Detectives, Early Media: Mediating Truth in the Crime Stories of Heinrich von Kleist.” ACLA Annual Conference (New Orleans, LA. April 2010)
  • “Detection in the New Shadowy Realm of Signs: Detective Literature after Postmodernism.” ACLA Annual Conference (Cambridge, MA. March 2009)
  • “Visuality and Performance in the Detective Novel.” MALCA Annual International Symposium (Seattle, WA. April 2008)
  • “The ‘Female’ Poetics of Crime in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s ‘Das Fräulein von Scuderi.’” MLA National Convention. (Chicago, IL. December 2007)
  • “Teaching ‘68. “The Ambiguity of Violence and Revolution in a Class on 20th-Century German Literature and Culture.” ACTFL Annual Conference (Nashville, TN. November 2006)
  • “Verity, Verisimilitude, or Reality? Reconsidering the ‘Realistic’ Novella Die Judenbuche.” GSA Annual Conference (Pittsburg, PA. September 2006)


  • “Rewriting Violence and Identity in Heinrich von Kleist’s Prose.” International Kleist Conference (Exeter, UK. July 2011)
  • “‘Wie bei einer schlecht belichteten Fotografie.‘ Austrian History and Media in Gerhard Roth’s Orkus.” MALCA Annual International Symposium (Vienna, Austria. May 2010)
  • “Representing Knowledge through the Imaginative Logic of the Detective.” International SSLA Conference (Berlin, Germany. June 2008)