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Jutta Ittner

Office Guilford 208
email Jutta.Ittner@case.edu

Associate Professor of German and Director of German Studies.

Jutta Ittner, a native of Munich, Germany, received her M.A. from Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and her Ph.D. from Hamburg University. Her areas of specialization are exile studies, contemporary literature, women's literature, and the representation of animals in contemporary literature.

She has published a comprehensive intellectual biography on the exile writer Martin Gumpert (Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 1998), presented papers and published chapters in books and articles (Deutschsprachige Exilliteratur seit 1933, ed. Spalek et al., Exil, Women in German Yearbook, Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, ndl, Dimension2, among others.) She is currently working on a collection of essays and translated short stories by Kronauer and on a book on the representation of animals in contemporary literature.

Jutta Ittner has been teaching at Case since 1992. She teaches a range of courses in German language, culture, and literature. She has won the 2003 Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the 2003 North East Ohio Council on Higher Education Teaching Award. In 2002/3 she received a Glennan Fellowship for developing the SAGES seminar BERLIN. Among her contributions to the German curriculum are the study abroad program THE MUNICH EXPERIENCE and THE MAX-KADE-WORKSHOP, a two-week seminar taught by a visiting scholar/artist from Germany.

Dr. Ittner's Scholarship

German Studies and Exile Studies
The first area of my research emerged from my dissertation work, which included the cultural environment and literature of expressionism, the Weimar Republic, “Inner Emigration,” and the German exile community in New York during WWII. For example, I studied the identity problem of the assimilated German Jews in Berlin who typically saw themselves as Germans first (and foremost) and only came to understand themselves as Jews because of the Nazis. I also researched the biographical and literary testimonies of the writers who were forced to live in American exile and the effect that “translating their selves” into English had on their writing. I then applied the concept of “culture shock” to better understand the emigrés’ inability to assimilate to their host country and their sometimes violent reactions against it.

Brigitte Kronauer
My second line of research has focused on the works of Brigitte Kronauer, one of the most sophisticated voices in contemporary European fiction. My studies of Kronauer deal with the intricate construction of her novels, the complex relationship between the reader and Kronauer's narrators, her literary explorations of perception, and her critical observations on the human condition and on the impact of nature--specifically animals--on our consciousness. Her latest novel has been hailed by the two foremost reviewers in Germany as one of the best contemporary German novels. I have been working towards publishing a book that will introduce her to an American audience. In addition to analyzing aspects of her work, I have translated short stories and passages from her novels as well as her reflections on writing from the interview I had with her. So far these translations, which I am collecting for a book, include several of short stories and extensive passages from her novels.

Animals in Contemporary Literature
My explorations of one specific aspect of Kronauer’s fiction, the relationship between humans and animals, have led me to my third area of research--an examination of society’s attitude towards animals as reflected in contemporary German and world fiction, specifically the shift from the traditional to a “postmodern” understanding of animals. I have approached my new subject by comparing German representations of animals with Brazilian, French, and English examples, analyzing the construction of the animal Other in imaginary visual encounters and love relationships. I am currently working on my third book project, which will focus on contemporary literary imaginations of visual encounters between humans and animals.

Research in Progress

Book Projects:

Constructs of Desire: Fiction by Brigitte Kronauer. Edited and Translated by Jutta Ittner. Critical essays, translations, and an interview with the author. Bucknell University Press. Forthcoming.

 Irina Liebmann. Berlin Apartments. Novel. Translated and Edited by Jutta Ittner. Manuscript circulating.

 Facing the Unknowable: Visual Encounters with Animals. A study of contemporary literary constructs of the animal gaze.



Augenzeuge im Dienst der Wahrheit: Leben und literarisches Werk Martin Gumperts . Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 1998.

Helmut Pfanner (Vanderbilt University). German Quarterly 72.4 (1999): 399-401.
Irmela von der Lühe (Universität Göttingen). Germanistik 39/2 (1998): 528.
Anne Kuhlmann. Zeitschrift für Germanistik Neue Folge 2 (1999): 456-7.
Peter K. Tyson. Germanic Notes and Reviews 33/1 (Spring 2002): 67-8.


