Lynne Tatlock

Lynne Tatlock

Director of Comparative Literature
Hortense and Tobias Lewin Distinguished Professor in the Humanities
PhD, Indiana University
research interests:
  • German Literature
  • Book History
  • Gender Studies and Women’s Writing
  • History of the Novel
  • Literature and Medicine
  • Literature and Society
  • Nationalism
  • Reading Cultures
  • Regionalism
  • Translation and Cultural Mediation
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    ​Professor Tatlock has published widely on German literature and culture from 1650 to the 1990s with a concentration in the late seventeenth century and the nineteenth century.

    Tatlock has maintained an abiding interest in the novel and its origins, the construction and representation of gender, reading communities and reading habits, nineteenth-century regionalism and nationalism, and the intersection between fiction and other social and cultural discourses. Some of her recent publications include books, edited and co-edited volumes, translations, and articles on the seventeenth-century poet Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg, the American translator of E. Marlitt, nineteenth-century American reading of German women’s writing, Gustav Freytag's alternative address to national community, Gabriele Reuter as contributor to the New York Times, new approaches to book history and literary history, reception and the gendering of German culture, and cultural transfer.

    She has undertaken literary translations of two novels by women, Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach’s Their Pavel (Das Gemeindekind) and Gabriele Reuter’s From a Good Family; selections from Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg's meditations on the incarnation, passion, and death of Jesus Christ; and Justine Siegemund’s seventeenth-century midwife’s handbook. Her activity as literary translator has fueled her scholarly work on cultural mediation, reception, and the international book trade.

    Her teaching at present centers on questions of regionalism and nationalism and reader communities, nationalism and French-German relations, the construction and representation of community, nineteenth and early twentieth-century women writers, bourgeois literature and reading habits, literary genres and violence, and book history.

    Fall 2020 Course

    Introduction to the Teaching of German (German 5051)

    This graduate course introduces future postsecondary teachers to aspects of the German program at Washington University, the broader US context of the teaching of the German language, the connection/disconnection between high school language learning and postsecondary programs, some of the professional organizations that support the teaching of the language, and to some of the resources they offer. It seeks to enable aspiring teachers to think broadly about the places and roles of foreign language in university curricula and departmental missions; the concerns, goals, and learning styles of undergraduate students; and the materials currently on the market and available for adoption in first-year language courses. The examination of first-year textbooks in this course will raise questions of methodology, teaching philosophy, learning styles, and institutional pragmatics. Interviews of colleagues in a variety of departments across the US will make visible institutional pressures and opportunities.

      Selected Publications

      German Writing, American Reading: Women and the Import of Fiction, 1866-1917. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2012.

      Ed. Enduring Loss in Early Modern Germany: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010. Studies on the experience of and responses to forms of material and spiritual loss in early modern Germany, including how individuals and communities dealt with war, religious reform, bankruptcy, religious marginalization, the death of spouses and children, and the loss of freedom of movement via poetry, diaries, monuments, book collections, singing, painting, reconfiguring space, repeated migrations.

      Ed. Publishing Culture and the “Reading Nation”: German Book History in the Long Nineteenth Century. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2010. Essays on facets of German book history in the shadow of 19th-century nation building, including Tatlock's "Afterlife of Nineteenth-Century Popular Fiction and the German Imaginary: The Illustrated Collected Novels of E. Marlitt, W. Heimburg, and E. Werner," which examines the repackaging and enduring reading of popular domestic fiction in Imperial Germany.
        
      Trans. and ed. Meditations on the Incarnation, Suffering, and Dying of Jesus Christ. By Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg. The Other Voice. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2009. Annotated translation, complete with editor's introduction of select religious meditations in prose and poetry by Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg, Germany’s leading 17th-century woman poet; introduction to Greiffenberg’s life, works, historical context and the meaning of her mediations for women’s history and the study of gender.  
       
      Ed., with Matt Erlin. German Culture in Nineteenth-Century America: Reception, Adaptation and Transformation. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2005. Examines cultural transfer from Germany to 19th-century America, with particular emphasis on creative adaptations of German culture for American purposes. This volume includes Tatlock's "Afterlife of Nineteenth-Century Popular Fiction and the German Imaginary: The Illustrated Collected Novels of E. Marlitt, W. Heimburg, and E. Werner," which treats the translation, marketing, and reading of Marlitt's works in 19th-century America.

      German Culture in Nineteenth-Century America: Reception, Adaptation, Transformation

      German Culture in Nineteenth-Century America: Reception, Adaptation, Transformation

      Building on recent trends in the humanities and especially on scholarship done under the rubric of cultural transfer, this volume emphasizes the processes by which Americans took up, responded to, and transformed German cultural material for their own purposes. The fourteen essays by scholars from the US and Germany treat such topics as translation, the reading of German literature in America, the adaptation of German ideas and educational ideals, the reception and transformation of European genres of writing, and the status of the "German" and the "European" in celebrations of American culture and criticisms of American racism. The volume contributes to the ongoing re-conception of American culture as significantly informed by non-English-speaking European cultures. It also participates in the efforts of historians and literary scholars to re-theorize the construction of national cultures. Questions regarding hybridity, cultural agency, and strategies of acculturation have long been at the center of postcolonial studies, but as this volume demonstrates, these phenomena are not merely operative in encounters between colonizers and colonized: they are also fundamental to the early American reception and appropriation of German cultural materials. 

      Distant Readings: Topologies of German Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century

      Distant Readings: Topologies of German Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century

      In nineteenth-century Germany, breakthroughs in printing technology and an increasingly literate populace led to an unprecedented print production boom that has long presented scholars with a challenge: how to read it all? This anthology seeks new answers to the scholarly quandary of the abundance of text. Responding to Franco Moretti's call for "distant reading" and modeling a range of innovative approaches to literary-historical analysis informed by the burgeoning field of digital humanities, it asks what happens when we shift our focus from the one to the many, from the work to the network.


      The thirteen essays in this volume explore the evolving concept of "distant reading" and its application to the analysis of German literature and culture in the long nineteenth century. The contributors consider how new digital technologies enable both the testing of hypotheses and the discovery of patterns and trends, as well as how "distant" and traditional "close" reading can complement each another in hybrid models of analysis that maintain careful attention to detail, but also make calculation, enumeration, and empirical description critical elements of interpretation.