Kirsten Harjes


Position Title
Continuing Lecturer in German
Language Program Coordinator of German & Russian

409 Sproul

Education and Degree(s):

  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
  • Staatsexamen I+II, Universität Göttingen, Studienseminar Bielefeld

Course(s) Taught:

  • Theories of History and Collective Memory
  • German History and Culture Post-WWII
  • Late Medieval and Renaissance History and Culture
  • The Holocaust in Film and Literature
  • New German Cinema
  • Multiculturalism in Germany
  • German Literature Surveys 800-Present
  • Beginning and Intermediate German Language and Writing Skills


Dr. Harjes grew up in Bremen, Germany, and received a teaching degree in Germanic and Romance languages from the Universität Göttingen. She emigrated to the US and spent four years in New York working for the United Nations Population Fund before entering the Ph.D. program at UC Berkeley. There, she worked with Professors Hinrich Seeba, Robert Holub, and Elaine Tennant, graduating in 2001 with a dissertation on theories of history and memory in the context of Germany’s coming to terms with WWII (Dissertation Title: "Denkmäler, Literatur, und die Sprache der Erinnerung: Kollektives Gedenken an den Holocaust in Deutschland nach 1989”). Since 2003, Dr. Harjes has been teaching history, literature, film, and language classes mostly for the UC Davis German undergraduate program, the film and the medieval studies programs, summer school, and the Master’s program in public history at CSU Sacramento. In 2012-13, she was Interim Language Coordinator for lower division German and Russian. Dr. Harjes has also worked in K-12 outreach at the Davis high school, and at the UCD Center for Human Rights in the Americas. Her current research interests focus on experiential memory practices and concepts of authenticity.

Selected Publications:

Journal article: “Disarming Hatred: History Education, National Memories, and Franco-German Reconciliation from World War I to the Cold War”. Co-author Mona Siegel. In: History of Education Quarterly (2012) Vol. 52:3

Book review: Translation Practices: Through Language to Culture. Ashley Chantler and Carla Dente, eds. In: Unterrichtspraxis (2011) Vol. 44

Short story: "Gefallene Engel: Großdeutsche Lösungen”. In: Geschichten + Gerichte. Otger Holleschek and Matthias Schlick, eds. (München: Dölling & Galitz, 2008)

Journal article: “Stumbling Stones: Holocaust Memorials, National Identity, and Democratic Inclusion in Berlin”. In: German Politics & Society (2005) Vol. 23:1

Dissertation: "Denkmäler, Literatur, und die Sprache der Erinnerung: Kollektives Gedenken an den Holocaust in Deutschland nach 1989”.

Honors and Awards:

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, UC Berkeley, 2001.
  • Dissertation Research Fellowship, German Department, UC Berkeley, 1999.
  • Humanities and Social Science Research Grant, UC Berkeley, 1998.