“Part Spaniel, Part Canine Puzzle: Anthropomorphism in Woolf’s Flush and Auster’s Timbuktu.” Mosaic. A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature. Special Issue, The Animal. 39:4 (2006): 181-96.

“Particularly Cats: Feline Encounters in Brigitte Kronauer's Narratives.”  Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies 42:1 (2006): 58-77.

“ Epiphanies at the Supermarket: An Interview with Brigitte Kronauer by Jutta Ittner”. STLC (Studies in Twentieth Century Literature). 27/1 (2003): 103-21.

“Becoming Animal? Zoo Encounters in Rilke, Kronauer, and Lispector.” KulturPoetik. 3/1 (2003): 24-41.

“ Der nachdrückliche Blick. Jutta Ittner im Gespräch mit der Autorin.”ndl [neue deutsche literatur]. 1/01 (2001): 44-57.
Interview reviewed in: Wirtz, Thomas. Die Beweglichkeit des Pfannkuchens. Schriftsteller im Selbstgespräch. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 45 (02/22, 2001): 58.
Joachim Kaiser. Zeitschriftenschau. ARD/BR (03/27, 2001)

“ 'Merkwürdig unjüdisch?' Identität und Antisemitismus in Martin Gumperts Autobiographien.” Exil: Forschung, Erkenntnisse, Ergebnisse. XIX.1 (1999): 5-22.

“ Jigsaw Puzzles: Female Perception in Brigitte Kronauer's Die gemusterte Nacht.” Women in German Yearbook 13 (1998): 171-87.

“ Leben in der Übersetzung. Die soziolinguistische Dimension des amerikanischen Exils 1933-50.” Exil: Forschung, Erkenntnisse, Ergebnisse. XVI.1 (1996): 5-20.

Chapters in Books:

“ Seeing Through the Mirror: Constructions of the Animal Other in the Fiction of Clarice Lispector and Brigitte Kronauer.” Figuring Animals: Essays on Animals in Art, Literature, Philosophy, and Popular Culture, ed. Catherine Rainwater, Mary Pollock, Palgrave/Macmillan, 2005: 99-118.

“ Diagnose: Kulturschock? Die Erfahrung des amerikanischen Exils im Spiegel des Kulturschock-Konzepts.” Akten des X. Internationalen Germanistenkongresses Wien 2000 “Zeitenwende – Die Germanistik auf dem Weg vom 20. ins 21. Jahrhundert.” Vol. 7/Jahrbuch für internationale Germanistik ed. Peter Wiesinger. Series A,vol. 59. Bern, 2002: 343-349.

“ Martin Gumpert (1897-1955): Einzelporträt.” Deutschsprachige Exilliteratur seit 1933. Band 3 USA, Teil 1: New York A-G. Ed. John M. Spalek, Joseph Strelka, & Sandra Hawrylchak. Bern, Munich: Saur, 2000: 163-89.

“ Brigitte Kronauer.” Encyclopedia of Contemporary German Culture. Ed. John Sandford. London, New York: Routledge, 1999: 338.

“ My Self, My Body, My World: Home-Making in the Fiction of Brigitte Kronauer”. Home-Making: Women Writers and the Politics and Poetics of Home. Ed. Catherine Wiley & Fiona Barnes. New York: Garland, 1996: 53-69.

“ Martin Gumpert (1897-1955). Zusammengestellt von Jutta Ittner.” Deutschsprachige Exilliteratur seit 1933. Band 4: Bibliographien. Schriftsteller, Publizisten und Literaturwissenschaftler in den USA. Ed. John M. Spalek, Konrad Feilchenfeldt & Sandra Hawrylchak. Bern, Munich: Saur, 1994: I, 640-44.

Translations into English:

Brigitte Kronauer, "Two-Faced Poet" and "A Story?" Essays on Narrative and Narration. Trans. Jutta Ittner.  DG [The Dirty Goat: Contemporary European Experience]. 16 (2006): 36-39. 


Neuwirth, Olga, Lost Highway. Opera Libretto and Stage Directions by Elfriede Jelinek and Olga Neuwirth. Solicited for U.S. premiere at Columbia University, New York, Feb. 2007. Trans. Jutta Ittner, August 2006 (31 pp.).


Harald Friedl. Out of Time. Documentary Film. English Subtitles Jutta Ittner. Digi Beta, 80 min. Austria 2006.


