Assistant Professor of German, and Director of the German Language Program


Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Field of Specialty

Exile - Transatlantic Studies - Cultural Exchange - Translation Studies - German Exile in Latin America - Immigration to Germany - Online Teaching

Contact Information

Shiffman Humanities Center 210

Kathrin Seidl


• Current research focuses on how the exile of German Nationals to South America, specifically Columbia, ended up influencing the local culture including the perception of German History in regards to reframing the dialog about WWII. Research looks at the writing of Ernesto Volkening, who lived in exile in Columbia from 1934 to 1983, and was able to negotiate a new positively charged concept of German culture after WWII despite his own acute awareness and the suffering and death caused by Germany. In addition to the 160 essays and 60 translations completed by Volkening, other research materials include Eco, Revista de la Cultura de Occidente a magazine published form 1961 to 1984 which is the only lasting publication by German emigrants in Columbia and served as a cultural exchange between German & Western European exiles and the Ibero-American host countries. This research delves deeply into the merging of cultures and inter-culture understanding.
• Online Teaching in Foreign Language Courses study strives to shed light on the particular challenges foreign language instructors and learners face in a virtual environment. Traditional foreign language instruction includes the creation of a cultural and linguistic community among learners which are presumed to be essential for successful foreign language acquisition leading to the need to research how online teaching might is able to have corresponding outcomes to traditional classroom instruction or if the on-line environment compromises some key aspects of foreign language learning. The study hopes to allow for conclusions about strategies that would support student learning in an online environment, by keeping students engaged over time and reinforcing their intrinsic motivation.
• Research assistant for Professor Meike G. Werner and Professor Joel F. Harrington at Vanderbilt University performing graduate level research for projects including the transcription of primary sources for Wilhelm Flitner, Briefe 1908 bis 1949.


• Developed “Writing on the Wall” a course about the post-war division of Germany with the goal of having students understand the significance of Germany’s separation and reunification with a focus on the most memorable symbol, the Berlin Wall, and it’s reflections in art and literature. Students demonstrate critical thinking about current issues in a contemporary Germany, forming and stating opinions as well as taking a stand on controversial topics with the use of culture, history, and literature as a framing lens.
• Created the curriculum for the course “German Culture Through Film.” This course approaches an understanding of modern German culture through arguably the most fascinating and turbulent of national cinemas. Using landmark films from the 1920’s to present times to provide perspective on multi-ethnic societies, terrorism, life in the GDR and cultural trends.
• Successfully teaches German language courses at all levels of the undergraduate curriculum while bringing students into contact with a foreign culture shaped by historical, social, and political conditions that ground mentalities and values.
• Responsible for advising and the mentorship of a number of Students Teaching Assistants including professional development, course selection and classroom skills.


Seidl, Kathrin. "Cruzar fronteras culturales — La traducción de la literature alemana en Colombia." Revista de la Universidad de Antioquia 326 (2017): 33-38.

Seidl, Kathrin. "Cultural Border Crossing: The Translation of German Culture in Colombia." INTI. Revista de Literatura Hispánica 85-86 (2017): 122-135.

Seidl, Kathrin. "Una mission transnacional: la vida y los ensayos de Ernesto Volkening en ECO." Transnacionalidad e hibridez en el ensayo hispánico. Un género sin orillas. vol. 57 Ed. Reindert Dhondt and Dagmar Vandebosch. Leiden; Boston: Brill Rodopi, 2017. 95-111.

Seidl, Kathrin. Erich Arendt y su encuentro con el trópico. 1 ed. Madrid: Del Centro Editores, 2015.

Seidl, Kathrin. "Herweg, Nikola. nur ein land / mein sprachland. Heimat erschreiben bei Elisabeth Augustin, Hilde Domin und Anna Maria Jokl (Kathrin Seidl)." Rev. of nur ein land / mein sprachland. Heimat erschreiben bei Elisabeth Augustin, Hilde Domin und Anna Maria Jokl, by Nikola Herweg. Monatshefte vol. 105 / Fall 2013

Seidl-Gómez, Kathrin. "An Intangible Heimat: Ernesto Volkening’s Return to Antwerp." Intercultural Mnemo-Graphies / Interkulturelle Mnemo-Graphien / Mnemo-Grafias Interculturais. Ed. Mário Matos and Orlando Grossegesse. Famalicão (Portugal): Ed. Húmus, 2012. 171-186.

Seidl-Gómez, Kathrin. "The Creativity of Displacement: Ernesto Volkening as Essayist and Cultural Translator in Colombia, 1934-1983." Diss. Vanderbilt University, 07/21/2011.

Courses Taught

GER 10a Beginning German
GER 20b Continuing German
GER 30a Intermediate German
GER 103a German Culture Through Film
GER 105a Writing on the Wall: Literature, the Arts, and the Fall of the Wall
GER 106b Migration, Kultur, Synergie
GER 109b Meisterwerke Deutscher Kurzprosa