Spring Office Hours:
W: 9:00 – 11:00 am and by appointment at the Max Kade Center
Teaching interests: the German transatlantic experience, German literature of the modern era, introduction to contemporary German-speaking Europe
Research interests: World War I Immigrant poetry published in the United States, immigrant identity formation, cultural transfer
I teach courses on German-language literature and culture, the German transatlantic experience, and contemporary German-speaking Europe
- German-language literature
- Culture of German-speaking Europe
- Contemporary German-speaking Europe
My research focuses on poetry written by immigrants in the U.S. in response to WWI; German ethnic culture in America, cultural transfer and transformation, cultural identity; Reinhold Solger; and 19th-century German political literature, nationalism, and national identity.
- World War I
- 19th-century German culture in America
- Cultural transfer
- Cultural identity
- Immigrant identity
- Reinhold Solger
- Political literature
- Nationalism: national identity
I serve as Academic Director of the European Studies Program, which is coordinating KU's WWI Centennial Commemoration 2014-2018. I also serve as Academic Director of the Max Kade Center for German-American Studies and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures.
Selected Awards & Honors
Center for Undergraduate Research
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Professor Vanchena joined the department in 2008 as Associate Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Her monograph, Political Poetry in Periodicals and the Shaping of German National Consciousness in the Nineteenth Century (2000), demonstrates that between 1840 and 1871 German periodicals regularly featured poems as part of the public debate over contemporary political developments. In 2006 she published Anton in America: A Novel from German-American Life, the first English translation and scholarly edition of a work written in 1862 by the witty intellectual revolutionary, historian, and journalist Reinhold Solger. She has also published articles on nineteenth-century German and German-American literature.She is currently working on a scholarly digital edition of World War I immigrant poetry published in the United States. Her research interests also include the reception and transformation in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America of German ethnic culture, immigrant identity formation, and German nationalism and national identity.
Professor Vanchena has received grants from the American Philosophical Society, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Exceptional Student Mentoring, Excellence in Research Initiative, KU College of Arts & Sciences, and also a Seed Grant from the KU Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities..She received the K. Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award from the Center for Undergraduate Research and the J. Michael Young Academic Advisor Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.