Christiane Zentgraf, “Diary of a Discourse.” Trans. Jutta Ittner. Quite Normal Luxury (MAK Applied Arts/Contemporary Art Vienna), ed. Peter Noever. Vienna: Schleebrügge, 2004. 42-53. ??


Brigitte Kronauer, “Endings Odd and Even. Short Story.” Trans. Jutta Ittner. Dimension2. Vol. 5/ 3 (February 2002/dated Sept. 1998): 366 -87.


Barbara Neuwirth, “Your True Companion´s Name. Short Story.” Trans. Jutta Ittner. Escaping Expectations: Stories by Austrian Women Writers (Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture, and Thought. Translation Series). Riverside: Ariadne Press, 2001. 107–127.

Dr. Ittner's Teaching
Through long teaching experience I have found that students thrive on a combination of high academic standards and a personally engaging, “German-only” classroom atmosphere. It has been one of my main goals to encourage my students to go beyond the introductory level of German language and culture and get involved in advanced studies. Authentic communication in realistic social contexts, creative exercises, student interaction in small groups, and the presentation of literary works as a fascinating source of cultural awareness, ideas, and personal growth have proven very attractive to Case students who take German as an elective and have been very successful in transforming them into proficient and enthusiastic German minors and majors.

As a native of Germany I have, of course, been immersed in that complex and fascinating culture all of my life. I return to Munich for two months each year to keep up-to-date on current events, the arts, and societal changes. This lifelong and on-going experience provides me with a wealth of cultural illustrations and linguistic insights to draw upon in teaching American students. My nominations for both the Case Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award and the Wittke Award, which I won in 2003, are evidence of the effectiveness of my teaching and my attention to students’ needs.


Language Courses:
In addition to the basic and intermediate language courses, I teach advanced conversation courses.


Literature and Culture Courses:
All my 300-level courses include viewings of the most recent German films.

In my introductory and advanced courses on German culture I focus on German Modernism and Postmodernism in literature, art, and music, as well as on contemporary intellectual life in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.


In GRMN 312, an introduction to German drama, we start with one-act plays by Bert Brecht and end with the contemporary dramatists Peter Handke, Elfriede Jelinek, and Xaver Kroetz. In GRMN 313, an introduction to literary interpretation, we cover all major literary genres, starting with a joke and ending with a classical tragedy. In particular, we analyze poetry in the context of its setting to music (from Beethoven to Kurt Weill and Schoenberg).


My GRMN 380 Advanced Studies in Culture courses include Munich/Berlin, a comparative approach to the public and private memories, the art and architecture, and the cinematic and literary portraits of two German urban centers.

My Advanced Literature Courses include GRMN 320 Literature and the Media, and several other courses on contemporary fiction. For example, Between Autobiography and Fiction—Literature 2000 explores novels and short stories published at the turn of the millennium, such as Bernhard Schlink’s “Der Vorleser,” and texts by Ingo Schulze, Judith Herrmann or Emine Özdamar, young authors that reflect the experience of a non-German ethnic background or of a pre-Wende communist Germany.

German Literature, Politics, and Censorship traces the subversive German literature--poems, jokes, plays, and prose--from the 16th to the 21th century with a special focus on political cabaret, a literary art form combining satirical comedy, song, theater, and dance.


The Munich Experience:
I have designed and been teaching The Munich Experience. This study abroad program consists of a spring semester orientation course followed by a challenging and exciting three-week program in Munich during which students stay with Munich families. It includes tours through medieval castles, Renaissance town halls, a backstage opera tour as well as opera, concert, and theater performances. Students meet and talk with a violin maker in the Bavarian Alps, workers at BMW’s most innovative assembly plant, and one of the few survivors of the 1940’s student resistance group The White Rose.

Cinema Courses:
I have taught From Expressionism to Run Lola Run, a survey course on modern German cinema and Constructing Reality, a study of the history and role of documentary film in Germany. The latter course included a two-week workshop with an Austrian documentary filmmaker. Again, furthur information on those workshops can be found here.

SAGES University Seminar:
For SAGES I have taught USSY 207 Berlin, an introduction to Germany’s new capital through the study of representations of this city in modern literature and film.

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