Our own Katharina von Hammerstein achieved rare distinction this April: the university bestowed upon her the title “Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor.” UConn Today summarizes her many accomplishments over the course of years of productivity at UConn:
The award is the highest honor that the University bestows on faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and service. Von Hammerstein was one of three UConn professors to receive the honor in 2020.
President Katsouleas’ letter emphasizes the following:
Dr. von Hammerstein (Ph.D. UCLA) is Professor of German Studies in the Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages and member of the Human Rights Institute’s leadership team at the University of Connecticut. For her scholarship on German literature in Europe and Africa as well as on interdisciplinary curriculum development in the United States she received national and international grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the American Council on Education (ACE), the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), the German National Research Foundation (DFG), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. At UConn, she received numerous large and small grants to support curricular innovation and her scholarly production.
Professor von Hammerstein’s interdisciplinary and international research is located at the intersections of Literary Criticism, Postcolonial Studies, Gender Studies, War Studies and Human Rights. Her twelve book publications and more than seventy articles about German, Austrian and Namibian literature between the late 1700s and early 2000s analyze textual representations of human rights issues, autobiographical writings as political voices, and questions of gender and “race”. Currently she is investigating diverse testimonies on Germany’s first genocide (1904-1908) in the former colony of German Southwest Africa (today’s Namibia). She has given numerous presentations in the United States (incl. Harvard), Canada and Germany as well as the UK (incl. Oxford), France (incl. the Sorbonne), Austria, Italy, Spain, Romania, Russia, Namibia, and South Africa.