Erika Kontulainen


M.A. & M.Ed. (Stockholm University); M.A. (Washington University in St. Louis)

For the AY 2017/18 Erika has been awarded a research scholarship from the DAAD to work on her dissertation on "Landscapes of Memory in German Realist Writing" at the University of Potsdam.

More broadly, Erika's research focuses on German literature, culture and history of the long 19th century, specifically the concept of Realism and authors such as Stifter, Fontane and Raabe, literary landscapes as sites of memory, and intersections between German and Swedish literature and film. She has completed Graduate Certificates at Penn in Cinema Studies and College and University Teaching.

During 2016/17 Erika served as a Graduate Fellow for Teaching Excellence at the Center for Teaching and Learning at Penn, where she organized and led workshops on a range of topics related to teaching and learning, and also observed and discussed teaching and learning practices with other graduate students. In Spring 2016 she received the SAS Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students

Erika has previously taught various languages classes in Swedish, English, German and Finnish. At Penn she has taught courses in Elementary and Intermediate German (GRMN 101, 102, and 103) and served as a TA for the courses Witnessing the Holocaust (GRMN 236) and World Film History 1945-Present (CINE 102).

Before coming to Penn, Erika studied German language and literature, English, pedagogy, and second language acquisition at Stockholm University, Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg, and at Washington University in St. Louis. She was also awarded a DAAD Research Grant to conduct research at Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen.

Research Interests

19th-Century German Literature, Realism, Literary Landscapes, Memory Studies, Cinema Studies